Mr Martucci reports from the Gold DofE paddling expedition in West Wittering
Early last Sunday morning, five adventurous Gold DofE participants sat in the dining room, half awake but ready for the day ahead. After an hour’s drive, we met Simon and Phil our two paddle instructors at Itchenor Quay just north of West Wittering. It was an overcast, warm day but most importantly, the rain clouds were holding off for now.
After kitting up and introductions, they went through what emergency group kit they would need to carry on the water and then onto the days logistics and what we would be doing.
Once on the water, we started to paddle east towards Dell Quay which was our lunch stop 6km away.
As we paddled, Simon was setting the group different tasks throughout to test and refine their skills in manoeuvring and controlling their kayaks. The sun eventually came out to play and the day began to become warmer. Their was a lot of activity in the Solent, so we had to be on our toes in terms of navigation and what was around us. We got to our lunch stop and after a quick break, we were back on the water paddling the 6km back to the start point, this time each participant taking turns being the group leader as we went. It was now really warm in the sun and the water was very calm, perfect conditions for their first day on the water.
This is the fifth year that we have offered kayaking to all Gold participants and after discussing the day’s events with Simon and Phil, we all thought the group was probably the best we had seen after one lesson, so very well done to Hugh Hutchinson, Gus Skordos, Indra Tason, Max Dyer and Liv Camacho Wejbrandt for a great, but tiring day out on the water. A superb effort by all.
Roll on session two!