White Water Safety

Yet another weekend spent swimming in the Tryweryn - but on purpose for a change!  A white water safety and rescue (WWSR) course, run by Richie of the Wye Canoe Company.  Definitely a worthwhile course for anyone regularly paddling white water.

Saturday was a very wet day - lots of swimming in the morning, then even more swimming in the afternoon!  I'm fairly practised at this, ahem, but some bits were new to me - particularly body surfing stoppers, and all things chest harness/live bait related (though my BA doesn't have a harness, so I had to borrow Ems' when it was my turn!).

We finished up with a tension diagonal (safely getting people and kit across the river using ropes).  Not done that before.. my lack of harness meant I was the last to go, eek.

Back to the bunkhouse for a much needed shower and a nice meal in Bala.  We stayed at Tyddyn Bychan - complete with conservatory and BBQ hut! Also signs on the windowsills warning you not to leave the windows open as "the cows eat the curtains" (as well as licking the windows).  No-one got woken up by any nosy cows - but there was a cockerel, and on Sunday morning a car alarm... (moral of that story, don't lock the dog in the car)

walking up river - harder than it looks!

Sunday's half of the course was a little drier, and briefly actually involved paddling our boats.  We covered boat rescues, safe group paddling, pins, foot entrapments and wading upstream (in pairs, or a 'wedge' formation).  The day ended with some scenarios, and a lot more throwlining/swimming.

Overall conclusions?  We all need more throwline practise!  My aim was better than I thought, but I mostly fail on actually holding on to the rope when it's got a person on the other end.  It's good to have different people explain things as well sometimes, as obviously people have their own ways of doing things - we've all picked up a nifty trick to help with throwline repacking.


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