This was a wonderful weekend attended by Craig & Christine Elliott (2 children Hamish & Thomas), Ron & Carrie Elliott, Mark & Cheryl Bretag (HVCC) and James Momme & John Thearle who travelled up from Sydney.
The weather in Newcastle was raining so we were pleasantly surprised by the dry and sunny conditions at Barrington Steps when we arrived Saturday morning 7 June 10am. Temperature range was 7 - 19 degrees Celsius and the water level was at a good depth of 0.46 metres to learn.
We spent the morning setting up camp, had lunch and were on the water by 1pm for a coaching clinic run by Ron. This was a couple of hours of learning and practicing strokes and reading the water and having our first go at a small rapid leading off the practice pond. We were joined by a couple Jeff and Jemma who were showing interest in joining the club.
After dinner we sat around a camp fire and were in bed by 9.30pm.
The next morning Sunday 8 June we were up by 7am and after breakfast were keen to try out our new skills on a set of rapids. We split into two groups at 9am, Ron, Carrie, Mark & Cheryl did the Steps to Rocky Crossing while (Craig, James, John & Jemma) went on a more adventurous and longer paddle on a different part of the Barrington River.
Good fun was had by all with no spills in the river for the first group although Mark had a close encounter wrestling with a tree while the second group being more adventurous had a few swims by James. We were both in camp by 1pm for lunch.
The afternoon was spent relaxing and walking some of the surrounding bush trails. We visited Riverview Cabin which can host 11 people to check out the facilities for future visits. Craig, James and John spent a few hours riding their mountain bikes around the many tracks. We also watched John use his new inflatable kayak on the rapids adjacent to the campsite.
Sunday night was again sitting around a great campfire with a few drinks and talking about our experiences during the day - in bed by 9.00pm as everyone was tired.
We were up again at 7am and after breakfast spent some time down at the river talking while Craig, James & John went for another bike ride. We packed up the campsite and managed to get away about 11am.
We are looking forward to building on these skills so we can be even more adventurous next year. A big thanks to Ron for his patience and for making this weekend a memorable one. Now need to start looking for some whitewater boats to add to the fleet.