Sunday, July 6, 2014

Skills Development Day

With summer rain showers in the forecast for this weekend it was the perfect opportunity to head to the beach again. On Saturday morning we met up with Gary and Jane Jacek at Gyro Park (Cadboro Bay) for a day of skills refining. The rain? We planned on getting wet anyway.

While we paddled to Loon Bay to practice some rescues it was a great opportunity to work on blending strokes and edging our P&H Delphins. With lots of boats and anchor buoys on route to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club it was the perfect way to practice our sweep, bow, stern pry, low and high brace turns.

Arriving in Loon Bay Jane gets some last minute tips from Gary before starting her wet exit training.

At the practice area Robyn and I worked on her rolls which are starting to flow much better now that she is keeping her head and torso lower on the back deck to complete the sweep of her paddle. Lifting the head too soon just makes the roll much more physical than it should be.

We then worked on  rescues including the Eskimo or T-Rescue including some that we planned and one that I simply rolled in and waited (yes under water) for Robyn to come to my rescue. She did really a really good job responding to the slight curve ball that I threw her. I wanted to see how she would react and I was very pleased as I watched her bow arrive within hands reach for me to hip flick myself back upright.

Then we did a few wet exits working on refining our technique to reduce the time it takes for the person in the water to get back into the kayak and secured. Our goal is to complete this rescue in less than 1 minute from the time of first contact by the rescue kayaker.

Robyn takes full control of assisting me get back into my kayak. First .... get my kayak empty of water.

Next .... position the kayak for me to re-enter.

Legs in the cockpit and a quick twist to face Robyn

Spray skirt on and ready to paddle again .... Thanks Robyn!

After our 'wet' practice was completed we paddled to Willows Beach through the rocky islets along the coastline. This is where the paddle stokes and edging that we have been working on really proved their value. Rock gardening can be a very rewarding experience especially when maneuvering in very tight channels.

Jane playing in the rock gardens once she got her paddle back from Gary ;-)

On the way to the Willows Beach Tea Room which would be our rest stop we came by a wedding taking place on the beach. Thank goodness the rain had stopped for such a special day!

Our play kayaks at rest while we visited the tea room hot chocolate and snacks

Our track route shows the story of our practice day .... no straight lines just lots of maneuvering.

2014 Paddle # 23 Practice Time
Distance: 4.62 nm (8.55 km)
YTD: 123.13 nm (228.03 km)

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