Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beginner Kayaking...

Well. That didn't go as well as I had hoped it would. :(

Started out by spending about 3 hours talking about boats, safety, water, safety, etc. We had to try on all of our stuff - spray skirts, helmet, pfd. The spray skirt that I had borrowed was a tad small and a bitch to get on. I borrowed one from one of the instructors that fit much better. After a break for lunch, we carried our stuff down to the lake to begin our water training.

OMG. That boat was/is freakin' heavy and killed my shoulders. There is no easy way to carry the thing plus everything else. Guess I should have put the pfd, helmet, skirt on but didn't think about that. Our first exercise consisted of performing a wet exit. This is with the boat flipped over, you underwater and you have to pull the spray skirt off and exit the boat. I did this fine, but didn't wear nose plugs and got a crap load of water up my nose. This made my head hurt the whole day.

Once everyone had done this, we headed out to a secluded area to practice different paddling strokes/maneuvers and to practice bow rescues. Bow rescues involve another boat coming up to the overturned boat and that person uses the rescue boat to help right themselves, therefore, not having to wet exit. My first one resulted in a wet exit and towing the boat back to shore, emptying it of water and trying again. More paddle stuff, then we headed across the lake.

Good grief. That boat just didn't want to go the way I wanted it to go. It is a very fast boat, but once it starts to get offline and you don't correct it soon enough, then I had to start over or I over-corrected. On the other side of the lake, we practiced paddling on an edge to see what it's like on a river. Then paddle back across the lake and be done. Before we headed back, we were just floating around, resting I guess, for probably 15 minutes. I think the tiredness set in on me during that time becuase I just couldn't get the boat back across the lake without difficulty. And, the muscle soreness was already setting in.

Once back to shore, carry everything back up to our cars. OMG. My shoulders hurt so bad from carrying the boat. I have bruising on both shoulders from this. And bruises on my thighs from the thigh braces. There was no padding in the boat what-so-ever and it wasn't very comfortable. Everyone was discussing where we would be going on Sunday to finish up the course on moving water. It was decided that the Cape Fear would be best and we would meet at MacGreggor Village at 7:30AM the next morning.

Well....after getting home, I didn't do anything but lay around. My head hurt from the water, my upper body from the paddling. OMG. I was SO tired. I decided that if I didn't feel better in the morning, that I probably wouldn't go to the Cape Fear. I didn't go. I just couldn't carry that boat to the water on my shoulders again. So, I called the instructor and cancelled. I didn't do anything the rest of the day but lay around watching TV. I eventually got out around 5:30 and took the mtb to Umstead and rode about 10 miles.

I think I would like to try this again, but I want to try in a boat that fits me better, doesn't make my legs go numb and possibly not as heavy. And, I would like to try again in an environment that allows me to get more comfortable with being attached to the boat and upside down under water so that I can utilize a bow rescue and not have to wet exit. I think it could be something fun to do, but I didn't have as much fun doing this last weekend.....

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