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CAM Summer Session: 07/16/16


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The next (first?) summer CAM session will be held on Saturday July 16th with the location still to be determined.  I have received some questions regarding attending these summer sessions without having done the previous CAM sessions.  Even though they have been called "Continuing Education", they are really designed as an overview of the core principals of the Common Adventure Model, and should be an excellent introduction for those not familiar with it as well as a good review for others more familiar with the system.  We welcome anyone that wants to attend, whether or not you have ever attended any CAM sessions, but you must let us know ahead of time if you want to attend, as these will not be operated as Show-&-Go trips.

The minimum requirements to attend this session are:
- Current NSPN membership (email membership at NPSN dot org with any membership issues)
- Seaworthy vessels with integral flotation (hatches) and deck lines
- Spray Skirt
- Appropriate paddling attire, typically neoprene for summer months (no cotton clothing!)
- Willingness to participate as part of a cohesive group

If you cannot meet the minimum requirements, contact me privately so we can determine if there are any possible solutions.  This posting will act as our pre-trip planning discussion, and we will develop a plan for the day together.  Our goal is to review as much instruction and practical application as possible while still enjoying a day on the water, so don't expect this to be a long and arduous trip, or a day of working on only one skill set.  Some of the major aspects of the Common Adventure Model that we could review would include:
- Trip planning
- Beach briefing
- Launching and landing
- Maintaining communication on the water
- Moving together as a group
- Channel crossings
- Leadership and group dynamics
- Assessing and managing hazards
- Dealing with situations / rescues

Please post here if you are interested in attending, even if you are not sure that you actually will.  We will have an open discussion as to where we might go, including launch location challenges that are prevalent during the summer months.  As we approach the date, we will start looking at weather forecast and ask for final commitments.  Once we know what the conditions will look like and where skill levels are, we will determine the best location for the group and confirm final arrangements.

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Aside from dealing with summer weekend crowds and restricted or costly parking, the issue I am having with the Salem/Marblehead area are the long stretches of mud flats at low tide, which will be in the early afternoon just around when we would be returning.  Even through some of these mud flats are solid enough that they can be walked on, such as at Riverhead, it makes for a very long carry at the end of the day.  On the other hand, while the low-tide mud at the ramp at Odiorne in Portsmouth is not very welcoming at low tide, it is a short stretch of it, and there is also the opportunity for a slightly more favorable takeout next to the bridge onto the grassy area right there at the parking lot.

We are also starting to get hints that the weekend forecast is not looking that good either.  Although the confidence is low, it is looking like Saturday has the potential for rain, maybe even heavy.  I think that might be manageable (I actually LIKE to paddle in the rain), but if any thunderstorms accompany the rain, that is another story.  We will have to keep an eye on the forecast and make a go/no-go decision later in the week.  Until then, let's discuss the pros and cons of Marblehead/Salem vs. Portsmouth.

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I agree that low tide at Riverhead Beach is a real long carry, although wheelie carts make this a breeze as the sand is pretty well compacted. There are other spots in town that are less of a carry at low water but they don't necessarily have adequate parking especially on the weekend.

Also, I'm just plain interested in paddling Odiorne if others are: I live in Marblehead, so I'd like to visit more other places.

NOAA seems to think Saturday is sunny at the moment. If it does rain... I don't mind paddling in the rain either and do it frequently when it's calm... but yeah, thunderstorms and squalls would be uncool.  Guess we should keep checking in as the weather picture gets clearer...

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Weather outlook for Saturday is improving immensely, and we might even have a decent day of it.  Since we have a few people relatively new to sea kayaking, this will be a Level 2 trip (click on link for trip level descriptions), so all are welcome!  I think that Portsmouth will offer us the best options based on tides, so let's plan on meeting at the Odiorne State Park boat ramp (click link for Google map).  Although we will start the day with some CAM discussions, we should be geared up and ready to paddle by 10am, so please plan your arrival time accordingly.  If you have a chart for this area, bring it along as we will be doing some navigation.  If you do not have one, Cathy and I will bring some copies and we can all share.

I need the following information from each participant:
 - Name and cell phone number
 - Boat manufacturer, name, and colors (top color / bottom color)
 - Vehicle make, model, color, and license plate number
 - Emergency contact name, relationship, and phone number
This information will be used to create a float plan, which is a document describing who will be in the group, where we plan to be, what time we expect to be on and off the water, and who to contact in case there is an emergency. This document will be left with a responsible person back on land and, in the event that we should not return when we are supposed to, can be used to assist authorities.  Keep in mind that this information is considered confidential and is never shared publicly.

I must receive everyone's float plan info by 5pm on Friday in order to be able to participate on this trip.  It is much easier for me to make deletions from the float plan than it is to add someone.  Please send the info via Private Message or email robertfolster at verizon dot net.  I am really looking forward to this trip!

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Bob, I have 3pm in my head, but we will see how the group is feeling as the day progresses.  I expect that we will stop several times during the day to discuss aspects of CAM, leadership, safety, etc., so people will have opportunities to rest if needed.  I would also suggest that participants consider the opportunity of getting in the water to be rescued and such, as that is usually a good way to cool off on warm, summer days.  Water temperatures are in the mid 60s, so a dip here and there will be refreshing!  Also, as a reminder, pack plenty of water, some snacks and/or lunch in a waterproof container or dry bag, and plenty of sunscreen.  Finally, if anyone has some piece of equipment that they have not yet worked with (tow belt, VHF radio, etc.), feel free to bring it and we will include it during the day.

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Registration for this CAM session is now closed.  Looks like we should have about 10 people on the water, including Cathy and me.  I will send out a float plan to participants by 9pm tonight.  If you have signed up and don't see a float plan by then, please email or PM me and I will fix it.  Looking forward to an excellent day on the water!

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