Discovery Award Gold - Paddle Awards Discover and Explore

>>  Sunday, August 01, 2021

Last November my passion for litter picking took to the water and that led to a new interest - canoeing 

I decided I wanted to be able to  go litter picking on the water in a proper canoe not just a bell boat for the unstable!  I signed up for a beginners session at a water pursuits centre and I have to say, it did not come naturally. But I stuck at it. Week after week. Sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend - canoes are so much easier in pairs!

It was all well and good going up and down the river once a week but by May I decided I needed some proper training, and I do like an award, so I did my British Canoeing Discover Award.  

So now  I could go in straight lines as a sole paddler - not as easy as it sounds!  I could go backwards through cones and sideways. Get in and out without squeeling at the rocking but I still had not actually fallen in and I think this was a bit of a mental block for me, I was constantly worried about what would happen if I did.

So now I took the bull by the horns and did my Explore award.   This involves understanding more about the water, the environment, how the weather affects things, what to wear, what kit you need, how to throw safety lines to help others and most importantly for me what to do when you fall in and how to save yourself.

Obviously I didn't take a camera with me and no one was there snapping so this is a borrowed photo but it does show you the type of boat and the start of a roll.  I kneel in a canoe and sort of perch my bottom on a wooden bar so your legs are tucked under, this has always bothered me about being trapped. It can often take me a while to get my crabby old knees to bend in and out.  

But I did rock my boat over, more than once, and get my head into the air pocket and my legs out. I swam pulling the boat , turned it and to get the water out of it.  I learnt to empty it in and out of the water.  I passed my Explore Award and am much, much less worried about falling in, I know what it feels like - cold and horrid mostly!  

I am immeasurably proud of myself.  I have gone the extra mile for my Discovery Gold Award - it requires 60 hours over 26 weeks - it did not require throwing yourself into a muddy, flowing, cold, litter soup numerous times to see if you drown or not!  

PS the water did not look like this the day of my course, it was not the day of glorious sunshine from the week before, it was the day after a day of massive storms. The water was up at least 3 more foot, running much faster, much colder and was totally churned up with silt and litter washing through- it was a truely gross day to fall in!!! I reckon it should have earnt double points.

I thought having to stop running because of injury would put an end to chasing the Discovery award for a while but as Maria Von Trapp says "When the Lord closes a door somewhere he opens a window" - it just turned out it was a soggy one.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP