|Getting ready to launch|
|My son in front...|
|and offcourse the nut in the stern had to be shot, too...|
|Would this place be a good place to set up camp??|
(Pandion haliaetus) and it's nest! As our scattered group of canoes came near the nestsite, the bird took to the air and circled over the site and our heads, catching our attention. It came really cloes at time, no less then 5-10 meters over us and it had the courtesy of landing on the nest, so we saw that too.
Unfortunately my camera has seen better days and the autofocusfunction is getting worse and worse, so the best moments were lost. Sitting in a canoe, while riding the waves the motorised watertravellers caused, didn't make things easier...
On and on we paddles, untill it was time to hand over the canoes to the younger group of scouts, which had come later. It was their turn now, so we could then focus our attention on making lunch!
For the rest of the afternoon, from about 14:00 till 16:00, we had no special plans. The youngsters were still paddling around and we had to wait for them to hand over the canoes again, so we could set out towards our campingsite. That meant that our group spent a good deal of hours in the water, swimming and clowning around. Those that didn't want to swim took turns in the leftover canoe and some of the older attendants just relaxed ashore.... During the afternoon I made an unvoluntary dive, whilst helping some kids setting off with their canoe. The site where they usually come ashore is covered with rubber mats. These are covered by algae, just under the waterline. Around the waterline a lot of pollen has gathered and when you mix all that with boots with rubber soles, you have a very slippery mix..... As I, much to my dismay, found out. I slipped, landed hard on my back and shoulders, hurt my neck and was covered in a greenish-yellow goo, whilst being wet. I was the only one that weekend to get an unwanted dip..... which is exactly in line with previous experiences.....
|a kind of mayfly??|
|On of our fellow scoutleaders is also active in the local scoutgroup, hence the location and canoes, and has his own zodiak here. He said he needed to get rid of the old gasoline in the tank and that was best done fast....|
Yeah, right... ;)
Upon arrical at the site a good half an hour later, I got a phonecall from my wife. She was at the startingpoint with the girls and they had just set off too.
|My wife took this picture as the girls set off. They were accompanied by a canoe with 2 leaders.|
|And they made it too!!|
The rest of the evening we spent preparing food, sitting around the campfire, having coffee and talking, whilst keeping an eye on the busy kids around us.
|The kids thought this was delicious. I was less impressed; bananas stuffed with chocolate on the fire.|
|Annalena clowning around on my bunk....|
The next morning we spent preparing breakfast, breaking camp and packing, befor we headed back to the startingpoint, where we would have the ceremonial season's end together with parents.
Strangely enough everyone was much more quiet then last night. The weather wasn't as good either, being overcast and windy and noticeably less warm. After we arrived back, we unloaded the canoes, stored them, the paddles and lifesavervests, put our backpacks in the cars and made some lunch, meaning eating the last grilled saucages with buns, cooking soup and having sandwiches. Whilst having lunch I dropped a bombshell on my fellow scoutleaders by announcing I would not be returning as a scoutleader after the summerbreak. It was something I had been thinking about ever since the end of the autumnseason, during the christmasholidays. By then I thought I should give them and myself another chance by attending the springseason and ending the year with this hike. This one really brought forward some of the fundamental differences between me and this scoutgroup, some of which simply can not be overcome. The mentalities and ways of thinking differ on a fundamental level and the most basic ones just can not be overcome from either side. And a bombshell it was! They had not seen this coming! But I think it should not be just the kids, who are having fun. It should also give the leaders joy and maybe even some pride to accompany and guide them. So our ways parted in good spirits and I was ensured that I would always be most welcome should I decide to come back. And if I should not, the final act as a leader will allways be with a very good memory and a lesson that probably will impact my and maybe even my entire family's outdoor life.
And for that I allready am most gratefull!