21 October 2019

At the start of the October half-term break, eight boys completed their Silver DofE canoeing practice expedition on the River Thames in very challenging conditions.

The boys started their trip in Castle Eaton and paddled 12km through strong winds and rain to reach their first campsite in Lechlade. The river had a good flow and boys made excellent progress.

The second day was a day filled with strong winds and intermittent bouts of rain. Paddling conditions were tricky but all boys rose to the occasion and completed the second leg of 30km to their next campsite at Bablock Hythe.

To complete the poor weather conditions the rain started heavily at around 5am on the final day and showed no signs of easing. Boys were up early and on the water by 9am to paddle the final 31km back to the school boathouse.

Persistent rain throughout the day meant all were soaked and disaster struck at one of the many locks. Increasing river levels forced Godstow Lock to be closed and therefore the expedition had to finish early.

Despite the miserable conditions, morale remained high throughout the trip and the boys worked well as a team. This trip will give them valuable experience for their assessment expedition in July on the River Wye.

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