Randøya – one island, two jellyfish, three days, four activities
For a long time, I have been looking forward to doing this trip. I have heard from Outdoor Education students from past years, that at the end of the study there will be one very good trip left with a lot of new activities. So at the one hand I was very excited about going on this trip, on the other hand I was a little sad as this was going to be the last trip in the Outdoor Education program. Actually this was going to be a trip for a whole week, where we would do one activity for one full day and I was curious about our fellow students from Norway, as they were supposed to join us. But with another Covid breakout in the Kristiansand area it was no longer possible to match the two cohorts. So, the university put a big effort in still doing the trip by splitting the week in two, with us enjoying the beautiful island of Randoya the first two and a half days, while the Norwegian outdoor education students will come for the rest of the week. On top of that we had to follow more strict corona regulations, but anyway I am very thankful that the trip could be done.
Day 1 – Back to Zig Zag, I love it!
We went by bus to Kongshaven where 16 of us had to paddle the kayaks to the vestre Randoya while the others were and all the luggage was taken by a boat. After moving in to the accommodations we had lunch and started our first activity. Therefore we have been split up into four groups of six, doing every activity for half a day. Our first activity was rowing with Petter, who is a big friend of the “Learning by doing” method, so he let us try out a lot. I am pretty sure that this technique is not the best for learning every technique, but in our group it worked quite well, even if had my troubles with steering, but this is just lack of talent. Anyway, we didn’t only learn a little bit about rowing, Petter taught us how to fish with a net and after dinner we went out again with the nets and placed the fishing nets in the water – hoping for some fish in the morning.
After dinner we had a small history lecture with Kjetil, who showed us the meaning of the island in the World Wars as well as the cold wars and even showed us a secret control basis, where the Norwegian military defended theirselves from. Besides that we learned a lot about Norwegian Outdoor life and why fishing is so important for the Norwegian culture.
Day 2 – catching and killing fish
In the morning we had to take in the fishing nets we put out the day before. Therefore, we had to get up early, take it out and hopefully prepare the fish. In total our group caught 6 fish, three codfish and three flounders. Petter showed us how to take out the intestines and how to kill them, which took me a big effort and more than one try ☹…
In the kitchen we cut every fish in small filets and I was surprised how little fish filet you get in the end from a big fish. Anyway, we were already looking forward to our dinner.
After breakfast we continued with kayaking with Thomas. We decided to do a mix between a kayak tour and a practice lesson were we made some efforts in edging and quick turns using side strokes. Even if he taught well there is still some work for me to do, especially regarding my front rudder.
We had strong wind from east and experienced some proper waves on our way back from the tour. That was a lot of fun, although it took all of my concentration to not capsize. Entering more quiet water Thomas showed us the TX-rescue technique, which you apply if your paddle buddy capsizes. Shortly after we all had to capsize, either on purpose or turned by Ida, and had to be rescued by our group members. That worked very well, and I think we had less fear of capsizing afterwards. At the end of the lesson, we even learned the Eskimo roll – and it worked surprisingly well.
After lunch we had our next lesson: Motorboat. Unfortunately some of the boats were broken so we had to change plans, doing a little cruise with the big boat. After some sea map reading we tried to start the engine of the big boat, didn’t work. So we had to try with the smaller boats. It worked quite well and most of us got a little insight in steering a small motorboat. Furthermore I learned something, that might come in handy in my future teaching career. It is always good to have an extra if your original (enigne) is not working anymore. Unfortunately you cannot always have an extra one, so you have to improvise. I think, although we had bad luck with the engines, Kjetil still managed to give us an introduction in steering a motorboat.
After the lesson we had a lot of free time, so I went with some fellow students on a kayak tour.
Day 3 – Double fun
For our last activity we went to explore the sea life with Svein, a biologist. After a short stroll through the forest of the island we came to a nice bay, where the water is very shallow, so you can walk at all the times. Svein equipped us with quivers and we were supposed to catch all the animals we were interested in. After half an hour of exploring the bay and their ecosystem we gathered with everything we have caught. We found a lot of mussels, oysters, crabs and loads of snails. Even two jellyfish we caught. After a detailed explanation of what we found Svein cooked for us the seafood to try it. We could eat from the oyster, the heart mussels and the snails. It was surprisingly tasty. This activity was my favourite one, not only because we got something to eat. I would have liked it a lot to know more about flora and fauna on the other trips.
After the lesson we walked to the end of the island and got shuttled by the ferry, as the boats were not working anymore. There the Norwegian Outdoor students waited for their adventure.