50 years of adventure and life-changing experiences in beautiful isolation, 1969 – 2019

Orienteering, survival skills and a raft race yesterday

Learning to build some simple improvised shelters with old yacht sails

Michael Hall

Orienteering, survival skills and a raft race yesterday

Lobster creels, rowing boat and survival island today

Wednesday May 18th 2016

Tuesday was a busy day at Ardmore, calm but overcast with the odd bit of sunshine and perfect for what we wanted to get done. We started the day with ‘Search to Survive’&rsquo, a wilderness orienteering course high on the Ardbeg peninsular where the teams were split into three squads, each with an enlarged OS map, and tasks with finding their fair share of the teams 17 posts. For us it is more of a exercise in decision making than map work, to work independently from instructors and teachers and make real time decisions in our wild environment. Perfect preparation for what is to come on &lsquo Survival Island’.

In the afternoon we looked at building improvised shelters with small bivvy tarps and old yacht sails, again, a vital skill for the island. We had just enough time to squeeze an improvised raft race in, with half of each team despositing Mr Heap and Miss Fenton on the pontoon in the loch and the other half collecting them again.

We had pipers for the haggis at supper this week before a concert and some ceilidh reels.

Today we just had the last of the survival skills to teach before the island and the teams all stopped in at Ardmore to see John Ridgway’s 1966 Atlantic rowing boat and Rebecca’s Cape Horn sea kayak.

The young folk are all out on the island tonight, to put into practice the skills that they have learned this week and survive together overnight on limited supplies and with only the most basic equipment. Early reports suggest two separate camps close to each other on the island and the plumes of smoke rising in the breeze would indicate success with the striking flint and steels.

The team will leave the island at 7am tomorrow, returning to the Adventure School for hot showers and a cooked breakfast.