Thursday, February 07, 2008

Collection of Randomness

Life has been fairly crazy lately and chanced to think about paddling have been scarce. Weather and life have conspired to keep the Q-Boat resting in the garage for far longer than is healthy. The odds for getting on the water in the near future look long. This is winter.... Daylight is in short supply, obligations are abundant.
The new year begins with a frantic rush for new life/opportunities/horizons/projects. We meet, we plan, we get ready, we hope, we regroup. It is frantic because new routines are being formed or old ones are being relearned.
I have been doing a bit of reading when I get a chance.... The last issue of Sea Kayaker magazine had several great articles:
One was on the effects of cold water on a paddler. It focused on the dangers of drowning in the first few minutes of exposure: the gasp reflex & confusion.
One was an analysis of a failed attempt to cross Lake Michigan. It is always educational to learn why a trip failed. It reminds us that we are all fallible.
The last was a great article about towing techniques. It also had a discussion about leadership roles: the leadership role can rotate, the leader should be in a position to survey the entire incident. The leader should not be performing the rescue or doing the towing.

From Atlantic Coastal Kayaker:
A great article on skill retention. It talk about how we need to use a skill or it will get bored and leave. It also talked about how a skill can become very situation specific. For instance, if you learn to roll in a pool you may find rolling in the ocean very hard. Moral of the article: practice often and practice in varied conditions.
An article on using the re-enter and roll as a self-rescue technique and using it with a paddle float assist. I have always found the paddle float assisted re-enter and roll to be a better self-rescue than flopping around on my back deck. I feel more stable throughout the rescue. I also like that the paddle stays in my hand.

My Swiss cheese memory cannot locate the authors of the articles or the exact issue numbers for any of the articles. I'm sure the information is paddling somewhere just beyond the horizon of my recall.