Sunday, October 19, 2014

PAD4O Palmer Rapids Moving Water Clinic

Last week the grade 12 students headed to Palmer Rapids for a 3-day Moving Water clinic. The plan was to head out with 10 students, but with two last minute cancellations, we headed out with 8 students and two leaders. After a week of summer like weather in October, our crew would be dealing with our first real bout of Fall weather, cool nights and some changing weather throughout the days. Good thing we were prepared.

The weather didn't disappoint, giving us everything from freezing temperatures on the first night, to sunshine, rain and hail throughout the next few days. At least there was no snow and the water was still relatively warm for this time of year. A good thing as everyone on the trip would get the opportunity during the trip to test the water for themselves. Generally this was not by choice, but rather a result of testing their skills in the strong current.

The water level was great for October, with a solid flow providing the students lots of opportunity to learn new skills. I was very impressed, the second instructor Peter was as well, with how quickly this group grasped the concepts of Eddy turns, c-turns, s-turns, ferries and running a rapid. The first day really saw the students transfers the skills they had learned in the flat water at school, into the current at Palmer Rapids. We practiced at the run out of the top shoot and finished with a few runs of the bottom rapid. Now, everyone did end up swimming on this day, but no was deterred.

The second day really showed how much the students had learned the day before, as we spent the morning mostly dry, even as we increased the challenges. By the afternoon, students were determining their own routes and challenges. The final day, we finished with a run of the top shoot, a wonderful wave train. All who ran it, ran it successfully, although some had more water in their boats then others.

All in all, a great 3 days on the water and although the weather turned more chilly as the week went on, great fun was had by all. This is true for on the water, but also for off the water, as meals were fantastic and the games around the campfire were truly entertaining.


KevinZePanda Lin said...

The white water canoe trip was quite an amazing experience. There were times where I did indeed not want to canoe because it was so discouraging just failing over and over again but on the last day everything became worth it.

The equipment I had was a little limited due to the limitations of wet-suits for my size but it didn't make much of a difference. It would just have been nice to have been able to switch from one wet suit to another day to day. At first I was afraid of embarrassing myself and not being able to canoe on the rapids properly but at the same time I was excited to get started.

The meals we had were pretty enjoyable in my opinion, they weren't as good as our canoe trip last year but I feel we accomplished it well on most parts. There were some foods we didn’t get enough of but I feel that we made it work overall.

At first I was canoeing with Ross but then realized it didn’t work out when we went on the lower set of rapids. Because of this, I switched with Cole and ended up canoeing with Ben. I feel as though I was letting my partner down at times, but there were times when we were both making mistakes and we both learned from it which I think is the most important part. Once I took the things I learned and practiced them I improved a lot and used it to clear the upper set of rapids with Ross. This made me feel a lot better about my performance over the past 3 days because I know that I’ve improved and so the time there wasn’t just a compilation of tipping canoes.

There were many things that I learned on this trip. I learned the difference in the flat water canoes and white water and how to control white water canoes better. I also learned the difficulties of canoeing in white water. I found out through experience that weight distribution must be done correctly or else your canoe can be easily swamped and that communication is an important factor when it comes to white water. Without it, your chances of making a mistake increases drastically.

What I enjoyed least was the first 5 minutes about tipping off the last rapid on the lower sets. It was difficult to breath and it hurt to do it probably due to the shock of the cold water all of a sudden. Next time the things I would do differently is think about these important things such as weight distribution beforehand so i can prevent the trouble before we even get on the water. What I enjoyed most about the trip was improving. I felt better about myself by the third day when Ross and I went down the last rapid which we say was successful. The last rapid for me was a mood booster and because of it I can look back on the trip and talk about how much I enjoyed it. I feel that had improved a lot over the three days we were there and knowing that makes the overall enjoyment of the trip much better

This trip was a lot of fun, although there were difficulties, I would definitely do this again because I had lots of fun and made great memories to look back on.

Tyler Lehouillier said...

I personally found the really fun, other then the weather; witch was freezing in and out of the water. The trip started off really slow wile we were waiting for Zack to finally come, once we were about 45 minuets late we decided to see if he was in his other class, witch he was, every one was extremely mad at him for making us wait. Once we finally go on the road we were about an hour late. The road trip went by pretty fast, and it gave me a chance to test the time laps on my IPod. When we got there we had to quickly set up our tents and get ready to go onto the water. The first day on the water went pretty well, every one was doing well with the rapids, even though every did flip there canoe at lest once. Later that night we had our supper and chilled around the fire. Ross then started to play random games he learned working at a camp in the summer, most of them I still don’t understand even though he explained then to me after words. Waking up the second was pretty hard for most of us. We ate our pancakes, witch were really good even though the looked pretty messed up.
The second day on the water we started doing eddy hopping, witch I was pretty nerves for but knew Damien and I would do fine, we made it throughout the hole day with out tipping witch I was really happy about because of how cold the water was. But then there was Ben and Kevin who flipped about four times that day. That night we played liars dice, but instead of have to lick a stick, we had to eat some of the lest over noodles, except it also had chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, ketchup, grape juice crystals, and some ranch, witch made Cole and Damien both throw up.
By day three finally came I was pretty happy knowing I was getting to go home and warm up and take a long nap. Day three was pretty much the same as two other then the clean up witch took about an hour longer then it was meant to, so we ended up ending the trip the same as it started, we were late again.

Cole Munro said...

Outdoor Ed White Water Trip

When I arrive at school, I was ready to take off and get packing. I ready was pack to pack the car when I realized that someone was missing. At first we thought we were wait for him but after a while I heard we were waiting for a police background check to be complete. The plan was to leave a 9am but we ended up leaving at 10.45am.
As we were on the road, the car I was in was quiet. Everyone had there headset on and listing to music. I wanted to save the battery on my phone just in case of emergency. After an hour of driving we stop at Tim Horton’s. I remember this Tim’s from a canoe trip witch we got snow on. After having something to eat we went to fill the gas tank up. I got a few chocolate bars for the next few days to come.
After about a 2 hour drive, we arrived at the shop where we going to pick up the canoes. We load them up on the canoe trailer and head to Camp Jessup. When we arrived I was surprised at how different it looked. I seen picture online and in YouTube video but when you see it in real life, it looks different.
We unload and started to set up out campsite. This is where we made our first mistake. Trusting Tyler with a tent. The tent was fine, it’s just that we did not know how to set it up. Final we set up only to have it on the road. We didn’t worry about that at that moment. We got on our helmet and went suit and head it out for the rapids.
I was with ben in my canoe, he was in the back because he was big then me. That turn out to be a fail because he could not steer. After a few fails we switch. I went to the back and it turn in to more of a fail. After a while of warming up, we went to go run the lower set. We scout the rapids and this is where I learn the term WORMS mean.
We set out to run the lower set. Now what went wrong for my boat is we went a head of Mr. Brouwer and we flipped at the hole in the end. On the second day I with Ross and there was much better at it. We didn’t flip but I still go went. It was cloud and wet. By the third was cold and wet. We hit the rapids a few more times and pack up and came back
In overall it was a good 3 days. I would total do it again.

Ross Peverley said...

The white water trip was overall a really great experience. It was a good group to be with and it was a lot of fun on and off the water.

The food was all very tasty (especially the cinnamon buns). I did learn two things from our meals; pack more meat and things, and communication is important for planning. We never went hungry, but we weren’t always eating what we’d planned. The menu planning was disjointed, and we bought too much of some things, not enough of others, weren’t quite sure what the plan was for some meals, bought five containers of juice crystals, etc. Another thing with the food was that we always had a hot component to each meal, which was really nice in the cold weather.

The most enjoyable parts of the white water canoeing were when I felt like I was pushing my self a little bit. The ones that really stand out were our very first run, Kevin’s and my run down the upper set, and getting to play in Peter’s solo boat. All of these I really want to try again, and I want to keep doing more.

It was quite chilly, but I was usually pretty warm. I’d only say that I would have liked to have had a warmer sleeping bag on the second night. The only other times I was cold were when we weren’t doing much on the water or the portage, but that couldn’t really be helped.

I learned a lot about whitewater, as well as about working in a small group and about camping in general on the trip. I was a great time and I think I’d like to do it again!

Benjamin Dale said...

Our white water canoe trip for me was a very new and exciting experience. While I had little success going down the rapids until the final day I still found the trip fun and enjoyable, no matter how cold the water may have been.

For our group I feel like we had the most difficulty before we even left for the trip. We went shopping for food as two separate groups but we never bothered to check what the other group had bought. Because of this we ended up with lots of some things and not enough of others. Our troubles then continued as one of the student who was supposed to come decided he wasn’t going to but neglected to inform the rest of the group. This along with a lengthy police background check for one of our supervisors caused us to leave almost two hours later than we intended.

While we may have had these troubles before we departed, once we were at the rapids and on the water things went rather smoothly. The weather may not have cooperated with us but we didn’t let that slow us down. We made some last minute changes to the tenting once we found out that Tyler’s tent was a little less than clean, but other than that no changes had to be made to our plans while we were there. The food was good and it was nice to be able to have a hot meal every night while it was so cold out. The only thing I would have liked to change was to bring an extra wet suit so that I didn’t have to put on an already wet one on the third day.

Overall I am rather proud that I was able to make it down the rapids at all. I have some canoeing experience but I had never gone down rapids before. After failing the first two days and always finding myself swimming by the time we reached the bottom, I was rather happy on the third day when me and Kevin managed to successfully make it down every time we tried. Even with all of the unsuccessful runs on the first few days I still had a lot of fun out on the water and would definitely want to do this again, but mabye with a little better planning and communication between classes before hand.