Thursday. Wednesday had been the most tiring day by far for most of us, so today we had a trip with less mileage and more coaching. We launched at Bull Bay, did some more rock hopping in a narrow inlet, and then got some coaching on going forward efficiently.
Put the paddle in close to the boat, push as well as pull the paddle, straighten the arms so that the hard work is being done with the core, and push with the feet as well. Some of this was already familiar to Zoe and me, as us ladies have less upper body strength so have to employ devious methods to keep up with the men generally. But I think that, like edging, torso rotation is one of those things that you think you’re doing a lot of until you see a photo of yourself and you see you aren’t doing as much as you think. We saw some choughs (apparently quite rare birds) and stopped for a long lunch break at an abandoned brickworks with lots of opportunity to potter round and explore.
After lunch (and yes I did do my drysuit up this time) we had a play with our towlines and between the four of us we managed to make all the usual mistakes of getting things caught up and disappearing off into the distance without looking around to see how the towee is getting on.
There were some beautiful caves to explore and with Stuart’s tips we just-about-managed a complex rescue where Zoe the willing victim of the day was extracted from the cave by one of us, and a second rescuer towed both of us out. Then we had a display from three or four porpoises who were porpoisely fishing at the edge of a tidal stream.
Last thing, we returned yet again to the topic of the standard deep water rescue, and Stuart gave us a demo to show us how to get it really slick. There was a bit of confusion over terminology at first, that was resolved when we found out that all four of us students had learned our rescues by watching over and over again a single 5 minute video made by the very famous Gordon Brown (no, not that very famous Gordon Brown, another one, but they are both from Scotland) and our instructor did a few things very slightly differently from God, I mean Gordon. Some of us may even have left with the heresy that Gordon’s ways are not always best. Sorry Stuart, I hope that hasn’t dropped you in it with the Scottish contingent!
At the end I got to do it myself with Zoe as victim, being very bossy and yelling at her nonstop where to put her hands and feet, and was rewarded with the pronouncement that it was a good 3* rescue. So I won’t be drowning my girlfriend any time soon.