Monday, June 23, 2008

Level 1 Course

This past week, the Newfoundland Kayak Company put on a Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 1 Skills course. I helped out Richard Alexander with the instruction, along with Craig Burden and Jon Walsh. We spent Tuesday night in the pool learning rescues, Friday evening on the pond learning the first few strokes, and all day Saturday on the pond learning more strokes, practicing rescues and learning about gear, weather and navigation.

And a little fooling around with balance!

Then a day trip on the ocean on Sunday to put it all into practice on salt water. We launched in Cupids on Conception Bay. The sun was out for the first time in two weeks and the wind was light. It was perfect for a Level 1 paddle!!
A few kilometres east of Cupid, we came to the Arches, which is a spectacular archway to paddle through. There was less than one metre of swell but it was noisily crashing on the surrounding rocks, so this was an exercise in trust and confidence-building. But the smiles afterwards were worth the anxiety. Craig took the photo below.

We stopped for lunch and Richard put his pastey white legs on display! We managed to keep our lunch down, while he told tall tales and did funny things with rope.

We got back on the water and paddled around the Brigus lighthouse and into Brigus harbour.

Eventually Craig caught up with the class (boy, is he slow!!!) and I took this photo while he caught his breath.
Seriously, it was a great course and a lot of fun to instruct. We had a super bunch of students and they all progressed significantly during the course. It was very enjoyable teaching with Richard, Jon and Craig! Looking forward to teaching the Level 2 course with Craig next week in Gros Morne!!!


Brian Newhook said...

Thanks for doing a fantastic job instructing the course Neil, Angie and I learned a lot from you guys. The paddle on Sunday was awesome. I was wondering if you have any hi-res photos with Angie in it? We were in different groups so I didn't get to take any of her paddling. If so, could you please email them to me,

Neil Burgess said...

Hi Brian,
I sent the photos I have. Craig Burden has some more. If you don't have his contact info, let me know.