October 14 - 16, 2011
The grade 12's had a great weekend of moving water canoeing at Palmers Rapids. Even with the cold temperatures and the rain, everyone made great strides in their paddling abilities.
Friday started a bit rough, with everyone swimming at some point, as we started practicing entering and exiting the current. We followed this with a run of the bottom rapid, which went fairly well until the very end, with Rhys and Cory running the last bit backwards and Alex going for the full on gunnel grab, with both canoes ending up full of water. At this point we decided to pack it in and head back to camp.
Saturday morning was quite chilly, although the rains had let up. The paddling didn't start off very successful, with Cory and Rhys flipping almost immediately in our warm up. Both seemed quite raddled and we decided to change around the partners. Hayden and Cory turned this into a great partnership and were off paddling, with Hayden quickly instilling confidence into Cory. This was not the case by Alex and Rhys who on their first run pinned their canoe in the bottom set of rapids. We decide to put everyone back on the horse (in their canoes) and run the bottom rapid again (slightly different partnerships), which was successful until the very end, when Alex and Steph's canoe swamped and slowly sank in the whirlpools at the very bottom. It was time for a lunch break.
The danger of stopping for lunch by a hot fire on a cold day is that people don't want to get back into their cold gear and go paddling. This is exactly what happened, but I wouldn't have it. We were there to paddle and we were glad we did go back, as we ran the bottom set of Palmer Rapids multiple times successfully. Each time getting more confident and trying new routes and manoeuvres. Rhys and I finished the session of with a great surf and flip at the very bottom.
On Sunday, the sun greeted us for our paddle. The amazing thing about paddling in the middle of October is that you have the place all to yourselves. Where in the spring time there must have been at least 150 people. We started the day like we finished the last, running the bottom set a couple of times with great success. This was preparation for the top set, which was a bit more challenging, with more power behind the water and bigger waves. We had a blast as we ran it many times and only Hayden and Cory flipped their canoe on the last run at the very bottom of the rapid. It was very impressive to see how far people came in such a short amount of time.