On the river save the person, on the sea

save the boat first. thought that was an interesting comment from my BCU 4 star instructor.

I went to Sea Kayak Georgia yesterday and attended 4 star training. conditions were rough and we went out to the tide rips and the sand bars where the seas were extremely confused and I got yet another taste in humility. Had a great time though and appreciate the practice in conditions. I went nearly vertical three or four times both bow and stern and had to combat roll up at least 8 or 9 times… yeah I got trashed and my ass handed to me but good.


I’m telling Vera…
What boat were you in???


– Last Updated: Oct-29-06 8:28 PM EST –

I was in the Legend with a Werner Corywreken (sp) paddle along with the GP's on deck which I used a few times.
the Legend handled the really rough stuff beautifully. Weathercocked badly in small chop and wind so I was forced to use the skeg just to stay on track.
Am really glad I rerigged the boat with looser rigging as I did get sucked out of the boat once and was able to hold on for a bit.
If I was to do it over again I would use the OI and the big Werner paddle just to see how it would do. I suspect it would do a lot better than most would think.
It was a great opportunity. I am really glad Medicineman stopped by Columbia and took me to Sea kayak Georgia for the day. what a surprise!


I finally met Flatpick and Nigel Foster, met lots of great instructors, of course Turner and Cheri were there, saw russel from Sweetwater, stayed for dinner and drove back last night.


Congrats on the combat rolls

– Last Updated: Oct-30-06 7:28 AM EST –

That's more presence of mind than I had my first time in major tidal rips. (I plan to do better next time.)
The quote is interesting. How warm was the water? Looking forward to making SKG next year.

Forget the boat
In my rocks and ledges class we were told if sucked/blown out of the boat on a ledge or in the rocks to let go of the boat - to forget the boat.

After years of being drilled on ‘never let go of your boat’ it took some a number of iterations. We were told that it is just too dangerous to be holding onto 17’ of fiberglass being knocked around on rocks.

I think
he was referring to an open-water assisted-rescue scenario. Trying to chase down a drifting boat with someone clinging to your kayak is difficult at best. If you stop the victim’s boat from drifting away first you have a much better chance of success.

Yes, I know…

– Last Updated: Oct-30-06 1:28 PM EST –

Not disagreeing, just elaborating...

Until very recently, all my training was for open water resecue, in which case getting the boat is essential. Also as a paddler one is drilled to never let go of your boat. In open water it is often essential to get a paddler back into her boat. This is not possible if the boat gets away.

I was just mentioning a specific situation with sea kayaks wherin ones responses need to be other..

When being prepped for ww recently, a friend noted the importance of holding onto the paddle and not worrying about the boat. The paddle is often lost if let go. The boat will end up somewhere retrievable. Usually it is not an option to get the paddler back into his boat on the water.

When training in surf, there are times when you have to shove the boat ahead of you towards shore. It is most important that you are not between the boat and the shore - more important than hanging on to it.

Open v. not
Have had a situation where losing the boat would have been extremely problematical, since that represented the closest thing to “dry land” available to get the swimmer into. Have also jumped vertically out of my boat to avoid getting my head drilled into the sand while being spun in the shallows on foamy stuff - was happy to leave the boat to shrift for itself. Stayed upright on rocks most recently - conditions were pretty tame compared to the possibilities - but not sure which would have been my instinct if I hadn’t.

I like having an easy to remember mantra as a starting point for these decisions though.

interestingly enough I find myself thinking back to having the boat between me and the shore line in the waves and getting thumped in the neck and head (wearing helmet) when a wave hit. I realize now how incredibly lucky I was to not get seriously hurt.

I have thought about it a lot and hope that I can sear it into my brain to not be in that kind of situation again.

Another thing I realized was that I was having real difficulty puttin on the sprayskirt after getting back in the baot and this was because I had the tow belt behind me. I usually have it in the front so I can do layback rolls and to not hit the coaming. I was unable to get the skirt on!

Another good lesson learned.


hang on to the paddle
was out on SF bay this weekend, and we made a landing on this one beach outside the gate and man did i get my ass handed to me after i got caught on a wave way farther out. nearly went over vertical before i twisted and got unceremonisouly ripped from the boat,.

held onto my paddle and just swam to shore while we watched the boat get tossed around in the break. it would have been much harder to find the paddle.

Yup - always hang onto the paddle!
I suppose there may be a situation wherin you should not hang onto the paddle, but all situations of which I am ware, it is best to have your paddle.

Always Exceptions 'Cause Stuff…

– Last Updated: Oct-31-06 7:54 PM EST –



Four years ago at the RISK winter session, I got sucked out of my boat. I hung onto the paddle. But the dumping waves drove me and the paddle into repeated maytag cycles right at the bottom. I curled into a ball each and every time when the wave dropped on me but the paddle was just grabbed by the wave force and torqued me every which way as I hung onto it. After watching the bottom, air and water twirling around me several more times in 34-35 degree water, I chucked that paddle. It's still floating out in the Atlantic as far as know... After finally getting back and stumbling to shore with a late stern tow, I could not cared less about the paddle, or the boat for that matter.



that’s how I got sucked out of the boat in the first place. I capsized and tried to roll up on the same side and failed, realized I had both the wind and the waves against me and rolled under the boat to the other side just as a wave passed. Well I was using the new Werner paddle and that thing became a sail with a full load on it and since I refused to let go, I ended up out of the boat holding on to both. On the wrong side.

Not saying I should have let the paddle go, as I am not sure I was thinking that fast anyway…just another example of how maybe not holding on to the paddle would have worked a bit better (since I had two GP’s on the front and rear deck)