Monday, July 14, 2014

Kayak Safety course

On Saturday, my wife Anna and I took advantage of the kids being off with their grandparents and attended the Introduction to Paddling kayak safety course put on by the folks at OutdoorsNB.    This was the first time in perhaps years that Anna and I did something fun together without the kids outside of the house!  

While both Anna and myself are comfortable in kayaks, neither of us had ever tipped over or had to get back in a kayak out in the water and it's a skill and experience that anyone who enjoys paddling really should have.

The course went over a lot of topics including preperation, gear, having a float plan, and so on.  While the course pertained to sea kayaking, much of the course material easily translated to my sit on top fishing kayak.  

Jeremy went over paddling techniques, different types of strokes and when to utilize them, and eventually the part we were all waiting for, falling out and getting back in!    After demonstrating this to us, Anna was the first to tip herself.    While the fall wasn't as graceful and it could have been, Anna and her partner did a fantastic job flpping the kayak back over, clearing it of water and gettting back in!

It took a little effort for me to tip over the Predator.   I had to really lean my whole body over the side.   While standing however, it only took a single misstep to lose balance and fall out.   I tried using a kayak ladder to get back in the Predator by myself.   The ladder worked great to flip the Predator back over, really I could never have flipped it back over without it.   However it was useless for getting back into the Predator.  My first time getting back in the kayak was with the help of a partner.   However I fell out twice more (on purpose!) to try figure out how to get back in alone.   Eventually I figured out the trick, that was to use my anchor trolley line to pull myself up onto the rear of the kayak.    While it wasn't easy, I was able to do it a couple of times.

Typically the rear of my kayak is filled with fishing gear.   So if things ever happened to cause me to fall out of the kayak when it's loaded with gear, I'd have to either move the gear around, or re-enter from the front.   

My thanks to the guys at Outdoors NB for putting this course together.   Again, I highly recommend anyone that enjoys kayak fishing to take a course like this and experience what you will need to go through should an accident happen on the water!