If you are planning on doing this trip, I'm afraid you're expected to read my ramble. Most of it is very pertinent. While this is a club trip, it trip will be run as a course. You won't get qualifications (outside the club), but you should gain valuable info all paddlers (and others) should know. Such as pin responses (incl. pulley system assemblies), defensive swimming, some first aiding and all manner of rope rescues, (both as drowning gumby and rescuer). What I found most valuable was learning about river hydraulics. You must try to understand what is going on beneath the surface, to plan your route and also to effect a rescue (self, or otherwise). Identifying danger in our various activities' environments is what keeps one (and others) alive and healthy. Mountaineers, extreme spelios, bushwalkers, et al. :- All get involved crossing flooded, powerful, dangerous torrents at some stage. This course will help by introducing other ANUMCers to provident river-skills they may not have encountered before. Cooperative action is what's needed. Knowing how our trip companions are trained to respond to emergency situations is worth its weight in angel burley. The scout motto of 'Be Prepared' is apt. An imminent drowning situation can occur near a deafening cascade, in a misty gorge, a blackberry thicket, a willow copse, an ocean bar, a port bar's toilet, and in a few inches of water. In many situations, it's too loud to hear, or too dark to see, too cold to feel, and sadly, too dangerous to oneself and/or others to continue. Hand and Whistle signals are essential. We have WW and Ocean whistles. [True! Different frequencies for different aural environments.] The Cmtee is subsidising places, so places on this trip may have to be justified by past and future contributions to the club. You will be expected to put in some time and effort organising/helping to run future trips, write an article for the Epic, give a presentation, run a mini training session), etc. Or, just let me know what you already contribute (ie. gear store, committee or activity officer duties.
But roll up! We should be able to cope with around 10 participants. WW kayakers will qualify for preferential kudos, (so to speak) and if all else is equal, more advanced paddlers will qualify in front of novices, as they will have a better idea of what is being taught, be more likely to find themselves in harms way and be better able to assist others, by employing their paddling skills. I've put the 13th as the start time because the instructors should be available on Friday evening for a rolling session. Friday's not essential, but strongly recommended for almost everyone. We could do things like deploying pulley systems, shelter building, Helicopter landing protocols, HF side-band and VHF radio operation, fire lighting, lightweight camp cooking, etc, It'll depend on the group's enthusiasm and preferences. Camping is available, but perhaps youse should sleep in your shelters (for 2 Kudos per night). I've had a canoe and a kayak wrap and snap in half on trips. (That damn canoe led to a cold night by the river. We pulled coals underneath ourselves in the sand, keeping the fire going through the night. Awoken by shotguns 5 meters away. But that's another story ;) Benighting always lurks close by. NEVER forget your headtorch, fire lighters and spare batteries.
The pre-trip will be an inspection and repair workshop for the WW boats. We might look at the footrest and seat systems too, depending on who shows up.
Not sure where we'll run the course. Somewhere local on the Murrumbidgee. Uriarra or Cotter possibly. It'll depend on river conditions at the time. People can camp on my property near Sutton for the Friday and/or Saturday nights. And no, you don't HAVE to sleep in your shelter.
More to follow. Over