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Thursday, June 09, 2011

“Knowledge And Skill On The Fly"

You can’t beat surfing down the face of a wave for some thrill and excitement in paddling. It is even better when you know what to do and how to control your craft. I guess we have all heard by now the expert theory. It takes 10,ooo hours no matter what you want to do, to become an expert. Age doesn’t matter, skill at the beginning doesn’t matter ie one more athletic than the other for example. You just got to put in the time.

Chris Lockyer catching a wave at symposium.

Chris heading on a crash course for Stan. Like he said at the warm up sometimes despite your best efforts and skill a wave will do with you what it wants to.

Evident in this photo is Chris employing his years of knowledge and skill in preventing me from being embedded with the bow of his boat. Luckily for me he was well in control. I was taking shots of him catching one of the nicer waves off the day when it brought him right alongside me instantly almost and his quick response avoided a collision, not mine.

So we practised some reverse towing rescues in conditions with waves and rock all around. It is one thing to tow straight out of a situation facing the direction you are going and quite another getting out of a gnarly situation towing in reverse. Good fun, good practise.

Getting back in after the pull out.

Discussing some of the strategies and pros and cons of each groups attempt at the 3 man rescue scenario. On person bailed. Another rescued and held the victims boat and emptied water while the third pulled all to safety in reverse in whatever sea state was present.

Taking a break!

Sure is good to be on the water.

Monday, June 06, 2011

“Rockin’ In Salvage"

Salvage is one of those places, one of those little subtle jewels, like the Terra Nova River, that has spots so nicely and naturally aligned for instructing. I wasn’t doing any instructing but enjoying the teaching of  skills from others such as Christopher Lockyear of Committed2TheCore paddling..

Salvage is scenic as you can get of a typical outport community in near central Newfoundland. So our invasion was well underway.

Putting in of large numbers of paddlers is much quicker than you think and once one has all the gear on everyone is only to anxious to make way and waves.

Andrew here taking a quick peek out at the training grounds or should I say waters.

Like most sports it is essential for better performance and less injuries to warm up before you undertake the journey.

Some quick rules and leadership establishment so everyone is "on the same kayak so to speak”.

Maybe just a quick go through of some strokes some may have learned in the blending strokes class from the morning sessions. Now was an opportunity to try them out.

Christopher Lockyear one of the very capable instructors planning the session I am sure.

And so they are lead…..

Now one drill I found interesting was paddling out to this exposed rock island and touching the nose of your kayak against the seaweed there and paddling backwards to the starting point. This may have been as much as an evaluation of sorts to determine skills as much as an exercise to warm up.

So there were a few nice spots but this is where the photography gets limited because I wanted to learn too and not be bothered stopping taking pictures all the time but I think you will get the idea.

Assessing the situation you are in before you plunge head-long into it is a useful habit to get into. Timing is everything we constantly hear in many aspects of our lives and no more so than when planning exits or entries through rock gardens. Looking at where the waves are boofing, the sequence of their flow and trying to determine points that are safe, fun and able to challenge those that need it. Some more tomorrow.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Well I am in Saskatoon right now being very much a mainlander and feeling locked in but finding it nice to be in another part of our great country while wishing I had time to spend on the swollen Saskatoon river right beneath my nose. I’m at a conference so that is not going to happen. I will photograph it though  : )

Will post the rock hoppin’ shots when I return. Paddle safe, paddle hard.