We head off making our first paddle strokes from Silly-la-Poterie Harbour, where the canal starts. Romane and I on the tandem need time to adjust. The Itiwit team may have sung its praise, but I'm wondering if it's really suited to this type of expedition with portage still to come. Romane went upfront, I positioned myself at the rear. The markings on the stand-up paddle help us to easily find our positions. We're both a bit apprehensive, and we very cautiously enter our paddles in the water to start off with. Our legs are tense, as we expect from one moment to another to lose our balance and fall in… which doesn’t end up happening. We get more accustomed to it after a few minutes. We quickly understand that you just need to go about it gently. Later on, when we handover the tandem paddle to our teammates, to let them test it for themselves, we give them a few tips:⦁ Don't make sudden movements (including scooping the water with the paddle)⦁ Talk to each other, when one or the other moves to turn around, lower themselves, …⦁ The one in front must inform the one at the rear of obstacles just in front of the board because the one at the back can't see them…But quite unexpectedly, we mastered tandem stand-up paddling in no time. It's actually very stable and we're making progress at a very good tempo without having trained beforehand. In short, Romane and I adopt it without hesitation! The Ourcq Paddle Team is making good progress. The verdant landscape immerses us far away from our everyday lives. Even though we have to deal with four canal locks that morning, our tempo means we are ahead of schedule. The troops' morale is high. It feels good to be outdoors once again. Everyone is happy to be there, only thinking about enjoying themselves ... as well as paddling. The day's mileage is very good: 28 km covered, which is 6 more than planned. We find the ideal location for the night at close to 6 pm, near to the village of Echampeu.
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