Thursday, August 07, 2008

Weekend One Of L1 Coach Training At AKT

Morning at Atlantic Kayak Tours at Annsville Creek. There are our sea kayaks - we all arrived & carefully packed up our full kit & there they sit, and now we're all ready for day 1 of the 3rd US L-1 Coach Training course. We think. heh heh.

A thunderstorm -

turns to a lesson in flexibility. A teachable moment well taught. Out come the strangest boats, and a variety of accesories, and as the lightning flashed & thunder crashed & rain poured down, us students - sea kayakers all - looked them over, sat in them, how does this work, what does that do...kayaks are not the only boats.

The storm passes, and the instructors let us in on a good joke...all those carefully kitted-out sea kayaks, every bit & bob just so? We're not using those today! Ha ha!

What's that thing they say about "assume"? Rhetorical question, I know the answer...

The day was spent in these unfamiliar boats. A good lesson in how it feels to be a raw beginner all over again. People who learned recently actually have an advantage over the veterans...they know what it is to learn. Ten years in the same boat & maybe just maybe you're starting to forget. BTW, I failed the morning's main task - that was to paddle a boat that was completely unlike any you'd paddled before. The three in the picture above (a slalom canoe, a freestyle competition canoe, and a slalom kayak)? Those 3 happen to be the ones out of a dozen that I haven't got at least a passing acquaintance with. Somehow I didn't end up in one. I don't know why I didn't say something when I found out that the whole point was to get in a boat that was unlike anything I'd been in before. I wonder if I should rectify that on Saturday.

My solo canoe skills aren't great though - I can manage, but that's about it, so the cute little double-ended recreational canoe I did end up playing with was fun & a challenge. So maybe that was close enough.

The rest of the day flew by. Lots more lessons disguised as horseplay & fun. Lots of laughter. No more pictures - I've dewaterproofed my camera, plus classes like these, taking pictures would just distract me.

Although a picture of Bill sitting on the dock with the whiteboard would have been great. "Bringing the classroom outside", they call it. Hmmm, wonder if there's a waterproof overhead projector yet...

End of a perfect day. Isn't the reflection of the nuclear power plant on the water just the prettiest thing?

I should talk...there in my homework is my completed (at least I filled up the page) risk assessment for Jamaica Bay. Makes the place sound like the last place you'd ever want to kayak. Pollution, motorboats, glass & metal & pilings & other wreckage on the beach & in the water, fish-hooks lashing about, jellyfish, poison ivy...I finished the list, looked at it & thought "It sounds AWFUL!"

I wanted to write at the bottom "But we have ospreys!"


Off to Session 2 this weekend. I'm studying, I've done my homework, I've written my lesson plan with an eye to correcting the criticisms my first one got.

However it comes out - as usual, it's been a ton of fun.

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