Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

SWYB Day Frolics
2010 Swim With Your Boat Day #1
by Martin Wellhoefer

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ok, so the first part of our 2010 Swim With Your Boat Day #1 was a little damper than expected... but what the heck, we were going to get wet anyway.

Having over 45 folks signed up (sorry to have to close the event to anymore attendees but it gets unmanageable with too many people) and subsequently with 30 of those showing up to partake in this always popular event we did end up having a successful day.

With the first decent rain in over a month (figures it had to happen just one hour before the start of SWYBD) these hardy attendees endured almost two hours of rainfall and far off thunderstorms to listen to a severely abbreviated shore discussion about the importance of a properly fitted life vest and other sundry aspects of paddling. When I no longer could read my fast disintegrating notes (all the while counting the seconds between the lightning and the thunderclaps to see if we better get the heck out of there) and Captain Jeff Bowen and our kayakmeisters - Jim More and Rick Loggia, adding their extensive knowledge to the discussion, we were at a crossroad - go or no go! Not because of the rain (we were going to get wet anyway), but those pesky atmospheric mega-volt emanations might be trouble. I had high hopes the thunderstorms would leave the area (I was that close to calling off the rest of the event) and sure enough, the Norse deity - Thor, heard my plea and put away his hammer.

Alas, the rain began to let up and the sky started to brighten a bit. It was time to go play in the water...

Jim and Rick expertly demo'd wet exits from the kayak, emptying the vessel, self rescue and boat-over-boat rescue, while Jim Lyons and I bedazzled the crowd with the canoe version. Then came the wet stuff for the rest of the participants... putting on life vests, walk out into deeper water and getting the feel of floating around and of course, checking and adjusting the fit of their life vests. Next came the fun stuff - paddling out into the water, doing a wet exit on their own and getting back into the boats. Jim, Rick and Jeff were giving excellent advice to the newer kayak paddlers while I helped out some of the canoeists. Phil Brown and Al Grenley also helped out with the new paddlers. Herta Dusebout kept up the strength of everyone by providing an endless supply of wild blueberries from the island.

What can ya say... everyone got wet as advertised (in and out of the water) but hopefully we learned something and had some fun to boot. That is the purpose of SWYBD.

Next one is on Sunday, August 15th so sign up early.

As always - a special thanks to Jim Lyons, Jim More, Rick Loggia and Jeff Bowen for all their help with these events. Without their volunteerism we wouldn't have these events available to the Club.