Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paddling over a Dam - Just Plain Stupid

Michigan has about 2,500 dams, nearly 1,500 of them under six feet in height, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Learn , study, take classes, paddle with friends, groups, etc.
Water is mischievous/ deceiving in the amount of power even light current has.

It' s a great article for discussion

And yeah, I did flip my boat in 32 degree water with a wetsuit on later that day below Delhi.
Fellow paddlers helped me out, no questions asked, no inquisition, just camaraderie.

We evolve and learn by taking risks while attempting to control as many external factors as possible.

Challenge people if they have safety equipment and why they aren't using it.
What's the worst that could get verbally abused for a second, so what.
I'm no paddling genius with an awesome roll and superman S on my chest, but I do care a little.

People also learn thru large paddle events -they see other boats, gear, equipment.
One thing that makes it tough is all the paddling/ rowing clubs are like islands.
Unless you visit (via e-mail) each club and invite them, it's tough to get a decent turnout.
Many don't even have webpages, they are just private lists of people who go out and paddle.
There is no one stop clearing house of paddling info in Michigan.
Canoe, kayak, sculling, whitewater, flatwater, surf, touring, racing, --thats a lot of territory !.

People are constantly buying boats and are in need of instruction, exposure to other boats,
safety protocols, in a nut shell " they don't know what they they don't know" .
How can you ask questions when your un-aware equipment like float bags exist for rec boats ?
If the guy at the shops like Dunhams/Dicks/ Cabellas etc. never told them the paddle can be offset for wind...
it all relates to a inherent problem with paddle sports in the Michigan-the land of water,water everywhere.

*When someone drowns falling off a powerboat because no vest is worn
-we the taxpayers pay for the body retrieval time, resources, etc.
No boatowner ever came up on murder one charges for negligent homicide,
had his boat impounded for the season, etc. etc.

We also pay monetarily when kayakers/canoeists do some foolish stuff.
Curious to hear comments, feedback, etc. either on the boards or via personal mail
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