So here is an update to my Kayak Dreams. Since my last post on September 15, I have put in another 9 hours on the water and under the water.
Without bragging, ladder exits are very effective and cowboy scrambles are good. I haven't practiced any paddle float exits so that needs to be done soon.
Clearly ladder exits are my favourite because they are fast and they don't require a lot of physical work.
These last 15 days I have started sitting on the back deck, no hands!
My recent attempts at standing in the cockpit have indicated that I am not ready to invest large amounts of time in learning that trick.
To be sure, all attempts at new techniques are a learning process ... and we love learning so it is justified.
The rolls are coming along slowly.
I read a number of kayaking blogs by kayakers who have a good or great roll or, 2 or 3 or 4 different kinds of good rolls.They nearly all took a number of months to get an occasional roll.
As far as the Paddle Canada course description is concerned, a successful roll, 3 out of 4 attempts ... is not covered until Kayak Skills Level 2. That qualification for most people is in the 3rd year of kayak skills training.
It all depends on where you want to paddle. For Lake Superior, the St. Lawrence River and oceans, a good roll in adverse seas is a must. For paddling alone a roll is a must. Most of my paddling has been alone but nearly 60-75% of my time on the water is practicing rolling and self extraction.
If you never use a sprayskirt, and do not intend to paddle unless it is summertime and the water is 75F/24C degrees, and you paddle with others, and you can swim to shore a distance of 150 feet ... then as long as you have a roster of roll-less self extraction methods, (ladder, cowboy, float), then you can probably still survive and live to tell about it after capsizing unexpectedly.
I need a roll. So I will practice/get instruction until I succeed.
I am considering joining a kayak club next year to get some additional experience and contacts also.
A drysuit will be required soon, the water is already starting to cool off from the cold rains.
I recently located the charger for the Nikon D50, so I will plan on taking it in the kayak too. I am still trying to locate the charger for the waterproof camera.
A GoPro Hero 3+ is in the offing ... 60-90 days I expect. They are surprisingly affordable even with the additional appliances required for water/underwater video/photo.
Yesterday I purchased an extra paddle and hip pads for the boat.
I was very unsafe and foolish to be paddling without an extra paddle for these last 50 hours on the water. Granted, I was mostly doing rescues in familiar waters. Paddling is not walking or running. It is a water environment and risks are to be minimised and safety maximized. Enough said.
To London this week for a few days ... no boating there, no time.
Take care of yourself so that you can help those that matter to you.