Skills with Roger Chandler. We paddled from Cemlyn bay and did skills on Harry Furlongs tidal race before heading towards Carmel head. I saw some Dolphins over lunch and thought I was seeing things. Roger later identified them as Risso Dolphins.
This was a tough day with me making mistakes as I was somewhat stressed by being assessed. It was very frustrating, I knew exactly what I was doing wrong whilst I was actually doing it and as this went on, I became even more annoyed/stressed. And then this led to even more mistakes. I spoke to Roger about this at lunch and told him I knew exactly what I was doing wrong and how I was feeling etc.
After lunch I calmed down a bit and things were a bit better as I relaxed just a little.
As always I felt worked by Roger and if anything it was a good, if a little hard, in terms of being assessed, paddle.
I really don’t like assessments and I don’t like exams. That night I didn’t sleep well, as I played all the worse nightmares though my head.
Day two started by leading a trip with Phil Clegg and two “Guinea Pigs”, Caroline and John. We took turns in leading and I found myself, once again, focused too heavily on the task assigned, rather than keeping an eye on the group. Roger rightly said later I need to broaden my focus – which is very true as I have a tendency to focus very much in the minutest detail, especially in my day job, as that is what I have done for the last 30 years.
Phil asked me to lead the GP’s into the tidal rapid and what safety I would put in place. And so I assigned Dave to be at the top and Rich at the bottom. Of course the GP’s didn’t do as I expected, with one surfing the wave and one blasting straight through the middle of it. So I called everyone together, once we had recovered and changed tactic. This time to buddy each GP (Caroline and John) to Dave and Rich. We even saw some porpoises.
We stopped for lunch on Middle Mouse. This was by far the most dangerous part of the day, clambering around with boats on slippy seaweed/bird poop rocks. It is a fantastic place to stop.
After this I had to play a casualty with a dislocated shoulder and I was towed in, as raft with Rich and Caroline, by John. Poor John towed us much of the way back, but I have to say he did seem to relish the challenge.
After we got off the water it was back to AO for the results where we (Seda, Tani Andy Dave Rich and I) stood nervously around waiting to be called in one by one. Dave was first to go and he came out as a fail. Thankfully everyone else passed. Whoo hoo. What a relief. I can’t really say I enjoyed this process but at least this one is over now.
Five star next. (After practising incident management and leadership skills)