Saturday, May 29, 2010

scramble rescue

In order to feel safe on the water and be able to paddle alone its necessary to have some sort of self rescue in your arsenal. The best rescue is a good solid roll, next is a reentry and roll, then come a variety of paddle float rescues or scramble rescues. None of these are useful unless they are practiced so that they become instinctive and also in conditions that caused the capsize, usually a bit more active than flat water.
But getting a good rescue always has to have a starting point and on Thursday we hit that point with a lesson on how to get back in your kayak by yourself.
The video shows how easy it can be and how hard it is at the beginning.
Remember, practice practice and then practice again in more difficult conditions.

Friday, May 28, 2010

paddle vs work

 I managed to finish work in time to get to the beach for the Thursday lesson, no I didn`t leave anyone lying on my dental chair with their mouth open, but it was a nice change and a great way to finish the week.
I arrived at the beach to find the group practicing self rescues, there were people in the water, kayaks upside down and paddlers flopping all over the place. Most managed to scramble back into the kayaks and had a lot of fun in the process.[I`m still working on the video ]
Then to finish off the session we went for a short trip through the rocks and reefs .
This is always a lot of fun as you need to exercise all your boat control in order not to end up on the rocks.
Friday afternoon was a different experience altogether, the seas were up to about 1 to 2m and there was a 13k wind, this made getting out through the breakers a nice challenge and then coming back was a free ride with the following seas. There were screams of delight as we caught the waves home.

And the weekend is not finished yet, there is still Saturday  and the forecast is for  1m seas, so there may be a wave or 2 left for us to play on. By the way, there were no scramble rescues tried on Friday, its all very well in flat water, but a different experience when there is strong wind and largish waves.
Better a bombproof roll.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

with the summer comes lots of new paddlers

We have new paddlers almost every weekend, attesting to the growing popularity of seakayaking.

The usual routine in our club is to give a very basic introduction lesson  comprising of an intro to seakayaking, simple safety  concerns, and an hour or so on the water having fun and getting a first exposure to  the kayak. Usually we teach rudimentary boat control, simple steering techniques and aT rescue.

Then if they want to carry on the best way is to join us for our usual outings where we always have the newcomers accompanied by one of our instructors for the duration of the trip. Once they get a bit of confidence and  competence in kayak handling they can come for skills lessons on Thursday evenings.

This system seems to work quite well with almost all having a lot of fun and improving all the time. Obviously the rate of progress is totally individual and depends on each persons desire and commitment.

There is no competition nor pressure and each paddler finds their own level of competence and enjoyment.
If you want to learn more there is always a way and someone to help you.

So instead of standing on the shore and watching us with longing in your heart, come and join us, its more fun on the water.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

no body to play with

Today the sea had calmed down a bit compared to yesterday, and when I got to the club I was the only one going out. I played in the waves a bit and then met Dror on his sit on top Chaos paddle surfer. We had a bit of fun in the waves together and I managed to get a couple of nice shots.

The beach was empty for a while and then began to fill with sailboats getting ready for a competition, but where were my fellow kayakers?

So heres an invitation to all of you with your privately owned kayaks, come paddle with me when the seas are a bit rougher than you normally like.This way you will improve your skills and begin to have more fun in the surf.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This tool can save your life

When the Optimists returned from the first trip to Alaska I received a gift,  a magnesium fire starting tool. Now I do realise that fire can be a lifesaver in a cold climate, and if you can`t start your fire or your cooker you are in for a really miserable time, which in extreme circumstances could be fatal.
Assume the worst, you`ve capsized and lost all your equipment save for your Magnesium fire starting tool, which you had hanging on a chain round your neck and your handy camping knife which you keep strapped to your leg. Now all you need to do is get to dry land, gather some kindling and small twigs etc for a fire.
Scrape the magnesium side to gather the small fillings, turn the tool around and strike the sparking insert with your knife, aiming the sparks down to the magnesium scrapings. With a bit of luck you will soon have a blazing fire to keep you warm, cook your food and send smoke signals to your rescue team who may be out looking for you.
This tool can save your life.
My advice is to try out all your lifesaving devices before you actually need them for real, and practice using them so that when the time comes you know what to do and don`t have to waste time reading the instructions.

Rough water, lots of fun

Here`s a short video of me playing in the rough water today. The video was taken by Hadas with my Canon powershot D10, only because she forgot to charge the battery of her more serious Sony Video camera.Hey Hadas, plug it in for tomorrow!As you can see the video is not so clear when using the zoom feature and its also better to use a tripod. Nevertheless  its a lot of fun.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I`d rather be paddling

Thursday evenings at 5.30, time for skills sessions with Hadas and Yossele.

Unfortunately for me I have to be at work and can`t participate, and believe me it eats me up. I often find myself wishing that my last couple of patients call and cancel, letting me off the hook and able to dash to the club for the sunset sessions .Mostly its the newcomers who attend  , people who have just joined our club and don't yet have all the right moves or oldies wanting to polish up their technique.

Last Thursday my son Eli just happened to be on the beach with his camera and managed to get these great shots of the group as the sun was going down.

Now I have to ask, wouldn't you rather be out there  than stuck at work?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

how to steer your kayak

From the shore , watching a kayker paddle along the coast  looks like nothing could be easier. With little or no effort he seems to glide along, and he aways seems to be going just where he wants to.
One of the first things newcomers learn is that its not so easy to make the kayak go where you want it to go Especially if there is a bit of wind or swell.

Then you learn some steering techniques and maybe a couple of advanced turns too.

Thing is in the open water you are not tested, but if you go rock hopping, and have to get through a narrow opening between the rocks, you need to be more accurate.

Take into consideration the way the sea is moving you, the wave action and the surging water, make sure that there is enough water to get you over the rock or else you will be left stranded and have to wait for the next surge.

Today we went through the reefs along the coast of Ceasarea, for the first timers it was a bit of a challenge but all managed with only minor scratches to the hull.
Of course if you want to make it more of a challenge then do the same trip in rougher water.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

why take part in a kayak competition

Somewhere along the way it became unfashionable to be competitive.I know that in some schools competition is frowned upon because those who don`t win suffer from a lesser self esteem and feelings of inadequacy, and so to make everyone feel good there are no more winners and losers. What a lot of bull. Life is full of competition and we all know that in a race there is only one winner. So what.
Its not the end of the world if someone is faster, stronger or smarter than we are. In fact there will always be someone just ahead of us all the time. That`s not the point, rather we need to be the best that we can be, and  find a balance between our view of perfection and reality.
So , back to our kayak competition. It was a great day, hundreds of kayaks on the water, waiting at the start line for the signal to race and then off we went.
More than the race was the fun of being part of such a large happening, being amongst all those colorful kayaks bobbing out at sea was a great experience, and all those who I spoke to agreed that we should do it more often.
There were also many photographers out there, here are some pictures that Arele took from the shore.