22 November 2009

Another weekend with Wild River

Boats sat waiting for their owners to return from inspecting a rapid.

It's been a long time coming really, but this weekend was my 5* Assessment. I first set out on this road back in June 07 when I attended a training course at Canolfan Tryweryn. Then my Gap Year started and I never got around to getting an assessment in. The BCU then changed their scheme and I felt obliged to go on another training course in March 09 and now the assessment has been passed!

Mr. Wild River himself dropping down the first 4+ on the Water of Minnoch.

The assessment was provided by Sean McGrath of Wild River and it was a good weekend of paddling. I was slightly apprehensive that their would be too much water, after all the biblical rain we had had at the end of the working week, but we found ourselves starting out on the Upper Lune because both the Clough and Rawthey were too low. We did eventually finish up on the lower Clough late Saturday afternoon mind.

Same drop, different perspective and different paddler.

Sunday was a bit different however. We met early, drove for two hours, and went paddling on the Water of Minnoch, which is up north, over the other side of the border and is in fact not that far from Stranraer. This was my first time on the Water of Minnoch; I have heard a lot said about this river and I can see where it has all come from. It has to be some of the most continuous grade 4 I have paddled in a long while, with some interesting looking sections of 5 as well, which we walked around.

Somewhere on the Water of Minnoch.

Like I said, I passed the assessment. I am sure I must have scraped through by the skin of my teeth: throughout the whole weekend I didn't feel that my personal performance or my leadership performance was as good as it could have been. So even though I now have that extra bit of paper I still need to get out in my boat and put everything into practice more often so when I next come around to a kayaking assessment I can actually enjoy myself instead of worrying about my chances of passing.

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

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