Self rescue instruction in lower Westchester county

I am an 80 year old kayaker in pretty good shape. I have a 10’ Eddyline Sky 10 sit in kayak.
I always kayak alone, mostly lakes but recently the Long Island Sound because Harriman boating ends at the end of October.
I do own a drysuit, only used it once in the spring just as Covid hit.
Someone suggested that if I want to continue kayaking into the late fall and alone I should be able to self rescue .
Can anyone recommend a course? Thanks .

Eddyline recommends the Sky be used only on lakes and ponds. That said, it would be worthwhile for you to make the trip to Hyde Park and arrange a lesson with Marshall of The River Connection.

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Or NACK Dec 10th on meetup Jones Beach field 10 usually.

Thanks. I will look into it. I’m never really very far from shore because I am a photographer as well as a kayaker.

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Thank you.

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North American canoe kayak NACK

NACK requires a membership but it’s worth it if you are active.

There are plenty of self rescue videos on Youtube. I’m not suggesting they are a replacement for actual 1:1 coaching but they are a good starter. I watch the videos at Online Sea Kayaking (subscription) and then practice in shallow water at a public park.

Also, you can go onto the ACA website and find an instructor in your geographic area. Several on LI.

(edit: I just saw Lower Westchester. My bad for referring to LI. There are ACA coaches in the Bronx and Westchester. Look here. I honestly don’t know where one discipline ends and another starts. I’d find someone near you and contact them.)

Sometimes wind comes up out of nowhere. I’d certainly prefer to be in a sea kayak on the Sound. I sailed Rhodes 19s and Lightnings (and an occasional larger sailboat) out of Mamaroneck years ago.

Until you can self rescue, you have no business being out there in a little plastic kayak.
Not trying to be harsh, just being logical.

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Appreciate your response.

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Ppine, I was curious about your comment, assuming you’re talking about Long Island Sound, so I researched the topic to better understand the conversation. Compared to the Chesapeake Bay, its similar in length and width, with the Sound being wider, and oriented east/west vs. north/south. You’re comments are far from harsh.

Since both estuaries look similar, my first impression was that conditions should be equivalent when comparing fetch (length of water over which a given wind has blown without obstruction). I’m famiar with 15 to 20 mph winds, so I looked for charts forecasting up to that speed out of the south for the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything posted to compare, but the charts I reviewed showed conditions that are consistent with what I’ve experience.

So I was shocked by the chart for Long Island Sound (Sunday, Nov 16), that forcasted conditions for winds in that range blowing east and west (length of the sound). For anyone unfamiliar with how tides influence wave heights, notice how heights change with wind direction and the tidal ebb/flood. Its also important to realize that wind blowing from the same direction for half a day will generate a current.

Harvey.davidowitz, there’s no doubt you’ve been around long enough to recognize danger from tide, wind and changing conditions. You’ll be even more prepared after you find and complete the training you seek.

For the benefit of less experienced paddlers, this is a good opportunity to point out that the size or type of kayak is just as critical as skill and physical conditioning. Understand the limitations of the boat as well as your physical abities. Just as with swimming where strong rip tides are common, know how to recocnize trouble spots and how to overcome them.

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Harvey, I would also suggest that you carry (and know how to use) a radio with an “oh shit” button. It won’t get you out of the water, it won’t necessarily save your life, but it may bring rescuers a bit more quickly. A cell phone quickly becomes useless once you’re in the water.

It the last few years a few times people felt safe in the Long Island Sound only to be pulled out with current and wind. Some were fatal mistakes I believe.

Sometimes you can rescue in little plastic kayaks they just sink. :scream:

80 yo guy
10 foot boat
no self rescue
large body of salt water with plenty of fetch

What is wrong with this picture?
Almost everything.

Isn’t that type of information covered in most certified self rescue course.

Hope this info helps. 99% of my paddling is on flat quiet lakes-mostly Harriman State park. I ALWAYS check the wind and weather before venturing out. I NEVER go out unless the wind is 7 mph or less.
WHENEVER I go out I ALWAYS stick very close to the shoreline in order to photograph.
Unless we have an exceptionally mild day with almost non-existent wind I will be putting my paddle away for the winter.

I get the message guys - I’m gonna look into self rescue instruction so please stop with the doom and gloom feedback.

You cannot escape this message board without being lectured to…! That’s one of the not-so-nice aspects of the internet and some of the threads here. For some reason every question begets a safety speech. It usually starts out with someone raising a sincere safety concern that they assume you’re unaware of, and deteriorates into criticism. And every thread must contain a reference to learning to roll. Not sure if that has popped up here yet!

FWIW, if you are near the shore in Harriman you run the risk of encountering one of the two black bears that patrol the campsites looking for food. Better carry a gun!! :laughing:

Do have a look at the ACA website. There are paddle clubs in the city, one in Yonkers that offer safety training but I suspect they are closed for the winter at this point. So your only option may be to find a pool session somewhere. I’m not sure if Marshall (River Connection) is doing that this year, but you can call and ask. Good luck.

Thank you for the clarification and additional info. regarding your bear siting. While paddling (CLOSE TO SHORE) in Norwalk Harbor recently a fisherman on shore asked me if I had sited any sharks.
I do not frequent this site very often. I have posted on photography message boards and have discovered that people have taken a simple ? that I have posted and go way off the deep end with it.
Pun intended.

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Well we all feel bad about people dying in kayaks. That’s why people may seem to be annoying on safety. Just in NY tri-state area there’s 4 + plus deaths a year or more.
The U.S. Coast Guard reports:

In 2021, there were 96 fatalities while kayaking, compared to 112 in 2020. In 2021, there were 46 fatalities while canoeing, compared to 42 in 2020. In 2021, there were 18 fatalities while standup paddleboarding, compared to 10 in 2020.