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My Time at Grafham Water Centre
By David and Tobin, Year 7
When we went to Grafham Water Centre we had lots of fun and did two main activities, which were sailing and raft building.
Once we were equipped with the necessary safety items, which were a helmet and life jacket, we went down to the shore. It was a wonderful sight, seeing the widely expanding lake in front of us. We were told that we had to make a raft out of six barrels, two long poles, two short poles and seven ropes. We had to fit twelve people on the raft and were allowed to use six paddles. The challenge was to go to an orange marker buoy and go around it and then come back. We also had to do it as a race, so there was some element of speed to the build, and we were given a maximum building time of thirty minutes.
We built the raft just under the allowed time of half an hour and then organised a seating plan to balance out the boat. Soon after we grabbed the paddles and put the raft in the water and both the teams started racing, it was a mass of confusion as we left off and paddled toward the orange buoy. After only about four meters in, our raft started collapsing and we had to bring it back and rebuild it. Ours was the first to collapse, but the other team’s raft collapsed soon after, which meant we had a small advantage in rebuilding it.
Now with some support from the instructors, we built the best raft that you are able to build with the materials we had, then immediately got on it and paddled, and we successfully accomplished the challenge the second time. It was a very fun and successful team building challenge, and it made everyone in the group improve their teamwork in overcoming challenges, and everyone enjoyed it greatly.
After lunch we did sailing, which was right next to the raft building. We were separated into teams of three and one team of two, then each group went to a different boat and were given paddles (these boats had no mast or sail because there was no wind, so they were just for paddling, but they still had a tiller). Then we were going to have a race to a blue marker buoy in the middle of the lake, and it was the first boat to touch it. Afterwards all the boats were pulled into the water and pushed out a little, so they would have a fair start. Then we started, everyone paddled very hard, and the people who did not have the paddle either controlled the tiller, or paddled with hands and feet on the side.
Once everyone had reached the buoy the instructors (who were in motorboats) told us we were going to play “Simon says”, which was very fun. After we had finished “Simon says”, we were allowed to have free time, which was allowing us to jump in the water, and go up to other boats and push people off, and take over their boats, but occasionally we drifted too far from the blue buoy and had to stop to paddle back. After we finished free time, we had a race back to the shore. When we got to the shore, we put the boats on land and a packed away our oars, helmets and life jackets, and got changed, ready to get on the bus and go back to school.
My favourite part of Grafham Water was the sailing, because we got to spend a lot of the time in the water and jumping of the boats.
My favourite part at Grafham Water was the raft building because it was super fun paddling in the raft and everyone constantly falling off and the building of it was fun to. One thing that was also very fun was the racing the boats to the shore and back.