With our long-awaited journey along the Overland Track cancelled due to the wild westerly weather and waist deep snow, Team Tombolo headed out to the (mostly) sheltered Freycinet Peninsula for four days to practice guiding and interpretation in the field. On day two, we climbed over Mount Graham and across the saddle in extremely windy conditions, and got to experience first-hand what we have learnt in our unit: Interpreting Weather Conditions in the Field. We were all feeling pretty glad not to be battling through blizzard conditions at Pelion Gap!
Each of us had a chance to lead our group of student-guests, practicing the art of the briefing, keeping track of group morale, and learning about the importance of the mid-afternoon coffee break. The weather really put on a show for us, and what a vantage point to see it sweeping across Great Oyster Bay and out to sea! Amidst all the wind and rain, we learnt some really valuable lessons from our teaching leaders – Tom Keith and Gemma Gooley. It’s always so valuable to be in the field with leaders with so much experience, leading guests through these wild places!
As well as being tasked with leading the group, each of us had to present a series of situational interpretation in the field. We learnt about the hardy drought-resistant and competitive coastal flora, fire-sensitive pine trees, seals, and LOTS of whales! It was so much fun to join in the group activities and a really great way to break up the walking. Everyone really rose to the challenge and there were some great lessons learnt in the art of interpretation!
After a few weeks in the classroom ticking off assessment after assessment, it was really great to get back out on track! We were able to solidify all that theory we studied with real (and challenging!) experiences in the field! From the in-field navigation, to seeing massive seams of Quartz in the Devonian Granite, and of course experiencing first-hand the wind-funneling effect in the Mount Graham/Freycinet Saddle. Watching everyone stretch those guiding and interpretation muscles, and even stepping into the roles ourselves, we could really see how far we’ve come over the last 8 months! Not long now and we’ll be putting this all into practise with real guests!!