POLAND — James Coolidge of Poland, a senior engineering major at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vt., spent part of his semester break paddling a canoe in the North Atlantic.

Coolidge, the son of Herbert Coolidge of Poland and Janet LaFlamme of Windham, graduated from Cheverus High School.

“The massive weather conditions were rough enough that all our competencies were tested,” Todd Wright, Saint Michael’s College Wilderness Program director said. The group traveled to the Isle of Skye, off the British Isles, for British Canoe Union 4 Star Sea Leader Training, Jan. 7-14. The program was run by Gordon Brown and Wright, both British Canoe Union coaches.

“The training was outstanding for the students,” Wright said. “Every day for six days, we encountered big wind, gales in fact, and big seas.” The group therefore learned and practiced skills out of necessity. Students trained to lead groups kayaking on open water and rough seas.

Coolidge is a level 3 and 4 paddle instructor for the Saint Michael’s College Wilderness Program.

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