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A day With Mr. Derek Hutchnson

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Trip report:

We covered less than 2/3 of a mile in Marblehead Harbor, in totally flat water. We never left the coziest nook of Marblehead harbor. There was one capsize due to a rogue wave (yours truly, laughing out loud)


Well right from the start Mr. Derek Hutchinson was very friendly and good humored. As a matter of fact great humor and care was evidenced during the entire day. He took it from the very basic nomenclature, "this is the front or driving face...this is the throat or neck" and at the end of the day we were all doing one handed high brace turns. He gave fantastic and solid reasons for the extended paddle maneuvers he taught us and was encouraging. Though he claimed to be sparse with praise he recognized hard work. Even the most expert amongst the students learned something, like looking at (and really committing to) the paddle and using the body more, My legs have never been so sore from a day of paddling in my life. There were lots of strokes, and corrections, stories on the Corryvrechan Whirlpool, (The BCU guidebook said that it was a great danger to small craft and should be avoided, we said Yea! Go for it). Another very inspiring idea was that with a good kayak a person should be quite happy to dance on a lake practicing and enjoying one’s skills. One of the many small tips available to the semi-observant was to set wet paddling things on a warm rock, then tend to what needs tending. By the time all was packed, the gear was almost dry. It was truly enlightening to see how articulate I could be in a kayak, (and more enlightening to see how lazy I have been), and to watch others progress. Having a class with Derek is meeting a true master of his art, who has given and continues to give great life to it. How many classes can I say that about in my life? When I have moved on, and am a much better kayaker, I'm sure that Derek will have more to teach me, even if we do the "same" workshop all over again.

PPPO held by happy but small contingent at the ?Cafe Rio? in Marblehead proper. Draft Guinness was good, no onion rings available

Thanks to Buddy, Dottie, and Derek Hutchinson

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For one reason of another, I was initially skeptical about taking this course, but in hindsight, I will say that it was GREAT! As advertised, I think most folks really left feeling better equipped to maneuver (maneuover? maneouver?) their boats on edge, considerably beyond the point of capsize. The upshot - for me anyway - was not only more power to turn and control my boat in a variety of conditions (rogue wave notwithstanding...), but actually more confidence in being able to be comfortable 'beyond the cockpit', where the real 'art' of this whole kayaking thing takes place.

This was EXACTLY what I needed, and I know I will be practising these manures for a long time. A lot of fun and highly recommended!

>...and at the end of

>the day we were all doing one handed high brace turns.

Yes, it was pretty funny seeing 10 people parading back and forth on the water pirouetting with arms outstretched like they just received a standing ovation at the Met. Gave new meaning to the term: 'curious onlookers'...

>PPPO held by happy but small contingent at the ?Cafe Rio? in

>Marblehead proper. Draft Guinness was good, no onion rings


No pics this time, sorry.


Steve F.

Blue over blue w/yellow

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