Thanks to trainers Doug Taylor, Monica Russell and Penny Taylor, seven club members learned and revisited kayak rescue and paddling skills in the club’s annual rescue workshop. In a separate afternoon session, five members and guests were introduced to the use of the Greenland paddle. The day was cool, partly sunny and rather windy, but still the best day of a wet blustery week.
Doug and his fellow trainers have adopted a ‘backwards’ approach to teaching assisted rescue. Rather than starting with the dreaded “dump yourself upside down” (otherwise known as a wet exit), this step is taught last, after participants have practiced emptying a swamped boat and re-entering with the help of a fellow paddler. Participants unanimously preferred keeping wet heads and water up the nose until the end of the session.
In the afternoon, club members learned about the history and construction of the Greenland paddle and practiced various strokes in a short tour of the lake. Paddling technique is quite different from that of the Euro paddle, and is considered very efficient for long trips, especially in windy conditions. The shorter and lower stokes place less stress on the shoulders. For the older paddler, this is a real advantage.
Once again organized through Coast Mountain Expeditions, the two workshops were both well received and very useful. Several participants mentioned that they would like to see self-rescue included in future workshops, which will likely require some advance information about proper deck rigging.
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