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.