As our summer progresses and we get out and paddle more, it is important to practice safety skills. By that, I mean that we should practice wet exits, rescues and reentries. These are basic safety skills that should be practiced with regularity and in varying conditions so that when an unexpected event occurs, you can be secure in your knowledge that you can safely perform a wet exit and reenter your kayak.
There are many opportunities to perform these basic, yet important skills. In addition to SK102 Skills Weekend, many piracies will hold a skills night so that you can practice (See Pirates of Baltimore’s event scheduled for August 10th). Also, there have been other opportunities to practice these skills, such as the CPA Gear Day event where a “Fall Out of Your Boat Day” was held. There are also outfitters that offer skills sessions that you could contact to do this. And of course, during the winter, the CPA offers the “Pool Sessions” to keep your skill levels up.
If you have not practiced these skills in a while, I encourage you to practice them sometime soon (you should never practice these skills by yourself and should have an experienced paddler with you when you do so for safety purposes). You can arrange to practice with any number of club members or do so at one of the piracies. Better yet, you could arrange a practice event for the club and ask volunteers to help on the water.
Even thought it is August and the “summer doldrums” are upon us and many of us head out of town on vacations, there are still many opportunities to paddle. In looking at the calendar for the next two months, it shows that there are some great trips on the calendar and I encourage everyone in the club to join in and go paddling! These events include the KIPP series, the Purple Swim Baltimore (swim support), skills training with Pirates of Baltimore, Iron Girl Triathlon (swim support), Tuckahoe Creek Day Trip, Loons of the Adirondacks, Nations Triathlon (swim support), Wye Island Circumnavigation, Full Moon “Upchuck” Paddle, Wicomico Car Camper, Eastern Neck Paddle, Nasawango Creek and much more.
There is still time to plan and lead a trip this year. If you are interested in doing so and are not sure how, please contact me or any other member of the Steering Committee or anyone who has led a trip for guidance. Lastly, I just want to reiterate that without the great volunteers that have selflessly given their time and energy to plan and lead trips, skills events and general help such as the newsletter and membership, this club would not be what it is today. Thank you to all of you!
Have fun and go paddle!