Sunday, June 12, 2016

Utter disappointment

Went down to Passion Wave to help out with their mini dragonboat race today. As part of the prep, we drove to the coaches at the capsize zone and basically warned them that dragonboats will be coming down the racing lanes at speed.
There is sufficient space, but it always pays to err on the side of caution.
Most of the SCF Coaches were nice about it and merely asked when we would start and end. Sadly, a pretty senior L2 coach from SCF started being a real dick.

The encounter went something like this:

PA Staff: Hi, we're having a race in the lanes, the dragonboats may come down the lanes at speed. Could you stay clear of the area just in front of the buoys?

SCF Coach: I did not hear anything from SCF, you need to inform them in advance.

PA Staff: We've already informed SCF in advance. We're just doing a small scale race until 12pm and would like to inform you to keep a wide berth just in case.

SCF Coach: I will need to check with SCF before I move because I did not hear anything about this.

Come on man... Are you seriously going to put your students in the path of danger just because you were not informed of an activity there?
You're not a robot that needs instructions pre-programmed into you before you head out to coach. 

It's like being in the army, say intel tells you the area you are going to has no enemy movement. But when you approach the area, you hear engine and track noises which means there are enemy armour units in the area. Do you just simply waltz right into the area because intel told you there isn't anything there?

The saddest part is that this SCF coach regularly assists in the teaching of L1 coaching courses. I pray that this aspect of his personality doesn't rub off on newly minted coaches.
This is also one of the reasons why I have always believed in coaches working with various agencies. It reduces the likelihood of an "Us versus Them" mentality, very simply because the coach can identify as being a representative from both sides.

As the saying goes: "They're ok once you get to know them". The problem is, you've got to know them first.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kayaking trip from Pasir Ris to Changi and back

Thanks to the passionate staff who aren't your typical civil servants that do the bare minimum at work and only look forward to collecting a salary, Water-Venture Pasir Ris has been organising short trips to entice 1 Star certified paddlers to take up 2 Star certification as well as provide a guided trip for newly minted or rusty 2 Star paddlers who may not be familiar with the possible one day kayaking trips in the area.

The first trip was organised back on 2 Jan which led to a participant eventually taking up the 2 Star course in April.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kayaking Pulau Ubin Mangrove via Sungei Puaka

There are a few new versions of the map of Pulau Ubin since my last trip there donkey years ago. The extra detail along in the newer maps along with my usual route along the Ketam bike trail being blocked by overgrowth and fallen trees led to the discovery of a new route to cut through the Ubin mangroves!

Looking at our tracks, you can see we did quite a bit of backtracking along the Ketam bike trail and quite a bit at the beginning of the really long straight route.
Seems that quite a number of coaches are now not only aware of my Ketam bike trail route, they have also gone through it. 
Not bad... barely anyone believed that the route existed years ago, treating me like some blasphemer with ridiculous claims of an Ubin mangrove route that didn't require a single portage, or requiring less than 10min to paddle to cut through Ubin.

After several dead ends and paddling through a really narrow path, everyone was ecstatic when we managed to see the horizon! Still remember the doubtful looks when we hit a dead end long the narrow straight path. Thankfully, it was just a small bund and a very simple portage over.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Water-Venture Changi Walkabout

Made my way down to Water-Venture Changi after avoiding the place for many years due to the coaches and staff there that subscribe to Frederick Taylor's "one best way" ideology of doing things. And of course, no prizes for you if you guessed that their way is always the best way :p

Monday, March 21, 2016

Paddling to Singapore's very own Blue Lagoon! (Lazarus Island)

This is a long overdue post from my trip back in early January. Starting off from Sentosa with a bunch of sea scouts, we set off towards Lazarus Island to enjoy some time in the famous Blue Lagoon.
As we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I spotted this peacock up in a tree! A good omen to start off the day.
It was a nice sunny day with emerald green water. Conditions were pretty decent, nothing too difficult to handle.