22 October 2018
At the start of the October half-term break, eight boys completed their Silver DofE canoeing practice expedition in very challenging conditions.
The boys started their trip in Castle Eaton and paddled 12km through very strong winds to reach their first campsite in Lechlade. A minor hiccup with navigation did mean they initially missed the campsite but eventually they found their way back and set up camp for the night.
The second day was a day filled with very strong winds. A general 25mph wind with gusts of up to 40mph made paddling conditions 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. Boys were up early and on the water by 7.45am to paddle the final 31km back to the School boathouse. Persistent rain throughout the day meant all were soaked but it was the final stretch and boys dug deep to finish in a good time and deserving of a hot shower once home.
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.