I personally think you're better asking such questions of more local people. The problem I see here and in many other non-paddling areas is that there are way too many different situations. We have ocean, lake, river. Very mellow or very wild. Long expeditions or just bird watching. We have people in cold areas and others in warm. Some are timid and some are adventurous. Each is surrounded by friends similar to them. So even those that know all of this will tend at times to forget (or not even know)just how different the situation of the person asking is.
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