From the CPA Coordinator: Paddlers Beware and Fall Out of Your Boat Day


From the CPA Coordinator


If you’re like me then you realize that summer is flying by at a rapid pace. The heat of late July and August brings warm water to the Bay along with jelly fish and a few other unseen hazards. I really don’t like playing in warmer water, but I am addicted so I will still play regardless. I do take more precautions such as an immediate shower as soon as I get home. The warm water is an open invitation to certain bacteria, so we all need to be cautious especially if you have any cuts or open wounds. Any contact with an open wound should be immediately cleaned with soap and water.

I just read that Triadelphia Reservoir in Prince George County is currently under a health advisory due to blue-green algae bloom contamination; blue-green algae are a bacteria called cyanobacteria and not an alga. People are being warned to avoid contact with the water including pets and to avoid eating any fish caught in the reservoir.  If you do decide to paddle in the reservoir, then take the necessary precautions.

One common and frequently advertised precaution is not to swim or have contact with the Bay water within 48 hours of a rainfall with ½” or more rain. The rain significantly increases the bacteria level. Recreational water illnesses are bacteria/germs that increase the chances of cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus and E coli from contact with contaminated water or vapors. The main reason that bacteria levels increase during significant rainfalls is because the excess water can infiltrate the sewage system and overwhelm it so excess flows into the Bay (the combined sewer problem)—yikes. The runoff from farm fields also adds to the nitrogen levels.

Vibrio or vibriosis (AKA a flesh-eating bacterium) is another nasty infection you can get from contact with warm salt or brackish water especially if you have any open wounds or compromised immune systems; you can also get it from consuming raw oysters harvested during warmer water periods. For most people vibriosis is an annoying skin rash lasting a few days, for others it can be much more serious. If you are uncertain about what might be lurking, then check with your local heath department. I live in Anne Arundel County where they do frequent water testing and post any hazardous levels.


The annual fall out of your boat and skills session returns at a new location, (AUGUST 20, 2022) check the MeetUp site for more details. The reason for the delay was due to an electric shock hazard at Truxtun Park and finding a new suitable location. The new location is at the Selby Clubhouse, located at 3715 1st Avenue in Edgewater, Maryland on the South River. This event, as always, is open to all skill levels, especially beginners who still need to learn how to do a wet exit and self-rescue. There will be plenty of paddle opportunities with Turkey Point Island a short paddle away or other areas of the South River to explore. This will be a great opportunity to practice rescue, paddle strokes, try other boats and socialize. The in-water tasks will be performed inside jelly fish nets.

WANTED: VOLUNTEER INSTRUCTORS FOR THE FALL OUT OF YOUR BOAT AND SKILLS SESSION, please contact me if your interested in helping with the skills session, this is your chance to pay it forward and help new or less experienced paddlers, especially if you learned your basic skills at SK102 or from other CPA events. A Gear Swap will take place so if you are looking for some gear or looking to get rid of gear this is your chance, CPA merchandise will be available for sale as well. This will be a rain or shine event since we will have a clubhouse to retreat to in case of rain. This location has a nice sandy beach launch or play in. Come check out this beautiful facility.

See you on the water!

Bill Smith


Self-Rescue Instruction at Fall-Out-of-Your-Boat Day, 2019 photo by Ralph Heimlich
Share This

Latest News