Our first adventure is the Isle of Wight 2018!
After an extremely peaceful night (all asleep by 9:30pm), the children slept later and woke to another amazing cooked breakfast. Then after a quick change into wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets we split into two groups. One group took the launch along the river to Newport and the other went in minibuses with the kayaks.
We had our paddling and safety lesson on the Quay side, then set off for our 4 mile paddle back to the UKSA centre. It was a long paddle, but the children showed resilience and team work in their pairs, working together to steer and power the kayaks and canoes.
After a picnic lunch and warm up we returned to the water and split again into three groups for paddleboard activities. A raucous time was had by all, and we were marauded throughout by Pirate Logan and Alli! Finally, after a last balance battle we were able to take off our wetsuits and get a hot shower.
Dinner was a choice of beef and mushroom pie or homemade pork and leek sausages with mash, peas, cauliflower and gravy followed by mandarin cheesecake. All of which was devoured hungrily by a group of very hungry children.
After our physically demanding day the children settled down to a cinema evening watch Shark Tale, some of them even had dates arranged! Early bedtime ready for our last morning and long journey home.
Despite all children being in bed and settled by 9:30pm last night (and most of them asleep!), they were rudely disturbed by what turned out to be a false alarm Fire alarm. Our children did us proud. The first school out of bed, lined up in silence in the correct place. (Always Winning!) They yet again showed their amazing attitude by calmly returning to bed and sleep without a fuss.
Breakfast was heartily consumed early again (Felix maintained his status), followed by much singing of Happy Birthday to Sam before we headed off for a trip to the Needles.
We stayed out of the water this morning due to the high winds, and thankfully no one got blown off the headland. But boy it was windy!
We had a picnic lunch, and the first of Sam’s Birthday cakes, before returning in good spirits to the centre.
This afternoon the children were split into groups to design and build a raft, before racing and sailing them. The group work to learn to tie knots and lash was amazing, and then the competitive Bedwyn spirit took over.
After an amazing dinner of breaded garlic chicken, mac and cheese, veg, rice or chilli- and yet MORE birthday cake (as well as battling our new pet, Steven Seagull) the children headed for an evening swim before bed. Another absolutely cracking day!
The day started early (even earlier for one certain room of boys!) with breakfast at 7:45. An extremely hearty breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, hash-browns, beans and tomatoes was had by all. Felix S currently holds the record with a total of 5 hash-browns!
After a quick change into wetsuits and buoyancy jackets we travelled by coach to the beautiful Sandown Bay for a morning of Body boarding in fantastic waves. The sun came out and we had great pleasure in watching every single child grin from ear to ear enjoying riding the waves, surrounded by instructors.
After a return coach trip (with half the beach between our toes!) to the centre the children enjoyed a crew packed lunch on the decking. We then split into two groups, where both groups enjoyed archery, games, swim time games in the pool and a parachute session. After showers and changing clothes we were ravenous for dinner, homemade burgers with cheese, salad, potatoes and veg followed by apple crumble and custard, which was quickly devoured by a ravenous group.
Evening activities consisted of Gutter Boat racing where, in teams, the children designed and built model boats to race along a course. Giggles galore- and videos taken of some very interesting group chants!
By 8:00 some of the group had already headed for an early night, and by 9:30pm the corridor was quiet with everyone in bed and all teeth brushed- ready for tomorrow’s day of adventures.
After setting off from Bedwyn, we had a brilliant journey down to Southampton, meeting our VIPs (travelling by Taxi) at the terminal. Our ferry crossing was plain sailing and we were met at Cowes by our staff from UKSA. The children were settled straight into the site with a quick tour, and then straight into swimmers, wet suits and buoyancy aids all ready for sailing.
Each team was ferried out to their boat and we were towed down river. Then after a quick lesson on how to use the sails and steer, in teams we made our way back, following the lead boat, and surrounded by safety boats. Some teams took the challenge and raced, and some of us took a gentle meander.
When we got back, those who wanted to made a pontoon jump into the water and swam to shore.
After dealing with wet clothes and wet suits we all made our beds, (a very novel experience for some!) then headed to dinner for a choice of bolognaise or gammon steak with fruit sponge to follow. All children were well fed and happy.
Evening activities consisted of crabbing, team games and archery before a very tired crew headed to bed.
All children were in bed by 9:30 and all rooms were quiet (except for snoring!) by 10:30.