Posted by: old_user on Jul-28-11 1:21 PM (EST)
If you paddle in open waterways I wholeheartedly DISAGREE with paddling solo.
I am a fairly experienced paddler, continually practice and assess my self-rescue skills, maintain a self-reliancy mindset, always paddle in a group, and have never had an issue - until last Tuesday. I was paddling with my group on a 16-mile round trip course in an open bay dotted with sedge islands. We were underway on our return toward the launch area when all of a sudden my body shut down - like a light switch. Not gradually getting more tired, all of my energy drained out suddenly 'like someone flipped a switch'. I was hydrating correctly all day, had balanced meals beforehand, had energy bars during the trip - so by all accounts it should have never happened. For reasons still unverified (pending results of a doctor's evaluation), it seems that a medication had perhaps 'over-reacted' to the physical exertion and heat. I could barely lift, let alone move the paddle. I have paddled plenty of times before under similar (or worse) conditions using the same medications, but NEVER had this happen before. Thank goodness I had kayak buddies to tow and assist me in getting safely to shore!
Had I been paddling alone that day, I am not so sure the outcome would have been so good....
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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