If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011: Post 7 – Double Days

Yesterday was my third double day since I got back on the water in February.  By this I mean we did a paddle in the day and then I went to the Saturday night pool session.  These days I enjoy.  For me they are a full day of thinking about, and living kayak.  As soon as I get up in the morning I am gearing up for the days paddle, then paddling and socializing with kayak minded people, then I am putting gear away and then getting ready for the pool, and then putting gear away again before going to bed.  In between there is a lull in the activities, but I am thinking about the days paddle, or thinking about the coming pool session, or thinking about my kayak and gear in some way.   It is a full day’s kayaking experience for me.

First part of my Double Day…

We paddled out of Witless Bay yesterday.  This is the first time I have paddled there, which is funny because it is so close.  Bay Bulls is even a little closer and I have only paddled there twice.  It’s funny how we seem to want to go further down the shore to the more popular spots, like Cape Broyle or Aquaforte.  Granted these places are very scenic and sheltered when the wind is in the right direction.

We paddled along the south side of Witless Bay.  The wind and waves were pretty much in our face going out.  We paddled all the way out to the Top of the Point where we got the full effects of the days wind and swell.  We hung around there for a while and then retraced our way back, stopping for lunch along the way, of course.

There were lots of places along the way to play in the waves; the guys with the helmets took full advantage of some of those play areas.  It was fun to sit and watch them in the waves.  There were a couple of capsizes (another aspect to the ‘double day’); one successful roll, one successful rescue.  When you play like that you have to expect those things to happen.  That’s why you have to periodically practice your rolls and rescues… That’s why our little group (we have begun calling ourselves the Great Big Sea Rovers) practices at St. Philips in whatever conditions we find there (I remember only twice in the last couple of years of our practices being cancelled because the conditions were to intense…).

Second part of my Double Day…

The pool session last night was not the regular affair.  It was a sort of introduction to the Greenland Paddle, sponsored by KNL (Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador).  Some of us have been using a GP for a while, but I believe for some people there it was their first time.  I have been using one exclusively since March last year after I did a 21 km paddle with a borrowed one.  I highly recommend that everyone sincerely tries one before dismissing this ‘stick’.  I am not highly proficient in its proper techniques and don’t profess to be, but I know I can paddle faster and longer with it then I can with a Euro bladed paddle. 

At the Greenland paddle pool session we were shown the forward stroke, the turning stroke (forward and backward), the balance brace, and then the proper technique to roll.   I found out that my rolling form is not correct… and I was doing so well too... so I guess if I want to learn to do it ‘the right way’ I’ll have to practice some more in the coming pool sessions.  I am going to the 2011 Atlantic Paddling Symposium in May and have registered to take the Greenland Paddle sessions.  These are being taught by Maligiaq Padilla (from Greenland) and will be a full day (morning and afternoon sessions) of instruction on using a greenland paddle.  So this will further add to my greenland paddle paddling education.  I expect I will learn some new skills, refine some that I have already learned.  And maybe I'll even unlearn those that I am doing incorrectly…. 


  1. Wow - being taught by Maligiaq Padilla! lucky you!

  2. Believe me, I do consider myself lucky to have the chance to be one of his students. A full day being taught by such an expert should help me greatly in the GP department....