Over the last three days I have been on my three star river kayak training and assessment. This was split into two days training and one day assessment. There were two pupils on the course run by Chris Wilson, who also ran the training days. Our assessor was Nick from G2 Outdoors. The first day we went over to Poolewe and paddled the River Ewe from Loch Marie down to Poolewe. This is a nice way to get used to the boats. The river is a grade 2 with occasional grade 3 sections. We had had plenty of rain beforehand, with plenty of water to beef up the river. The morning was a fun river trip with the afternoon dedicated to having a good time while getting wet and working hard.
The second day found us paddling past Achnasheen. Today we were concentrating on moving water skills but this time it was during a full day river run. This went fairly well with a few mistakes in the morning but finally getting everything sorted in the afternoon.
The third day was our assessment. For this we went down the River Carron and towards Loch Carron. This was the most relaxed I had felt for any assessment. Not only did I feel over-prepared, the day was quite straightforward as well. Once we had shown Nick the skills he needed to see, the session then moved into a bit of a coaching session for our further development.
After passing this course and my three star sea kayak, I am now looking forward to running some larger, harder rivers and getting out and doing some multi-day sea trips.