The Open Canoe Symposium 2013 by Pure Adventure, took place on the First weekend of October on Lough Erne with around 40 participants taking to the water for 2 days of wild camping, Exploration and Workshops with Coaches/Instructors from CANI & CI.
The Plan for the weekend was to Meet at the Share Center on the Banks of Lough Allen on Saturday morning and be on the water by 10am to spend the morning Paddling South down the Lake in Beautiful Sunshine and a light wind, to Our Secret camp site in the Crom Castle area, once landed we set up camp in the woods had some lunch and we were ready to go on the afternoon clinics these Included Canoe Poling, Solo Paddling Skills, Doubles Skills and also a exploration trip of the Area. The workshops where all a great success, with everyone having great fun and learning some new things or brushing up on old skills, we even managed to crash a wedding photo shoot where the Bride Insisted all the group Jump in in the Photo!
Usually with Symposiums you get a presentation or a key note speaker on the Saturday evening due to the nature of our remote location we went for an interesting work shop instead we had a Local Coach Roy, who is an expert in bush craft and he ran an amazing session on lighting fire by Literally rubbing 2 sticks together, it got everyone hooked on trying to get fire and for the most part everyone was successful or at least was kept warm from their efforts. After this we had a surprise presentation with what can only be described as Irelands wildest Cinema as a Laptop and Pocket projector was pulled out and a white sheet spread between 2 trees and a short 15min video of Shooters latest Canoe trip to Scotland was shown, Inspiring everyone as to what can be done in a canoe. Then it was on to a chats around the campfire with old and new friends with a few drinks and melted Marshmallows.
Sunday Morning we awoke to heavy rain but luckily by 8am the rain had stopped and we had a nice fresh morning for breakfast. We broke camp checked we had left No Trace and Hit the water, Half the group left for a full day trip around the lake taking in afew of the sight and sounds of Lough Erne, Including the Hare Krishna Island with their Temple where the group where invited in and got to experience some of the Sunday ceremony. It really is a unique experience, they then continued up to the Share Centers Island Bothy where they had Lunch and then headed back to the center. The other group erected sails some shop bought or homemade rigs and everyone else Made what they could out of tarps poles and anything else they could find. The group then set sail in light winds and headed North Back up the lake stopping for lunch on the Hare Krishna Island and then onto the Share Center where we Brought the weekend to a Close.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the weekend and especially the coaches/instructors that Lead trips & ran workshops.
See ye all Next Year