Spring is Almost Here–Get Those Kayaks Ready

Bill Smith
Bill Smith – Coordinator

We are just a few days away from the first day of spring so many of you are getting ready for the season whether you are a fair-weather paddler or have paddled all winter, it is a welcome sight. By March the days are getting longer and usually warmer which can make it a dangerous time to paddle. It is easy to jump in your boat on a warm spring day for a short paddle and think you don’t need your cold-water gear-big mistake because the days might be warm, but the water is still lethally cold. If you missed the Cold-Water Workshop, recently conducted by Catriona Miller with a video conference with Moulton Avery, then you can check out the CPA Facebook page or Mouton’s website ‘National Center for Cold Water Safety’.

March Events

March is a month with a few activities on the calendar starting with SK 101 on March 1 followed by the CPA steering committee/planning meeting on March 8 and the CPA navigation workshop on Sunday, March 15. SK 101 and the CPA Navigation workshop will be held at the Cult Classic Brewery, 1169 Shopping Center Road, Stevensville, MD; and the steering committee/planning meeting will be held at Ralph Heimlich’s home at 3873 Paul Mill Road, Ellicott City, MD. The deadline for signing up for SK 102 is also in March so if you plan to sign up then time is running out, you can register at SK102.eventbrite.com.

SK 102, which is held at the end of April, is an excellent weekend of fun filled training with many skilled instructors covering self-rescue, assisted rescue, paddle stroke improvements and with a few limited openings for rolling lessons. This is a great way to learn some basics with the whole summer to practice your newly learned skills.

KIP Series

April is also the first session of the season for Kent Island Paddle (KIP). KIP is an outstanding learning experience started by Marshall Woodruff 15 years ago. KIP is led by Marshall but over the last few years Jim Zawlocki has stepped up to help run the show. My first experience with KIP was about eight years ago when I signed up; I wanted to sign up the year before, but I knew I would not be able to make all the practices, so I waited a year.

KIP starts in April with an easy 8-10 mile paddle in a get to know you period. Each month trips get a little longer with the goal of getting you ready to paddle around Kent Island (34.6 miles) with the option of bail out points every few miles in case someone wants to shorten the trip. Regardless if you make it around or just part way you will come away with a great sense of accomplishment and find yourself a much better paddler with increased endurance, skills and being more self-sufficient. My first year I doubted that I could paddle 34.6 miles, but I was so pumped up on the final day in late September that I easily finished and felt I could have done more. T The real surprise for me was when I showed up for the first KIP paddle expecting maybe a dozen paddlers but instead about 25 paddlers with many of them returning KIP veterans. The camaraderie of the group is amazing, and the training is priceless. If you are considering joining in on the fun, then I highly recommend it.

Mike Vore

It is with great sadness to learn that Mike Vore, a long time CPA member passed away at the age of 80 from cancer. Mike was one of the first people I met when I joined CPA and paddled with him for many years at the Pirates of Arundell and previously Pirates of Pier 7. Mike was an active member who attended many events. He will be missed.

I hope to see you all at one of the upcoming events and on the water.

Bill Smith

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