Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I love my kayak!

Listening hard
Hubby dear
Last Friday evening, CB, Hubby dear and I all traipsed up to Glenmore for the Club Coaches weekend. This is my 3rd year going and I have to say I look forward to it more each year. The company is great, the activities are great and the food is great. A sign next to the packed lunches states that as most folks are going to be doing energetic activities whilst staying there, the average value of the meals are approximately 4000 calories per days, bang goes my Weightwatchers diet! and that's all without a wee pint of Tradewinds at the end of the day.

Will that duck fit in his roll
I had decided on open boating for the weekend, as I already do a fair bit of river paddling and possibly too much (can you get too much?) sea paddling. We were spending the day down on Loch Morlich, with the group being taught all sorts of skills and techniques in both single boats and doubles. There wasn't any wind, but the day was still really cold. We finished off the day by poling along the edge of the loch, heated poles would have been appreciated by now. I'd had a great time and had learnt loads, but was now looking forward to a hot chocolate and a slice of Glenmore's fabby cake.

Pink poles
Think Colin's winning
We all met up in the lecture theatre after that to go over all the news from the SCA. I had been asked to do a presentation on club funding which I duly agreed to do before remembering I don't particularly like doing public speaking, therefore Hubby dear was given the task and a good job he did too.
"The Assessor" - Mike "Cake please" from Paddleactive
Our group then met up with our coaches for the Sunday to see who wanted to sit their 3* assessment. The group could be split into assessment or extra training. Extra training was definitely my choice!

Loch Insh
Hubby dear

On the Sunday, we were all going to be paddling solo. We headed up to Loch Insh, where it was beautifully calm, my kind of open boat conditions! The local Ospreys were giving us a good show before settling on their nest. The assessment group started off first, in their own corner, whilst we headed out to go over more coaching practises, more strokes and generally honing what we had learnt the day before. After lunch, we were to head down the Spey to Aviemore. This meant adding flow into my day! I've never been in a solo boat with flow before. We started heading down at a very gentle pace, before coming to our first "rapid", OK more of a ripple, but it felt fast in this boat and of course there was the obligatory rock for me to bump over! We then did a bit of ferry gliding with varying degrees of success.

Colin and Stuart
Hope that's not him telling Wullie how to paddle!
Ferry gliding
Emily, Sarah, Colin & Stuart
I have to say, I was glad when the end came. Wullie, our coach did a wonderful job getting me down the river in one piece. As I tried to unbend my decrepit bones, after all that kneeling, I don't think my legs will ever be the same again, which some folks may say is a good thing.
I had a fantastic weekend, met loads of great folks, hopefully we'll get out paddling with some of them again. I've also learnt lots, with loads of tips to take away and practise. I will master open boating one day!
 One thing I did learn was how much I love being in my comfy kayak! 

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