Category Archives: Adventure

Snowboarding in Milton Keynes

Still in Milton Keynes on our adventure weekend. It was time to g  o Snowboarding. Lisa,Lee,Emma,,Dan and myself were all up for this one. We were booked in for an hour and a half taster session to give us an idea of what Snowboarding is all about. Also to get us going down the slope in one piece.

we had a great time at Snowzone in Milton Keynes
The Snowzone arena in Milton Keynes is a joy with real snow toboot WAHOO

Snozone in Milton Keynes is such a good venue. You have real snow and a decent length slope to go down. So we were in for a treat. before we got on to the slope we were acquainted with our kit. This took 10 to 15 minutes. Then it was time to get on the snow. Apart from Emma we were all familiar with board sports. The lesson concentrated on getting us going down the slope on out toe edge. Starting with simply sliding down backwards. Which was more of a balancing act rather than Snowboarding. It did however teach us how to stop safely.

After we had all mastered sliding down baxkwards we got on to some traversing backwards and forwards down the slope. Which was much more like it as you actually felt like you were actually snowboarding. Unfortunately by the time we were getting the hang of things our time was up. Which definately left us wanting more. We were all agreed that this would not be the only time we would go Snowboarding so watch this space.


The Climbing Wall

During our Adventure weekend in Milton Keynes Lee spotted a 45 foot climbing wall. Well actually 2 climbing pillars with various routes up them. Some being a lot more difficult than others.

the climbing wall at Milton Keynes.
Lisa,Lee,Dan and myself ready to attack the wall.

Once Lee had spotted the climbing wall you could see instantly that he was not going anywhere until he had had a go at scaling his way up. He then asked me do you fancy a go. I thought i could not miss the oppurtunity. Emma decided to give this one a miss and sit down with mum with a Latte. Lisa and Dan on the other hand were well up for the challenge.

barry going up the climbing wall
Myself going up the climbing wall at too leisurely a pace

We were lucky as there was no one else on the walls. So we had them all to ourselves so after a quick safety briefing. It was time to put on some very uncomfortable climbing shoes, donne a harness and head for the walls.Lee and Dan immediately went for the higher and harder wall. So this left Lisa and myself on the slightly lower and easier wall to climb. It turned out Lisa was very good at this. She was definatly quicker up the wall than i was. I think my problem was i had never been clipped on to a safety rope before. So my mind set was if i full it ends with a trip to the hospital if not worse. It was only after we had finished that i managed to get my head round to the idea. That you just go for it and if you fall all that happens is that you come back down to terra firma very slowly and sedately.

Lee going up the climbing wall
Lee literally flying up the harder route on the wall

Lisa ,Dan and Lee on the other hand were starting to make it look quite easy. I found out afterwards that Lisa had done this sort of thing quite a few times with her year 6 students. Lee and Dan were making the most of the experience. After a while on the wall your fore arms start to burn and your grip goes so a half hour slot is the perfect amount of time on the walls. Near the end it was just Lee really left on the wall and he was flying up almost as fast as the instructor who climbs it every day. He could not believe that Lee had never been on a climbing wall before.

Lisa going up very quickly
Lisa showing me how it is done.

Overall the experience was an excellent one. For me i was a bit frustrated that i had not got my head round sooner. That falling off was no problem and to just go for it, We all though are determined to get to Edinburgh where they have the highest indoor climbing wall in Europe. So 5 out of 5 for this one WAHOO …

Indoor Sky Diving (Airkix Milton Keynes)

Ever since my daughter Lisa and her husband Dan got back from their honeymoon to Florida. They have been going on about how much they had enjoyed their go at indoor Sky Diving. So with me turning 50 it they sprung it on me as a surprise, Along with a snowboard lesson which i will go in to in another post. We were also supposed to meet up with relatives that we had not seen for a long time. Circumstances meant that we had to put that one on hold for a while.

So it was off to Milton Keynes for the weekend. Coming along for the weekend was Mum,Lisa,Lee,Dan and Emma. So it was a real family outing. Lisa decided not to do the indoor Sky Diving and Mum never intended to get inside and was more than happy taking photos. So this left Dan,Emma,Lee and myself to learn how to fly. Well hover in a large tube.

Barry at the Airkix indoor sky diving arena at Milton Keynes
Indoor sky Diving is such good fun everyone has to do at least once.

After a safety briefing it was time to get suited up and get ready to Rock and Roll. by the time we were ready to go in there was plenty of nervous energy flying about. A bit of a pun there ok not really very funny. Once inside the hardest thing seemed to be getting in to the initial position where you are able to just hover without flying off in all directions. After a few seconds though you find yourself starting to relax. Once this happens everything suddenly seems a lot easier. By the end of our second go we were all managing tohold a good position. raise ourself up and down and also attempt some dodgy looking turns. At the end of the session everyone gets the option for an extra £5 you can go right to the top and back down a couple of times. With the help of the instructor of course. Left to our own devices this manouvre would of been a certain crash and burn. The extra £5 is definatly money well spent. As there is a good chance you will only go indoor Sky Diving once. So you have to make the most of it why you are there.

Overall Indoor Sky Diving is one of those things you have to do at least once. We all had a great time and i know all of us would recommend everyone to put it on their bucket list of things to do.

Broken dreams in the Turks and Caicos

I only spent a few days on the main island of Provo. One of the islands in the Turks and Caicos chain. We were stuck there sitting out a blow which was forecast to last for 3 days. I was helping friends dave and Cal sail their moody 44 up to the island of Exuma in the Bahamas.

The ruined prop and shaft from the wrecked power boat.
The mangled remains of one of the props and shafts> The shaft had been sheered completely off.

The north side of Provo is where all the tourists are and i for one was more than happy to be on the south side of the isl;and in South side marina. The south side of the island is a place of broken dreams.

A sunken boat in sapadilla bay provo
I have no idea what happened to this boat. I had a swim around it and it certainly is a broken dream.

There are parcels of land for sale everywhere. One potential development consisted of 8 lovely plots of land on a headland. With great views over the crystal clear shallow waters that surround the Turks and Caicos. The plots started 1 million dollars now however they were already down to 400 thousand and with only 3 sold i imagine the price was only going lower for the remaining plots of land.

a 60 foot ketch that has been infested with turmites
Bob from south side has just sold his 60 foot ketch. That has been attacked by turmites. Hopefully this wont turn in to a broken dream also. ” Australian dive instructors are currently restoring her.

Then just to the west of South side marina there were canals cut in to the coral. That were shaped so that people would be able to buold their house and have their own birth for their boat right at the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately these canals had been dug over 25 years ago and that was as far as the development had got. In these canals laid a mish mash of boats i presume tying up for free. On the hard next to  a part of one of the canals lay a high 30 foot mono hull now laying on its side and a trimaran now lying upside down. Also 2 30 foot yachts were tied up near bye.

A written off power boat
This large power boat may look in perfect condition. However it is a total write off after running up on a reef at 25 kts

After speaking to a local man i found out that the 2 boats that were wrecked on the hard. Had been lifted out by a local man who was in the process of working on them. When a storm came through and pushed them off their supports and turned them over. Which made them both in to unviable projects. So had been abandoned where they lay. He also informed me that the 2 boats that were afloat near bye. Had been given to a local man by a guy who had just had enough and just handed the keys over and walked away. Then add in the large Ferretti power boat that sits in South Side marina you start to get the idea.

Broken dreams of 2 boats that were walked away from
Two broken dreams here, The boats that were walked away from and the canal that they lay in that never got developed.

Unfortunatly the whole south side of the island of Provo is covered in such broken dreams. The north side is flourishing and pulling in the tourists by the 1000. In total contrast the south side which i must add i loved is in a state of disrepair. You would never think you were on the same island. So if you have some money to invest in a slice of paradise. There is a multitude to choose from on the south side of Provo in the Turks and Caicos.

an abandoned sloop in the canals on the island of Provo
This yacht was blown over in a storm while been worked on and has since been abandoned where it lays.

A must visit….