Friday, 24 May 2013

An Assistant's Life - part two

When we get to the put in beach, my tasks are as follows:

Get all the boats off the trailer and lined up on the beach ready to go. The clients are usually pretty enthusiastic helpers, but we try and keep the less sturdy individuals away from the heavier ends, and of course any doubles (tandems) that may going out that day.

Next, I sort my own kit - spray deck, PFD and paddle and make sure my own boat is setup ready to go. I usually take charge of the morning break snack bag - someone has to - and maybe take an extra stick or a split. During this time, Rod will be handing out decks PFDs and paddles to the rest of the group.

By the time they have collected everything they need, and got to their boat, I will be there to adjust footrests, explain the rudder if there is one, and maybe give them their first paddling lesson (which way up). Newby paddlers tend to need convincing that they are probably best off in bare feet, to sit up straight while footrests are sorted, and that the spray deck will come off if they capsize.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

An assistant's life - part one

I have the alarm set for 07.30, so of course wake up naturally sometime between 06.00 and 07.00. Doze until 07.00 then make a cup of tea and relax reading or just chilling - maybe have a look at the forecast to see what the wind is doing - not that it is my problem, I am only the assistant - and outside to see my bit of the world.

The view from my balcony

Duties continue pretty heavily as I usually have a coffee about now before getting my kit ready at about 08.00. Put on sun screen, find a bottle of water, bring any drying in from outside, and then head down to the kafeneio for breakfast at about 8.30 - it's all go.

Kafeneio Perros

Breakfast - mainly bread and jam in my case, and lots of coffee, is a time to chat to the '6 day' paddlers who are staying in Rod's accommodation. Typically they have been to Milos before, and paddle at about 3 star standard, but can be complete beginners. During breakfast, Rod usually gives a quick briefing (is there any other sort) on the day and checks whether anyone needs additional equipment or maybe wants to try a different boat.

About 09:00 it is down to the yard with Rod to sort out which boats are going on the trailer, then back here to collect my own kit. This is here by the way:

My Room
Wander up the road to collect the car ready for 09:25, and most importantly, the towels:

Don't forget the towels
Bum's on seats are a good thing, wet bums on seats are not one of Petrinela's favourite things, and it is her car that I am driving.

The paddlers are pretty good at being ready on time, though some take rather longer than others to actually get into the vehicles, then it is off to the 'put in' beach. Usually this just amounts to following the trailer, but sometimes there are some rather more complicated pick-up arrangements for 'day trip' paddlers staying elsewhere on the island.