Junior paddle every Tuesday evening by Craig Ford

Tuesday saw a flotilla of 32 juniors and parents paddle around the docks. It was great to see paddlers sat waiting patiently on the beach the full length, and more, of the compound despite the hot sun, though the more enterprising worked out how to keep cool. A little delay before paddling off as a number of first timers had joined, so it was a quick introduction to buoyancy aids, paddles and boats, for both juniors and paddling parents.

Everybody ready to go, assisting adults in the water, and then go juniors! Dave led everyone off with a reminder to keep away from the boats, which everyone including the first timers managed. It was great to see, with a little encouragement, Ellie and Ella helping teach how to hold the paddle and keep the kayak in a straight line. Others helping to solve that question of “Why does my boat just go around?”

At the far end of Coburg Dock it was time to practice paddling in a straight line, paddling with a glide and general paddling skills. For those that needed a bit more time getting used to paddling a more one on one help was provided.

A paddle down Queens Dock keeping to the right out of the way of the yachts. Dave in his open soon became a transfer point as we moved juniors between kayaks trying to pair the more inexperienced with better fitting, easier to paddle, kayaks. At the end of the Dock it was time to practice getting out of boats, with the inevitable splash as junior met water, followed by practicing getting back in with varying degrees of success. And for the more experienced juniors a little bit of T-rescuing (hopefully more next week!).

With a number of wet juniors and the sun dropping it was time to get them paddling again, backwards this time towards home.

Great to see those juniors who joined the docks in May becoming more confident and able to help others with skills and for those who were newly joined, paddling in a straight line. Now just to get the parents achieving that as well haha.

Arriving back at the compound everyone was off the water quietly, with huge smiles, and for the youngest Clara a chance to try out the new Pyranha Sit On Top.

Thank you to all the assistants helping to make this a safe paddle and the juniors for making it so enjoyable. See you all next Tuesday.