Training Day, Aberdour, Sunday 24th June 2018
Those who came: Katerina (leader/ringmaster), Marysia, Alan, Jan (on her first paddle), Segar, Susan and 2 others who went off to do their own thing (I apologize for forgetting your names)
Weather: A scorcher of a day with a light westerly wind leaving the silver sands end of the bay calm but the other end less so.
This was my first day out with the club and the first on the water for a long time. We all met up at the Silver Sands, sweltering in our paddling gear.
Just in case we were not already hot enough in our drysuits Katerina decided that a little running around to loosen up was in order, followed by paddle passing and then taking the boats down to the water. Afloat just off the beach, Katerina had us sitting in/on our boats with feet in, feet out, feet at the side, facing the wrong way, wriggling to the very end of the boat and back without capsizing .. it sure improved our balance! A bit like going “around the world” on horseback, I thought idly, circus riders must do that stuff a lot. … whereupon Katerina (who is clearly a mindreader) suggested that we stand up in our boats – and did so herself. The rest of us politely declined. At this point I realised that the “C” in LSKC probably does stand for “circus”.
Edging practice next with a little overenthusiasm on my part and an unplanned wet exit. This was wonderfully cooling and further entertained the growing crowd on the beach. The others stayed upright and dignified, however.
Lunchtime approached and we headed along the shore to the far end of the beach (or so we thought). But no, Katerina continued onwards and with no more landing spots in sight I did briefly wonder if she had some further devilish exercise in mind – perhaps something combining lunch with a new balancing trick on a quartering sea. Luckily, a tiny beach presented itself before this could come to pass. We landed quickly and ate lunch before she could change her mind.
Finally we headed into the wind and back to the Silver Sands, which were now densely packed with sunbathers. People practised a bit of rolling, rescues, wet exits, etc according to their taste/ability before finishing for the day. Finding a spot clear enough of bodies to land on was quite a challenge, carrying the boats up the beach through all the people even more so.
Many thanks to Katerina for the excellent instruction and encouragement. Having started the day nervous and rusty after 2 years off the water and not a lot of experience before that, I finished the day with better technique, balance and confidence. Progress without scariness! Thanks to the others for their company, help and tips, and for being a reassuring presence when it got slightly “wavy”. What a beautiful day it was too, with sun on a sparkling sea – so kind of Katerina to spend such a lovely day teaching us instead of for her own paddling. I’ll be back!