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  Safety in numbers?
  Posted by: nickcrowhurst on Jun-27-12 9:34 AM (EST)

This is the best and most important article I've read on this subject.

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Messages in this Topic


  Safety in numbers
  Posted by: old_user on Jul-05-12 11:08 PM (EST)
As a newcomer to group paddling and humble advanced beginner I want to progress and readily inform group leaders of my ability. Classes and u tube videos videos are great, but the only way to progress and gain proficiency is to paddle and practice rescue skills with more experienced people.

Vacationed at beach recently and wanted to paddle in bay. Put lots of effort into learning everything I could about tides, studied charts, checked out area clubs, visited local kayak and marine stores, drove around checing out put ins etc. However, just did not feel I knew enough to put the boat in the water alone. I'm safe but frustrated. Will be returning there soon, but won't paddle there until I find someone experienced to go with.

For the sport and clubs to grow, beginners need more access and opportunities to get on the water safely.

  up to a point...
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Aug-01-12 1:19 PM (EST)
I find that numbers work well ONLY if everyone wants to be in a group.

I did a multi-day trip down the Colorado and the two trip-leaders told us at the put-in, "Everyone is on their own so I hope you all are prepared."
Often we'd be on the river or working our way among the bypasses and find the leaders gone, exploring a new path through the reeds.
Another time, the group was in a side-lake, relaxing so I yelled that i was taking a pee-break. When I was back i nmy boat, everyone was gone and I had to find their trail on a river-slake system that was overgrown with cattails on a river I had never paddled.

On the plus side, hauling an entire tent and cooking and eating gear yourslf loads a boat. So if you spread the load: I carry the tent, she the poles, he the fly and hammer, she the sun-shade.... I carry the stove, she the cookware, the food is passed around for all....

And if someone vanishes, it is easier to find them if you have a group searching.

of course, this only works if the group is close and willing to share and work together.

most of the time, I find the group will share food but nothing else, unless they are married.

  one feature you forgot...
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Aug-01-12 1:23 PM (EST)
in any group, everyone should have similar boats.

i was selling my 9.5' Rush and some guy with a 16' sea-kayak wanted to buy it for his wife.
I refused as she'd never be able to keep uip with him and both would be angry. he for having to wait, she for being left behind.

When we paddle in a group, the longer boats are ALWAYS far ahead while the shorter boats are far behind.
It does no good for everyone to promise to keep together as that never happens.

one time Harry was in his 14' loon, I in my 12' Dirago and Gail in my slow Scrambler.
Of course Harry was gaone but when I looked around, so was Gail. I back[-tracked to find that she had overturned and could not do a wet-entry and was holding ontothe kayak while trying to push it across the lake looking for us.
I managed to help her reentry but it taught me a lesson and no one else ever learned. Watch out for each other.


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