March 2010

Ah, the winter blues . . . the days are short (but getting longer), the temperatures are much colder, we have had two major blizzards and it seems that the winter is not quite ready to be finished yet, and for many of us, paddling is the farthest thing from our minds (or is it?).  However, before you know it, spring will be upon us and with the coming of spring, there will be a great many opportunities to get out on the water and paddle.

Even though winter is still upon us, it does not mean that we cannot think of paddling or prepare ourselves and our kayaks for the upcoming paddling season.  So, during these long winter months, it is a good idea to give your boat a good going over and determine if it is in the condition you want it in for the upcoming season.  Do the deck lines or bungee cords need replacing?  Do you have a hatch cover that is not watertight or foot pegs that do not slide very well?  Does your skeg line need to be replaced because it kinks sometimes?  If so, now is the time to start working on your boat to put it back in good condition so that you can paddle as soon as you are comfortable with the water and air temperatures.

It is a good time to inspect your paddling gear such as your PFD and sprayskirt for excessive wear as well as paddles, radios, GPS’s and your paddling clothing to determine if it is in good clean condition and ready for another season.

Changing topics, the members of the CPA are very busy planning many events for all of us this coming season.  Although we had originally scheduled to hold the Maryland Trip Planning meeting and the Special Annual Meeting on February 6, 2010, Mother Nature had other intentions in the form of two feet of snow.  The new date for the Maryland Trip Planning Meeting and Special Annual Meeting is Saturday, March 13, 2010 at the Savage Branch of the Howard County Public Library.  The Virginia Trip Planning meeting will be held the week before on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the home of Brian Blankinship in Woodbridge, Virginia.  For those who are considering planning or leading a trip, you should come to either or both trip planning meetings.  Even if you do not have experience in leading a trip on the water, you can still plan a trip; there are more than enough takers who will lead the on-water portion of the trip.

Aside from the two trip planning meetings scheduled, the CPA already has an impressive number of events planned for the early spring.  Check out the CPA calendar for more details, but here is just a sampling of the upcoming events:

March 20, 2010 SK101 will be held at the West River Center, just South of Annapolis.

March 27 -28, 2010 – Wilderness & Remote First Aid Course – this course is being taught by two club members.  Check the website for more information on prerequisites and registration.

March 27, 2010 – Greenland Paddle making workshop.  This is being held at the Carderock Recreation Area in Potomac.

April 17, 2010 – KIPP 5, paddle number 1 will be held.  Contact Marshall Woodruff for more information on location and time

April 23 – 25 – Sea Kayak Skills weekend aka SK102 – Registration information will be contained in the Chesapeake Paddler

Remember, this is your club and the CPA is a sum of all its members.  There are a lot of opportunities for each and every one of us to participate in planning, leading or volunteering for activities and events.  Your participation only make the CPA a better club.  I hope to see you at the trip planning meetings or another CPA event real soon.

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