Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Sea Kayaking Isle of Man - Travelling.

Photo: Calf play spot last weekend, by Jessica Egelnick.

A 3 piece kayak is for travelling. Its not quit the fold up kayak promoted by "Dubside" for his "Commando Kayaking", but at 178 cm long, each segment is much more portable than the full 17.5 foot monster! The clip system used by Rockpool and others is strong, but never the less represents a potential point of weakness built into the boat. You would not opt for this, and the higher purchase price, unless you were planning to pack up your boat and fly off to an exotic kayaking location. Physically, the boat is much more portable therefor, but is it logistically possible to undertake intercontinental kayaking expeditions this way? Well, it clearly is as it's been done by others, but these are some of the problems I've encountered trying to arrange my boat's passage from the Isle of Man to Vancouver, Canada.
Firstly, I am booked to fly from the Isle of Man to Manchester Airport, in order to connect with my Vancouver flight. I'll be flying with our largest remaining carrier, as EuroManx have recently gone "bust". My carrier were extremely unhelpful and would not even discuss or entertain the prospect of taking my kayak aboard their plane, however much I was willing to pay. I still haven't completely decided how to overcome this problem. I could drive to Manchester with my kayak using the ferry. I'll be then faced with a ferry and airport parking bill of £300 to £400! A freight company has agreed to take the kayak to their Manchester depot, and then to meet me for my flight with the kayak at Manchester Airport. This is an excellent service and they have been extremely help full and accommodating. The slight problem is that their insurance doesn't cover items likely to break!? Yes that's right it only covers items not likely to get damaged which obviously excludes my fibre glass kayak! This brings me to my other problem. My own travel insurance will only cover the kayak up to a value of £700 against loss or damage in transit. The best policy I can find will cover it up to £1500, still somewhat less than the cost of replacing my probably irreplaceable boat. I guess insurance companies, like low cost airlines do not like kayaks? Well not quite. The true, and so far only stars of this story are Zoom Airlines. They are a low cost Canadian carrier who are taking my kayak, regardless of size, from Manchester to Vancouver for £60! Well done Zoom.

1 comment:

The Black Spot said...

It's the Canadian Way, John. We run our businessess with Big City Know-How and Customer Service, and smaller companies are generally even more friendly and accommodating. That and efficiency are concepts I'm learning to let go of over here...