Monday, November 26, 2007

Signed my 1st batch of certificates!

Conducted my first 1 Star course as a full fledged instructor over the recent weekend. Combined the class with a more experienced instructor, Derek. Very laid back kinda guy who is quite open, probably due to his time in NZ while pursuing his degree.
His style is similar to Stanley's and different from the norm. We taught almost everything in the syllabus on the first day, leaving only the classical draw, stern rudder and low support recovery for the 2nd day.

Lesson's learnt?
1. This lesson plan is ideal for spring tides.
2. Be very friendly and open.
3. Praise participants for effort, use words like "awesome" or "well done"
4. Avoid being too army-like
5. New technique to prepare for capsize which involves participants doing dry runs for exiting the kayak on the beach.
6. Alternative technique to get into kayak. Instead of hands on the coaming, hands can be on aft deck of resucer and own kayak, legs in cockpit and push self up onto aft deck of own kayak. Slide into cockpit as per normal.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Future

Looks like 2008 will be an interesting year for my kayaking life. First off, I plan to go round Ubin within a day, in fact, I hope to complete it in 4hours. At 22km, this would be my longest day expedition so far.
In March, the ventures are conducting a Kayaking Expedition To Sisters aka KETS.
Hopefully, I can get some money from Scout HQ to conduct a Round Singapore Expedition to be held over 3 days.

3 expeditions, of increasing difficulty with a combined distance of close to 200km!!!

3 steps closer to paddling to a foreign land in 2009, hopefully I can make it to the equator by then.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New coaching experience

Chee Hwa asked me to help conduct an orientation programme for a school camp at Jalan Bahtera MOE on Friday.
So I went down to help and of course, earn some extra cash. $130 for a day's work. A damn good deal!

SOTs were used for the orientation, a first for me. Having only conducted courses for SINKs. I left the morning session to Charles, him being more experienced in both coaching and in local knowledge of the area.
Learnt tactics to deal with SOTs and entertained the participants for 2.5hrs. Basically, only needed to teach forward and reverse paddling, emergency halt and sweep strokes for steering.
Made them do the usual raft up and have everyone stand up on the kayak, plus the popular all-in capsize.
Easy work, with good money...
Chee Hwa said there's quite a demand for kayaking instructors or KIs as they call it there. Hopefully I can teach at MOE Jalan Bahtera at least 4 times a week after I ORD. That's $520 a week and adds up to $2080 a month! KA-CHING$$$

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Danger in Kallang

Date: 30th October 2007
Time: 1530hrs
Weather: Cloudy & Sunny
Tide: 2.3 mtr (ebbing)
Location: Marina Reservoir
100 to 200 mtrs from Marina Barrage
Water condition: Calm

2 of our Kayakers rented 2 kayaks from 1330hrs to 1630hrs, both are 1 star holder. At that time they were paddling at the above location with that condition. They have already paddled out of the demarcated area for 1 star holder.
Sudden change of condition, water became choppy & under water current built up and draw them towards the only open gate of the Marina Barrage. Due to the funnel effect, also the 4th hour of ebbing tide & only 1 open gate, the current became very strong.
The 2 Kayakers tried to paddle away from the Barrage but they capsized in state. Next moment they were drawn & flushed out of the Barrage together with the kayaks & paddles. They tried to grab on to the gate but failed.
Luckily they have their PFD on all the while, next they found themselves floating in the sea apart. They swam towards each other & floated for about 30 mins before rescue came.
Thunderstorm started at 1600hrs in the Marina Barrage region & club still do not know that this incident have happened.
The 2 Kayakers & 1 kayak were pick up by a foreign boat, then were transferred to Coastguard boat. The Coastguard bought them to the shore, giving them S$20.00 to take a cab back to club.
They arrived back to club at about 1630hrs. When the storm subside @ 1700 hrs the Safety boat were launched to conduct a check.

Condition of Kayakers,
Kayaker 1 - Slight scratches on both hands, no major injuries.
Kayaker 2 - Badly scratched on both hands & arms, no major injuries.


We need your assistant, please help to inform your participants about the danger being near the Barrage regardless of 1 star, 2 star or how many stars. Danger will be danger, we can't change it. All have to keep at least 500 mtrs away from the Barrage.