Anyone who spends regular time on the coast of British Columbia knows that weather often changes unexpectedly and quickly, and perfect conditions can become treacherous in a matter of minutes. Some considerations for paddlers:
- What will happen if you capsize?
- How will you get back into your kayak if you capsize far from shore?
- What can you do to avoid a capsize? Can you brace effectively in different conditions?
- How can you mitigate adverse weather conditions? What gear will you bring? What route will you take?
- Do you know how to check weather forecasts daily and plan your trip accordingly?
- Have you considered the affects of cold water immersion?
- How about ocean currents?
- Is seamanship a word you truly understand?
- What should be considered when paddling in a larger group?
- Do you know how to make sure your kayak hatches are completely waterproof?
We do not want to scare you away from enjoying a relaxing kayak vacation, but just like any outdoor sport, especially when heading into more remote areas, you need to be prepared for any eventuality.
The more prepared you are, the more practice you have, the more enjoyable the experience will be. If you do not know how to re-enter a capsized kayak, are you going to tense up every time the wind creates ripples on the water or a sailboat sends some wake in your direction?
If you have the knowledge, you are calmer, more relaxed, more confident, and you enjoy yourself more. And if you do end up upside down in the middle of a long crossing, you have the skills to save yourself (and others) with nothing more than a little wounded pride.
Other considerations may be reading tides and currents, chart navigation and route planning, and effective packing techniques. All this knowledge and more will combine to increase your enjoyment, confidence, and safety on the water.