Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RECAP - the 2010 Paddling Otaku expedition skills camp

With the skills camp ending a few days ago, I have had some time to go over the event in some detail. I must say I am very happy with how well it went.

We had some last minute cancellations, so the group was smaller than I had hoped. But the participants were literal sponges for expedition information. With topics including meal planning, float plans, basic navigation, loading kayaks, making camp, where to store boats, how to dress for the water, etc.

The culmination of the event was a long paddle day. In my opinion the best skill for an expedition paddler to have is the ability to spend a long day in a cockpit. It is the only way to get the kind of productive mileage you need to maintain to accomplish a long distance paddling goal. We hit the water on Saturday morning right on time around 9:30 am. We spent 40 minutes looking for a water source - something not uncommon on an expedition - and then started paddling. We took a break an hour and a half later, earlier than I would have liked, but didn't stop again for another two hours. In all we paddled just shy of 17 miles, in just around 6 hours. I was very proud of how well people did in terms of keeping comfortable, and keeping focused.

I shot a little video, but probably wont post anything. I hope we get to do the 2011 expedition skills camp in the spring. This time some place with tides!

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