Two weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation White Water Kayaking/Rafting students departed on their first white water paddling induction on the Huon River.
We departed from the TasTafe Drysdale campus bright and early on the bus packed with all the essentials – boats, paddles, emergency gear, and a bright pink ball for lunchtime playtime. We reached our destination – the Huon River, for three consecutive days of flat water paddling instruction with our captains, Nate Welch and Leon Bedford.
After going through the basic strokes (on dry-land) required to function adequately on the water, it is time to get down to business and we enter the river and practice and critique our form with guidance from Nate and Leon. We also learn the importance of safety aspects involved with teaching and taking out groups of clients, and how to breakdown and deliver what look like very simple strokes (in the hands of the right individual) into simple step-by-step actions.
Once we reach day three, the class has developed their skills quicker than originally anticipated and as a result we embark on a 12km kayak down the Huon River. Like sprouting grass blades at the end of winter the smiles begin to stretch from ear to ear. The trip goes down a treat, and you would be none the wiser to the fact that for some of the class, this was their first time in a white-water boat.
The day taught us so much about rapids, eddies, and the ease of paddling when combined with good technique. We arrive at our end point with a soft sun on the horizon and everyone tired, cold, shoulders aching but smiles remaining.
RTO Code: 60142