"I could see Kamari grinning from ear to ear, he had loved it!"
The day we had all been waiting for had finally arrived, Saturday 27th May 2017. We were all up bright and early, ready for the 2 1/2 hour drive from Nottingham. After countlessly hearing ‘are we nearly there yet?’ from the back seat, we finally pulled off the M25 and almost instantly into the gates of Heron Lake at 9am, jut in time to see the open water swimmers finishing off their morning session.
It was hard to believe we were only a few metres from the motorway, the sun was beaming down on the water, groups of people in wetsuits happily chatted on the grass and the smell of bacon and sausages filled the air, ready for the hungry swimmers to refuel.
As we were walking round the building, Jane was getting out her car and met us with a great big smile, she told us we were the first to arrive, which gave us an opportunity to relax and settle in. We were soon introduced to Tim, Kamari was happy to have another man on site with him as he was getting a bit outnumbered with us girls!
Over the next hour or so, the other families arrived and the morning skis were arranged on the board. A selection of ski seats had been bought along so the children had one that was right for their size. With the help of Jane and Tim, the children were sized up and seats were chosen. The wetsuits and life jackets on site were available to borrow, there was a large selection in a range of children’s and adults sizes.
We got Kamari changed and headed to the decking ready for his first session, Kamari was eager to get stuck in and couldn’t get in the water fast enough, he was in the water with 2 instructors, one either side of him. Cody boarded the speedboat while Ceejay and I watched from grass. The engine revved and before we knew it, they were off. The 3 of them were gliding over the water, Kamari was being held from both sides but he looked like a natural! As the boat bought them back round I could see Kamari grinning from ear to ear, he had loved it!
The other children took their turns, they all did great, it was smiles all round. After all that excitement, we were all glad to sit down to some lunch and chill out. There was plenty to choose from, loads of sandwiches with a variety of fillings, lots of fruit and a selection of other snacks. Fruit shoots were available for the kids and tea and coffee was available to help ourselves to throughout the day. We enjoyed the sunshine and our surroundings while getting to know the other families, it was nice to be around other people in similar situations and share our stories.
As the afternoon rolled around, everyone was ready for round 2! This time Ceejay and I went on the speedboat, we really enjoyed watching Kamari’s happy face as he whizzed around the water. He was doing so well that one of the instructors let go and drifted to the side, this didn’t phase Kamari at all, he drifted round the corners with ease as if he had been doing it his whole life; It was very exciting to watch!
After Kamari’s session, Cody and Ceejay got kitted out in wetsuits and life jackets and joined him in the water. There was an aquaglide in a separate area of the lake, a giant inflatable trampoline in the water, with a slide attached, as well as plenty of bright yellow kayaks; they couldn’t get out there fast enough!
After everyone had exhausted themselves in the water, we all dried off ready for the BBQ, it was a lovely way to end a great day with some amazing people. We all sat together on a long table and dug into the feast that had been prepared for us.
After everyone had left, it was time get our heads down, we stayed in the on site accommodation, although it was basic, it was clean and had everything we needed. There were several accessible bathrooms, kitted out with shower chairs and plenty of space, a good sized kitchen and living area with a TV.
In the morning we got up and had breakfast, we treated ourselves to sausage and egg sandwiches which had been freshly prepared by the sites staff. Well rested and fed, it was time for one last session on the water. This time, Kamari was feeling so comfortable that both instructors let go and he was skiing unaided, we were so proud!
It was an amazing end to a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to come back next time!
Claire, Cody, Kamari & Ceejay