OUR MISSION: If you have been thinking of trying kayaking or canoeing but don't know how to get started, this is the place for you. We do scenic paddling designed to help beginners get into the sport we love so much. We also introduce all our paddlers to a variety of paddling location. Experienced Paddlers are always welcome and are encouraged to help lead some of our trips. Paddlers using Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP) must be experienced and must demonstrate that they are able to keep up with the group.
BEFORE YOU PADDLE: Educate yourself about the area in which you will be paddling, and carry appropriate gear, clothing, water, food. etc. Always check the weather forcast before launching. You alone are responsible for making the decision to launch your boat.
PFD's: Personal floations devices or Life Jackets MUST be worn by all our paddlers properly zipped and/or buckled at all times while on the water, in the manner intended by the manufacturer. Persons not willing to follow this requirement are not permitted on our trips. Inflatable PFD's are NOT allowed without a non-inflatable backup PFD.
OUR PADDLES: All paddles are on weekday evenings (no Weekend paddles) and will start at 6:00 PM and end just before sunset. Please arrive a couple minutes early if possible. We will not wait for paddlers that arrive after 6:00 PM. Since our paddles end close to SunSet, it is a Strongly Suggest that you bring a Light (flashlight) just in case we do not get off the water before dark. It is also strongly suggested that each paddler carry a whistle or other signaling device as required by the US Coast Guard. For FULL MOON or other after dark paddles, ALL PADDLER MUST carry a light and whistle. For paddles in navigable waters (such as Mystic Seaport), ALL PADDLER MUST carry a light and whistle.
We limit the number of paddlers on each meetup for safety reasons based on several factors including the location, available parking, and other reasons. If you sign up for a paddle and can not attend, please change your response to NO at least 4 hours prior to the paddle. We will be taking attendance at most paddles. To cancel, go to the paddle description, on the right side there is a GREEN RSVP box. Click on change your RSVP. If you do not show up for a paddle and have not cancelled, your RSVP for future paddles may be changed to No. Three no shows and you will be removed from the meetup group.
We are a group for new and experienced paddlers who would like to explore a variety of sites in Southern New England while learning and building their skills. Membership is $5.00 to cover the cost of the meetup webpage and other expenses. We also encourage you to consider joining the Rhode Island Canoe Kayak Association (RICKA) and the Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association (WPWA). Both these organizations offer many more paddling opportunities as well as other outdoor activities. RICKA and WPWA also provide support for this group and without them this meetup group would not exist.
We paddle Weekdays evenings after work all around eastern CT and southern RI. When possible (based on leaders availability) rain dates will be on the following evening if possible. We try to choose beautiful areas that are both easy and relatively safe for new paddlers. We go to a different location every week all through the season (May through early September).
Rentals will not be available. If you wish to rent a kayak, you most make your own arrangements. Some of our members have extra kayaks and let people use them. If you need to cancel let that person know at least 4 hours before the meetup. If you ask to borrow a kayak and do not show up for the paddle, you may be removed from the meetup group.
TRAINING NIGHTS: Tuesday is training night (once a month) at WPWA. You may bring your kayak and gear, or it will be provided to you with the training. We ask for a minimum of a $20 donation to WPWA which includes use of a Kayak, PFD (life jacket) and Paddle. You can also bring your own equipment to these classes. If you need to cancel please let us know at least 4 hours before the training begins. If you do not show up for the training, you may be removed from the meetup group.
The training provided is basic paddle training for people with limited experience. You can learn the correct strokes so you paddle with the least effort enabling you to go longer distances. We also go over some basic kayak safety information.
OTHER PADDLING OPPORTUNITIES: As your skills build, you may wish to join RICKA which offers many Canoeing and Kayaking opportunities. To do this you will need your own kayak or canoe, or rent on your own. It is the perfect way to find all the great places to paddle in southern New England and more. Please visit the RICKA website at www.ricka.org to learn more. WPWA also has paddling and other outdoor events that you may want to consider. Visit WPWA at www.wpwa.org.