Rec Paddler's Tale

on Wednesday, 09 April 2014.

Words from one of our Recreational Paddlers...

As most of you saw I was challenged to join James and his Outrigger crew to venture into the great blue ocean for a morning of paddling. Here is the story of that adventure.

IMG 20140406 084201 996

Twice a month the Ke Kai O’Uhane Outrigger Club has a newbies welcome day.  People that are completely oblivious to all rowing and paddling sports (like me) can join for a morning of introductory paddling out on the bay.  Everyone I met was remarkably friendly and energetic, regardless of the 8am start time, and they were patient in explaining some quick tips on how to paddle, get in and out of the boat, and most importantly, which way to lean (aka, don’t lean to the side of the boat that doesn’t have the stabilizer). There were 5 of us newbies ranging from majorly athletic to fairly “indoors-y” but we were all welcomed with open arms.  Also, don’t worry If you’re not a very strong swimmer, they have life vests.

IMG 20140406 095642 285

After carrying three boats over to the water we divided into teams with a newbie or two on each. With a quick push on the boat into the water the person in charge of steering shouts out a number associated with a seat. When your number is called you plant both arms on each side of the boat, lean back with a hop, and slide yourself into the boat. For me it was more like a hop, slide, and then wedge wedge wedge since the boats are little narrower than I realized ;) 

Then we were off! The ocean was smooth, clear, and blue and the sun was shining gently. The first couple minutes were full of helpful instruction of how to paddle efficiently, how to switch paddling sides, and of course, which way to lean. (Remember, the stabilizer is your bff!) My team was remarkably supportive. So supportive that you start to think that if you just show up once a week you are so naturally gifted that you will surely be in the next Olympics for this sport.

We paddled out till we could see all of the Del Monte beach area and were in 3-4 ft swells.  All three boats met up, had a rest, and shared some jovial banter as we ebb and flowed with the water. As we started to row back our boat matched parallel with James’ boat.  I noticed our pace setter slowly increasing the speed, as did the other boat, and soon we were in a newbie sprint race.  As I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now, but I can be a little competitive, and even as a greenhorn I was feeling the rush of competition.   It was a bust on my Olympic dreams however when my boat was utterly defeated by James’ boat as they slowly pulled ahead.

Instead of heading in, my boat decided to go for a lap around the wharf. We skirted in between boats, got up close and personal with some harbor seals, and narrowly missed a buoy, as in, really narrowly, by 6 inches.

Coming back in I felt tired but thrilled by the experience. I definitely recommend that you join James and his crew out on the water. You will have a blast.  

Categories

Men's & Keiki's Sprint / Long Distance Practice
Tue Jul 25 @ 5:30PM - 07:30PM
Women's Practice
Wed Jul 26 @ 5:30PM - 07:30PM
Men's Sprint / Long Distance Practice
Thu Jul 27 @ 5:30PM - 07:30PM
NCOCA Kilohana Classic Long Distance Race
Sat Jul 29 @ 6:00AM - 05:00PM
Sprint / Long Distance Practice
Sat Jul 29 @ 7:30AM - 11:00AM
Women's Sprint Practice
Mon Jul 31 @ 5:30PM - 07:30PM
NCOCA Alcatraz Challenge Long Distance Race
Sat Aug 05 @ 6:00AM - 05:00PM
Kaua'i Outrigger Assoc Na Pali Challenge Long Distance Race
Sat Aug 12 @ 6:00AM - 05:00PM
NCOCA Tony Gora Long Distance Race
Sat Aug 19 @ 6:00AM - 03:00PM
NCOCA Kula Anela (Angel Island) Long Distance Race
Sat Aug 26 @ 6:00AM - 05:00PM

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.