Year 9 Watersports Holiday 2015
Thursday 20th to Friday 28th July
Days 1 & 2 To The Ardeche
From when we departed from the humble school of Crompton House; we knew as a collective that our next 8 days were going to be filled with a whirlpool (pun intended) of extra-curricular pursuits, and so far our predictions have proved correct, from the first awe-inspiring film to the mummy catastrophe of the splash 50/50. It has been a truly spectacular adventure.
We have done so much already! I feel as if I have been here for an eternity, never wanting to leave. Despite the shockingly poor sleep received on the highly appreciated journey – due to our fellow students – we have been high in spirit today. Kayaking an amazing 4k down the Ardeche river has been a challenge to some, however it was enjoyed equally by the majority. This has been an amazing beginning to a highly anticipated friend-making fiasco.
By Connie Rigby and Caitlin Knowles
Day 3 On The River
After a truly French breakfast of pain au chocolat and croissant, we met up in the disco area and did the daily “Shake Down” ready for the day of excitement. When we reached the river, canoes were shared and pushed off, heading for the many vigorous and skill testing rapids to come. Our group, pod one [Crompton Massive] seemed to be driven in capsizing our team-mates and their canoes throughout the day. We carried on gliding through rapid after rapid, with the help of the PLG staff, and steered with upmost skill away from dangerous rocks.
At lunchtime we had another traditional meal of baguettes and French meat and cheese. Using the canoes as tables, a buffet was laid out, what was an ingenious idea! After lunch we played water games which included rock sliding and current surfing. After this we canoed the final leg of our journey tired and sweaty only to discover we had to walk for another half an hour up the gorge to La Mas, a very steep cliff, the journey amounted to a whopping 14 km, where the coaches were waiting to take us back to the centre.
By Oliver Makinson & Tom Bland.
Day 4 The Last Day On The Ardeche
After a relaxing start to the day, we all perfected our daily ‘Shake Down’, it was filmed so everyone actually tried. We set off for the final day of canoeing on the Ardeche. On the coach DJ Paul (Coach Driver) entertained us all with his banging tunage. After an expedition up the ferocious hill yesterday, we trekked back down. Becky Burrows fell a few times. After a dry start to the day the heavens opened and released hell. We then set off for a 14k journey down the Ardeche. We glided gracefully down the shallow waters, with sneaky rocks, threatening to capsize us.
The teachers decided to capsize us at Madeleine Rock because they wanted a cheeky video. The instructors told us to lean away from the rock, and obviously we listened but it was all a trick. We then beached up and plunged into the water off an 18 foot cliff. Then we had PGL Subway, with soggy crisps. After a life time of paddling and torrential rain we finally reached “Ardechetination”. Mr Jones and Mr Gibson came a disappointing 4th in the race after being cheated out of a victory. After a delicious Sunday lunch and after celebrating Connie’s birthday, we took a trip to Vallon and got ice cream. We had an enjoyable hour cruising round the shops. Some people were blessed by the local wildlife. Now we’re all packed and ready for our journey to Mimosa via Aqualand. Big thanks to all the river team for helping us the past few days.
By Isobel Logan, Kate Emmott and Molly Healey.
Day 5 Depart Ardeche – Arrive Mimosa
After a soggy start to the day, all packed and ready to go, we set off after a filling breakfast. We left Segries around 9am for the 3 hour journey down to the Mediterranean coast. After DJ Paul put on some mental tunes, Mrs Doubtfire and High School Musical 2 we arrived at Aqualand 3 hours later. It was pleasing that the sun had returned to our holiday. After a great time slippin’ ‘n’ slidin’ down the adrenaline pumping water rides we set off to our new home – Mimosa. Once again DJ Paul cracked on some mental tunes to keep us going. An hour later at the PGL camp we settled down in our home for the next three days.
We went for dinner at 18.10, where we had some great banter with our new groupy, Matt from Kendle (who supports Newcastle). After dinner, our evening entertainments was “The Cube” with our groupy Matt. It passed the time and eventually we played some b’ball and drained bare layups. After a good couple of hours with our new buddies Frankie and Richard, we settled down and talked to some people from Devon who were the same age as us. After some more Ballin’ we went back to our village to chill and get ready for bed. Looking forward to sailing the Catamarans tomorrow.
By Big Billy, Lil’ Kersh and Solomon Grandee
Day 6 Beach Boys & Girls
After an early start, we headed to the beach for our first day on the Med. Conditions were challenging, as there was not a lot of wind and waves in the morning. We were split up into 4 groups to sail on the catamarans. Whilst other groups were out on the water, we played beach football with Matty. Once all the groups has all finished we headed back to the center to get some lunch. After our lunch we headed back down to the beach to have a briefing on how to sail FunBoats and Pico’s. A few minutes later we were ready to go out and sail in the Med for a second time. Conditions had changed from earlier in the morning and the wind had picked up to 15 knots and the sea was choppy. Looking out from the bay I saw 3 or 4 boats with people on that had capsized after being out for about 10 minutes. I jibed and snapped my mast (the bit that holds the sail on) and after sorting my boat out I set off out to catch the rest of the group. 2 hours later we had finished our sailing experience, an eventful one at that. We walked back to the PGL centre where we enjoyed our delicious tea. Once we finished our tea Matty gathered us up for our evening entertainment where he was dressed up as a Super Hero. He set us a challenge to see who could dress someone up looking like the best super hero (obviously the boys won, with an outstanding super hero costume). Later on in the evening we had a disco, which wasn’t very good, then finally we went back to our village where we settled down and went to sleep after an amazing and inspiring day in the Mediterranean sea.
By Kersh and Pully
Day 7 Our Last Full Day
Up early yet again, we arrived at breakfast then shortly after, we headed to the beach with our 5 essentials. Once we put all our equipment on, we headed into groups of eight to have a talk about safety on banana boats. Shortly after our talk we were the first group to head out. We put on our scrumcaps, and then we were ready to head out. We hopped on and got dragged out to sea. Out there we reached speeds of 30mph but unfortunately stopped for a bit because we wanted to go faster, so they emptied the engine of water. 10 minutes later we got dragged back in and went for a delicious lunch. Whilst half were doing the banana boat, the other half went on the sea kayaks to show off their skills learnt on the Ardeche. Once lunch had finished we set of to the port 5 minutes away, where we would be taking part in windsurfing and raft building. The windsurfing was very difficult and loads of people ended up falling in the water. The raft was very challenging because we had to learn and remember some difficult knots. After we had finished our two activities we headed back to a warm and scrumptious meal where some people went back for seconds. After a prolonged break we set off to ten pin bowling. Whilst on the coach we played the famous “Take Me Out” which was run by our group leader Matty. The game included characters like John Cena (Sam) and Smuel. The game lasted until we got to bowling. When we got to bowling we booked in and put our bowling shoes on. After a thrilling game Sam came out victorious with 106 points. We headed back to the PGL camp and went to another disco (surprise, surprise!). Once that had finished we went back to our village where we settled down ready for an early start.
Hopefully the wind will calm down so we can go on the Picos. If not, we will do body boarding.
By Sam D and Kersh
Days 8 & 9 The Final Countdown
We were yet again woken by constant tapping on the tents and Mr Douglas voice. We had breakfast as usual and headed to the beach after collecting our kit and more layers clothing so we did not freeze to death whilst on the beach.
Once we got to the beach, we were briefed and given a number. I don’t know how, but the instructors were still smiling even after seeing the icy and choppy waters. The Pico’s were something that nobody really wanted to do but once we got out there, we really enjoyed it. As we surfed across the waves we all got soaked and we couldn’t move for water.
Once everybody who wanted to, had been on the water, we walked back to the camp. Everyone rushed for a hot shower, as per usual, and we all made sure everything was packed, or discarded, before we went for lunch.
As we loaded up the coach we all ran to get the best seats on the coach. We all had to wear our hoodies for a group photo in our tented village. We said goodbye to new friends from another school in the village next to ours and ton our team leader – Chris. The coach then set off for the long journey home. Our first stop was at a local hypermarket – Carrefour, like Tesco but larger, where we stocked up on scram for the journey home. The coach ride started off fine but the volume of traffic soon built up, everyone hoping we would not run out of diesel, as they did last year!
Everyone realised sleep was a necessity in life, so everyone was quiet and we all got a decent nights sleep. We were all woken up by our driver, DJ Paul, telling us that passport control was coming up. Some of us struggled to get our shoes on. We caught the 07.45 ferry from Calais to Dover where a lot of lads tucked into a hearty English breakfast..
We said goodbye to our drivers Paul and Terry at Maidstone and Marco completed the last leg back to school. In England, we seemed to catch every traffic jam going on all the motorways we went on. We eventually arrived back at school just before 18.00.
A big thank you to all my fellow pupils on the trip but most of all for all the teachers on the trip. One that will stay in our memories for some time!
By Isobel Logan and Molly Healey