Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesdays done for this year

Since 2008 an informal group has been meeting at St. Philips to practice rescues, paddle strokes or just go for an evening paddle.  Last evening was the last time we'll do it for this year as the evenings are getting to short.

The evening started like the first evening of the year, sparcely  attended.  It was Paul, Shane, Terry and myself.  There were good size waves.  It was the first time Paul was in his new NDK Explorer.  I felt it wise to stay close.

I've more or less kept things going since 2009.  Its a worthwhile initiative as it gives novice paddlers a chance to practice skills and paddle in challenging conditions with a supportive cast around them.  One of the guys who has grown tremendously since he first attended is Shane, here powering along the coast.

We made our way down the coast in sizeable waves with Paul, a newer paddler who has been coming out this year.  I knew he was in near the top end of his comfort zone so I stayed close and suggested the same to the other two guys.

Paul was doing well until one wave did him in.  We put him back in his boat and we continued for a bit but it was clear to me he wasn't comfortable.  There was still a bit of water in his kayak.  He asked me to raft up so he could pump the last of the water out.  I suggested we turn around to go back.

Paddling into the waves you see what's coming.  Paddling with the waves is a different proposition.  I could see he was very nervous.  We stayed close together.  He went over again and after we got him back in his boat I suggested we do a tow back to the harbour.  Terry rafted up to stabilize while Shane and I did the towing.

We arrived back in the harbour none the worse for wear.

It was an all around productive evening.  Paul got some experience in challenging conditions and we practiced a rescue and tow.  Exactly what these evening hope to achieve.

The primary lesson to take from the evening is a tow is not a blow to pride.  No one wants to have to take a tow but sometimes it is necessary for safety sake.  Its up to the more experienced paddlers to recognize when a tow is called for and take charge.

Paul took a tow but a time will come when he will be the more experienced and be doing the towing himself.

All's well that ends well and we ended the evening with a coffee and a discussion about how things went.


  1. Fun night Tony buddy! And Paul you did awesome in your new Explorer!

    1. Right on Shane! Paul will be a good paddler because he's out with us trying to better his skills.

  2. You were in good hands Paul!
    Wish I could have made it!! Thanks Tony and all the Wed night paddlers for all the Wednesday and all the lessons, fun and confidence builders! :)
    ... On to winter paddling/camping/hiking biking and skiing... and pool sessions!

    1. Thank you too Cathy and everyone who came out this past year. Its a good familiarity building thing that we know each other when we paddle together and how to react in different situations like assisted rescues etc.