No knitting today, as we spent yesterday at Fall Creek Reservoir learning the fine art of wet exits. This is the idea that when you're in a kayak, you might flip, and if you flip, you need to know how to not freak out and then how to get back in the kayak, just in case you're, say, kayaking in shark infested waters or something like that. My kayak is very stable, so my flipping chances are slim to none, yet since we're taking the kayaks here in a few weeks Tim quite wisely thought we should know how to rescue ourselves, just in case.
The class, taught by Jessica and Mark at ORS , led seven us through a series of exercises to help us learn self rescue. First, we donned wet suits, booties, life vests, and a yellow helmet to be prepared (since we were tipping over in fairly shallow water, helmets were a safety precaution). Once we toted the kayaks down to the shore, we did the following:
1. Tip over in your kayak, exit, take kayak back to shore, get back in.
2. Put on a spray skirt, tip over in your kayak, exit, take kayak back to shore, get in.
3. Tip over in your kayak wearing your spray skirt, exit, get back in the kayak (which involves the inflating of a padde float to keep you balanced so you can wiggle up backwards on your kayak and get back in. HEre's an article that describes it:
kayak self rescue .
4. Tip over in your kayak wearing your spra skirt, exit, and get back into the kayak using the buddy system. Basically, this uses a buddy who did not flip over as a replacement for the paddle float. I was the 'buddy', not the 'flippee' on this one, but Tim promises that we'll be able to practice this again. Whoopee!
All this was done in about three hours, and by the time we broke for lunch I was physically exhausted and starting to get sore. After lunch we did paddling techniques. I felt OK but thought that my paddling was very sluggish. I was a bit pleased to return to the shore to find my back hatch was pretty much completely filled with water which significantly increased the weight on my kayak and made me less buoyant (sp?).
Today I ache all over, and have awful bruises on my elbow from some kayaking accident, but feel a bit more in control of things in the kayak. So all in all, a good day!