This Kayak group introduces paddling events in the cooler weather on the Flat Water Rivers generally in the Hartford County area during the Spring and Fall season. Further away areas will be introduced when sufficient strength is acquired to handle a longer trip.
As soon as the air and ocean water temp reaches a point where it is safe enough, we will start to explore the selected CLEANER WATER shore areas generally between GUILFORD CT to WESTERLY RI AREA'S put ins.
Coves, estuaries, tidal rivers and some open ocean paddling out to a few islands are part of the mix for all to join in on.
I have a few new areas of exploration and i plan to introduce them as the skills of the majority increases. This helps the new paddlers just joining us for the first time to explore with us and it enhances the feeling of security to them.
Please remember: "Don't buy junk kayaks or junk equipment" (I learned the hard way) but if you already have purchased your boats or can't afford the good equipment, join us anyway. The primary goal of this group is to enjoy paddling while helping each other to naturally gain skills. You will learn what kinds of kayaks and equipment is safer and how to use them without overspending.
One of the best things to learn is Self Rescue because you never know when you will go into the water especially when no one may be around to get to you easily or in a timely way.
Please watch the following video: Paddle Float Entry:
( In the Spring you will be able practice this with us at Bolton Lake prior to the ocean events) :
A good thing to practice is the "Assisted Rescue" Heel Hook re-Entry:
> The now swimmer floats parallel to their boat on back in water with head towards his/her stern resting until ready while you are holding the boat steady for them up against yours.
:have themraise their OUTSIDE leg and HOOK their leg under the foredeck oftheir boat.
: using that leg as a lever, their inside arm can be used to also steady against any life line (you can also help pull on the outside arm), then have them roll themselves toward you so they endup on to their boat with their stomachs down above the seat.
: From this point have them roll in either direction to an upright position while sliding down into the cockpit position until they are ready and comfortable enough to start to paddle again.
All Events will be chosen to be in places where there are: NO boat launching FEES and adequate parking.
I plan the events based on river flow rates, ocean tides, water temp, wind speed, and other weather conditions to provide the best outcome for all.
With all events, there is the Traditional Pot Luck Barbie-q's, a fire pit and plenty of time to enjoy socializing into the evening so please plan to join us for the whole day.
I have a "Hopeful" course and destination when i post an event. There is usually an unknown exact paddle time on the water since things change as we go along, as a group some can cut the course short and meet us at the Barbie-Q spot The others can continue to the paddle destination as listed. It is always more of a group decision as to when its time to call it "Dinner Time" or when we have had enough for the day.
You have to carry a PFD *Required by Law* and if possible attach a whistle to it to alert others if you are in danger.
It is not always necessary, However, Please wear your PFD at all times (this makes it easier on everyone in the event you do capsize especially if you don't have the proper skills to get back in efficiently, are physically out of shape, or are injured in any way) the whistle alerts more people to your need). I wear mine at all times because i learned the hard way once and live to tell you to wear yours now, i don't want to tow a dead body with a drag rope all the way down the river or to the shore then have to answer legal questions on why you are dead.
If possible, and if you can afford it, get a small light or a headlamp which is ok (not really leagal, but better than nothing) for the very few evening paddles i may have or for finding your stuff in the dark, a paddle float for re-entry, http://www.outdooreyes.com/paddlefloatrescue.php3 ,a paddle leash and a hand water pump (or bailing sponge) are also nice to have available on your yak. Think of the items as your own Cheap Life Insurance.
Spray Skirts are NOT Required in this group yet are encouraged after you have mastered a few wet exits and feel comfortable in their use.
Since UN-planned conditions vary greatly, i prefer novices to get out of their kayaks quickly and a spray skirt without many practice wet exits is more of a liability than help.
If you are using a spray skirt and you need to extricate your self quickly, please have a WHITE ball on the Grab Loop so you can find it easier while being upside down in darker water.
DISCLAIMER: Water sports are inherently and obviously more dangerous than most activities found on Meetup, however its much safer if you know how to self rescue, have some safety equipment, and are willing to learn some new skills along with being in acceptable physical shape.
Your way of knowing if you are in shape is to try to any self re-entry procedure at least 3 times successfully in deeper water while we are with you to assist if you need it along with being able to paddle for a few hours.
As you join us from the beginning of the season you will gain enough strength to handle the ocean trips of apx 11 miles or so naturally.
As a group we will attempt to save you as best we can given our own limitations, you have to do your part by being prepared for emergencies too. Please don't hold me or the group responsible for your actions if they are beyond our help, control, or reasoning.
This is a group of paddlers that enjoy the group environment, we learn things from each other, attending some events that promote safety, ( DEP, Coast Guard..our own practice..etc).
This group is not a business, a dues paying club or professional tour group, and there no kayak instructors are involved.
It is just a group of paddlers sharing in an enjoyable activity while learning as we go along.