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ERBA - March 27th, In & out before the storm


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Did Alan do his Michelin-man impression for you? And you need to know that that water he swam in is warmer than his apartment, so of course he said it was great. ;-)

Tough questions about the rec-boaters. It's so much easier when they come to you. Much harder to point out to someone that they are reckless, ignorant, stupid, all three. Most of us will look the other way and go tsk tsk tsk.

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Great trip! I wish I had time to join you all.

Regarding the rec paddlers you saw on the way in . . .

I’ve been a kayaker for four months now. Fortunately, I stumbled onto NSPN, and have benefited greatly from the website, the pool sessions, and all the advice regarding safety.

In November, setting out on my second or third solo outing, I inadvertently came upon a show and go and was invited to tag along by Jeff Casey, Liz and the Flynn brothers - as a gesture probably to keep me from outright killing myself: I had no skirt, no paddle float, no pump, no spare paddle, no whistle on my PFD, no spare clothes, no radio, no booties, and no gloves (I did have a wetsuit and a dry top). Did I say it was November, and with a 20 knot wind blowing? It’s lame, but I was blissfully unaware I needed these items, and blissfully ignorant of the dangers I faced without them; the friends I have who kayak are rec kayakers and were unaware, too, and my outfitter didn't stress the safety stuff too much. Needless to say, I was MADE aware on that trip, and was thoroughly scolded. The information and the scolding was much appreciated and set me down the right path. I have now collected many of the items I was missing, including a drysuit (and done it all on a budget).

The point is, some people, like me, just don’t know any better and need the help. If I saw those two heading out without skirts and proper clothing, I’d probably say something at this point and feel perfectly justified, because maybe they don’t’ know any better either and being told might make them think twice.

Roger Pollock


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Hi Roger,

I hope to see you on the water again soon.

I firmly believe that we should SPEAK UP when we see people heading out - obviously unprepared - in what we know are risky conditions. Some people will be offended, ignore our advice, and may even give us a hard time. All that will be worthwhile if one person, perhaps one of those young women on Cape Cod last October, takes our advice and puts on a pfd, gets a whistle, etc.

As more nice Spring days bring people onto this cold, cold water, we will be seeing more casual paddlers heading out. Say hi. Ask them about their preparedness.

Liz N.

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Hi Roger, just wanted to make a small correction to your post. My brother and I's last name is Gwynn not Flynn. Didn't want anyone to be confused. I'm glad to see that you have taken our advise and started to acquire the necessary items for safe paddling. I will always speak up to unprepared kayakers, it's their choice to listen or not, but I think I would feel irresponsible if I didn't say anything at all. Hope to see you on the water.


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