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Cold Water Preparation

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Sunday should be the best day of the weekend for this focused event. Pebble beach in Rockport will be the launch site with plenty of parking and the beach to ourselves for the most part. The weather will be strong winds from the NE with plenty of chop within reach. For the day we will be directly off the beach and have some protection close in. We will start promptly at 9:30, and try to mix the day with information, discussion, and on/in water experiences.

The way to really experience, and thus learn, about how you must protect yourself from the cold is to experiment with different materials, layers, and combinations. You could take a whole season, or more, to gain this trial and error knowledge about what works for you. It makes some sense then, to take the time to test these things on yourself in a controlled environment. Along with protective precautions, the ability to restore your comfort level with dry clothing, shelter, and internal and external reheating sources is very important. So, this is what we plan to do. Experience, and then, draw on those exercises to come up with strategies of self protection and resources for recovery.

You should bring everything you have to test. Wet suits will be worn for the on/in water travel and exercises, because the water temperature is only cool, and the idea is to get a little chilled and work in this more controllable environment. The wind will give us a chance to use external protective shelters, so bring a small tarp and some line, emergency blanket to huttle in and space blanket to try. A little chilled now to keep you from a big chill later. Bring your drysuit we will test them too. A change of clothes, hot liquids, hats, gloves, paddle jackets, anything you would bring in your kayak for winter trips.

If you want to take advantage of this most unique kayaking season, you must be prepared, you owe it to the group. Come join us.

Pebble Beach putin: Route 128 to Gloucester through both rotaries and down to the first traffic light where you take a left onto Eastern Ave. At one mile, towards Rockport, is a Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot, turn right on Barn Rd., at the end of the lot, and drive down to Thatcher’s Road, Rt.127A, and turn left. Travel 3 miles towards Rockport, and ahead you will see Turk’s Head Inn, turn right and bear right and continue down until you see the ocean. Just as you come to the end there is a road to your left that takes you along Pebble Beach called Penzance Rd. Or, type in Penzance Rd. Rockport, MA. 01966 on any map program.

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This sounds fantastic. Unfortunately I will be out of town this weekend. Is there any possibility that this will be repeated? sounds so good!



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Before I get inundated with phone calls and e-mails, the drysuits are not yet in. I am hoping for an update from Ravenspring today and will e-mail all who purchased one with an ETA when I have one.


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This clinic doesn't need to use drysuits, in fact we won’t until maybe the end of the day. It is more about you exploring your body's reaction to different levels of comfort in and out of the water and how you recover, literally.

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Let's not forget Brian Nystrom who was a great help all day long and selflessly filled-in for me as rescue bait when I was unable to perform that function. Thanks Brian. The doc confirmed sinusitis this am.


Now you understand why I was reluctant to swim yeaterday.

Cheers, great job everyone!


>Thanks, Rick, Scott, Keith, Jed (did I miss any

>instructors?), for a great day on -- and in -- the water and

>lots of terrific information and practice. I look forward

>to more.




Life is too short to own an ugly boat.

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Thank you to all the instructors who guided, coached and cajoled me to get in that cold water and test my drysuit--alas, it was true, the only way for me to learn what to wear during cold weather paddling was to get in that COLD water--

An important concept learned being that I am small (5' 1 1/2 in. to be exact) and a light weight (roughly 105lbs)--when everyone else is wearing one layer of insulation for comfort--I need to be wearing at least 2 layers to stay as comfortable --even 5 to 10 lbs more than my weight can make a difference--so for light weights who want to do some winter paddling--this cold water prep clinic if offerred again, can be invaluable.


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Thanks to all the instructors (and participants too) who made this a great learning experience. Feeling pretty warm now ;-)

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Thanks for sharing. So much accumulated knowledge in such a short time! Many lessons learned. Aquashell, while comfy in 65 degree water for a while, is not much help when the water cools down. Swimming the kayak to shore yesterday especially, demonstrated clearly how water flushes through these things and chills you in a matter of a few strokes. I got colder as I swam. Yes, I read about this effect, and now I have LEARNED about it.

I learned the necessity for immediate action in case of a boat-over.

I learned the necessity for getting involved. I learned how we all will depend on each other not merely for comfort, but for our very survival in cold conditions.

Some things I hadn't really thought about...shelter from the wind while wet-what a difference the emergency shelter makes! Hot chocolate-thanks Scott. Hot chicken soup-delicious-thanks Suz. Having a contact tow instantly available for use. How not to use a paddle leash. How to wear a neo hood and not lose your glasses or channel cold water directly to your ears. Which gloves work best. And as I mentioned earlier, when not wearing appropriate gear, how thrashing (swimming) around flushes your heat away SO quickly, thus how to conserve heat in the water if not immediately gotten out of it. And why, no matter how much the drysuit costs, it's MORE than worth the money. You all are very patient. Your valuable lessons have not fallen on deaf ears.

Michele and I deeply appreciate all the kind help, tutoring, mentoring, support and encouragement we get from you, our dear friends and teachers!!

Thank you all so much.


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