Friday 23 April 2010

Kayaking half day session. Sunday 11th April 2010

After the ghyll scrambling session the previous day, Iain was out again with Charlotte Johnson and her friend Heather who had booked with Kendal Mountaineering Services for a half day kayaking session.

Seeing as they were staying near Windermere Iain arranged to meet them at Waterhead near Ambleside and, as Charlotte had specifically asked for some easy moving water action - do some flatwater skills on the Lower Brathay and then move on to the rapids at Brathay Bridge or the Rothay play wave.

In this shot we are heading across a rather choppy Windermere to the shelter of the lower Brathay

It was a nice afternoon despite the breeze on the Lake and once on the Rothay Iain taught the pair the basic paddling skills for handling a kayak.

Here Heather demonstrates the correct body and paddling position for moving a kayak sideways ie a draw stroke.

Charlotte had prior experience of kayaking but this was Heather's first time in one of these craft and she did extremely well.

Eventually we moved up river to look at some moving water skills such as breaking into and out of eddies and ferry gliding before tackling the nice easy section of grade one/two water just above Brathay Bridge which can be seen here behind Charlotte.

Charlotte had just travelled down current and "broken in" to the area of slack water (the eddy) we see her sat in here. Charlotte then turned the kayak to her left and paddled upstream into the current, tilting the craft downstream as she did so as the current turned her down river (known as breaking out).

This skills takes some practising to get it right. Charlotte enjoyed it so much she returned for another three goes!

A nice moving water shot looking upstream from the same eddy, just as Heather comes in to hit it smack bang on!

For someone who had not done this before this was a steep learing curve for Heather but one which Iain thought she could achieve.

Heather thoroughly enjoyed herself and perfomed extremely well. Although initially suffering from a common difficulty to get the kayak to go in a straight line, on the way back to the get out not only was she travelling in a straight line but she was also well ahead of the rest of us - good effort!

Here Charlotte gets well & truly rehydrated having just had a go at an eskimo rescue and she went on to have another 3 goes at this.

The eskimo rescue takes place if you capsize but do not want to exit your kayak and there are others nearby. Basically you bang the sides of your boat and then "feel" for the nose of someone else's kayak who has come in to help you. Finding such a nose you then put your hand on top and roll yourself rightside up as Charlotte has just done here - a very challenging exercise.

Both girls thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon with Iain and thought the session excellent value for money especially with all of the equipment and opportunities provided.

No comments: