What happens in open water if big waves come up or bad weather hits? Do you just tow them out? Maybe you need to be more diligent to make sure that they don’t get in over their head in the first place.
I tend toward avoidance, perhaps too much so even because I don’t want others’ poor judgement ruining MY nice trip. It is my unfortunate conclusion, however, that the majority of people want to jump right into the “BIG ADVENTURE” without spending the time, effort, and cost getting to the point of competency (good info on that, BTW, Peter). This, more often than not, results in paddling solo.
Regarding your presentation, there’s a lot of good information in there. You’re fortunate to be able to expect a captive audience on the subject, but I wonder if you might not start to lose people’s attention with the style you’ve chosen.
I’m suggesting that you try to connect with each person by telling some stories they’ve almost certainly found (or will find) themselves faced with. I’m thinking of something similar to the style presented in “Handbook of Safety and Rescue” by Doug Alderson and Michael Pardy. Along with the technical description of rescues and equipment, there are a number of personal accounts of situations where they were needed - or where things went wrong, plus a reflection on the event.
Here is an excerpt from Page 141 to illustrate the idea:
Taken by Surprise
"My friend John and I had punched out through the shore break to paddle in a swell that was running about six feet. Conditions weren’t good for surfing: the waves were long, fast, and dumping. I picked a small wave to ride in on. I had my heart set on getting at least one good ride, so I tried to rudder-stroke out of a broach. I held the stroke too long, and when the wave broke, I couldn’t brace into the wave fast enough. Over I went.
Being upside down in the breaker was not at all like capsizing in a whitecapping wind wave. Kayaking in high winds, all of the action is above the surface: spray from the bow lashes my face, the roar of the wind rumbles in my ears. Capsizing brings with it a measure of calm. It’s quiet and still underwater.
But out in the shore break, the capsize took me into a maelstrom of noise and turbulence. I was caught off guard. It I considered rolling, the thought of it went out of my mind so fast that it didn’t even register. I had lost my bearings. I bailed out, making a quick wet exit.
On reflection: I felt embarrassed; surprised too. All that practice rolling, and I did a wet exit. I knew I could hold my breath, I knew I could get into the setup position, I knew I could roll – but I bailed out. I had all of the tools, but I lacked the patience and the composure to put them to use." --Chris Cunningham