Narrowboating on Regent’s Canal – A Year 9 Excursion

13th May 2016

Year 9 had a wonderful day out on the Regent’s Canal travelling from the Laburnum Boat Club to the Canal Museum at King’s Cross. Each class had a narrowboat to themselves because numbers were limited due to the need to wear buoyancy aids (life jackets).

While sailing on the canal the pupils had the chance to function together as a team in order to work the lock gates. They opened them by pushing in unison – it was hard work! They also used the paddle to close and open the water chutes to let the water in or out as was needed.

The trip was an eventful one as the narrowboat in front was able to rescue two kayakers that had capsized in a tunnel. The tunnel, which was 1000 yards long, was pitch-black as it was unlit. But we could hear the faint sounds of people crying “help” ahead and eventually we were able to see the two people in the water. It was a very hair-raising experience but everyone was very pleased when they were safely out of the water! We dropped them off on the towpath outside of the tunnel and then continued on to the canal museum where we had our lunch and looked around at objects and a half narrowboat. It was amazing to see how tiny the space was for living and to consider that a family would have lived in it!

After the museum visit we got back in our boats and made our way back along the canal. Many of the pupils also experienced what it was like to steer the narrowboat using the tiller. Happily they were all very good at it and no-one crashed!