Even the re-entry recovery didn't work as well as I would have liked. The backrest on the seat in my kayak seemed too loose. I re-adjusted the backrest and tried a roll again. No bueno. The backrest was loose again. What? I just tightened it up. Upon further inspection the backrest adjustment straps were completely unsecured from their anchor points. Huh. I wonder how that happened?
Upon attending my first "pool session" in many years, I discovered a few things. My first discovery was a good one. Of course it's a good news/bad news kind of situation. I can still roll my kayak back up after a capsize. I haven't practiced that technique in a while, so I wasn't all that … Continue reading Safety Discoveries and Kayak Upgrades
For me, self rescues are the only thing I wanted to work on, because assisted rescues will not be an option on my trip. I have done pool sessions in the past. They're fun. This time it's different. If I flip my kayak out in the middle of the Mississippi River, most likely there won't be anyone there to help me. It will be on me to rescue myself. This is serious stuff now.
It is also important to go through the whole process BEFORE you go on your trip, because it is never a good idea to take untested equipment, gear, techniques, methods, etc., out into the wild.
If I find myself in a situation where I have no other choice than to invade a barge's personal space, as happened on my Illinois River trip a few times, I will rely on my marine radio to make the tow captain aware of my presence and follow their instructions. The tow boat captains probably don't want the bad PR associated with killing a paddler and I don't want to become fish food. I admit, my motivation level might be a bit higher than theirs, but working together, I'm confident we can avoid my demise. I certainly hope so anyway.
Contrary to what some people think, I have never been much for adventure. To me, an adventure sounds a lot like un-necessarily dangerous endeavor. My goal is to eliminate as many dangers and risks as possible from my trip.
Well … it’s the middle of December here in Central Illinois. I haven't been out on the river since late October. When I was younger the paddling season never ended. It slowed down a bit in the Winter, but I used to paddle all year round. Those days are long gone. Now days my paddling … Continue reading Winter blahs