Kayak Newsletter, July 2018

From the deck of the Chair, 7/15/18

Sailing/kayak cruise:

You might be wondering why pictures of Fordham University’s sailing team are posted here. It’s a tribute to the sailing/kayak cruise & BBQ that Sebago had this month, which was initiated by Holly. (I just thought Fordham’s boats looked cool – and any NYC school that has a sailing team deserves some recognition 🙂 About 20 kayaks were on the water for the cruise. It received glowing member reviews. Thanks to Holly and Frank for organizing the cruise. And, Go Rams!

The Scoop Rescue:

Over the past two weeks the Scoop Rescue was used in two live rescue/recoveries. Although the Scoop Rescue is usually on the agenda for the Safety & Rescue classes, given the recent events, it makes sense for all members, and especially Trip Leaders, to renew their familiarity with this rescue. Below are a few videos that may be helpful.




The next time you take a S&R or Advanced Techniques class, suggest to the instructor that you practice the Scoop. Pete Peterson is scheduled to give a Safety & Rescue class at the Lake on July 28th. Check the calendar and if you decide to go give Pete the scoop. Also, practice this technique when you paddle with your buddies. As Smokey says, “the life you save may be your own”. BTW, while you are watching videos, check out the Rafted Tow and Contact Tow lines as well. Contact tow lines were used at least twice this week.


Open Paddles, Tues. & Thurs. night paddles, youth paddles & member paddles continued thanks to Brian, Laurie, Melanie, and of course, the active Trip Leaders. On City of Water Day we had about 14 Trip Leaders who managed +50 guests in kayaks – some of which were even on the water. Thanks to the many volunteers (think set up, sign in, food prep, clean up, etc.) who gave generously of their time in the hot summer weather.

Don’t forget Inwood is hosting the next leg of the All Club on July21. There is good and bad news concerning Sebago’s racing equipment. The good news is the Board approved the purchase of a new Epic 18 for a racer to train for, and use in, the All Club races. The bad news is that the boat is bigger than the racer’s car, so we expect the Board will shortly receive a separate request to buy a club car to carry the boat. Insurance on the car has not yet been discussed, nor has the procedure for obtaining waivers from the prospective drivers. Anyone under the legal driving age who intends to drive the club car will naturally have to have his parent or guardian sign the waiver. Electronic waivers only, please. While at Inwood, Yosi plans to go under the GW bridge. Let’s hope he means in a boat. On a serious note, please let Frank know if you plan to attend so he may give Inwood a head count.

Frank is organizing an away paddle/camping trip to be at Riverhead, Long Island. If you like to eat or drink or paddle, (or all three) you probably don’t want to miss this one. Stay close to Frank.

Safety & Rescue Class:

On the June 30th weekend an Orientation and Quick Start class and also a Safety and Rescue class was attended by eight and eighteen members respectively. Participants beat the City heat on beautiful & cool Lake Sebago. A lovely post course luncheon was organized and served by the gracious hospitality team of Barbara T and Jake M.  The training was free and open to all ACA members, and it satisfied our ACA obligations to maintain our lakeside cabin (unless the rules change tomorrow :). The five instructors on hand received rave reviews from the students (which only means the students were not worked hard enough :). Special thanks to instructors Walter L, Dottie L, Chris C, Pete P, and Jerry D. Remember, volunteers are what make weekends like this possible… Thanks also to Jane D – bookings specialist!

Trip Leader Coverage & Issues:

Regarding the Open Paddle Trip Leader coverage, we have about 60 members on the Trip Leader list. So far about 20 have volunteered for the Open and Member Paddles, meaning, of course, that 40 have not. These numbers are the opposite of what one might expect on a normal curve. One would have expected 40 members to have contributed and perhaps 20 non-participants. It appears that some of these 40 may not have volunteered for some time. Please consider volunteering. Special thanks to Gianni, the OP coordinator, and to those who have already volunteered .

The Trip Leader List will be posted on one of the club house bulletin boards. If you do not wish to have your contact information posted, please let us know back channel. We are aware that some members think they are trip leaders but are not on the list, and some members think they are trip leaders but are listed as assistant trip leaders. This list is comprised of the list the present Kayak Chair inherited plus additions made this year and last, so no complaints, please. If you wish to become an Assistant Trip Leader or a Trip Leader, please consider taking the Trip Leader Workshop which is usually in late May or early June.

Please remember that, with the age exception made for the youth paddles, full Trip Leaders may only take folks 16 years of age or older on the water in club boats. In all cases, waivers must have been signed by each paddler or his parent or guardian. Please refer to the sea kayak policies 7/16/18 on the website for full details.

Frank & I plan to be working on a policy that will permit the use of pee wee sit on tops by children between the ages of 12 to 16 at the lake with appropriate supervision. We plan to vet this with the Steering Committee, and very likely the Board. To date, no such policy exists.

It is important to note that current policy has been vetted by the Steering Committee (which included very experienced paddlers, trip leaders and instructors. The Commodore as an Ad Hoc member). The bulk of current policy has been in place for many years. Exceptions to policy require the approval of the Kayak Chair. Before requesting an exception to policy please think – what is the purpose of policies in general – and what precedent would an exception create vis a vis other members. If we are creating exceptions to policies, then perhaps the policies should be changed via a deliberative process.

Happy sailing,

Frank & Bill


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