Improvers park and play, The Sands, Carlisle. 11th February 2019
After cancelling a couple of weeks ago in the teeth of some cold and wintery weather we were greeted by sunshine and a hint of Spring at Carlisle today.
The object was to have a skills session with Mike Sunderland and Anthony from Border Kayaks our coaches for the day. Anthony had also brought a great selection of boats for anyone to try and gave us a detailed review of what each could do – if you know what you’re doing.
Mike inspected the water and decided it was a little higher than expected. JohnS, Colin and I inspected the water and decided it was likely going to be park and pray!
Onto the water, Chris was looking for a boat to replace the recently demised dancer and was soon making everything look easy in a range of different coloured craft. Alex and John were also going well.
Mike and Anthony were observing our efforts from the bank – as we splashed around, I started to wonder if it was a bit too much for them; but eventually they joined us with constructive feedback. Yes Mike, I did look terrified, because I was!
Ferry gliding was the order of the day. With some folks making things look ridiculously easy and with Anthony’s advice – “keep looking at where you want to get to” battling with one’s brain which was saying – “look at those scary waves coming at you” we all started to make some progress.
We split into two groups and whilst the experts continued just below the weir the improvers headed down to the road bridge where things were a little smoother but with an equally rapid flow. More progress here.
A follow my leader took us back upstream under the bridge and across the tricky flow running around the bridge columns, Eric was the last to stay dry.
Short but sweet, everyone quite knackered but buzzing at the end. Perhaps the conditions were a little too challenging for learning fine technique, but it was great to experience the conditions in a safe place.
Very big thanks to MikeS and Anthony for all the help.
Today’s learning – keep looking at where you want to get to – It works!