Thursday, May 14, 2009

Its all about the planning

While I have spent an entire summer paddling in the area, I still feel that I haven’t done a lot of kayaking in the area. Most of my kayaking has taken place in a really small area, mostly on the Potomac River either upstream for white water or a little bit downstream for flat water. I haven’t really been out on the ocean in the area nor have I been out on the Chesapeake Bay. I was close to the bay once when I was paddling around a point where the Potomac River empties into the Bay but that was quite some time ago in late summer. So it was with some difficulty that I had to figure out what was needed when I started to pack up the required gear for the upcoming festival. I was getting nervous in fact, as I wasn’t sure I was prepared, mentally or physically. I had received an email from the company that is organizing the event informing the participants that we would have to bring our own linens for the beds. So I grabbed a towel, sleeping bag and pillow making it the easiest part of the packing.

I wasn’t sure what temperature the ocean water would be but I did assume it would be cold. I packed wool base layers, a dry top, some neoprene booties, a shorty farmer-Jane style wet suit, and gloves. The wool layers included a wool support layer, a wool brief layer, a micro-weight wool camisole, a light-weight wool long sleeve and a mid-weight wool shirt for warmth at the end of the day. I packed paddling shorts as my only non-wool layer as that was about all I had in the way of bottom clothes. I packed wool socks to go with my neoprene footwear to prevent chafing as it is still early in the season. In order to be prepared on the water I also packed up my sunglasses and sun block, a few power bars, and water bottles. More safety equipment included my helmet and a small first aid kit.

Since I had purchased the whole weekend package I knew that food was going to be included as part of the daily activities. I figured they would have vegetarian options as I knew of a few vegetarians who were going to be there. I am not normally a vegetarian but having just switched over to a raw, vegan diet for various health reasons, I felt that given a choice between cooked meat and cooked vegetables, that the vegetables would be the way to go. I did pack a few power bars just in case.

My boat had been on the car up until a few days before when I had to take it off for a business trip. Normally I don’t drive my car very much but in this case I had to drive an hour to the airport and didn’t want to leave the boat on the car nor at a parking garage. I felt that the boat on the car would have enough clearance but why take the chance. So this meant I had to put the boat back on the car which with an 18-foot boat is not easy to do alone. I didn’t have anyone who I could easily get in touch with for help so I just did it by myself. It would have gone a little more smoothly if it hadn’t been for the pole that I was parked next to. The pole did make it a little more challenging to slide the boat up onto the car as I had to push the boat a little off to one side before I could line up with the kayak saddles. I was a little afraid the boat would slip off and hit the ground but luckily it didn’t.

So after all this packing and planning, am I ready? I really don’t feel ready. I do have my directions to get to the location but I am nervous about what the festival will be like and who will be there. I am also a little nervous about the assessment I signed up for on the Saturday. I have my fingers crossed, and my toes.

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