Friday 6 June 2014

Canoeing Skills Training and river journeys in The Lake District National Park. 27th May 2014.

Less than a week since we were last on Derwent Water, Iain was back again - this time running a Canadian Canoeing Skills Session and River Journey.

The family booking the session are already outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy Sea Kayaking. However, they wished to learn the skills of Canadian Canoeing in order to be able to go on journeys with their young family.

As they were staying near to Keswick, then Derwent water was the ideal place to run this course for them; and the Middle Derwent is one of the few rivers to have an access agreement in place all year round!

Although the weather was somewhat cloudy at the start of our Canadian Canoeing Skills Training Session, it was still warm; and when Iain met the family at Kettlewell Car Park, the lake was flat calm So, conditions couldn't have been better for skills training.

However, once on the lake, it quickly became apparent that many skills required to manoeuvre a Canadian Canoe were transferrable from Sea Kayaking as Helen & Ian clearly already understood many of the paddling strokes Iain wished to teach them. Young James - sat in the middle of the canoe had a lesser understanding of course, but did his best to help all the same! In the end, we didn't spend the length of time skills training Iain had anticipated and just went for a short journey along the Upper River Derwent instead before paddling the full length of Derwent Water and visiting St Herberts Island along the way.

At the family's request, we had made arrangements to stop at the northern end of Derwent Water for a while to have lunch; and to enable Helen to meet up with her parents who had also come along for the family's week long holiday in The Lake District.

Over lunch, the weather continued to improve and it became clear that the forecasted rain wasn't actually going to happen. Photo three is a lovely group photo of Helen, Ian & James as we prepared to embark on our river journey down the Middle Derwent.
Our final photo from this Canadian Canoeing & River Journey Day in The lake District sees us approaching the biggest rapid on the Middle Derwent.

Today, the river was at a very nice level - enabling us to take our time and not worry about the consequences of big water volumes and fast flow.

Almost as soon as we set off on our approach to the river, Iain suggested that James might benefit more by being in the front of his canoe as really, he was unable to contribute much by sitting in the middle of his parents boat. He might have only been aged seven, but James thoroughly enjoyed the experience - paddling with enthusiam wherever he could and particularly enjoying surfing the wave on the weir just below the point where this photo was taken. James also becaome very good at reading the river ahead - looking out for the deepest channel and the route to avoid rocks and overhanging trees (strainers) - probably our biggest hazard on most river journeys in The Lake District, but not really a problem in today's low water levels.

We arrived at Low Stock Bridge in reasonable time and after portaging the boats to the car, Iain returned the family to their vehicle at Kettlewell and that was the end of their Canadian Canoeing day.

Apparently, the family booked their Canadian Canoeing Skills and Rover Journey day with us because we fulfilled a number of their requirements which included being able to rendezvous with Helen's parents at lunchtime and also being prepared to include a seven year old child in the sessions. Other providers of Canadian Canoeing Sessions in The Lake District had been less flexible and had said no to James going on the water. Well, why not? We couldn't see a problem and in actual fact, James absolutely loved it!

When booking any Outdoor Activity Session with us, you can be assured that we will always do our best to accommodate your needs - the only time we are likely to say no is if a request is deemed to be unsafe or logistically impossible; and if so - we'll tell you!

For their bespoke day out with us the adults each paid £60 and for James £45. If you are interested in trying outdoor activities in The Lake District with your family and have specific requirements or concerns then do contact us to get what you want at a price you can afford. We look forward to working with you.

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