Sunday, April 30

Canoe Tripping Course Level I - ORCA


For anyone who is planning on canoeing the waters of Ontario this summer in a canoe, safety should be your utmost priority. And if you are planning an interrior canoe trip, such as one into Algonquin's interrior, give some thought to training.

The following are pictures of an ORCA Canoe Tripping Level I course I had the opportunity to attend this past winter in London, Ontario. The course included 4 separate training sessions, a pool session, and the canoe trip:

Classroom Sessions:
  1. Introduction - Canoe Resources - Navigation (including maps and compass) - Knots and Lashings.
  2. Canoeing First Aid - Including First Aid Kit - Hypothermia - Prevention & Treatment - Trip Planning - Portaging Techniques.
  3. Food & Menu Planning - Weather Interpretation - Environmental Concerns - Canoe Heritage.
  4. Canoe Construction & Design - Canoe Tripping Gear - Clothing & Personal Items - Tools and Repair Kits - Packing - Fires & Stoves.
Pool Session:
- Swimmin
g and Treading
- Retrieving a Swamped Canoe Canoe
- Over Rescue
- Self Rescue

- Line Toss.

Trip Content:
- Canoeing Skills Review & Testing

- Communications
- Portaging Skills

- Camping Skills
- Leadership

Testing Location: Algonquin Park Interrior - Magnetawan Lake entrance #4.

Lugging canoes into a downtown London High School on Front St. This pool is used regularly for canoe training so not many passerbys gave us a second look.

The canoe barely made it down the hallway and the sharp left turn into the pool area. One more inch of canoe and we would have been practicing in this hallway.

A quick pose for the camera before getting into the swim gear and tackling the long awaited tests in the pool. The swim test was four lengths with a life jacket adorned. It sounds easy enough...try it some time...I would have rather done it without the jacket...much easier.

Here ORCA Instructors, Al and Scott demonstrate a canoe rescue. Later, everyone had to do this technique.

It is easier than it looks. But then again this was nice, calm, warm, waters with nobody screaming for their lives and rapids hurling around, smashing both human and canoe against jagged rocks.

Here is the infamous Canoe Over Rescue that you probably have heard about, or even had the opportunity to tackle. Every canoeist should know this technique.

Getting the victim back inside the canoe is easy here in this calm pool, however it can be quite dangerous in rough waters. Every person must work as a team in order to achieve a successful rescue.

It's that last hurtle that is the tough one...getting back inside the canoe, safe and sound is the goal.

The Algonquin Interior Trip




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