The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation Rafting students gathered at the North Esk Memorial Hall in September to obtain their qualifications in Raft Guiding. We would be guided by our instructors on all the skills and knowledge needed to be a raft guide over the next five days.
We were very lucky to be joined by a crack team of raft guides with a large number of years’ experience in raft guiding all around the world. Our instructors were headed up by Shaun Clement and Nate Welch. Joined by a team of volunteer instructors made up of Pat Stam, Richard Guy, Ange Cunningham, Amy Hamilton and Renee Harrington.
On the first day, we hit the river and our instructors gave us a demonstration of a professional rafting trip. Each day we rafted the White Hills to Corra Linn section of the North Esk River. This section of river made for a great learning environment with tight technical rapids combined with fun steep drops. There were five rafts on the water and we each took turns guiding the raft under the guidance of an instructor while the others acted as clients. We used as much of the daylight to be on the water and had night lessons focusing on basic raft set up, how a raft moves on water, using river features and raft repair.
Throughout the day we also worked on delivering safety briefings, dealing with raft flips, use of river features to help control a raft, running a rafting trip, on-water safety and communication. All up, the rafting over the five days was full of excitement with lots of good lines and a few interesting ones, which made for a great experience for everyone.
We would like to give a big thank you to our volunteer instructors for giving up their time to come and help out for the week. It made for a much better experience for having you all there. As well as a very big thank you to Nate and Tanky for putting together and running an excellent course.