23 September 2006

Lancaster Canal

I've just got back (well not just got back - I've had to sort my kit out, have something to eat and fill in my coaching logbook) from the canal where I was in charge of a short trip for all the people who have been attending the sessions in the swimming pool.

The four-and-a-bit hour session went really well. I got the six students fitted out in the best boats the club had on offer which they could fit in before sizing them up for helmets and buoyancy aids. Then it was a case of routing through a pile of nylon decks to find the ones with the least amount of holes in and which would fit their boats. Once this was done I was about to give the briefing and start getting them on the water when I realised they could all do with a paddle. So it was back into the club's container to route these out. Now I could give the briefing, so I did.

It was then just a case of heading down to the canal side, en-route there was a busy road to cross and a flight of stairs to descend with the boats before I even got round to demonstrating getting in and out (that should really be on and off or it sounds like I was making them swim) the canal. It took a while to get the six students on the water but we were soon on our way with them ricocheting of each bank but as we gradually progressed along the canal so did their paddling. Near the end of the session at least 80
% of the students had improved to somewhat near-perfect straight lines. To liven the session up a bit I introduced a basket ball for them to chase and when they all got a bit bored of this I got them all rafted up in one long line, like a crocodile, with just the person at the front paddling for the whole line. One last game I tried out on the students, at the turning point of the trip, was musical boats. It seemed to work quite well, but I could only really do it with six people as I only had six floating objects. Anyhow once this was over it was just a case of paddling back the way we had come to the get out.

We got on the canal beneath the bridge by the public telephone symbol and headed north to the motorway bridge.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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