Maybe do a couple wet exits
Posted by: pblanc on Sep-27-12 7:02 AM (EST)
If you are planning to only do some paddling in a very protected waterway the chances of a capsize are probably pretty low. However, if your only kayaking thus far has been in a pumpkin seed boat you should be aware that you are losing 7 inches of width going from your Old Town the the Tempest, and 7 inches makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to initial stability.
Also, your rec boat has no skirt and a great big cockpit opening, so that if you ever tipped over in it, you probably pretty much just fell out of it, like a canoe. Exiting a narrow sea kayak with a spray skirt on requires a little more thought. It can be done very quickly, but it is not automatic. You have to tuck, release the skirt, and slide the boat off your legs. I have seen some pretty level-headed folks, even strong swimmers with life saving experience become a little freaked the first time they went over in a kayak.
Best would be if you can find an experienced boater to join you, dress up with some towels and dry clothes in a nearby vehicle, and practice a wet exit or two.
If the water seems to cold for that, I would probably just paddle your boat without the spray skirt and stick close to shore as advised until you take your roll class.