August 11th 2014


A Reservist from HMS Sherwood has been awarded an Open Canoe Training Certificate after completing a joint-service canoeing expedition in Canada.

Royal Navy Staff Officer Hattie Jacques, who lives in Long Eaton, travelled to Canada in July meeting 16 other canoeing students, from other military services, at Trails End Camp, near Calgary in Alberta.

Reflecting on the expedition Hattie said: “The first evening on arrival consisted of various briefings, most importantly the bear brief, as both Trails End Camp and the areas we were paddling to were in ‘bear country’ where you’re likely to encounter both Grizzly and Black Bears.

“I didn’t manage to see any bears, but some of the team came across a Grizzly Bear when they were taking our minibuses to a different campsite during the trip.”

Students taking part in the expedition, including Hattie, had the chance to practise swimming safely in rapids in case they capsized and learnt how to rescue people out of the water if needed.

Hattie continued: “We paddled the Upper Red Deer River in Alberta, and camped ‘wild’ alongside the river each night. This river was bigger than most of us were used to, with more technical rapids and drops as well as lots of obstacles such as dead trees falling into the river along its banks.

“Overall the trip was a great opportunity to paddle on big White Water Rivers in Canada, learning new skills and testing yourself physically and mentally with some very early starts and late finishes, travelling big distances each day.”

Hattie achieved her Open Canoe 4 Star Leader Training certificate during the expedition meaning with more experience and an assessment in the future, she will be able to take out groups of paddlers on White Water Rivers and large lakes.

The expedition was designed to increase individuals’ knowledge of canoeing in different situations they may have otherwise been unfamiliar with such as White Water Rivers and large lakes. It also provided an opportunity for people to paddle open canoes on challenging Canadian rivers, gaining log book experience and joint services open canoe qualifications in some cases.

Commander Martin Clegg, from HMS Sherwood, said: “Being a Reservist is all about learning new skills and in some cases pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. There are many opportunities within the Reserves to take part in adventure training and sports-based activities such as canoeing, sailing or trekking among other things. If you like a challenge, are committed and enjoy team-working being a Royal Naval Reservist could be for you.”

HMS Sherwood is the East Midlands only Royal Naval Reserve unit. As a Royal Naval Reserve you can gain confidence, meet new people, experience action and adventure; develop team-working and leadership skills.

To find out more information about HMS Sherwood contact 0115 929 6373 or email