In response to your last, Jeff, Kathy and I have emailed back and forth a couple times - discussing the possibility of paddling together, but I have not followed up.
The reason? First, I am concerned that Kathy cannot swim, and even with a PFD, that gives me great concern as a once-Red Cross certified lifeguard. I have not met her and don't know her weight in relation to my strength if a rescue situation were to develop . . . and she has stated she has no rescue skills. She has a 14' Manta Ray, while mine's a 12" and those boats are heavy when considered from a rescue standpoint. Finally, I don't know her response to water in a dunking situation - and possibly she doesn't either.
In short, I am very impressed with Kathy's dedication to paddling, and I would not hesitate to join her for a paddle, if she could swim and had some rescue knowledge, but at this point,I would feel more responsibility than I feel ready to take on, given her present situation. There have been some great posts on this situation, with good advice. I hope she follows it.
Meanwhile, I am in the process of taking some training to further develop my paddling skills and learn some on-water leadership skills. Maybe some day, we'll meet in the middle and get to go paddling!
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