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Friday, February 6, 2009

To Paddle or Not To Paddle

I always worry when I look off my deck and see obvious novices to paddling, flailing away at the waves in an effort to move the kayak from one trough to another. So I keep watch, just in case.

Today was no different, the wind is up, the waves have whitecaps and yes, you guessed it, there were novices out there. I guess if you pay for a vacation, you are going to do everything you planned on doing, screw the weather and screw safety.

This nice couple said that they came from the other side of False Caye and that the weather was nicer when they started out.

I watched them approaching and saw them turn sharply as though they had no control. It was a trip to the beach to keep an eye on them.

The water wasn't all that rough but you could see they were struggling.

Here we can see them safely back on shore, but they still need to get back to where they are staying.

I love this picture, look who is carrying the paddles and who is dragging the boat back up the beach.

That's much better. I had a little chat with them as they went by. I think they were a little shook up because when I asked them where they were staying, they couldn't remember the name of the place, just that it was 'up the beach'. Neither one of them had paddled a boat before, nevermind a kayak. They were used to 'river rafting' and quite possibly thought it was a similar sport to paddling a kayak.

I think all resort owners should have some kind of questionaire for their guests to fill out before taking out a kayak or canoe on the water. I have taken some time to set one up, if anyone would like a copy of it, just ask, I can send it along to you.

Sample Paddling Questionaire
Below is a list of questions to be answered before taking kayaks out on the water. If you answer NO to 3 or more questions with the exception of question 6, you should not take out the kayaks when the wind is blowing and you can see those little white thingys on the water.

1. Have you ever been in a kayak before?
2. Have you ever paddled a boat before?
3. Can you swim?
4. Do you know what whitecaps are?
5. Can you remember where you are staying?
6. Are you stupid?

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