The Level 5 Assessment is a two day test of my ability to coach sea kayakers. There are 2 other candidates taking the test, as well as 2 whitewater kayakers and one surf kayaker. Each assessment is a very individual experience. On the first day, I coach 2-3 students I have never met before. Depending on what those students want to learn or improve, I can choose any venue within a reasonable distance of our base. An assessor will spend the day with me and will primarily just watch. He's not permitted to "intervene" by making suggestions, or judgements during the day, but he can ask questions and I can talk to him. On the second day, I get asigned a different assor who watches while I coach 2 students that I have been working with for at least 6 months (my "long term students"). Aside to subjecting themselves to my abuse for many months now, these hardy and generous souls have agreed to go to northernmost Scotland with me. I have to confess that I kept the destination secret until it was too late to back out. I may have mentioned Fiji from time to time during our training sessions. They are Thom Underwood and Jake Stachovak and I couldn't be undertaking this adventure without them! They'll be posting here too so you can get their perspective.
A number of others embarked on this process with me many months ago as part of a larger group of long term students and I owe them a big debt too for supporting me and subjecting themselves to all manner of experimentation and sea states.
2 days left until departure!