Amongst the group of 5 that hit the water, 3 were aspirant 4* leaders and two paddlers gearing up for their 3* assessment. This mean’t everyone was keen to either learn new skills, consolidate previously learnt skills and happy for any constructive advice other paddlers could give. Above all, however, I think it would be fair to say everyone was up for some fun!
We headed out from Keyhaven and used the large bay area just before Hurst Spit as out training ground. This provided deep water, a nice amount of chop to make things interesting and a strong onshore breeze meaning we would gradually be pushed onshore rather than into the path of yachts and other boats heading home from a day on the water.
We had a superb time practicing just about every rescue/towing based skill we could think of and inventing various scenarios to test our skills and build up experience in preparation for our various assessments. Having a critical eye cast over your technique and execution can be off-putting for some but for the group on the water it was exactly what people wanted and led to a nice, open atmosphere where people welcomed the advice and frank discussion about technique and equipment.
3 hours later, and a little wet and tired we headed back to Keyhaven buzzing from a cracking session on the water.
Huge thanks to Simon, Paul, Sarah and Michelle from NFKCC for allowing me to ‘gate-crash’ their session. it was much appreciated.