- Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:26 pm
No,Doug--not just a good post--but a great post. I have not read every single post on the thread, but I do have a few comments I didn't see on the first couple of pages:
First, a really good PFD that surrounds your entire upper body is a great preserver of warmth as well as a flotation device.
Second, if it gets really, really cold and you have to shelter in place, the water prior to the front can be far warmer than being wet in the fast moving air. This should not be taken too far, though as the progress of cold weather continues.
Third, I did see the advice about wearing synthetics and agree with them wholeheartedly. I did not see anything so far about wearing a hat--for sun protection in the summer (along with plenty of fluids and electrolytes) and in the Winter for warmth.
Fourth, always carry a spare paddle. If you lose yours, it is like having an $80 thousand dollar bay boat with no motor. It's just easier to swim towing your Yak than the big boat.
Fifth, I am sure someone mentioned it but carry your cell phone in a water proof container and a WP VHF radio.
Sixth, this was covered repeatedly, but you couldn't hand me a winning lottery ticket if you required me to paddle anywhere, anytime without a GPS. I learned this when running in a power boat in heavy fog, from a cabin I had with some no good fishing buddies right by the Big Jetties in POC, to the Little Jetties and the ICW. I guess I was in the main channel and suddenly I heard the Mother of all foghorns go off--and a huge Crew boat had spotted my sorry little butt on radar. After that, I took a GPS, plotted a course about 200 yards off and parallel to the channel and ran in that way, then curved back to the ICW. A life saver.
Seventh, Paddling skills cannot be over-emphasized. Even if you are venturing only into shallow water, learning proper double blade technique, twisting at the waist and using upper back muscles rather than "arming it" will leave you less fatigued and able not only to enjoy your paddle but to respond positively and forcefully when and if danger threatens.
I agree with wearing some kind of PFD at all times, especially if alone.