|Sent on:||Tuesday, August 6, 2013 3:49 PM|
Gail and I met up recently at the USS Slater paddle and had some time to talk about the group's status and accomplishments. We are both very happy that the group has evolved to where it basically runs itself...that so many people are posting and contributing. We both love it when we are able to be a participant without hosting, along with being introduced to new places we have never been to before. With that said, don't be afraid to post yourself or suggest a paddle for someone else to post....even if you are going somewhere last minute and want company.
While we have been lucky and do not know of any serious injuries so far, we have been aware of some potentially dangerous situations. Be aware of and follow every safety regulation that an event host posts and those that your gut tells you to follow. DO NOT TAKE CHANCES.
Do not paddle with or accept rides from those you do not know...just because they are in our group, does not mean that we know everyone. No one should make you feel uncomfortable and you have every right to decline a paddle or ride without intimidation. Please report any uncomfortable situations to us so we can prevent it from happening to someone else.
If there is a situation where you feel like there is extreme danger of harm or injury, please do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. This includes someone caught in rough water, rollovers in cold waters, a health concern/injury or anything else that alarms you including inappropriate behavior. We do not want to have regrets or be kicking ourselves later.
We also discussed the issue of people leaving the group paddle to venture out on their own or leaving the paddle early for whatever reason. We would really appreciate that you notify us or someone in the group if you do so. While we realize you are not our responsibility, we do look out for you and worry.
Please take advantage of paddling skills classes for the newbies and also those for our more experienced paddlers...no matter what level you are, you can always learn something new. We are very lucky, honored and continually grateful to have Alan Mapes and Mike Cavanaugh (aka Mike C.) as instructors and masters of paddling knowledge and safety...check out their page on our site.
Lastly, keep essential safety items on board such as whistles, paddle tethers, bilge pumps, lights, food, water, etc.
Nanci Lutz is organizing a project which involves ordering litter bags so we can safely pick up litter on the water if we choose to. We love this facet of the group which helps us align with the idea of giving back to and protecting the environment. Nanci has selected a nice logo that will bear our group name on the bag. She and some other members donated the funds to purchase these bags for our group so if you are interested in helping us get more, contact Nanci directly. I believe they are $3.50 a bag.
If you have not been given a plastic name tag, please ask me for one...we recommend that each paddler wear them and put their emergency contact/health data on the back in case it is needed.
Many, many thanks to all of you for making this group a success. Happy paddling from both of us. Feedback, comments and input are welcome.
Sharon and Gail.
Capital District Kayakers Organizers