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Skills Practice Session #6: MORE Rock Gardening 8/15/2020 8:30 am

Joseph Berkovitz

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This coming Saturday 8/15/20 at 8:30 am (butts-in-boats time) we will be holding a second Skills Practice Session on rock garden techniques! That's right, one was not enough — it was waitlisted and not everyone could come. Also, in the first session we really just scratched the surface of the subject (and possibly some kayaks, although none that I know of). There is no prerequisite: folks who came to Rocks #1 can now learn more, and folks who didn't, can work on the material that was covered in the first Rocks session. We'll do our best with the pod assignments to make that work.

NOTE: This replaces the formerly scheduled Currents session. We planned that session a long time before the pandemic, and the venues that we wanted to use back then are inaccessible now due to travel and/or nonresident parking restrictions. We will reschedule Currents when we can find the right place and time (a spring tide will open up some other options).

Registration: Everyone must pre-register for this trip and electronically sign the club waiver using this form link: https://forms.gle/pST9eQmXqdvbpkM17

Location: We launch from Riverhead Beach in Marblehead, MA: https://goo.gl/maps/SU2BEDFbVVaq13wS6

When you arrive, go LEFT off the causeway straight into the Riverhead boat launch parking lot. Do NOT stop first at the pay station on the right of the causeway, which is for Devereux Beach: you are likely to be immediately charged $20 for beach parking. If there is an attendant at Riverhead and they ask you to pay, tell them you are using the boat ramp to launch your kayak (there is no launch fee) and not going to the beach — which is completely true. If this doesn't work (which depends on the person working there, sorry to say) then you may still have to fork over $20.

The good news is, there is definitely enough parking for everyone, especially early in the AM. I strongly recommend that people arrive at 8 am, since a) you'll need time to get ready and b) as the morning goes on it becomes more likely that your cash will be separated from you at the gate.

Conditions on Saturday are forecast to be good: similar to last week, hopefully a little more swell! We'll go out around Marblehead Neck and thence to Tinkers Island or wherever our flights of fancy may take us.

You must bring a helmet for this sessionYou should also bring a pair of gloves (for barnacles, not for warmth).

This will be a longer session than usual because of the nature of the material and the venue. Please plan on being on the water until about 2 pm.

(Bob Levine can't make this session due to a family commitment. Sue H, Mike H and myself will be acting as facilitators.)

Covid-19 paddling: on this trip we will strictly observe social distancing and MA state recreational boating guidelines for the pandemic. Please research and respect all regulations that apply at the time of the paddle. In particular, we will stay at least 6 feet apart and wear face masks while off the water in public use areas.

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I’m sorry, i won’t be able to make this clinic tmrw.  Been out two times this week and I’m going to let my shoulders rest from my new forward stroke technique. 

Have a great day!


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So... it's time to play the ocean's favorite game, Conditions Curveball. After what seems like weeks (months?) of low wind and small waves, tomorrow midday is forecast to bring gusty NE winds of 15+ kt and wind waves/chop of 2-4 feet.

We are not cancelling the session. If this does come to pass, as seems likely, we will adapt what we are doing to make best use of the conditions. We'll likely work on Boat Handling in Wind, which had its own session a little while ago but (in a previous curveball) had very little wind on the day it was scheduled. At the Riverhead end of the harbor, while it can be windy, the water is very protected from waves, and we can "dial in" whatever degree of conditions we want by moving towards or away from the mouth of the harbor. 

So, hope to see you all there. And if you don't like paddling in wind, maybe that's all the more reason to come!

Weather watchers sidebar: this is all coming from a pair of counter-rotating high and low pressure systems that will create an eastward-flowing lane of wind and waves aimed at Massachusetts Bay. The fact that these systems are elongated along the east-west axis makes for a long, sustained fetch, building up the waves as they travel towards us. There is another low right behind this one and the high is staying put, so we will see NE wind and big waves for the next few days.


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