Monday, August 24, 2009

The Lower Yough

I haven't had any chances to kayak on other whitewater rivers until now. I have mostly been restricted to the Potomac which is good and bad. It is good as it has allowed me to improve my abilities in a safe manner. But it is bad because I have been stuck in a rut and seem to only do the same section over and over again. I just recently ran Little Falls on the Potomac and it was great as it was new, exciting and fun. That was a prelude to running the lower yough, which is in Pennsylvania. I had a great time and while there was lots of rolling, I didn't have to swim through any rapids. I did have to swim out of an eddy when I wedged my paddle between two rocks. But all in all I had a great time and I think I learned where my current limits are. I hope I get a chance to make it out there again and that I can work on my short comings.

The lower yough is rated class III and IV. But I think other then a couple of rapids, most of the rapids were only class III. Some of the rapids were just straight shots through and others were learning tools. I can't remember the name of the rapid, but it was a very good rapid for doing eddy hopping. The rapid had a series of eddys along the side and the challenge is to go from eddy to eddy, by ferrying across and down. I made it to the first eddy then the current just grabbed me and I couldn't fight it enough. So this is my failing, I need to learn better boat control in the bigger current. But all in all, I had a great time and was with a great group of people. I hope to go again.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Carpe Diem

Seize the day and it will go your way. Or something like that. I have registered for a rough water symposium occurring in Bar Harbor Maine. I am rather looking forward to it but will a bit of apprehension. They can have some really rough water up there. I have decided to register for the BCU 3 star sea training, which will occur in rough water. I did the training in May but there was hardly any rough water for us to really play in so I wasn't able to assess for it. I did assess for the ACA L3 which I successfully received but is only on flat water. The BCU 3 star is carried out in bigger conditions then the L3 as they are different standards. Going with the BCU 3 star though will push my abilities and hopefully make me a better paddler. I was a little surprised to see that the training was over the course of two days. In May the training was a one day training. Just having the two days will more then push me. I just hope I am not pushed so hard that I am unable to assess the last day of the symposium. It is a four day symposium and will take me one very long day of driving to get there and and another to get back.

While there were other events happening at the symposium that I think might have been better for learning individual skills, I think going through a standardized training module will work better for me. Especially since I will be taking the sea kayaking certification in the fall shortly after the symposium. I wanted to certify at the higher L4 level then just at the L3 level. I will accept what I get but the higher level will go further for me in the long run. Especially if everything pans out.

I am going to have a ton of packing and planning to do for this trip. I have to grab a mix of gear as my helmet is normally only used in whitewater. I will need my helmet, cold water gear, emergency gear, a contact strap (which I don't have), camping equipment (time to break out the massive tent) and the cooler from work. I will need to figure out something for meals, especially since I am not sure we will be coming back to the camping sites (or launch point) for lunch. I also don't know how many meals other then the BBQ that will be available. There was mention of a lobster bake that I think I will have to go to, but otherwise I think the remaining meals I am on my own for. What I learned in May at the 3 star training, was to be prepared for anything and to stay out for the day or even longer if something happens. I am not sure when I will be able to leave the DC area. I was hoping to leave Wednesday after work, but it will depend. I was hoping to stop in RI to catch up with someone, but that might not happen on the way up. So much to plan, so little time.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

A week of kayaking

I just spend about a week doing kayaking everyday. I had a white water peer paddle on the wednesday after I got back. Then I was out thursday doing flat water with another group to hone my skills and prepare for the flat water certification. Back out friday for the white water social paddle, then on the weekend I was an instructor each day with a class. Very busy kayaking weekend. I really had fun and while I didn't have much time for other things like laundry I was able to keep up with the kayaking site and get emails out and tweak more stuff. I still really need a viewership and am starting to visit forums to try to bring people over my way.

I just barely had time to do some food shopping on saturday and I made some salsa on Sunday. I still didn't find time to do laundry but I did find a little bit of time to finally pin up the last lace project I was working on. Not sure I like pinning up square lace, but it turned out very nicely. I really do need to find a better way to pin out my lace to dry. At this point though I am not really willing to invest in anything as I am trying to clean out the apartment of junk before I add more stuff in. So until I can get rid of the old backpacking equipment that I don't need, I will have to wait on the lace pinning thing.

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