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Might even exist for racing, as I recall they can be found in some pack canoes. But in both of these cases the assumption is that the paddler is going to be fairly unlikely to be throwing deep braces or rolls for the hell of it, or playing in rock gardens.... places where a slider seat would not be helpful, could be a real problem.
If you are talking about the ability to move the seat between fixed positions, that all happens from the top as you will be doing. (oops, I may be wrong there. See next reply.)
As to using the Tempest - have you told them what boat you have? Sometimes those rules, at least if you are talking about outside use, are there because they don't want people bringing inappropriately outfitted rec boats into a sea kayaking class. They may be fine with your bringing in a boat like the Tempest as long as they have a couple of minutes to make sure all the parts are properly attached, like perimeter line, before the class.
Pool sessions are another matter - between pool rules and space it is more usual than not to be restricted to the boats that are already provided. But outside classes are usually more about the setup of the boat.
You started off well. Nice purchase!
I'd echo what jay posted: wear your pfd. And learn a wet exit ASAP - if the water's cold and you have the right protection, you'll be fine - maybe splash some cold water on the back of your neck to minimize the shock.
After a wet exit I'd do what Hutchinson recommended and learn to be comfortable upside-down in your boat. wear a mask and noseplugs, use a snorkel with an extension if necessary - whatever it takes to gain that comfort. That will help you with rolls.
Next I'd learn a good forward stroke and commit it to memory.
Next I'd just get out and paddle often which sounds like it won't be a problem! Then you're on to either lessons or instruction regarding edging, low and high bracing, rolls, corrective strokes and so on. You'll need all of these to get out in unprotected water but if you have the desire you'll do it.
You sound just like me when I went from a rec kayak to sea kayaking, except you gave yourself a better start with gear.
nice blog report. Like many, you found the heel hook difficult but with just a bit of practice it actually takes less physical effort. I learned to use the outside and not inside leg in the cockpit first. I think it's easier that way. The key is to elongate your body by reaching for your rescuer's boat near the stern of your boat. This avoid the butt hanging far out requiring more effort for you and torquing the boat more for the rescuer -- you want your body more flush with your boat as you roll in. The heel hook rescue is especially good for anyone that is either weak upper body or large upper body.
EVERYONE recapsizes a lot when they are first learning self-rescues, in just about all of the rescues. Balance has to be learned.
Re the Cowboy, getting over the back of the boat gets fairly simple in a kayak like the Tempest once you get your balance down enough that you can start well to the back of the boat. The further back you are, the easier it is to get over the boat because you can actually push it under you.
The downside of this is that, the further back you go to make it easy to get securely over the boat, the further you have to go without capsizing to make it into the cockpit. Hence the reason I have said that lower decked boats are better in this regard - lower center of gravity, closer to the water, you have a little more head room before you are swimming again.
There is a basic trick that you really should experiment with when the water temps and your clothing agree. That is to take the boat into fairly shallow water, so that you aren't killing yourself dumping out the water after every capsize, and literally climb around on the top of the boat. Stern to bow, sit up on the deck, turn around while sitting up, learn to use your paddle to help as a slight outrigger without a paddle float on it... once you can manage this all of the self-rescues get much easier.
I haven't looked at your blog yet, but you should also start to use the correct terms for things. Otherwise you will get a lot of terribly misdirected advice.
Rescues are either self rescues or assisted rescues to start with. The there are types of each.
Eskimo rescue - this part edited out because I may be out of date.
Note that coming in at an actual perpendicular angle on the Eskimo bow presentation is a pretty good way to blow the rescue by bumping the boat of the person you plan to save away from you unless you have very tight boat control. Most coaches I've dealt with the last few years favor more of an angle, even sliding your boat along the upturned hull to plop your bow into the rescuee's hands.
Your blog also shows a paddle shaft presentation of this rescue - the woman is doing it - but that requires a fairly good degree of boat control and a willingness to come in pretty hard and fast. It is not likely you'll be getting to that one a lot quite yet.
I've seen what you called the Vee Rescue called a couple of things, usually involving shoulder in the name or between boat at times, but be aware that one is less well liked by many because it is a dandy way to blow out a shoulder.
The Heel Hook has the heel going into the boat first, the one on the side furthest from the boat, and there is both an assisted and a paddle-float self rescue version of same.
The Cowboy and the Ladder are pretty much the same self-rescue, and there is a ladder version of an assisted rescue.
Getting a good non-OEM seat in a kayak is a non-trivial exercise. Having built a handful of kayaks, I tend to prefer carved foam. Doing it yourself can be satisfying, but may also be frustrating and expensive (like, if you mess up your slab of 4-inch thick minicel, which is expensive to begin with). Another possibility is to either get a full custom foam seat from Redfish kayaks, or get a bottom piece with butt-print pre-carved in it, from Redfish, then, you'd shape the block to the hull outlines, yourself. Probably use Velcro to hold it in place. Oh, the WS seat pan does provide a bit of structure, but, I doubt if it's enough to be critical.
Google 'cold water vertigo'
I suffer from cold water vertigo, rolling in warm water, like a pool, no problems, repeated practice rolls in cold water (low-mid 50's) and I'm hurling. The amount of food in my system has nothing to do with my nausea, no food and I dry heave.
Google has lots of info, ear plugs (docs) work for me when practicing. A tightly fitting neoprene balaclava works when playing in places I'm likely to capsize to keep water out of my ears.