Tag Archives: david fisher

Sea Guide training weekend

On the weekend (24-26 June), six of us attended the NSWSKC’s AC Sea Guide training weekend held at Currarong, Jervis Bay, NSW.  Facilitated by Rob Mercer, we were instructed in all manner of things that AC Sea Guides are meant to be. 

Operating at the AC Sea Leader level, I have the luxury of my trip companions being vetted to a very reasonable standard, that of Sea Skills.  My trip companions own their own kayaks and gear, have a solid capabilities to execute a large variety of kayaking strokes, can roll in surf and have generally done a number of sea trips and often even expeditions. 

If I become an AC Sea Guide however, I will be allowed to take anyone.  The most dramatic of which is that I can run paid commercial trips for novices.   Gina S explained to us in her evening presentation that the only vetting for paid commercial clients is that they have paid.  In all other respects, Gina explained that the clients may well be challenged in areas like fitness, coordination, understanding English and even totally misunderstanding what sea kayaking meant when they signed up for it in their holiday brochure. 

I must assume nothing about my paddling companions.  Or do so at my peril (and theirs!)

As a Sea Guide taking novices in my paddles, Rob explained that our own abilities need to be that much higher.  A great for instance is that novices might need demonstrations of paddling strokes.  My instructional ability, even at a basic level, didn’t form a part of the AC Sea Leader qualification but it does for AC Sea Guide.

On water, Rob set us tough challenges set to test our communication and instructional skills and examine our own capabilities to rise to the higher standard of the Guide.  Some of these challenges were set in and around rocky structures and it seemed to be almost like a scene from Larry Gray’s Skinning Chickens as we bumped and whacked into rocks and removed layers of gelcoat.

It is now down to each of us to reflect on the gravity of being an AC Sea Guide and, if we so choose to continue with it, practice and get ready for an assessment weekend in September.

Greenland rolling

Last week was a busy one for my skills development.  I don’t have a greenland kayak or a stick paddle or a norsaq.  But I’m still keen. 

A group of eight of us took over a section of Willoughby pool and practised in the heated and clean water.  Thanks to all who loaned me their equipment.  I’m impressed with the Tahe Marine Greenland T kayak, mainly because I can hand roll it more often than not.  I’ve had no success with my hand rolling in other sea kayaks as yet, only the low volume polo kayaks and the Tahe Marine Greenland T.  It is the times that I botch the hand roll that are great ‘learning opportunities’ for me.  What am I doing wrong?  Where does my technique need improving?  It is these questions that have me coming back for more.

And I don’t buy the story that you only need one good roll and that is good enough.  I need rolling skills, I need to know my legs, my body, my arms, my kayak and paddle and how they interact with each other.  I believe that through continued training and greenland rolling development that my one good roll will develop into one darn good roll and I will probably have a few ok alternative rolls to accompany it.  I do not consider myself at all sporting in the traditional fit, co-ordinated and natural way.  So I need practise over long periods of time to compensate but I’m a believer that this practise and absorbing the tuition that others are prepared to give me will yield results.  Eventually.  And besides – rolling is fun.

Thanks for the invite and I hope to roll with the Splinter Group again.

Magazine articles

I decided to dig up my various articles for the club magazine and post them onto the website no a new menu creatively titled “Articles”.

Also, I finally worked out how to use my movie editing software and have posted a movie of the Urban Epic II under that trip.