Sunday, January 08, 2006

Rescues and Friends

Went to the lake yesterday with my friend and regular paddling partner Dee Lutz for some rescue practice. We are planning a 3 day kayak camping trip on the outer banks (NC) where I can get in some rough water training, working on inlet crossings, surf landing and launches, and navigation skills. And we we will be able to get in lots of miles on the Atlantic Ocean. Dee and I often plan rescue and rolling practice prior to doing a trip, as this is a very important part of safety in sea kayaking.

I first met Dee about 6 years ago, she was a student in one of my beginner kayaking classes. Since that first class, she has taught me as much about sea kayaking as I have her. Together over the years we have paddled week long expedition style paddles on the coast, many weekend trips, lots of surf trips (short and long boats), and, we both continue taking more advanced classes together.
Photo: Dee and I during a weekend workshop with Nigel Foster.

Last year, we both reached one of our goals in earning our BCU 4* certification. Dee is one of a very few number of paddlers who I feel completely safe with, surfing and paddling in conditions.

Photo: Dawn launching on the beach in Wilmington, NC, Dee in background.

Our rescue session on the lake yesterday included assisted rescues with me in the Kruger Dreamcatcher, as preparation for our trip. And as we've done before, by working out different scenarios, we got rescues down to less than a minute. Then Dee helped me work out various self rescue options in the Dreamcather. An excellent roller, I then spotted Dee as she practiced various rolls in her NDK Explorer.

Sometime in February, we will hit the lake again and work on rescues with the boat packed as planned for the WaterTribe Ultimate Challenge. It is this preparation and practicing of skills that will help me with confidence and safety during the challenge.

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