Saturday, November 28, 2015

Working Through The Hand Of God

A couple weeks back we headed out to the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon with Kari Challenger to work on a rescue that we all hope that we will never have to do for real. Kari is a paramedic in Vancouver and recently we have had many discussions about providing CPR while on the water and how to perform the Hand of God rescue. 

For those of you who might not know what the Hand of God is, it simply is rescuing an upside down kayaker who might be unconscious or simply is trapped inside the cockpit which I have seen happen a few times. Thankfully in both cases another paddler was close by and righted the paddler with the Hand of God rescue. Could you perform a Hand of God rescue if that happend?

Kari and I spent some time watching videos on the internet prior to attempting it for the first time and we talked through the steps that needed to happen for it to be successful. For our scenario we had Robyn close by for me to use a T-Rescue as an option instead of wet exiting my kayak if the Hand of God didn't work out. She also was able to video how Kari managed both attempts allowing for review later. Robyn and I video all of our training sessions when working on new techniques and even when refining some of the basics.

A few comments about what happened. On the first attempt Kari did a really good job in getting me upright in a continuous motion. On the second attempt you'll notice that my kayak gets caught on hers which prevented her from continuously rolling me. The difference was that on the second attempt her lower hand didn't stay on the cockpit combing pushing my kayak down and away from hers. She then had to resort to using a lot of muscle power to finish off the rescue. In both cases then end result was the same but the little technical things make so much difference.

At lot of you are probably heading to pool sessions over the winter. Why not try and figure out the Hand of God rescue?

2015 Paddle #41 - Rescue Training
Distance: 0 nm (0 km)
YTD: 256.15 nm (474.39 km) Needs editing once Nuchatlitz blogs are complete.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Port Renfrew Playtime!!

Yeah I know .... I haven't blogged in a few months (shamelessly holding my head low). So a quick update on our adventures.

Our September Nuchatlitz trip tracks
Since our last post in August (really??) we went on a multi day trip to the Nuchatlitz in September with four other paddlers which was so amazing in every aspect that I will blog the adventure for you now that the rainy winter season is upon us.

I managed to get out on to the ocean once with Kari Challenger who was with us on the Nuchatlitz trip for a day of rescue refreshers while on a paddle to Rum Island. More about rescues with Kari in a future blog post :-)

Since then Robyn and I have been in the pool a couple of times working on things like the other side or if you prefer the offside roll. ;-) Surprisingly I figured it out during our first pool night which is cool so now I can spend the rest of the winter pool sessions refining it.

Other than that we haven't been on the water at all as our other life stuff (volunteering and work) has taken up a lot of our time. Refocusing our energy we have decided to step back from a few volunteer obligations and focus ourselves to a couple causes that are dear to our hearts. This will leave us time to do what we love best .... go play on the water!!!

A couple of weeks ago we managed to join up with Patti and Yves of Go Kayak who were camped out at the Pacheedaht Campground in Port Renfrew for a day of rock gardening. Shortly after arriving fellow paddlers Gene, Reale, Michel and Gerhardt joined the group to do some rough water play paddling.

Launching at the mouth of the Gordon River
The campground is situated right at the mouth of the Gordon River which makes for easy launching of our kayaks especially on this day when the surf was a gnarly mess of 5 foot cresting waves pounding the beach. Great conditions for the mass of surfers present but there was no way a kayak could launch from the main beach without basically getting the crap beaten out of you.

Lots of moving water today :-)
Our group paddled out of the river and explored the many sea arches, slots and other rock formations on the north side of the inlet on our way out towards Thrasher Cove. With no wind we only had to contend with big sets of swells arriving in a cycle of every 7th or 8th wave which challenged us every time we went into a play zone.

A BIG 'boomer' at Hammond Rocks

The wave energy was pretty amazing and it was the most we have experienced at Port Renfrew creating some interesting timing issues as I found out quickly a few times when the "big ones" exploded around me (us) while in the middle of a feature. A little unnerving at first but only a few close calls of nearly capsizing with some colorful language got me pretty stoked quickly. Ya!! I loved every minute of it!!

Here's a little video of our fun and it's "G" rated with the music replacing the odd &$#@(&%!!!

2015 Paddle #40 - Port Renfrew Rocks!!
Distance: 8.50 nm (15.74 km)
YTD: 256.15 nm (474.39 km) Needs editing once Nuchatlitz blogs are complete.