Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chasing Two Stars

This may sound hypocritical given that I've previously said that chasing BCU stars is silly for recreational sea kayakers, but I really wanted to nail my BCU 2 Star assessment.
Last summer I took a 2 Star training with H. Greg Paquin was doing a series of 2 Star trainings and a number of the RICKA sea kayakers took the training over the course of the summer. It is a good overview of basic boat control skills. H and I can always use a brush up on basic skills.
Greg, and his partner Paula, do a great job teaching people across various levels of experience and skills. Both H and I enjoyed the class and got a lot out of it.
At the end of the day, Greg offered us the chance to assess for the 2 Star award. The RICKA paddlers who taken earlier sessions had all taken the assessment and passed, so I figured I should take it as well. I also figured it shouldn't be too difficult to pass....
Well, at the time I choked and didn't pass. I spent the winter and part of the summer smarting from that. I know that I've got the same basic skill level as the paddlers who passed the assessment, but just couldn't get my act together enough to assess. Getting the 2 Star became important As a point of personal pride.
So, I practiced the basic skills whenever I had the chance. When Greg offered me a chance to assess this past weekend, I jumped at it. I was a little worried that I'd choke again, but was willing to take the chance. One thing I had going for me was that I was too tired, babies are not conducive to sleeping, to over think things.
Greg ran me through the paces and this time I passed. One of the nice parts of the assessment is that it is more than a test. Greg pointed out areas where I can improve my skills throughout the exercise. For example, he pointed out that I don't consistently face my work.
Now that I've assessed for the 2 Star, I'm actually thinking about taking the 3 Star assessment..... After taking the training again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday is for Fun

I missed the kayaking fun over the fourth of July weekend because H and I were off having a wholly different adventure. The following weekend was filled with family adventures and adjusting to the reality of having a small child.
So when BH sent an e-mail around asking if anyone was interested in playing in the lunar currents at Westport at the end of the week, I immediately asked for permission to paddle. H, knowing that I could easily go mad without regular ocean adventures, granted me a day pass with the condition that I didn't do anything stupid. (Imagine me doing something stupid.)
The weather was perfect for a paddle: hot and sunny. We met at 1:30 and took our time getting on the water. I, as usual, took more time that the others. I was in a bit of a sleep deprived fog which I hear wears off when the kids turn twenty five.
We paddled down to he mouth of the river and found things to be pretty calm. We puttered around for a bit while the current built up. BH and JS were itching for some big surf, but I was more than happy to putter for a bit. I just enjoyed the freedom of being on the water.
The race never built up any good standing waves, but it did offer some nice conditions for practicing skills. We played with leaning the kayak when crossing eddy lines. TM and I did some rolling in the current. I practiced some basic boat control stuff.
It was enough to ease back in after a two week hiatus. Also, my head was not fully in the game. Half of my mind was thinking about the bug. It was strange and wonderful at the same time. This will take some adjustment time.
I enjoyed my time on the water and returned home recharged. Paddling, while not as important or as enriching as family, plays a big part in maintaining my sanity. Still going home was extra nice.