Our daughter recently asked my wife and me to look after our two grandchildren for a long weekend. We agreed and then gave some thought to what we should do with them (Granddaughter aged14 and grandson aged 11). As we had both been to Jersey several times we thought it would be a good idea to introduce our grandchildren to one of the more pleasant parts of the UK and chose to take them to Jersey.
I looked on the web for Jersey attractions and came across a two hour event called coasteering, advertised as rock climbing, swimming, cave exploring and cliff jumping. I discussed this with the grandchildren and both were inrigued, but unfortunately my granddaughter was a bit off colour on the day, which left my grandson Sam and myself.
I telephoned the number given and asked if we could reserve a place for the Saturday coming and explained that this was for my grandson and me. The team guide asked what age my grandson was and when I told him he was 11 years, he responded that was fine. He then said "your grandson? Can I ask what age you are? "I replied that I was 73 and he said "well it might be a bit strenous for you". I assured him that I was reasonably fit and regularly attended our local gym. He agreed to take us but explained that it would be a separate trip for us rather than include us with the group already booked for the normal time as he thought that a stag trip for local bankers might be a bit too much.
Come the day, Sam and I presented ourselves to the guide, were kitted out with wetsuits, crash helmets and bouyancy aids and started our adventure.
We walked on the beach at Grev de Lecq, waded past the buckets and spades and swam round the rugged outcrop for about 200 yards. We then clambered up the rocks, using hand and footholds and rounded the corner away from the beach. Climbing higher, we reached a height of about six feet with access to a pool of water. This was our first test and Sam and I were instructed to place our feet at the edge of the outcrop and step into space with our arms stretched outward. Sam and I were both somewhat nervous but did as instructed and launched ourselves into the deep below – great stuff. We then clambered out the other side of the pool, climbed up the rocks and over a ridge until we came to another pool, this time abot 12 feet high. Again we succeeded in overcoming our natural trepidations. The next part was to swim into shallow pools underneath the cliff, through tunnels and caves and out the other side after diving underwater to exit the cave. Twice again we climbed and jumped, the last cliff was about 7 metres high into a pool 4 meteres deep. After this we climed over the ridges and swam back to our starting point. Sam’s comment was "Grandad, it was scarey but I really enjoyed it" Exactly my own thoughts and a worthwhile adventure with my favourite grandson (Sam keeps telling me that’s he is my favourite because he is my only grandson but that doesn’t alter the fact).
I would thouroughly recommend this type of experience for those who are reasonably fit and would like to test themselves in doing something different which stretches their abilities. Our guide/instructor was very good, making sure that we exercised the sensible precautions and demonstrating how it could be done without pressurising us to overreach our abilities. He said afterwards that previously the oldest person to do the trip was 72 so I had set a new record and it gave him confidence that he could carry on running them until he was 73!!