Our instructor had decided this week that it was a fantastic opportunity to use the relatively calm weather to improve the canoeing skills in the group, so he planned for us to get back on the water at Purton Lock.
Organisation, communication and discipline was imperative so that we managed to take all the correct equipment to be able to deal with a capsize. Seb had planned that this was the way that we were going to end the day but hopefully not start it.
Arriving at the lock, the group all worked together to get our kit on and move the canoes to the water’s edge. So that some members of the group could build their confidence, Seb decided to raft two boats together so that it was more stable. This worked well and the others in the group managed to paddle their own boats in pairs without much difficulty.
The group worked very hard and managed to paddle a significant distance up the canal before we returned to the launch site. During this paddle they not only demonstrated the draw stroke to move the canoe sideways, but some also completed a figure of eight. This was a significant achievement when you consider it was only their second time on the water.
Arriving back at the launch site we all had some lunch before a T rescue was demonstrated, so that the boys knew what to do when they capsized. To their credit the whole group had the confidence to capsize and be rescued. A massive achievement for all.
The group then changed back into warm clothes before we drove back to school for the end of the day.