To bring a great year of rowing activities to an end for the Duke of Edinbrugh award group from our partner, St Vincent college, Oarsome Chance facilitated a final 3 day expedition to complete the group's D of E award project. Below is the report from John Gillard, our Principal, who led the expedition:
For more pictures, visit the image gallery here: http://oarsomechance.org/duke-edinburgh-award-group-august-2018
"The expedition went very well and threw up lots of challenges for all concerned with some fast rowing through the very underused area of Mountbatten Lake to passage into Langstone Harbour only to be met with strong head winds and tide against making it a big push for the finish and all fairly shattered, but happy.
Thursday was supposed to be the slightly easier day but due to the torrential rain turned into a difficult passage into Chichester Harbour and we had to have a pit stop in Northney Marina to warm up and dry out. But the restart then brightened up and although the group had a long row still, including crossing around a 200 dinghy fleet racing from HISC, they also saw seals and made a fantastic picturesque beach landing inside the West Witterings Lagoon at the end of day 2.
Day 3 saw them having to first carry the boat out of the lagoon, across the pebble mound and down the beach at low tide to launch before exiting the harbour beginning their epic coastal row to Portsmouth. The conditions could not have been better to begin with, as the sun was out and breeze down. As the wind increased and the tide turned, the rowing became a lot harder as the boat pitched, creating a very different style of powering forward and progress was slow.
Eventually they made it to the Winner Bank and dropped the anchor for a rest and pit stop and as the tide rose they made it over the bank and battled on along Eastney Beach and through the submarine barrier. The seastate was now moderate as they passed South Parade Pier and the rowing became increasingly difficult. But they made it across the shipping lane with a little assistance and happily took the flood tide up the harbour avoiding the M25 like traffic in the entrance, under the Millennium Bridge and a fast flat water finish at St Vincent college to be greeted by OC staff, family and friends who were all relieved to have them home and immensely proud of their achievements."