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Open boating course part 1

Over the last few months I have been avidly reading Bill Mason and teaching myself some open boating skills but I was also keen to get some coaching and tonight we started a three week course at our club. The growing interest in canoeing, as opposed to kayaking, was evidenced by the turnout of ten eager students on a dark and chilly March evening.

We spent a couple of hours on Shadwell Basin looking at a number of strokes and for my part I concentrated on off-side and cross bow strokes. At the end of the session we did some rescues and practiced climbing back into the boat unaided from deep water. I had previously been frustrated at my inability to do this but some simple instruction in a better technique (climbing in to the middle of the boat) made it seem easy.