Sunday, May 17, 2009

MAKF Day 3

The last day of the festival. I was unsure whether I should get up and pack everything or just leave everything in an unorganized heap. The heap won simply because I wanted to get up and on the water quickly to practice a few strokes. It was drizzling out a little and quite a bit cooler today then the previous two days, making it hard to get up and go. We did eventually get up and out onto the water.

Stroke refinement
It didn't really take me that long to master the strokes I needed to work on. It was more a matter of having to remember proper torso rotation in order to accurately perform the stroke. We practiced for about half an hour and I spent most of the time helping her do her strokes correctly then working on mine. We went back in for breakfast and talked to our assessor. He was willing to evaluate us just before lunch. My hope is that the wind will not kick up again like it did yesterday or that there is a good sheltered area we can use.

Rescues in Conditions/Advanced Strokes
I was again registered for two classes today. Since there were not enough people in either class, they merged the two classes together and we ended up with about four instructors total. I wasn't all that interested in the rescues in conditions but the advances strokes sounded interesting. I did manage to learn a lot from the class and an still really jazzed about getting out on the ocean in some bigger conditions. The wind did end up picking up shortly after we started the class. The wind was actually pushing us out to the ocean and it was a real bear of a paddle to get back. My one saving grace was that I decided to demo a dry suit for the event.

We broke up into two groups once we got out closer to the bay. We had the rescues group and then the strokes group. As part of the strokes group, I learned how to effectively turn my boat with or against the wind. This was very helpful to me as I always feel as though I am fighting my boat. And I found out I was fighting the boat. I still have to think about how to get the turning to become more subconscious. If I think about it, I can figure out which is the most appropriate way to turn the boat in the direction I want using the wind to help. Better then fighting it, but I need it to become more intuitive.

While I wasn't that interested in rescues, when we rejoined the other part of the group the one rescue they had not yet performed was an all-in. So other then the instructors, everyone got in the water all at the same time and our goal was to get out as quickly as possible. The waves were a little rough and the wind strong. My little group of three did very well, I had planned on getting in first as I had done this before, but the boats didn't line up nicely, so I assisted someone else in a rescue I am sure exists but I had never seen or done. I actually threw myself over the keel of my overturned boat and assisted them back into their boat. I had to talk them through it as they wanted to do something different that wasn't possible given the conditions. Once he was in, I got in mine then we got the other guy in his boat. Then we actually paddled to shore to drain the first guys boat. We were the first group in which was excellent.

After paddling against the wind for at least half an hour, I was absolutely exhausted when I got back to the little beach. And it was at that point that the other student asked if I was ready. So back into the water without even getting out of my boat and off we went. With the wind so high I wasn't sure we would find a place but there was a boat dock around the corner that was nicely sheltered. We each performed our strokes and I felt I was hitting the strokes much more accurately even though I was absolutely exhausted. He didn't really say anything at first so I had to wait until we got off the water for the final results. She didn't pass the assessment. I did pass which was a great boost. I was almost too tired to be happy.

The lunch lecture that I ended up going to was about how to prepare for an expedition trip. Given that I want to do a large expedition trip next year, this was an appropriate talk to sit in on. Turned out it was just me and another guy plus the lecturer. I learned quite a bit and was left wondering after the lecture just how much over my head this trip was going to be. There are a lot of logistics involved and I am not sure there is enough time.

Greenland Paddling
I am not a huge fan of Greenland paddling but find that learning a different style sometimes help reinforce other strokes. I was more interested in refining my roll again as I had no idea why it suddenly wasn't working for me. I worked through the lesson that the class was set for , but near the end, we worked on whatever the students wanted. I wanted rolls and that was what I got.

I relearned the basic Greenland roll and I worked through learning the combat roll too. I was able to come up with the basic roll but not really with the combat roll. The first time was because I leaned back when I was supposed to lean forward. That was simply me doing what I always to. The second time I missed was because I was really cold, tired and hungry. Not a good combination for learning new things. I had to give back the dry suit I was demoing at lunch and I was only in my shorts and dry top. I hadn't had to swim but I still was affected by the wind which was really chilling me.

I learned a lot over the course of the day and the festival. I wish it could have gone on longer but alas it is back to the working world for now. I am really happy I passed my ACA L3 assessment. Since I hadn't packed up everything, I had to hurry back to the cabin to shower and change then pack up everything. I then had to get back to pick up my boat and gear plus talk to one of the organizers about the ACA paperwork. I got home rather late and I was unable to warm up in spite of having the heat pumping in the car the last part of the trip. Turns out I had a mild case of hypothermia. Not a very pleasant thing to have but a hot cup of hot chocolate fixed that for me. I would have rather snuggled up in bed but it was just a little too early for that.

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