|consensus of opinion of ones current location is . . .|
The evening shenanigans was started off by a very frank presentation delivered by Jeff Allen, "In to the Wind", where he recounted his and Harry Whelan's recent record breaking achievement of the circumnavigation of Ireland in 25 days. If you get the chance to hear Jeff give this talk, take it, as it is a very open and honest account of their experience. It has an underlying message of how not to undertake a paddling expedition, where uncompromising goal setting can undermine sound judgement and decision making.
The last day of the gathering I went to a rolling clinic run by the betrothed partnership of Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer to resurrect my drysuit bloated roll.
Watching Helen perform her rolls you feel the need to be whisked off to some far eastern country, shave off all your hair, begin to chant daily, only to return when you can transcend yourself into some zen like state of being. I really, really want one of her ultra cool stealth invisible paddles.
Returning to my tent I got into the lotus position to wait out the next two days, mentally preparing myself for the forthcoming four star assessment. Anyone might think I was apprehensive.
After 2 days R&R I joined Francesco (Sicily), Mikael (Sweden) and Beat (Switzerland), to form an international group of kayakers ready for assessment.
By then the wind had subsided to just about force 5 and the sea state had calmed right down, this gave our days assessor, Axel Schoevers, a bit of a task to find us some challenging conditions in which to test our self rescue, towing, navigation and paddling skills. But he did.
The second day's weather had built up to provide excellent conditions for today's assessment which would consist of: leadership; group management; rescue skills; navigation and paddle skills, assessed by Kate Dufus. Kate had just completed an attempt at the current circumnavigation of Anglesey the previous day.
|What if Mikael were to capsize (deliberately) right now, what would I do?|
|Beat enjoying a swell time|
|Kate incident planning or planning an incident?|
|Beat unflinchingly enjoys a bit of clapotis|
|Kate having a blast!|