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Cadets Tackle Cornwall Kayak Challenge

Published: 10 Nov 2015

A Team of over 20 cadets plus staff took to the waters in and around Cornwall for Exercise Blue Salt Blade, a challenging nine-day expedition in August partly funded by a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust.

The cadets - from Devon & Somerset, Bristol & Gloucestershire and Hants & Isle of Wight Wings - teamed up at RAF Portreath, their camp for a two-day pre-expedition training course. Here they spent the time getting used to sea kayaks (somewhat longer and harder to manoeuvre then ordinary kayaks), getting to know each other and preparing for the expedition.

Training over, the cadets were ready for the off, with the constant rain at the start failing to dampen the spirits of any of the kayakers. The exercise began with an exploration of the Helford river, including wild camping and foraging on the shoreline, and mid-week the contingent moved to Falmouth from where they continued to explore the coast and develop their skills.

With the weather improving all the time, the cadets were able to enjoy nine days away from mobile phones, computers and television, but all thrived on the experience of being outdoors, close to nature, in sometimes challenging conditions and with good friends.

Flt Lt Phil Smith, Adventure Training Officer for Devon & Somerset Wing, said: "Ex Blue Salt Blade was put together by Devon & Somerset Wing ATC with the help of Shaun Rodgers, director of Sea Kayaking Cornwall. This expedition was ground-breaking in the Wing, and is helping to open up a whole new adventure training activity.

"Now that Blue Salt Blade is complete, we aim to include it as a regular expedition, running it every other year. Now we're looking for something new and challenging for next year's diary."

CAPTION: cadets and staff get ready to take to the water on Exercise Blue Salt Blade. 

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