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Thoughts for improving trips

From: Saul_K
Sent on: Monday, July 20, 2009 11:50 PM
More thoughts from Saul

We had a pretty good weekend in the San Juans, looking at how it went and what could go better made me think a bit. It was an open to beginners trip, so I had to keep things manageable for the weaker skilled members. When we missed our launch window on Saturday it meant we had to significantly alter the route. About half the group fell into the begginner category as they hadn?t demonstrated self rescues or built their proficiency in bracing.

The areas for improvement:
We missed our ferries and had to take later ones
We missed our scheduled launch and had to revise the trip
The trip had less paddling than desired
Some car pool drivers were uncomfortable getting gas money or ferry money from passengers

How to improve:
Leave on schedule, that would have taken care of the ferries, the launch schedules and the paddling distances. This may involve leaving people behind if they aren?t ready.
Define the carpool reimbursement requirements in the event description, that way everyone is on the same page.
Arrange for a back up leader to take the more advanced paddlers out for a longer more challenging alternate when I have to pull things in for the beginners. This will likely upset those that think they are advanced but really aren?t, when they can?t go.
Take all the extra kayaks up on my trailer rather than wasting time loading them on various roof racks and just split the trailer cost amongst the group (it can be calculated in advance). This would greatly help departure times.

My plan going forward:
Put on more bracing and self rescue training sessions for those that want to develop their skills, anyone willing to help?
The Lake is really warm these days, so more of you should be willing to participate.

Use the trailer for San Juans trips to keep the departures on schedule.

Publish estimated costs including trailer and carpool reimbursements, I'm thinking something like 20-25 cents per mile per person, I think that that is what the Mountaineers use for a rate.

Leave on schedule

Anyone else have any suggestions feel free to let me know.

Thanks - Saul

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