Pupils get air on the rapids in their canoes
Oscar Stanford, Year 9, recalls his experience of canoeing down the River Dee on a recent Outdoor Pursuits Trip.
This year, 20 students from the canoe club went to the River Dee in Wales. The journey was a smooth one, and we quickly arrived at the river. After a few introductions and some catching up with Jim, Paul and Andy (our canoe coaches), we hopped in our crafts and wasted no time in meeting the river. The senior kayakers went for some eddy slaloming followed by some rather chilly defensive swimming while the junior kayakers learned about ferry gliding, breaking in and breaking out safely, also followed by defensive swimming. The junior canoeists recapped and perfected some useful paddle strokes. That afternoon, we all headed off to a pool to practise rolling and getting out of the boat, while having fun with a wave machine and a flume.
On Sunday, the planned 5 mile trip had to be cancelled because of high river levels and low hanging trees. But we travelled to where we would have finished to have a play around on the rapid and surrounding eddies. Afterwards, while the students were travelling back to the scout hut, a few staff scouted out downriver.
Finally, on Monday we went down the route that was investigated the day before. There were some very bouncy Rapids and we all got soaked but had an absolute blast. We all enjoyed a Cornish pasty by the river after portaging around a rather dangerous weir before a short paddle, involving some scared cows, to get to the minibuses!