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Osprey Spring Fling


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I signed up for the dynamic water workshop hosted by Osprey today. Unfortunately conditions were a little too dynamic on the ocean so we launched on the sakonnet river. There were about 15 of us total, including the 3 instructors. Brian Smith (of Eastern Horizons fame) helped get things kicked off by persuading a bunch of New Englanders to join in a kind of Maori warm up exercise, better demonstrated than described.

We started with practicing ferrying into current, after a bunch of us (oh ... okay me!) failed to find the right angle Todd recalled us to the beach and we spent some time perfecting the stern draw. This was really useful and we got to go back out and practice, this time with better results. After lunch we took a longer paddle up river and into driving rain and headwinds ... to warm up. And then practiced some rescues in significant conditions before surfing back to the put in.

It was a cold day, the thermometer in my truck said 39 for air temperature and I cant imagine the water was much warmer. Most were in dry suits; I was wearing a wetsuit drytop combination which worked well (was only cold during the beach briefing) but I would not want to have been immersed for long. My NRS neoprene gloves worked pretty well; but would have been best paired with pogies and I definitely need a neoprene cap or balaclava; I wore my helmet which helped.

It was great to get back out on the water after a long winter. Many thanks to Todd, Brian and Carl and the folks at Osprey for hosting this event. Looking forward to the open water class in May.


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