Y5 visit to HYMB

Last week we went to the Herts Young Mariners Base and we stayed overnight in the youth hostel next door.  As there were several water activities we had to take changes of clothing in case we got wet and sun cream as the sun was really hot.  We always wore buoyancy aids for the water activities.

We did four activities.  One of the activities was bell boating.  A bell boat is a bit like a Viking boat but much smaller.  Before we got on it, we were taught how to row.  We played a game which taught us rowing techniques and the grip necessary to hold the oars.  When we were in shallow water, we played the hokey cokey where we put our left foot in the water which was great fun.  We raced against other bell boats and we also rowed into the undergrowth which was a bit like an obstacle course and we saw a lot of wild life including dragonflies and swans.

Another activity was climbing.  We had a lecture on safety first and then a demonstration on how to climb the wall safely, using rock climbing skills to stay on the wall and not fall off, although the equipment would not allow us to fall and hurt ourselves.  It was really safe, but scarey and exciting at the same time.

We also did kayaking.  Again we had training before we were allowed in the water and the paddles were different to the oars we used for bell boating.  We had to sit in our kayaks on the side of the lake and then we were slowly pushed into the lake, which was a bit scarey.  One of the games we played in the kayaks was ‘Stuck in the mud’ which was about tapping other kayas with our paddles.  We paddled round the lake with one instructor at the front and one at the back.  At one stage we held on to each other’s kayaks to make a long raft and then tried to make waves.  We could also run along the raft.  It was very safe and we enjoyed it as we got quite wet which cooled us down.

Our last activity was caving in an artificial cave.  We had to put helmets on and hold the shoulder of the person in front so that we would not get lost as it was very dark even though we had lights on our helmets.  We had to wriggle through little holes and it was terrifying, but when we had finished we felt a sense of achievement.

We had a disco in the evening and it was really hot but we had a balcony which we could go out on and cool down.  We did our pageant dance and our production dance and we danced all evening.  We had hot chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits and it was great.

Our visit to the HYMB was a really good experience as it prepares us for the school journey in Year 6 as we were away overnight.  It was our best school trip ever so far and we had a fabulous time.

Grace and Jack
Year 5