Monday, 15 March 2010

Whatever the weather..

...we carry on canoeing.

After an hour spent rolling on the off side on Friday night at the pool I am pretty happy with the reconstruction of my roll. It feels familiar and solid and if it gets dodgy I can feel what is probably wrong.
I have to thank Dr. S for getting me back on track.
I will keep following the prescription out on the sea.

Saturday started out as forecast with a NW strong/fresh breeze, so we heade to the shelter of cliffs at Inganess. This involved tracking the boats along the beach into the wind. Effective and empowering.

In tandems and solo we set off for a brisk warm up, heading off to find a sheltered bay. Throughout the day the wind behaved unpredictably making it hard to tell at times how effective our strokes were, but our understanding of trim sharpened up pretty quickly.

Communicating what we were doing, counting down for example, helped in the windy conditions as we practised turning.
The green machine motored around as if powered by a hidden outboard, but we know it is the result of good engineering.
an unusual sight in Orkney


Biscuit helped us to observe each other and encouraged us to think of solutions to issues we came up against. My solution to frozen toes was to pour hot tea into my boots! It works folks!
The day ended with us all paddling back to the trailer in a torrential downpour.

Hobbling a bit I wondered about the self inflicted effects of sitting with my recovering broken ankle and foot folded under me all day. I did try to sit up but  I suppose as a sea kayaker I am used to having a really low centre of gravity on the water. Particularly in the stern I felt kneeling was the only option for stablility, manoueverablility and effective paddling.

The next day we sheltered behind the pier and paddled into the wind and with the wind, changing the trim to help us, solo and in tandem we turned using rudder strokes.
HK and Biscuit get to grips with the finer points of the Jstroke.

NK shows us effective trim.

We then set off on a journey from Scapa to St Mary's with a following sea and the wind behind us. Tempted by the conditions, Biscuit soon got us all rafted up and a sail was created out of a tarp.
This worked well but I was distinctly uncomfortable. I don't much like rafting up and I like to be able to see ahead... in short I got out as soon as I was given the opportunity.
It looked much more stable from the outside.

ready for adventure
NK provides the steering

messing about on boats... photo NK

Biscuit looks pleased with the arrangements.

Two hours to get there and 2 minutes to take down, the improvised sail is taken apart and the boats are untied. My GPs says the best speed was about 8.6km hr, but this may have been recorded during an earlier tandem experience with a man 'machine'! The probable best speed was more likely about 6km hr.

Scapa to St Mary's by canoe and canoe raft with sail - 10.4km

Finishing off with further observations of paddling skills, and discussions of coaching style, our canoeing adventure was at an end. Thank you Biscuit!
I learned a lot this weekend in conditions which I had thought would make it difficult to learn but which Biscuit used  to our advantage.
He also modelled a coaching style and approach which I will be drawing on in the future, and in particular over the next couple of weekends.

My paddling weekend ended at the pool with the last coached session for the newest beginners.
Everyone is looking ahead anticipating getting out on to the sea...
I'll see you out there and remember your flask of tea!

No comments:

Post a Comment