Expedition #1- Ridgelines & Coastlines: Paddling

Words from William G. - Ridgelines & Coastlines Paddling cohort

Today was our first expedition day as a paddling cohort, and we thought it’d be nice to get out on the water. As I’m writing this, I can still feel the sand in my ear and cold saltwater running down my back, we’ll get to that later. We started the day off in Derby, tried on our gear for the day. Some of us ended up looking like smurfs! We headed out to Cadboro Bay to learn some basic strokes. Mr Pope and Mr McLeod taught us the whole lot, front strokes, back strokes, ruddering, draw strokes, and sweep strokes. When we practiced our ruddering, somehow a frantic forward stroke toward Mr Pope, we glided with our boats slightly tipped to one side. I tipped too far, flipping face first into the water, a fine way to learn a wet exit! I wiggled my way back into the boat. After more practice, we headed off to a small island for lunch. Upon arriving, we spotted a flat surface to set up stoves. Mr McLeod told us the basics of many types of stoves and the proper procedures for cooking. While having a hearty lunch with hot chocolate, we saw a bald eagle perched on a pine tree and some seals along the shore. We paddled back after lunch, made the landing and carried our boats back up. Then we rushed to a playground (very mature tenth graders!), then swam in the bay and dunked our heads multiple times. As the day drew to the end, we rode the bus back to Derby. Brushing sand off ourselves, we are exhausted yet content, all in all, it is a pretty successful day trip. My cohort will definitely be looking forward to the upcoming winter survival skills expedition