April 2010

Well, spring has sprung and everyone’s mind is on kayaking (hopefully).  The CPA held two recent trip-planning meetings where many trips were proposed and put on the calendar.  Just because the club had two trip-planning meetings and many trips are scheduled, that does not mean you cannot plan another trip this year.  This club offers many different trips because we have a wide and diverse membership.  Even if there are other trips planned for the day another trip is scheduled, you can still lead your trip on the day you plan.  The club often has multiple trips planned for the same day.

Another issue I wanted to discuss is raising everyone’s awareness of the special relationship we all have with the water.  It is our playground in a sense, and as such, we all have a certain responsibility to leave no trace behind of our own activities while paddling.  Unfortunately, many others do not share our strongly held beliefs in the stewardship of our water resources.  Therefore, every year, the various River Keepers in our area hold “clean-up days”.  There are many such events held this year in our area.  These clean-up days are very important as the people who volunteer their time clean up trash, debris and other obstructions in the water and along the shores of the rivers, creeks and other bodies of water that we paddle on.  Here is a list of the various Riverkeepers in our area:

Maryland

  • Assateague Coastkeeper
  • Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper
  • Chester Riverkeeper
  • Patuxent Riverkeeper
  • Sassafras Riverkeeper
  • Severn Riverkeeper
  • South Riverkeeper
  • West/Rhode Riverkeeper

Virginia

  • Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper
  • James Riverkeeper
  • Shenandoah Riverkeeper
  • Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper

Washington, DC

  • Annacostia Riverkeeper
  • Potomac Riverkeeper

Most of these Riverkeepers have websites that you can access and find out when they are having their respective cleanup days.  I encourage all CPA members to consider volunteering a day to help clean up our local waterways.

The other issue that I wanted to address is one that is brought up each year at this time and that is cold water paddling.  I am not talking about paddling in the middle of winter when the water temperatures are 35 degrees and the air temperatures are equally as cold.  Rather, I wanted to raise everyone’s awareness of the dangers in paddling when the air temperatures start reaching into the high 60’s and lower 70’s and the water temperatures are still in the 40’s.  Inevitably, every year, we hear about a kayaker who goes out kayaking only wearing shorts and a tee-shirt because it the air temperatures are warm.  This is about as dangerous as it can get.  There is a false sense of security since the paddler feels that it is “warm out”.  While it may be uncomfortable to dress in a wetsuit on a day that the air temperature is 70 degrees, it is important to remember to dress for the water temperatures.  Also be sure to remember to hydrate yourself.

Lastly, I am happy to report that the changes to the club’s By-Laws were passed at the Special Annual Meeting.  The revised By-Laws will be posted on the CPA website shortly.

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