Overboard Skills Session
With Tim Baldauff
September 6, 2008



The day was ideal. North wind at 10 to 15 knots, waves one to two feet and breaking as they approached the beach. Air temp in the 70's, water temp 61.

One lone spectator, Jamie Mock, watched the trio for the entire session. After explaining what we had planned, we paddled out in my 17ft Grumman, vaulted out in deep water and proceeded to reenter the canoe first solo and then with the help of a partner.

Many of these solo reentry attempts were interspersed with rerighting a swamped canoe, a valuable skill in itself. After each had successfully reentered the canoe, we then practiced canoe over canoe rescue. Paul swamped his canoe, Judy and I brought it over my canoe and then helped Paul reenter his canoe by steadying it a bit. Then Judy and I swamped (I am pretty sure that was intentional) and Paul rescued us.

Having explained our outline to Jamie prior to launching, we are sure she thought all of our capsizes and swampings were part of a well orchastrated program. A Huron Police officer also watched from his cruiser and in talking with him later, he too viewed us as competent paddlers who were having a great deal of fun in the waves. I thought it best he leave with fond memories of the event so I hesitated to disappoint him. He was, after all, a fellow paddler and potential OHCRA member.

With capsize practice complete, we three paddled solo in the waves enjoying some broadside rolls and attempting to catch a wave to surf. A whistle broken off of Judy's lifevest seems to have been the only casualty but then bruises usually don't show for another day or two.

As every project must have an evaluation session, we four retired to the local soft serve ice cream establishment (oh yeh, now you are all sad you didn't show up) and discussed future improvements.

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