2/2 note - I'm floating this to the top because this actually is important for more than winter paddlers. The beginning of February may seem like a weird time to have a cold-water workshop (Randy's timing, back at the beginning of winter, might seem to make more sense) but it's February, and that means that Spring is right around the corner - and that's probably the worst time of year for sad accidents involving boaters who were tempted out by one of those softly lamblike days in late March or early April, without realizing that the water is still very much in lion mode. Every year, sure as the daffodils bloom, experienced boaters hear the reports of boating deaths, and shake their heads over it, because it's so easy to figure out what happened. And it's so sad, because it's so avoidable - all it takes is a little education. Seriously, if you haven't attended one of these, and you're planning on getting your boat out as soon as the air gets warm - I'd really recommend checking with your friendly local kayak club or outfitter to see if there's a similar presentation in your area. Or at LEAST check out the cold-water paddling page over on my useful-info links. Because in the Spring, what you don't know can hurt you very badly.
Quick heading-out-the-door-from-work post, primarily of interest to Connecticut paddlers, especially those who might have spent a season or two as seasonal paddlers & have been reading about my quiet adventures with TQ in the Norwalk Islands, and are thinking that winter paddling sounds nice - well, it's definitely more complicated than summer paddling - but it can be absolutely marvelous, if you're dressed right, know the risks, and know how to prepare.
You can learn a lot about cold water paddling this coming Saturday, February 3rd, at the in South Norwalk. The workshop begins at 10:30, and ends with a tryout!
Here's the details from their website:
The Small Boat Shop's COLD WATER clinic will be February 3rd at 10:30 am. The store offers the free clinics to help frost biters ensure their safety on the water.
Speakers will explain the risks and dangers of cold water shock and hypothermia.
They will review and discuss the pros and cons of cold water accessory gear, dry suits and wet suits. Participants may don all clothing and go jump in the river (Norwalk River)...all for free!
The Small Boat Shop Cold Water Clinics have become a favorite and standard for area winter paddlers and boaters and are well worth your attendance. Dry suits are discounted.
Driving directions & more information can be found at www.thesmallboatshop.com.
Might even see you there - drysuit tryouts could make for some fun picture! 2/2 update #2 - nope, not going, the idea of attending was based on possibly of getting out for a paddle after the workshop to kill some time 'til TQ got finished at work; I would've been going solo, though, and tomorrow's forecast for S. Norwalk isn't what I would want it to be for a solo paddle. A small craft advisory PLUS subfreezing temperatures puts conditions a bit beyond that which I consider acceptable for paddling by myself. Either one of those by itself might be OK - both, together? I like my paddling to be fun, and that could turn very un-fun way, way, WAY too easily.