We had a little reprieve from the showers of the day to get started amidst squealing excitement at 8am. Harry had tidied the already proven craft for its current voyage. We strapped a few extra bamboos on the outriggers and adjusted the net. Finally, the mast and sails went up and we looked serious - well, ready for a few laughs once the tide provided the progress. Back-up vehicles were launched and loaded, then the scurvy crew embarked with much enthusiasm, albeit tainted with a scurrilous doubt or two.
It took a little while for the tide to turn and progress seemed tentative at first, the calls to shore finally faded as the current lead us seaward. It was amazing how quickly familiar bearings were lost and the river itself was the focus. Around a few bends and we were certainly in the realm of the early explorers, highlighted by the return of showers of rain, which shut us off in our own little world. Suddenly there was repeated an eerie call from above as a nesting sea eagle sang her enjoyment to see the children having so much fun in her leafy domain.
Then the rain really set in accompanied with blue lips and chattering teeth. Ah, the perils of adventures! Admirable Admiral Nic Thorne hooked us up to his craft and towed us deftly onward within reach of our destination. The sun briefly came out, the raft became a playground in the middle of the river, away from signs of human habitation. The final tow to the boat ramp at Brunswick was easy, although the outgoing tide had quite a pull to it. The Heads emitted an alluring call! There have been rafting expeditions that have survived the Pacific…
The wonders of being able to catch ourselves in the midst of our teaching programs and be open to stepping outside for a fresh experience, particularly one which unifies a class, enabling them to better learn together. Education is a cultural experience, stronger for its social connections.
A rafting expedition ties many things together (apart from the bamboo), offering an experience of our local environment from a different perspective; demonstrating the use of local resources; experiencing the dynamics of tidal effects first-hand; providing an experience of point of view from the limitations of sea level and teaching inclusion in a very practical way.
Class 4 Teacher