Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
When I bailed out of the boat last spring and ended up swimming, Dave had to drag me out of the river, and Kent had the rather unglamorous job of chasing my boat down the river. But I hung onto my paddle, no way I was going to drop it. Dave drug me through two sets of rapids before he was able to catch an eddy and we were able to get to shore, and I still hung onto the paddle. I have to wonder why I felt it was so much more important to hang onto the paddle, than it was to keep trying to roll up. I know I would have eventually come up and stayed up. As a sea kayaker I have more options, I can roll, paddle float rescue, scramble back in, or with another person I do a T rescue. Even in 4 to 6 foot waves on Lake Superior, you have a fighting chance to get back in your boat. In white water, you are swimming.
So what made me choose plan b over plan a? I remember getting flipped forward and the feeling like the hole had a hold of the boat, and wasn’t letting go. I could feel the water trying to pull me out of the boat. I did try and sweep the paddle up for a roll, but couldn’t seem to get things into position quickly enough. Then a little wave of panic hit me. I grabbed the loop and pulled.
As a solo sea kayaker, if I go over on a 6 mile crossing and loose my paddle, I am toast. What I learned early on was DON’T LOOSE YOUR PADDLE! It may be far more important to learn early on to roll.
Years ago if a person wanted to get a pilots license, they had to do spin training. They had to take an airplane up high, induce a spin, and recover. Over the years designers made planes more spin proof, and the spin training was scaring people from learning to fly. So they dropped the spin training from the curriculum. Airplanes can still get into a spin if treated improperly, and a predictable number of people die in spins every year. I took aerobatic training early on as a pilot, and learned spins along with a lot of other fun maneuvers. I think it made me a safer pilot. I believe in spin training, and I think rolling should be taught as soon as a person starts kayaking, in a sea kayak or white water.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A week of perfect weather, and with just enough time after work to load the boat and gear for the last hour of sunlight, one just has to take advantage of it. I caught Dave in a couple rolls Wednesday night. Although not in the video clip, I was able to coach him through a nice storm roll Wednesday night ... Way to go!