MOVED TO SUNDAY. Because we can take advantage of Daylight Savings (and based on a request from my wife), I am moving this to Sunday and a little less than 2 hours later.
Darrick has introduced us all to a great place to paddle and has been a favorite all winter because of its relative safety. The tide on that part of the Patuxent will reach peak about 3:45pm so the plan to launch at 1:45pm, paddle for a little under 2 hours, take a break, and then return paddling a little under 2 hours. So we will go with the tide both ways and the river should be at its deepest for the whole paddle. To that end, I am also inviting SUPs (truth is I have done this paddle several times this winter in a kayak and am jonesin' to try it on my SUP).
Website for the launch site: http://www.aacounty.org/RecParks/launch/patuxent_wetlands.cfm
As with most of my moderate paddles, I have no problem breaking into 2 groups if desired. I will lead the slower group if someone else is willing to captain the faster group (same direction, different speeds). If we do break into 2 groups, we will co-ordinate our stops to be at the same time (presumably in 2 different locations) and start our returns at the same time so we all arrive back at the starting point at the same time. If everyone would prefer to stay as one group, that works fine as well.
So now the fine print. While the temps will be in 50's, the water will be about 40 degrees. To that end, all of the usual winter rules apply. You must wear a 1) dry suit, 2) dry top + dry bottom, 3) 3-mil or heavier full wetsuit, or 4) 3-mil or heavier Farmer Jane/John with either a dry top or a neoprene jacket. I would also recommend you bring a Paddle/Splash jacket to either wear or carry with your boat not to mention wearing appropriate cold water boots, hats, and gloves. Don't forget to also bring a full change of fleece clothing in a dry bag to either carry with you. I will send out the official Cold Water Guidelines to those signing up to verify you can meet them (mostly its stuff like PFD, whistle, pump, paddle float, sponge, water, snack, etc). I will bring everything designated as "must have's" for the leader. If you are able to also carry some of the leader stuff (like a tow line or strobe light), let me know. As always I will have a VHF/Weather radio (that also does FRS/GMRS) as well as 2 FRS/GMRS radios (in case no one else brings a VHF radio): all are waterproof and submersible.