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Aldsworth Kayaking

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kayak2After much planning and preparation, the day and time of departure had arrived. Five eager boys and two equally eager staff set off at 10am for their kayak/camp adventure. Unfortunately 5 minutes into the journey, a return to school was required when it became apparent the there were some vital pieces of equipment that had not been loaded onto the trailer. However after only a very short delay the journey continued.

We arrived safely at Biblins Youth Campsite, our base for the two days. The boys all set about unloading and erecting their tents. Some were more able than others. Before the next trip, lessons on how to erect tents would not go amiss. We all helped each other and the campsite was finally set up.

kayak1After a quick bite to eat, we all got on the water by 1.15pm. After much encouragement all of the boys managed a seal launch into the Wye, some more successfully than others. Unfortunately, due to circumstances not foreseen, we all came off the water 5 minutes later and due to the fact that there was nobody available back at school, one of the staff returned one of the boys to school. The remainder walked into Monmouth along the River Wye path. We all met up again at 6pm and went to a local restaurant for our evening meal. With full bellies we returned to Biblins to settle for the evening and sit around our camp fire. The recent lessons in campskills were put to the test and all the boys, in turn, attempted to start a fire. Many more lessons are required before the next camping trip. Just before bedtime a very small fire did manage to be set and was enjoyed by the boys for a short while.

Day two dawned and the sun was up, a quick breakfast and we all (well most of us) broke camp. We were joined by an assessor from the LEA, who stayed with us for the remainder of the day. This time we made sure everything was packed away as we would not be returning to Biblins and we set off to our start point at Symonds Yat East.

Once there we all got ourselves kitted out and got ready to get on the water. The youngest of our group showed the older boys how it is done and was the first down the 15 foot seal launch slide. Once we were all on the water we headed upstream to warm up and pay a visit to Daddy Rock. While paddling we came across a Duck and her four ducklings enjoying there paddle too. Mr Aiuto spotted a Mink stalking the ducklings and all the boys observed the mother successfully defend her ducklings from the Mink attack. After this we all went to inspect the rapids in small groups. One of the boys, in his eagerness to head for the bank put himself into the main flow and started heading down the rapids (backwards). He was followed and secured out of his boat on the island to wait for the others to attempt the rapids. All but one of the boys ran the rapids with big smiles and some trepidation. Huge credit to the boy who did not go down the rapids who spent his time out of his kayak helping the other boys with their kit and giving encouragement. We came off the water in time for our packed lunch and reviewed the two days in warm dry clothes. We loaded all the kit (again with the boys working well together) and went off on a walk down the river to help settle lunch and used the ancient ferry opposite the Saracens Head to return to our vehicle and head back to school.