I just got the email that I have been waiting for a long time. It was the yearly president's report from Paddle Canada filling members in to what has been going on throughout 2008 and I'm happy to report that it is filled with really positive news!
Looking at the weather conditions today, there is currently lots of wind but of course it is supposed to completely die for Friday and Saturday. Oh well, will be fun non-the-less.
So, until I get back, there won't be any postings. Just got given a Spot Tracker to test over the course so we will play with that and see how it goes.
Hopefully will have some good video to play with as well!
I got back late Tuesday night from co-teaching a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor Course for White Squall . Since the, things have been so busy that I haven't had anytime to post anything until now.
My fellow co-instructor, Graham Ketcheson and I had a fantastic time working the level 2 curriculum with the 4 students on the course.
We spent the first day at White Squall and 4 days out on Georgian Bay which was nice. The weather was really hot for the first two days but kind of rainy for the last 3. I didn't mind the rain as I much prefer paddling in the rain significantly more then hot sunshine.
If you have news or some good paddling gossip, send it along to me and I can post it when I get back.
For those who are interested, we are spending day 1 at White Squall then going out on the bay for 4 days.
One thing that I notice about teaching these upper end courses is that the teacher/student split is virtually non-existent. At this level, the students are basically peers when it comes it skill level and teaching ability so these course naturally turn into large group sharing as we work through the program.
That means lots of talking and geeking out on kayaking...
It should be a lot of fun.
It looks like a fantastic event with speaks from all across Canada including Rick Wise, Doug Alderson, Richard Alexander, Jim Price and Dave Adler.
Topics will include use of video camera in teaching, adult learning principles in paddling programs, and risk management principles.
Registration for the event is limited to 30 people so you will need to get signed up quickly if you are interested.
For a complete listing of speakers and topics visit the Symposium website.
The event is being organized by Christopher Lockyer who runs Commited 2 The Core which is a paddling school in Nova Scotia.
Update: Only the accommodations are limited to 30 people. Sorry for the confusion.
Paddle Canada has just posted to their site the call for nominations to the Board of Directors. If you are interested, you can find all the information and requirements on their website at paddlingcanada.com.
You might remember Richard as we did a profile on him in our series, "Better Know and Instructor".
This will help shed some light from Paddle Canada's perspective on some of the major changes that have been taking place here in Canada over the past 4-6 months.
Here is the two sentence summery on the long standing (and ugly) dispute. Paddle Canada doesn't feel that it has been fairly compensated for the national program that is run and administrated locally by ORCKA. ORCKA (along with several other provincial Associations) feels that they have been pushed away from the decision table by when PC voted to streamline it governance structure this past fall.
ORCKA has decided to stop offering the National program and offer its own Provincial program instead. They already have a strong and well established canoeing program so it's easy to implement. Over the past 4 months though, there have been a lot of rumors and questions around ORCKA developing its own sea and white water kayaking program.
This past weekend, I co-taught a Paddle Canada Level 1 kayaking course with my trusty teaching buddy, Sean. We had a great time, and I'm fairly certain that the students also had a good time. We had great weather for the types of conditions. The water on Lake Ontario was a little cold hovering at 12c (53f) so rescues needed to be quick and slick or else your hands numbed up in no time. Good lesson about remembering to dress for the water temperature rather then the air.
As some of you know, my foot pump broke a while ago. The diaphragm rotted out and split. It was a modified Henderson Chimp pump. I took pump into the sailing shop to order a new diaphragm and discovered that the replacement cost was extraordinary high for that model.
At the time, I decided that the best thing to do was to switch over to an electronic system. To summarize my experience with the electronic system that I built, it was a good less in designing and building something that really didn't work. Basically, it worked great when I didn't really need the pump. The second that I needed the pump in real life, I could be quite confident that it wouldn't work. I gave it a full season to sort out the bugs but to no avail. I then decided to rip the whole thing out.
Since pulling out the electronic system, I did hear a few, "Told you so" comments, but that is OK. It was a good learning experience. I still believe that an electronic system could be built bombproof. I just didn't have the patience to do it. Here is a great commercial system that rocks...
So, I'm back to the foot pump again. UPS just delivered to me a brand new Guzzler 450S. I'm kind of excited about getting it in. I should have it installed later this week. I will let you know how it goes.