Archive for Tweed

13th of June, 2010 – Open Canoe 3* Assessment

Posted in Open Canoe, Paddling with tags on June 13, 2010 by Jinja Coo

Back to the River Tweed for more canoeing, this time the assessment for our 3* award following on from our training in May.

It was a good day before we even made it to the river with some kind soul in a newsagent insisting we helped ourselves to coffee there as nowhere in the town would be serving it so early in the morning. Brilliant!

After meeting up in Coldstream and dealing with the car shuttle arrangements, we launched ourselves and immediately set about revising our paddle strokes before going through the main assessment tasks along the 13km trip down to Norham. These tasks covered, paddling in various directions, poling, rescues, assessing and negotiating safe passage down a rapid and towing.

Thankfully we all passed on the day but the environment for 3* is quite tame and the key point to take away was that we should get out more on rougher stuff before taking on any 4* training. Whether or not I decide to go for this, I am hoping to get out on more rivers in a canoe as part of my desire to journey down some of them on multi-day trips.

26th of May, 2010 – Evening Canoe Trip on the Tweed

Posted in Open Canoe, Paddling with tags on May 26, 2010 by Jinja Coo

Following on from our recent 3* training, three of us decided to get together for a practice session on the River Tweed to iron out some of our weaknesses before the forthcoming assessment.

We paddled from Manor Bridge down to Peebles along a short but very pleasant stretch of water with only a couple of shallow, scrapy bits to contend with. There was enough water in general and it proved to be surprisingly warm – a couple of involuntary swims along the way and a couple more by choice. We stopped at a rope swing and David and myself had a shot at launching ourselves out in to the depths – brilliant fun!

A short stretch of river to paddle but we got plenty of practice at each of the eddies along the way and definitely made some improvement so worthwhile, but I for one would like some more practice.

We arrived in Peebles, running the not-so-challenging weir just before it got dark having had a very pleasant evening.

22nd and 23rd of May, 2010 – Open Canoe 3* Training

Posted in Open Canoe, Paddling with tags , on May 23, 2010 by Jinja Coo

Two days training towards the 3* Open Canoe award with day 1 being work on paddle strokes within the beautiful setting of the Tweed estuary at Berwick Upon Tweed.

Day 2 was a short but full river descent of a stretch of the River Till (a tributary of the Tweed) between Ford and Etal, two gorgeous little villages in Northumberland. We stopped numerous times to work on different skills including, sharp turns, breaking in and out of eddies, polling, rescues and descending basic rapids. Rescues were last but well worth the wait, if only to cool off on a very summery day. One unexpected outcome of the day was rolling a canoe – a bit contrived and not likely to be achievable in any real paddling situation but great fun and surprisingly easy to do, all of us got it first time.

Canoes seem to be much harder to disguise faults in ones paddling, errors are exaggerated and because there are so many different paddle strokes with strengths and weaknesses at different times it is easy to pick the wrong one. The single bladed paddle is inherently unbalanced in terms of powering one side over the other at any given time and so getting the forward paddling to work efficiently is tricky, correctional elements to strokes are required and overall canoeing definitely seems harder at to pick up than kayaking but it is really satisfying all the same.