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Skills Practice Session Sat. 7/10/21 9.00 am @ Riverhead Beach, Marblehead


Joseph Berkovitz
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I'm very pleased to announce the first Skills Practice Session of the season! It will take place Saturday 7/10/21, 9 am to 12 pm at Riverhead Beach in Marblehead MA (link to map). We will wait for the forecast to settle before choosing the practice topic, but the plan is to work on Forward Stroke if winds are low, otherwise on Boat Handling in Wind/Waves. We can always work in some rescues too.

Please arrive in time to be on the water at 9 am.

Who can benefit from Skills Practice? Any NSPN member, from newbie to expert, can get something out of a Skills Practice session. Practice at the level that works best for you. If you know a topic well and want to help paddlers gain that knowledge, please PM me abut being a facilitator.

Is this some kind of official NSPN course on “How To Paddle”? Nope, it’s not official, and it’s not a set course. The focus is on picking up skills from each other, without prescribing any single way to paddle. What you get at a given session depends on who is there. Facilitators can access an existing workbook of ideas, but they are free to adapt and use the material as they see fit.

What do participants need?  You will need a closed-deck sea kayak suitable for coastal paddling, with sealed bulkheads or float bags, and grab lines along the perimeter. Dress for immersion and a spray skirt are required. Due to insurance requirements, each paddler will need a paddle float and bailing pump — contact me if you don't have these and we'll try to arrange. Bring lunch, snacks and fluids for yourself. Optionally, bring a tow line, radio, and spare paddles. (Don’t have something? Contact the organizers and we’ll try to scare something up for you.)

Registration and Insurance: This year, NSPN is insuring participants and facilitators through the American Canoe Association (ACA) through the club's status as a Paddle America Club. This is the same way that NSPN handles pool sessions. It's a great idea, as it protects everyone involved. 

To make this possible, we have to ask everyone to jump through an extra hoop or two. If you’re a regular ACA member ($40/year), you can fill out an annual online waiver once for all skills practices, and merely provide your ACA member number on each signup.  Non-members have to pay a $10 ACA event fee through the NSPN Store, and fill out an ACA online waiver for each session. 

The registration form is here, and will walk you through the insurance steps (links are provided to the ACA and NSPN websites as needed).

https://forms.gle/5xN7Z7gMbziJcGZL8

We are going to limit the size of this session to about 12 participants (not including the facilitators).

Parking: Park in the left hand parking lot (facing the harbor and sailboats, not the ocean) just before the start of the Ocean Ave. causeway. Bring $20 in cash. It's always a bit hard to tell what will happen with $$$, but I believe the town is collecting $20.00 from nonresidents on the weekends. That makes this one of the more expensive venues, but it is a very ample and hassle-free one and the combination of sheltered and open water is ideal for practice.

 

Edited by Joseph Berkovitz
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I did the ACA thing.  I think I registered for the Event.  Is there a way to check confirmation?

Any chance of changes due to weather?  I suspect staying in the harbor will be a okay with respect to avoiding excessive waves, might still be just a little wet out.

-Ken

 

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@Ken
You have just confirmed your registration 🙂. Yes you are on the list. 

The weather looks fine so far. We are not going to cancel unless the weather is extreme; the back of the harbor is very sheltered. If it is not very windy we’ll work on forward stroke, if windy we will probably work on boat handling in wind. 

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@Quan Do thanks for asking, it's a good question. Most club-sponsored events ask you to simply "dress for immersion", that is, choose clothing with the expectation that you may wind up swimming at some point. People differ widely in their tolerance for cold water, so we usually don't prescribe specific clothing unless it's winter or spring when the water temps present a clear danger. But it is important to anticipate that you might be in the water — you'll need more than just a T-shirt! And of course you will need a PFD.

The water is likely to be in the 60-65 F range this weekend with air temps 65-70 F. So the water is not "warm", although it is not really freezing cold either. Most people at this time of the year are wearing some form of wet suit, some short and some long, perhaps with a waterproof shell on top to protect from being chilled by splashing water and wind. That's what I'll probably wear on Saturday.  If in doubt, bring multiple options.

Having said all this, please know that this is a low-risk event aimed at paddlers at every skill level. The things we'll be doing this session are unlikely to cause anyone to capsize. In the unlikely event that this did happen, experienced paddlers are on hand to help someone back into their boat quickly.

Please feel free to private-message me if you want to discuss in more detail. And of course you can talk in person to other club members about this stuff on Saturday.

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Reread and see it ends at 12:00 PM.  That's cool.  

 

-Ken

 

Edited by Ken
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