Well spring has finally sprung and as we are blowing the dust off of our paddling gear and getting ready to hit the water, there are few things you may want to consider before you hit the high seas or to practice in your swimming pool. The lure of warm, sunny days and open water is enticing for land-bound paddlers coming out of a long winter. But be careful. Just because the air temperature is warm doesn’t mean you’ll be safe in the water. The water is still cold. Although the outside temps may me in the double digits, the water is still around 6 degrees where we are and can paralyze you within a couple of short minutes. If you do decide to go for a paddle, here are a few tips for you to think about.
1) Check the local MARINE forecast to see where and how strong the winds are predicted for that day. If they are hitting 20 knots then you may want to reconsider.
2) Paddle with a friend and learn how to do a rescue. It is really simple to learn and can save your life. I have witnessed a few close calls and it was frightening.
3) Make sure your gear is in good shape and the little rodents did not gnaw a hole in your boat. The squirrels ate a hole in one of mine to try and find the granola bar I left in the rear hatch over the winter. They succeeded.
4) If you are paddling to your destination leave a trip float plan on your dash of your car so that people can see it.
5) If you are an inexperienced paddler then paddle with a group of experienced friends and dress for the worst even if it is a sunny spring day. The water is il fait tres froid.
6) Let someone know your return time and if you are not back by that time have them call for help.
Over the past 16 years at North River Kayak Tours we have been offering sea kayak training and certifications. If you are thinking of getting involved in paddling or want to sharpen up your present skills feel free to contact me any time for more information or go to our web site at northriverkayak.com.
Have a safe and happy spring folks and we will see you on the water.