Four Lower Sixth pupils hit the high seas as part of their gold Duke of Edinburgh training.
In a first for the school sea kayaking was offered as an alternative to walking for the expedition and Charlie Beischer, Fergus Ustianowski, Ben Hicks and Will Johnson took like ducks to water on the challenging activity.
The pupils learnt about boat loading, paddling, handling skills, self-rescue and safety issues as well as the importance of wind, tides and weather when sea kayaking.
After a day’s training near Trearddur Bay in March the pupils went on a three day training expedition – which included wild camping – during the Easter break. After starting off in Benllech they paddled round Red Wharf Bay and then round the headland towards Penmon. On the second day the intrepid participants covered over 20 km, paddling past the lighthouse at Penmon, in very choppy waters, and then down the Menai Straits to Britannia Bridge, using the tides to help.
Commenting on the trip Charlie Beischer said: “Kayaking is a very different experience to walking, it involves a very different set of skills that are learnt on the training days. The weekend was very interesting and the weather was at both extremes – day two was cold and rainy but day three was very hot and I even got a bit sunburnt!”
Fergus Ustianowski added: “Kayaking was very enjoyable, the best bit was waking up on the first morning looking out to sea with the sun out. I can’t wait for the qualifying in July.”
Mrs Chris Muscutt, Co-Curricular Coordinator, joined the pupils on the trip and she was proud of the boys and their efforts. She said: “The boys had to be determined and self-reliant to cope and they improved so much over the four days. The qualifying expedition is in mid-July and we are intending to cover about 80 km along the coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. We are all hoping it will be a bit warmer by then!”
We would like to thank the instructors from Adventure Elements who helped the Duke of Edinburgh team throughout the experience.