Monday, November 19, 2007


Let me Introduce America’s FIRST BCU LEVEL 5 SEA KAYAK COACH.

Above is the exact moment (well OK just 10 seconds later) that Jen was informed by Gordon that she had passed.

Jen then calls mom with the news. Jake might have gotten the first call, however, we all knew he was sitting up and a tree hunting deer and wouldn't answer his phone anyway!
I just couldn’t save that news to the end of the day’s diary. You want to know it and Jen wants to celebrate her success with each of you. Throughout the first BCU attempt in Thurso and this one Jen has repeatedly mentioned how much the support of her extensive kayak community (both local and nationwide) has meant to her and brought her to this achievement.

So back to our day with Jen. Once again we were out early to meet up and pickup Andy (the same assessor Bryan and I were with yesterday but new to Jen). Unlike Steve, Jen didn’t waste any time getting on the water. We moved gear and kayaks to our transport for the day and were off to the Falls of Lora. But this time we were going to play in the flood tide (still at neaps).

It is about an hour’s drive down the coast towards Oban and we were on the water by 10AM. Naturally we had researched tide and current times and expected good currents and eddy lines to work with but no significant standing waves… and that’s what we got. The perfect environment for Jen to show her stuff! She did a fantastic job keeping Bryan and I busy, often pursuing different tasks on the same venue. Ferry forward and reverse, at different speeds, edging, surfing small waves in current, rolling (Brian) and sculling braces (Thom) in moving water. We got wet, we had fun, Jen did great!

Brian doing a great job sitting in a small tidal race at the Falls of Lora
Note: I don’t want to come home to discussions about the usefulness of a sculling brace. It was challenging and built up my confidence. That alone makes it useful in this instance.

Shortly after we returned to the Assessment center Gordon gave Jen the good word.
Unfortunately Steve did not pass. I have hesitated to ask him directly regarding the Assessors feedback but hope to hear more over the next few days.

That’s it from Scotland. Monday morning we head back to Oxenholm, Tuesday were headed back home to San Diego.

Regards – Thom

p.s. A special thanks to my wife, Lynn, for supporting Jen’s quest and allowing me to spend the time (and money) supporting Jen.


nordic54 said...

hearty congratulations, jen!

Andy said...

Yeah! Way to go Jen. Celebration party back in SD?

Lynn S said...

Congrats Jen!!!! I heard your voice but it was way later....You called early. I am awaken by my phone ringing but I can't imagine who would be calling me at 6 a.m. about 1/2 hour later I roll out of bed and make coffee and listen..cause the number is Thom's..and I hear your exciting news from you and am pissed I missed the phone call. Thanks for the acknowledgment..but you are family and Thom and I wouldn't have it any other way. Remember this is the family that has supported 2 jocks (Malaika in baseball (yes baseball) and Nick's determination to play hockey in a baseball sunny palm tree town). Love to everyone...Brian, Steve, You and the lanky cute white dude, my husband, Thom.

Chris Griffith said...

Congrats Jen. Can't wait to hear the tales back when you all get back to San Diego!

mary roberts said...

We are so proud of you here in Chicago! You are the 1st American to achieve Level 5. Not only are the 1st american woman, and not only are you the 1st Californian, and not only are you the 1st Sea Kayak Shop owner but YOU ARE the FIRST and ONLY AMERICAN to achieve the BCU LEVEL 5 SEA KAYAK COACH!!! GREAT JOB JEN. You are an inspiration to all of us who are daily pursuing our dreams. You have shown us with diligence, persistence and belief in self that we can make our hopes and dreams a reality.
Mary Roberts
PS. I am so proud to say that I trained with you this past Summer. It was a pleasure then and a memory I will always treasure.