Monday, April 11, 2011
First major paddle of the season
Dean checking the gear
Yesterday was a cold but sunny day. The air temperature was -2 and the winds were 20 km with forecast expected to be gusty later in the day. I launched with a group of kayak friends from the wharf in St.Phillips. Ideal location for a workout, especially early in the season. The water was choppy and a little chaotic, and was great practice. Then an odd thing happened - I was hit side on with a small to moderate wave, nothing exceptional, went to brace and the blade wasn't where I expected it to be. I am thinking the paddle which twists to adjust but doesn't lock, loosened and the feathered blade I usually have was transformed. I popped over and still underwater, tried to adjust my grip but could not and made a wet exit.
Great to have a fellow paddler - Dean, nearby, who ran the rescue. To say the water was cold would be understating things. My hands were numb and even though I have rescued others and been in the water lots practicing - when you end up in the water it is good to have a reliable partner. This was the first paddle of the year and the first time I ended up in the water unplanned.
This re-emphasized for me that you can never practice these scenarios too often.
And a reliable pair of gloves are important - to keep the hands warm.