Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wilderness First Aid

Arm splinted, reviewing first aid kit essentials

Moulton and Paul immobilize Steve's head after a simulated neck injury
Chesapeake Paddlers Association organized a special American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class for its trip leaders. If McGuyver and Clara Barton had ever hooked up the result would have been WFA - it's learning to give aid when you're far from help, using only the items you have available (splinting with kayak paddles, etc.). The course was expertly taught by Red Cross-ers & CPA members Tom & Paul, who provided two months worth of classroom knowledge in two days while still getting us out of our seats for lots of scenario-based learning. I learned how unlucky Ralph is - over the course of the weekend he suffered three heart attacks, rolled down an embankment twice, and suffered a few other injuries. Not to worry - he was just the "victim volunteer" and survived all of his injuries. Alas, the same could not be said for poor Joe.

The class was held at Camp Wright, a Methodist summer camp on Kent Island. I spent the weekend (Easter weekend, at that) staring at the painting in the classroom that said "Camp Wright; Learning to live together in a Christian way." While I came home much better prepared to help out an injured kayaker, I am still as bad as ever at both "living together" and the "Christian way."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Back in the Paddle Saddle

I must be getting old in my old age. Or at least my friends are. I found myself in mid-March with virtually no kayak seat-time under my belt for the year to date - a far cry from the old Ice Pirates days of going out Thursday nights year-round. I tried to organize an Ice Pirates outing for Pi day (3/14) but got no takers - but I didn't give up. I kept trying and recruited Tall Tom to go kayaking with me on Sunday morning.

Our plan was to meet at Columbia Island at 9 AM. I got there about ten minutes before nine and to my surprise Tom, who is always early, wasn't there. It was daylight savings weekend and I so I immediately started wondering whether he had forgotten to set his clock and if so, what I should do - keep the boat on the car? go paddling anyway? Well, while I was still mulling this over Tom pulled in, right on time - which is late for Tom, if you know what I mean.

After spending some time admiring his shiny new Impreza (I am now officially the last kayaker on earth without a Subaru - do they make kayak racks for the BRZ?) we headed out with no particular destination in mind. We wound up going all the way up to Fletcher's - about a 10 mile round trip. As always he was out paddling me at the beginning, near-Yeti sized person that he is, but by the end we were both tired (out of shape!) and had slowed down about the same leisurely pace.

The highlight of the day - other than just the joy of being on the water - was spotting mergansers (the duck, not the kayak ) long Roosevelt Island.

A crisp and cool but thoroughly enjoyable day.