It seems a fellow I met this spring at the 2014 Pacific Paddling Symposium had some unplanned adventure recently. Although Jaime Sharp found himself in a situation he couldn't get out of without outside help, he was well prepared. Here is how Jaime described the experience on his Yak About Adventures facebook page:
So.... a casual day paddle along the coast of Oregon turned into one of the top 5 epic moments of my life. I had not planned to go rock gardening, and wasn't even wearing my helmet. Tara decided to paddle through a gap in the rocks (I gap I wasn't planning on going through) during a lull in the swell, and I thoughtlessly followed her Assuming she wouldn't go unless she felt real safe (she hates rock gardening). I followed with a giggle that quickly turned into a choke ..... A huge wave formed up and Tara was only just going to make it... I wasn't...
First action make sure will behind me was not coming in too by turning and signalling stop (he was back paddling already) 2nd action I started to turn to face it, thinking "fuck I am not wearing my helmet I am gonna die!" ........A few violent moments later I found my self atop a spire of rock amazed that I only suffered 5 minor cuts, watching my boat sink and get bashed to bits in the surge and rocks, and wondering how to get out of this jam.
This was how we ended up solving the issue... The cost $4000 plus in gear, but the ride home free.
Full incident report, debrief and short action film to come on a blog soon.
While things went badly for Jaime that day, there were a few things he did right. At the end of the Coast Guard video you can see that Jaime had a small drybag with him. This is likely his "ditch kit", stored in an easy to grab spot (on his lap, perhaps) so that when he ditched the kayak he had something that floats and contains his survival "essentials". Jaime or his group also had the ability to communicate their need for help. Jaime is a very experienced ocean paddler and he most likely had a VHF radio on him. From an article on CoastGuardNews.com they shared some details, including how the Coast Guard was contacted:\
Watchstanders ... were contacted via VHF-FM radio at about 1:10 p.m. by a male kayaker who was stranded on the rocks near Cape Falcon after his kayak was pushed against the rocks and sank.
The article also goes on to comment on why this rescue was succesful, and why we can look forward to many more stories frm Jaime:
I had a hard time finding this today while trying to check on ice conditions. It's a link to near real-time satellite imagery that is updated daily and it can be used for monitoring snow cover, ice-out, forest fires, and more. I've linked to it several times on my blog but the old links don't work anymore. So, here is the latest url for your (and my) enjoyment:
For Saskatchewan, select the "North America" link, then hover over the map to select the 'Waskesiu' image set.
I was trying to see if the South Saskatchewan River has broken up at all outside of Saskatoon but it's too cloudy to tell in the most recent image (from yesterday). I'm pretty sure that if I could see the river, I would see a white line indicating ice, not a black line indicating water.
Mark your calendars! On Friday, April 25th, we are having a fantastic event to celebrate all forms of paddling in Saskatchewan. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of one of Canada's oldest and foremost canoe outfitters and instruction companies, Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, we are gathering as many folks as we can from far and wide to get together and share campfire stories and tales of adventure. We'll be looking at the history of paddling in Saskatchewan, the current state of paddling in our region, and take a look forward to an exciting future!
Paul Mason (accomplished paddler, author, creator of the Bubble Street cartoons on the front page, and son of famed paddler, Bill Mason) will be visiting from the Ottawa Valley along with many other paddlers young and old. Ric Driediger of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters will be giving the keynote address.
In addition to a fantastic supper at TCU Place in Saskatoon, there will be exhibitor displays (including Coldspring Paddling, of course) and a "Show & Shine" for paddle-craft of various sorts that folks want to show off (I better put a fresh coat of varnish on the cedar-strip kayak!). Have a canoe, kayak or other non-motorized craft that you want to show off? Then sign up to put it on display!
Some of the vendors & organizations involved in supporting this event or attending as exhibitors (so far, and not necessarily complete):
~We'd love to have more exhibitors join us so if you're interested in a table or booth at the show, give them a shout: http://www.saskpaddlingsymposium.com/ - see the "Be an Exhibitor" tab.
This video is from the fellow Paddle Canada sea kayak instructors at SKILS, Sea Kayak Leadership Instruction, a great company out of BC (Michael of SKILS was my co-instructor-trainer for my instructor course). Since the kid in the video is nearly the same age as my older daughter, I find this video pretty awesome. Time to rent some pool time for the family!