Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet another 1 Star course for SIM

There was yet another 1 Star course for SIM held over the weekend and it was their biggest one yet with a total of 28 participants!
Couldnt really clique with the group this time so it wasnt that enjoyable for me.
As usual, we have the obligatory Singapore Flyer pics.

Rest of them can be found here

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I recieved an SMS from Eddy regarding a coaching assignment on the 22nd and 29th of August for NJC. I then checked my calendar and realised I was free and accepted the assignment.
So yesterday I left my phone in the living room while I was busy playing some computer game for practically the whole day. My phone started to ring at about 3.20pm and when I answered it, Eddy asked where was I. It seems he gave me the wrong date. It was supposed to be 22 and 29 JULY instead of August.
Rushed down to Macritchie on my bike and reached there to find a bunch of unmotivated Sec 1 students carrying boats. These kids were totally uninterested! They moved slowly and the only thing they did in the water was raft up and chit chat or day dream. Not being that experienced, I couldnt really motivate them in such a short time span so I made them demonstrate the skills to me individually.
After 50min we had to end the session because there have been feedback from parents that the students are coming home very late. Honestly, if they moved faster, they can be dismissed earlier.
It took 1 hour to move all the equipment back. Some of them would carry a boat back and hide somewhere. When there was 2 boats left, Eddy and myself decided to carry the boats back to save time because the kids were no where to be found. On the way to the storage shed we saw a few loitering around and when they saw us, they ran away. The worse thing was that as we were carrying the 2 boats back, 6 kids sneaked off.
Goodness. Cant help but feel disappointed that this is the standard of our future leaders.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Just did a kayak orientation at Water-Venture Kallang on Sunday with 2 other trainers. Quite unhappy with the way things went.
One of the instructors is a trainee who has been putting off taking his assessment since he did the L1 coaching course in 2007 and the other trainer is ignorant and proud of it. The trainee established his presence from the beginning and took charge. He began the session by getting the participants to carry all the equipment to the beach.
This was the trainee's 1st KOP and he wanted to do the theory part so after carrying stuff around he gave a theory session that lasted 30 minutes! There was constant use of jargon, talk about hull shapes, etc. Being 6 hours long, this KOP session is twice as long as usual but I dont see the need for so much talk. He also gave the usual ill informed canoe vs kayak explanation.

That wasn't the main issue though. When discussing about teaching rescues, I suggested showing the participants a rafted TX rescue. I was then treated like a blasphemer. The trainee went on to say how its almost impossible to do a rafted TX rescue with a tandem kayak and how we should use the H rescue. Was then told by the other trainer that a TX rescue will snap the boat in half.
From past experience, the "H" rescue usually ends up as a "N" or "Z" rescue after the boats get pushed around by wind and waves. Also annoying how the 2 rescuers are fighting against each other as they try to pull the victims bow/stern onto their respective decks.
Later on, while actually demonstrating the rescue, he told the rescuers to do a "see-saw" motion after lifting the victims kayak. From my understanding, in a "H" rescue you just lift up the capsized kayak and water flows out on its own due to the boat design. No need to do a "see-saw".

Later on as the session was ending, the other 2 trainers talked to the participants about the certification courses and told them the usual PA Water-Venture propaganda. No rentals without 1 star, no crossing of channels without 2 star, etc.
The one that really took the cake was the trainee telling them that if you're 1 star certified, you do the rafted TX rescue and only 2 star certified paddlers do the TX rescue.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walk-in participants

Met up with Huanda and Ziyang at Pasir Ris yesterday. We planned to paddle round Seletar Island which would be about 26km. However we met 2 paddlers at the club and Huanda invited them to join us. Unfortunatley, they were slow compared to us and I decided not to go further after reaching Punggol Jetty.
They were out to have fun and having them chase us all the way to Seletar Island would definitely not be fun for them. So we chilled out on Punggol jetty. One of the guys said you can buy ice cream there. I thought he was joking, but he walked off and returned with ice cream and 100plus! Was quite interesting.

We then went on to Coney Island to take some pics and practice our skills before heading back. Although we didn't manage to complete the 26km, the 2 guys were quite funny and interesting. They made good company and the trip was actually quite enjoyable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Virgin whitewater trip

Just returned from a whitewater paddling trip on 14-15th July. Went up to Sungkai for this trip to paddle in a grade 2-3 river.
The first day went by very slowly. Started out with drills and other stuff since it was the first time for most of us. We learnt about the safe swimmer position, how to swim across a river and how to jump in. Once that was settled, we got into the boats and played around in the eddy to get used to the boats. We were then taught to ferry glide and eddy in/out.
Personally felt it was dry, but then these are necessary skills.

Things were better on the second day when we did a run down the river. Got the chance to practice whatever we learnt the day before. There was more free play and it definitely felt more fun than the first day.

I did have higher expectations after hearing comments from people who've been on such trips. Guess the stories have been exaggerated a wee bit. Anyone who has a decent roll and quick enough reflexes can have fun.

Durian time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Unscrupulous practices revealed

I spent my last 2 days at SIM HQ manning the Canoeing Club booth for its recruitment drive. Basically freshmen from UOL are down in the school for their Freshman Orientation Day where the OGLs will guide them around the school and let them play games to know their coursemates. One of the activities is a massive recruitment by the clubs and societies in SIM.

So there I was manning the booth when 2 girls approached. One girl was interested in the 1 Star and another later revealed that she's already certified. The certified girl was telling her friend to go for the 1 Star. At first I thought it was great that this girl was doing my job for me, but then she told her friend 1 Star very good, can become instructor. What the hell?

I wanted to find out more, so I smiled and told her you need 2 Star before you can become an instructor. She replied that you only need 1 Star to be an instructor at Camelot. She also revealed that she worked there before.
To make matters worse, Camelot is the operator that MOE has chosen to run its Adventure campsite in Changi.

Oops. Let the cat out of the bag.