MOD Apprentices on Dartmoor






I have been working in conjunction with Bridgwater College this week managing activities for a group of MOD apprentices on their adventurous activity team development week. Thanks to all the instructors (Swifty, Paul, Mark, Robin and Stu) who have worked with me and made my life easy (ish). The groups climbed, biked and had a 2 day expedition across Dartmoor.

Next week three of these guys and 2 others will be running an identical week in my abscence as I am realising one of my life goals tomorrow as I fly out to the Galapagos Islands for 2 weeks. Normally I would be nervous of being away with a big event on but the team worked so well this week that I am completely relaxed about leaving them to it. Cheers guys. Be good and have fun

Dry at Wimbleball





Back out Open Canoeing with Haygrove School Year 8 students to on Wimbleball Lake. The sun was out and so was the wind, but both groups stayed dry with no swimmers before retuning to the site for lunch and to take the tents down.

A great few days working with my old secondary school that I left in 1995.

High on Haddon Hill




I am still working with Haygrove School Year 8 pupils and today we left Wimbleball Lake and headed up onto Haddon Hill for a walk and some map reading lessons. All the groups made it up in time for lunch at the top before completing the circuit back via the dam to the tea rooms for a well deserved Ice Cream. A much drier and warmer day today meaning we enjoyed good views from the top.

Wet at Wimbleball





Last night I arrive at Wimbleball Lake in fantastic weather to help out with Haygrove School Year 8 Camp. The pupils arrived mid morning today and it was straight out onto the water for some Open Canoeing. Although it was wet and windy both of the groups that I had were keen and enjoyed the session. As soon as we had finished it was time to get the tents up (in the gap between the showers) and sort out the pupils cooking their dinner.

Dartmouth to Newton Ferrers










Yesterday and today I was helping Carol and Debs with the final part of their yacht move. We took a leisurely 2 days heading west with a great evening meal and night on the pontoon in Salcombe having negotiated the surfers on Salcombe bar and watched the lifeboat go out. A lot of motor sailing required due to the wind but fantastic weather and the boat behaved very well.

Sadly I am writing this on my phone on side of M5 waiting for AA due to a suspected coolant leak.

Overnight Paddling Trip







Yesterday I met with Beth and Sion who are undertaking my Long Term Instructor Development programme for their introduction to paddling. We started with some skills coaching on the Exeter canal trying out different kayaks and canoes before selecting appropriate craft for our trip. We loaded up with equipment and headed of down the canal to The Turf Lock pub were we camped for the night sandwiched between the canal and the estuary. After a lovely meal in the pub and a good nights sleep, we repacked the boats and crused the tide upstream before switching back onto the canal for rescues and wet training

Another Quantock Bike Ride





Another day out on The Quantock Hills with the other half of my FdSc students who were leading themselves around a 15km route they planned a few weeks ago. A lot less windy today and we came across some Marin marker tape on some of the downhill trails (so we detoured and tested some of these out). Back on route we had a nice lunch in one of the combes before a long and steep climb up back to the bus at Triscombe

Is Canoeing a Land Based Sport?





Unfortunately I had to reschedule today Coasteering session do to poor weather (mainly wind) and gave my FdSc students to choice of what to do in relation to their Land Based module. Now bearing in mind that Coasteering is pushing it a bit anyway as a land based activity though it is a combined rock and water activity, the consensus was to go canoeing. Rather than argue that it is a watersport that is what we did and hid from the wind on the Bridgwater Canal looking at basic skills and having a mini journey.

Very Windy Biking





Today I was up on The Quantock Hills with my FdSc students who were riding a 15km route they had planned themselves last week. It was very windy on the tops but there was some relief down in the wooded combe. The route was completed in time and any minor hic-ups were dealt with efficiently and competently. These students have come a long way over the last few months and certainly showing improved navigation and cycling skills.

My new bike behaved impeccably today which is better as last time it threw me off for no reason :-)

Brixham to Dartmouth







The journey continues....... After a weekend of wild weather where my diving and sailing trips were cancelled, this morning I joined up with Carol to continue moving her yacht round to its new home. We snatched a few hours of reasonable weather setting out from Brixham at 11:30 and motoring round to Dartmouth. As the castle came into sight, so did a massive squall that was brewing on the horizon. We held back to allow the tall ship to exit the harbour entrance and luck was on our side as we managed to get in and moored up before the rain started and we enjoyed lunch inside listening to the rain pounding on the cabin roof. Next instalment next week (fingers crossed)

Dewerstone Climbing





For the last day of the FdSc Public Services residential on Dartmoor, Dan and I took the students to The Dewerstone where we dropped some ropes down a number of routes and the students managed them selves for a few hours of climbing. They have made good progress since their first climbing session a few weeks ago. The light rain did not affect use to much those the rock was a little greasy in places.