I've just had two really great paddling weekends. The first was on the Eastern Shores of Virginia at the Kiptopeke SeaKayak Symposium, the 2nd was the 4th annual WaterTribe North Carolina 100 mile Challenge.
First, weekend #1.
Picture above is me (front) paddling the Chesapeake on day #3, working on rough water skills and rescues, and new friend Todd in foreground (photo credit Tom Noffsinger).
This symposium was excellent, no complaints other than they need a symposium t-shirt. Participants stayed in beautiful lodges at the Kiptopeke State Park, classes were a short (5 minute) drive with easy access to the ocean or to the Bay. There were classes for everyone, at all levels.
Somehow I mistakenly ended up with the same instructor for all 3 ocean classes, but in the end, this turned out to be the best mistake I ever made. My instructor was Tom Noffsinger, wow, what a great instructor. He teaches in a simple, straight forward, easy to understand, and practical way. He is one of those who's paddling style is effortless, looking like a ballerina while dancing on the water. I learned new skills, relearned old rusty skills, and continually had to correct some bad habits developed over the years. I'm really looking forward to other opportunities to paddle with and learn from Tom in the future.
No need to go into the gory details. I'd suggest if like me you've not had any formal training for awhile (my BCU4* training was over 12 years ago), you might also get back into it. It was so exciting that the first thing I did was schedule an 'Advanced Edging and Bracing Class' for my kayak club this coming weekend, this so I can share what I've learned, and to continue to work on these skills myself, with my eyes closed (as Tom suggests).
Folks at the Symposium were wonderful, I made many new friends. Mostly all members of the Chesapeake Paddlers Association, which I am now a new member of, more paddling opportunities :)
Next up, Sea Kayak Georgia's Symposium later this month, can't wait.