On Monday 25th November, BISP’s Bronze International Award (IA) students set off to complete a challenging 2 days worth of training, followed by a two-day practice expedition.
They arrived at their Ao Yon base in the morning and spent several hours learning the technicalities of a modern sea-based kayak. These ‘sit-in’ boats come with spray decks; therefore students were required to complete a short capsize course before moving on to paddle independently in the ocean. The afternoon was spent learning advanced paddling techniques such as maneuvering backwards, sideways and tackling challenging wind conditions.
Day 2 involved developing marine route planning skills and practicing the newly acquired paddling expertise on a short 4km trip around the bay.
Students returned to Ao Yon on Thursday to set off on their practice expedition. This consisted of a 14km distance along with camping and cooking independently on a nearby island. The weather conditions around the south of Phuket were challenging, so the first 5km involved exploring the mangrove systems around Chalong. Once the wind settled, students took to the open water in order to camp overnight on Koh Lon.
After a good night’s sleep, the group tackled the 7km paddle back to the finish line. They returned to BISP knowing that they are prepared to take on their qualifying expedition later this year, in order to achieve the Bronze International Award.