Coast to Coast

About to run a traditional canoe skills afternoon for a variety of staff from around the county. Have posted below a run of pictures from a trip I did last year from Kinlochleven to Perth. Lots of dragging; poling; sailing; trolleying; carrying; grunting; falling over; swearing; singing; collapsing. All good fun. Hope this inspires some of you to enjoy and challenge yourselves in the summer to come.


Apologies for the poor quality of many photos. We forgot a camera and these were taken on the cheapest camera we could find in Fort William – £20 from Tesco.

Here are the photos from the afternoon. Poling seemed to be the activity that people enjoyed the most and providing the most opportunity for amusing photos.Well done to all who took part and best of luck with all your adventures by canoe – whatever/wherever they may be. For those impressed by minibus and trailer driving skills please take a quick look at the bonus video at the end of the slideshow – the container is 4cm wider than the trailer!

The ROPE on the Tyne is all …

Monday was day three of Knox Academy S2’s R.O.P.E. session .. and P is for Paddling. We put in above the Aubigny in Haddington and paddled up to the lade before Clerkingtons’s Mill

Click here to open a full screen slide-show in a new window

The day had been very wet and windy in the morning, while we had the odd shower, the afternoon mostly felt like the first days of Spring.

A couple of options for ROPE day four, E for Explore , were discussed around a fire and hot chocolate. In the end the group have chosen to travel over to Fife on Friday , walk along the beach and around the Elie Chain Walk, the tide is right … let’s hope we get more of this fine weather.

Prestonpans have a windy time on the Tyne

Pupils from Prestonpans Primary had to work hard to paddle up the Tyne in windy and blustery conditions today.

The school’s watersports are normaly held at Musselburgh lagoons at the end of the summer. The change of venue seems to have been a success with the pupils enjoying undertaking a short journey up-river form the weir just above the Aubigny sport centre in Haddington. This was the third of a total of six days on the river for Presontpans Primary and is giving all of the P6s a try and learn some basic paddling skills.

Adrift on the Tweed

Some more staff development took place this past weekend with 2 days of canoe training. All participants are currently working towards their 3 star canoe award (SCA award). Included in the participants were staff from North Berwick and Preston Lodge High Schools.


 Preston Lodge (with support from the Outdoor Education Service) have an ongoing programme of paddlesport pool sessions and will soon be moving into doing some pupil training on Musselburgh Lagoons (a local sheltered water venue). All this will lead to their Duke of Edinburgh award expedition section being undertaken in either canoes or sea kayaks. A fantastic opportunity for all students.

North Berwick High – in conjunction with the Outdoor Education Service –  are currently developing a week long trip in which pupils are investigating the geology and land use of some remote areas of the North West Highlands by canoe, foot and bike. This fantastic educational excursion can only take place due to the hard work and dedication of school staff in working with the outdoor education service to develop their skills through acquisition of Mountain/Hill and Paddlesport coaching/leading awards.

A big thanks to all school staff who continue to put in a huge amount of hard work and determination to ensure that their pupils have access to tremendous energetic learning opportunities and a Curriculum for Excellence.


Festive Canoeing …

Final friday of the year!  While most softer folk were off for their Christmas Dinners seven of the hardier S1 Knox pupils opted for a canoe up the Tyne.  We put in at the Aubigny , and paddled up to the meadow in front of Clerkington Mill – a great location for a festive picnic of mince-pies and mulled fruit punch heated on the fire.

This was the second of a four session program of Outdoor Ed sessions being delivered to Knox.  The program’s acronym is ROPE … which stands for Rock, Orienteer, Paddle and Explore.  The first Rock session was at Tranent climbing wall, and the festive canoe trip was the Paddle. In January there will be an Orienteering/navigation in the Lammermuirs.  It’s then up to the pupils, with some guidance, to select a day long exploration of somewhere further afield.   Options include climbing a munro, or traversing the Chain Walk in Fife.