Monday, April 11, 2011

First major paddle of the season

Dean checking the gear

St.Phillips beach

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.


Sean Dawe said...


Forget gloves and get a good pair of neoprene mitts. You lose some dexterity but at least you hands will remain operable at all times!

Hope to see you back on the water soon.


michael said...

Good point - I have mitts ordered.

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