Lowland Leader Day 2

Out and about in the Lambourn area known as The Valley of the Race Horse for the second day of Lowland Leader Training for Wet and High Adventures (provided by Andy Holborn). I have never seen such a horse based area with gallops and everything around us geared towards riding. It was a mega windy day out in the open but it gave us a chance to look at how wind affects us walking and looked at how to hide from it and plan to walk with the wind behind us, The main thrust of today was leadership and group management, I am looking forward to seeing these candidates on assessment in the not to distant future.

Lowland Leader Training

Today I was running a Lowland Leader training course for Wet and High Adventures (and provided by Andy Holborn) for a group of teachers in the Reading area. We spent the day looking at navigation strategies, hazards (cows), roads and navigating in woods. By some shear luck we avoided the rain and had a good time discussing various options and methods to deal with paths that may not be in exactly the right place.

A bit of SUP

Today I was in Bristol taking part in a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) workshop for paddlesport coaches run by Tim from SUP Bristol. Although I have paddled SUPS before, it was good to get so me input to see how the SUP style differs from canoeing and kayaking. It was only a short theory session and we were out on the water for the rest of the day. I only had one unintentional swim when the wind caught me whilst mid pivot turn. I was glad I had chosen to wear a drysuit though as it was a bit chilly.

Leading some Kayaking Sessions

Today I was out in Kayaks with the second years who are being assessed for leading some water based sessions. 4 students under assessment today and we had 2 mini trips and 2 more static sessions. It was pretty tight getting all the boats into the van but worth it for a nice day out on the water.

Open Boating in the rain

Only 2 students today so a short solo boating session with them before exploring how to make a canoe raft. The weather was pretty grim at times today so we called it a day at lunch time and headed back to college for some theory work

3 Star White Water Kayak Assessments

Back out on the Barle today working for Wet and High Adventures running a 3 star assessment. All 4 candidates put in a good performance and passed the award. We started at Tarr Steps and paddled to Dulverton. It was a bit low today and dropped whilst we were on it but we still found some Grade 2 rapids to run and for the candidates to demonstrate their skills.

Well done Leon, Glyn, Dom and Chris

3 Star White Water Kayak Training

Out on the rivers Barle and Exe today working for Wet and High Adventures running a 3 Star Training course with 4 candidates. We ran the Dulverton to Exebridge section looking at some personal skills as well as rescues, rolling and throw line work, I am certainly glad that I didn't have to roll or swim today as it was somewhat chilly in the water. At today's levels the seam where the Exe and Barle join had produced a small surf wave which was entertaining and good fun to practice skills on

Open Boating on Lower Dart

Today I was acting as a Guniea Pig for a 4 Star Canoe Assessment on the Lower Dart. This was a course run by Inspiring Adventure and was the second and final day for the candidates. We had a nice paddle and it was nice for me not to be in charge for once.

Bridgwater Open Boating

Back on the canal today with my Outdoor Education students looking at their leadership skills. Another 4 canoe based sessions delivered today which involved a few trips to the docks so I was relieved when one chose to paddle in the other direction.

Back on the Barle

Back on The Barle today with Beth and Mark for the second day of a Wet and High Adventures white water kayaking weekend. The water levels had come up a bit and we paddled from Tarr Steps to Dulverton. A classic grade 2 paddle that has a good mix of features to play with. We built on yesterdays skills and by half way today I was able to step back as a leader and we ran the river as a team with both Mark and Beth taking turns leading. A great weekend with two very nice clients.

River Barle Kayaking

Today I was on the Barle/Exe from Dulverton to Exebridge with Mark and Beth looking at White Water Kayaking skills. We had good(ish) levels, a bit more water would have been nice and looked at breaking in and out, ferry gliding, S turns, making the most of the flow and I even floated about for them to practice their throw line work.

I was working for Wet and High Adventures today

Apologies for the appalling pics. Will do better tomorrow

Paddling assessments

Today 4 of my Outdoor Education students were being assessed in leading a water-based activity. They had chosen Open Boating and we had a trip and some games as well as coaching some strokes. They did all the work today and for me, it was just a matter of observing and making notes.

Kayak Trip

As part of their 2 Star training, the Bridgwater College Outdoor students had a mini trip along the Bridgwater Canal in kayaks. On route we had some games and skills coaching but mainly spent the time avoiding the swans.