2021 Courses and Trips

Here are the descriptions of the courses and trips that Cross Currents will be offering in 2021. The first section describes teh winter trips to Florida, while the second section describes the Spring, Summer and Fall courses/trips that will take place in various venues along the East Coast

Risk Mitigation During These Courses

Cross Currents has taken several steps to insure the health and safety of people taking courses or doing trips. Those steps are:

 

  1. All courses and trips will be limited to 10 -15 people.

  2. All courses will require participants to wear masks during on-land lessons, and during launching and landing procedures. Social distancing is mandated during paddling, breaks and lunches.

  3. For multi-day courses that involve overnight stays: participants will choose whether they want to be in a group house (shared or single room) OR a motel (shared or single room) OR camping.

  4. The number of people in group houses is limited to eight. Masks and/or social distancing will be practiced in common areas of the house (especially the kitchen). Access to the kitchen for meal prep will be done in shifts of four people per shift. People will be encouraged to eat meals outside whenever possible. Common areas, especially kitchens will be wiped down with disinfectant after each use.

  5. People in group houses will be encouraged to bring their own linens and towels.

 

Winter 2021 Florida Trips


Cross Currents is offering three Florida trips this winter. They will be to three different parts of the state. All three will be in March 2021. The details for each are shown below, following the discussion of Covid safety measures on each trip..
 

If you'd like to register for one or more courses/trips - or have questions about any of them -  just email us at  CrossCurrentsSeaKayaking@gmail.com.

 

Southwest Florida Exploration

March 14 – 20 (Sun – Sat):

Location: Ft. Myers, FL area     Instructors/Guides: Rick Wiebush and Jeff Atkins (if seven or more people)

Cost: $695

This is the first of three Cross Currents Florida adventures this year. The rationale is pretty straight-forward: In south Florida in mid-March, the average air temperatures are 80 degrees (high) and 55 degrees (low). The average water temperature for that time period is 70 degrees. That’s roughly 40 degrees warmer than here in the north!

Join Rick and Jeff for this fun-filled adventure that will involve a week of day trips in southwest Florida during the dead of winter up here. This is an extra special trip because we’ll be paddling in several places that only one of the previous Florida trips have visited. The paddling will be mostly flat water, about 10 – 12 NM each day, and will include a wide range of environments and wildlife. Here are some of the trips we’ll be doing:

  • winding our way along the East River, which takes us through a series of mangrove tunnels and lakes in the 10,000 Islands/Everglades area.

  • riding the current out and back across Chokoloskee Bay to one of the outer islands in 10,000 Islands area of Everglades National Park.

  • a journey to Cape Romano with its’ mysterious “dome homes” that are being swallowed by the sea.

  • a long crossing to reach the sandy beaches of Cayo Costo.

 

Due to the pandemic, people will be choosing and arranging their own housing this year. One of the options will be a group house that will be limited to 6 – 8 people (if anyone wants to do that). Other options are motels or local airBnBs. The rental house will be centrally located for all our paddling destinations. If you don’t want to stay in the house, we’ll tell you the location before you make your independent reservations. The cost of housing is not included in the fee.

The $695 course cost includes lunches each day, pick up/drop off at the airport (if flying), and guiding. If needed, we can transport your kayak (from/to Baltimore) for an additional $100.Trip cost does not include transportation to/from south Florida, most meals, any park entrance fees, your beer/wine/liquor, and other miscellaneous expenses.

The Florida Sun Coast

March 21 – 27 (Sun – Sat)

Location: Tampa, FL area    

Instructor/Guide: Rick Wiebush, Laurie Collins

Cost: $695

 

Florida’s Suncoast region is home to beautiful barrier islands, picturesque state parks and miles of white-sand beaches. We’ll be taking all this in during our second Florida trip of the year, when we’ll spend a week exploring the wide-open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, tranquil rivers, and areas often populated by manatees.

Day trips will include Weedon Island, the WeekiWachi River (manatees!), Silver Springs (monkees!), Caladesi Island, Anclote Key and its lighthouse, and Tarpon Springs, home of the Greek sponge divers and totally authentic Greek food!

Like the other trips, staying in a group house is optional. Feel free to arrange your own type of housing (motel? airBNB?)

 

The $695 course cost includes lunches each day, pick up/drop off at the airport (if flying), and guiding. If needed, we can transport your kayak (from/to Baltimore) for an additional $100.Trip cost does not include transportation to/from Tampa, most meals, any park entrance fees, your beer/wine/liquor, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Jacksonville Journeys

March 28 – Apr 3 (Sun – Sat): 

Location: Jacksonville, FL area    

Instructor/Guide: Rick Wiebush and Ashley Brown (if seven or more participants)

Cost: $695

 

This trip is my favorite due to the variety of venues available to us: everything from Cumberland Is. National Seashore with its wild horses and abandoned mansions, to paddling the serene St. Mary’s river with Georgia on one side and Florida on the other, to the Okefenokee Swamp, and to (once again) the stunning Silver Springs. As a bonus, we sometimes do an urban paddle, right down through the middle of Jacksonville!

 

So join Rick and Ashley for a fabulous trip at a great time of the year!

Like the other trips, staying in a group house is optional. Feel free to arrange your own type of housing (motel? airBNB?)

However, I gotta tell you, we usually get an oceanfront house on Amelia Island that is perfect for about 8 people.

 

The $695 course cost includes lunches each day, pick up/drop off at the airport (if flying), and guiding. If needed, we can transport your kayak (from/to Baltimore) for an additional $100.Trip cost does not include transportation to/from Jacksonville, most meals, any park entrance fees, your beer/wine/liquor, and other miscellaneous expenses.

 

 

Spring, Summer and Fall 2021

Greenland Strokes and Maneuvers with Mike Hamilton

Sat May 8, 2021

Location: Big Branch, Triadelphia Reservoir, Brookville, MD

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $110

 

Learn, practice and refine a whole range of Greenland paddling skills with a master: Mike Hamilton! Mike is an ACA L3 instructor, a rolling guru, and the guy who organizes all the classes and workshops at the annual Delmarva Paddlers Retreat.

 

Spend the day learning how to efficiently power, control, and maneuver your boat using specialized Greenland techniques. There will be lots of practice drills and feedback. Find out how a Greenland paddle is different from – and similar to - a Euro paddle and the pros and cons of each. In addition to basic and advanced strokes and maneuvers, we will explore ways to prevent capsizes and learn how to rescue another paddler, Inuit-style. To top off the day (if time allows), we’ll spend some time throwing harpoons at imaginary whales and seals and/or observing a rolling demo and discussing techniques.

Intensive Intermediate Skills Workshop

May 15 - 16, 2021 (Sat - Sun) 

Location:  Kent Island, MD

Instructor:  Denise Parisi, Laurie Collins, Shelly Wiechelt

Cost: $225 + housing (if needed)

 

This is a two-day intensive skills development course that will focus on learning or refining a whole range of core skills including strokes and maneuvers, edging, bracing and rescues. It is designed for rising intermediate paddlers. We hope to get you on the road to paddling with grace and style.

The course will include refinement of all the basic strokes (forward, reverse, sweeps, draws, stern rudder) and rescues (e.g. T-rescue, paddle float) as well as a range of intermediate strokes (e.g., bow rudder, low brace turn) and rescues (e.g., inuit, scoop). We will place a major emphasis on edging to facilitate turns (or going straight!), bracing, and using the wind to your advantage. The course is geared toward developing ACA Level 2 (and some Level 3) personal skills proficiencies

Greenland Skills and Rolling Camp

June 5-6, 2021 (Sat – Sun)

Location: Chincoteague Island, VA

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $ 225 + housing

 

This two-day course will be held at Chincoteague Island. It will be custom tailored to meet the needs and abilities of the participants. Potential items to work on include introducing or refining basic and advanced maneuvering strokes using a Greenland paddle, an intense forward stroke clinic, introduction to rolling or rolling refinement, safety and rescues of skin on frame qajaqs, an overview of traditional qajaq gear, stalking prey and harpoon throwing. Greenlandic cultural appreciation is an integral component of this class. Traditional gear will be available to try.

 

The course will take place on Oyster Bay at scenic Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. We will paddle in an area where the famous ponies of Assateague are often found grazing. Skills instruction and practice will be interspersed with short trips to get a good feel for the island. Meals are not included, but you are invited to join us at a local restaurant to sample some world-famous Chincoteague Island seafood.

Green River

June 5 – 13, 2021 (Sat – Sun)

Location: Moab, Utah

Instructor/Guide: Rick Wiebush

Cost: $1,750

 

Utah’s Green River is one of the most spectacular paddling destinations in the U.S. We will spend a week paddling the flat water section, near Moab. This section runs for 100 miles and ends at the river’s confluence with the Colorado River.  You paddle through ever deepening canyon walls that rise several hundred feet above the river. You can cover the 100 miles in a week fairly easily, since the current gives you a nice boost.

Camp sites are plentiful. Sometimes found down along the river; other times on ledges high above. There are a lot of opportunities for side hikes up the canyons that give you unparralled sweeping vistas of the desert and canyons. The $1,750 is an estimate (it depends a lot on your flight to Salt Lake or Grand Junction, CO). But that estimate includes airfare, motel for the night before and after, transport to Moab, boats and equipment, food, and shuttles. Note that this is a non-commercial, peer paddle.

Paddle Smarter, Not Harder: Women’s Skills Workshop

Dates: June 26 - 27, 2021 (Sat - Sun)

Location: Kent Island, MD

Instructor: Paula Hubbard

Cost: $225

 

This course is all about helping grow the women who have recently started in our sport and for those who may have been paddling for a while but have never had outstanding formal instruction. The women who did this course last year absolutely loved it! The class emphasizes the ways in which women can use proper technique, better balance, and a supportive learning environment to develop and enhance skill development. Learn how small women can keep up with the big boys, or even leave them in the dust.  Explore ways of using your body to facilitate assisted and self-rescues, and see how a lower center of gravity can be a huge advantage in some aspects of paddling.  This is all about paddling smarter, not harder.

 

The classes on both days will be on flat, calm water on the Chesapeake Bay.

 

On Saturday, the focus will be on strokes.  It will start with a review of the basics, and emphasize effective use of the body to get the maximum performance with minimum effort.  Don’t worry about being the slowest paddler in a group, we will spend a lot of time on the forward stroke making keeping up easier.  Then we will work on boat control with grace and finesse.  This will include standard sweep strokes, draw strokes, and blending strokes for efficient, elegant, and precise maneuvers.  We will finish with support strokes, bracing and sculling.  These strokes can increase your confidence in rougher water by giving you more stability.  While it sounds very serious, be prepared for fun, games and lots of laughs, no pressure.

 

Sunday will be all about Recovery, Reentry and Rescues. The focus is on different ways to perform self and assisted rescues.  The class will start with a review of the basics, then we will work on different aspects of a rescue starting with boat maneuvering, using your body to effectively perform an assisted rescue, climbing back into a kayak using a variety of techniques, plus a few more scenarios.  There will be more fun, more games and more laughs. 

 

There will be housing options. If people want to, we can rent a charming house in historic Chestertown. If you feel more comfortable getting a motel or renting your own Airbnb, that’s fine too. We will have some way of socializing on Saturday night. We can do a potluck in the back yard of the house, or at a local park, or go to a restaurant and sit outside.

 

The Gathering at Tangier Island

July 2 – 4 (Fri. – Sun.) 

Location: Tangier, VA

Instructors/Trip Leaders: Rick Wiebush, Laurie Collins

Cost: $425 (housing included)

 

We’re going back to Tangier!  After missing last year due to the epidemic, we will be holding the summer Gathering on Tangier Island again. We’ve chosen Tangier for several reasons including: 1) everyone who has come here to paddle with Cross Currents has absolutely loved it; 2) it is a fascinating community of watermen that has an incredible history (from the mid-1600’s) and unique culture; 3) there are several wonderful trips to do in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay; 4) we stay in quirky B&B’s 5) the food is fabulous and 6) we should be able to see multiple fireworks displays from our perch in the middle of the Bay! Need any other reasons?

 

As in previous years, this will be for a small group (n =15-20) of Cross Currents customers and instructors/trip leaders, who will get together for a long three-day weekend.  We’ll catch the ferry from Crisfield MD on Friday, paddle that afternoon and all day Saturday, and most of the day on Sunday before getting the ferry back to Crisfield.

The Paddling

 

There are several very cool paddles to do and the one I really want to see happen is the five- mile crossing to Watts Island and back. It's weather dependent, but if we can do it, it's fabulous. We'll also circumnavigate Tangier, explore the "Uppards" and follow the chain of sandy islands that lead up to Smith Island. Most paddles are about 10 - 12 miles.

 

For those who are interested in working on some skills, we’ll be using a “teach n trek” model that is organized around the trip, but which is punctuated along the way with mini-skills sessions. Those sessions might include practicing certain strokes or maneuvers that are directly applicable to the environment we’re paddling through, short navigation lessons and exercises, or rescues, etc.  The basic idea is that we will not be sitting in one place each day concentrating just on skills development, but rather integrating skills improvement into our trip(s).  But you can also skip the skills part and just paddle and enjoy the scenery! 

The trips will be for people of all skill levels (beginners excepted). Trips over the weekend will be selected from some of the following options:

 

  • Circumnavigation of Tangier Island (8 - 9 NM)

  • Exploring the various guts and sinuous creeks of the “Uppards”

  • Following a string of sandy isles north toward Smith Island and across the Virginia –Maryland border

  • Playing in a rambunctious (but safe) “zipper” at the extreme southern tip of the island

  • Making a five-mile open-water crossing to Watts Island, a sliver of sandy land that is a bird sanctuary and is studded with clumps of pine and wild asparagus.

Cost

 

The $425 cost includes housing for two nights in one of two island B&Bs (about a five-minute walk from each other), the round-trip ferry, two breakfasts, two dinners, guiding and instruction. The fee does not include the cost of your lunches and snacks, your adult beverages, or your transport to/from Crisfield.

 

On the Friday night, we’ll have dinner at one of the islands great restaurants. The other night we’ll eat at Hilda Crockett’s B&B, which serves all-you-can-eat family-style meals. The food is just incredible. It includes some of the best crab cakes you’ll ever eat, clam fritters, baked ham, green beans, beets, applesauce and home-made bread! You’ll need to do a lot of walking around the island (check out the cemeteries) and a lot of paddling just to work off the dinners!

Rolling Instruction with Mike Hamilton

July 17 - 18 (Sat AM or PM OR Sun AM or PM)

Location: Rocky Gorge Reservoir

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $60 for three hours

 

This will be a series of half-day rolling instruction sessions with Mike Hamilton.  There will be separate sessions for those just learning to roll (novice) and those who have a roll but want to refine it and/or learn additional rolls (intermediate). 

 

There will be a maximum of three people per session to ensure a high level of individual attention. You can do this class with a Greenland paddle or a Euro paddle.

Introduction to Open Water Skills, Part I

July 24 (Sat) (Part II is on Aug. 7 - 8)

Location: Kent Narrows, MD     Instructor: Greg Hollingsworth

Cost: $110 (for just this day; $295 if taking both part I and II)

 

This is a two-part course that will introduce paddlers to open water skills on the Chesapeake Bay (Sat 7/24), and then have people apply those skills in open water conditions during a weekend session at the shore (Sat – Sun, 8/7 – 8/8).

 

Thinking about venturing into more challenging kayaking conditions or just want to be better prepared should weather conditions unexpectedly change? This course will provide you with a set of foundation skills that will help advance your paddling abilities and become comfortable and confident in bouncier water. While Part I will be taught in flat water conditions, we will work on a variety of skills that are directly applicable to open water. And for each skill, we will describe how it will assist you in waves, winds and currents.  We will work to refine the strokes and rescues you’ll need and will go through some fun drills to reinforce the learning. Our intent for this course is to make sure you grasp each skill and understand its relationship to your paddling in rougher conditions.

Intro to Open Water Skills, Part II  

August 7 - 8, 2021 (Sat – Sun)

Location: Metompkin Inlet (Wachapreague), VA Eastern Shore

Instructor: Greg Hollingsworth    Cost: $225 (for just this weekend; $295 if taking both parts I and II)

 

This course is designed for those who took Part I of Intro to Open Water Skills (on July 24) OR those who have taken some intermediate skills training and are looking to apply their skills in somewhat rougher water conditions.  This two-day course will expose you to paddling in surf, current and open water.  Metompkin Inlet provides the best possible venue along the DelMarVa coastline for learning.  It has a variety of conditions for a safe and exciting learning environment.

 

We’ll get acclimated to rougher water by practicing skills in smaller waves, including those skills that will keep you upright in waves and surf.  You will learn a variety of techniques to launch and land through surf and to play safely in the surf zone.   We’ll gradually increase the challenges by venturing into more challenging conditions. Rescue drills will be intermixed and, if conditions permit, we will try our hand at surfing our kayaks.

 

This is always a fun and exciting weekend.  You will come away with a new skill set and greater confidence. Part of what makes this a fun weekend is that we will be staying together at the Wachapreague Inn. You will have a choice of staying in a group house or one of the motel rooms.  Housing is not included in the course fee, but is usually only about $60/night.

 

Risk Assessment and Incident Management

Date: Aug. 15, 2021 (Sun)

Location: Chestertown, MD (Sassafras River)

Instructor: Paula Hubbard

Cost: $110

 

This course will introduce paddlers to the concept and practice of risk assessment for sea kayakers. It will also train participants in how to deal with situations in which – in spite of the assessed risks – things have gone very wrong.

 

The risk assessment portion of the course will present and discuss the factors that need to be taken into account by all paddlers at all times before getting on the water and what issues require constant monitoring once on the water, to avoid chaos and possible tragedy. Wind, weather, waves, current, the group’s skill level, available equipment, and other considerations will all be reviewed. In addition, Paula will present the formal risk assessment models used by the Tsunami Rangers (discussed in the November 2019 issue of Coastbusters) and by Body, Boat, Blade (discussed in the January 2020 issue of Coastbusters).

 

Sometimes, in spite of careful planning and risk assessment, shit happens. The situations that arise – and responding appropriately to them – will form the main part of this course. During a journey on the water, various and multiple manufactured “incidents” will confront the group and will need to be dealt with by them. These may include relatively mild incidents like the paddler who wants to go off on her own, or a blown/lost hatch cover. They will also likely include more serious incidents like a capsized paddler who is unable to get back in his boat, a lost paddler, or a situation in which everyone in the group has capsized.

 

This course is on flat water, but it will challenge you both physically and mentally. It will also deepen your understanding of how to prevent “incidents” and how to respond safely and creatively to them when they do happen.

 

Both because and in spite of the above, this course is also an incredible amount of fun!

Surf and Rough Water Weekend

Dates: August 20 – 22 (Fri – Sun)

Location: Cape Charles, VA

Instructor: Jeff Atkins

Cost: $295 + housing

 

Join Jeff for three days of fun and skill development on the Virginia Eastern Shore. This class will involve one day of rough/open water training and two days of surfing.

 

The rough water day will be at Smith Island off Wise Point (near Kiptopeke). We’ll deal with the outrageous current that whips around the tip of Smith and the incredible bouncy water that it generates right at the tip. And, the wave train beckons! The class will include strategies for dealing with the various confused water features found in the area and ways of grappling with issues that arise as a result of things going awry. Figure on some incident management in rough water, including rescues, towing, back-deck carries, etc.

 

The two days of surfing will include at least one at Metompkin Inlet and maybe one at Smith island.  If it seems like the surf at Smith isn’t working, both surfing days will be at Metompkin.

 

For this trip, we have rented a large house near Cape Charles. While it holds 12 people, we will keep the number at a max of eight. For those who want to stay at a motel, there are several options very close to the houses.

 

Depending on where things are with respect to restrictions in Virginia, we hope to be able to eat at one of Cape Charles great restaurants at least one night. And the house has plenty of room outside (including a fire pit) so that we can have meals right there as well.

 

Intensive Intermediate Skills Workshop

Dates: Aug. 28 - 29, 2021 (Sat -Sun)

Location:  Kent Island. MD

Instructors:  Denise Parisi, Laurie Collins, Shelly Wiechelt

Cost: $225

 

This is a repeat of the two-day intensive skills development course (see May 15 - 16) that will focus on learning or refining a whole range of core skills including strokes and maneuvers, edging, bracing and rescues. It is designed for rising intermediate paddlers. We hope to get you on the road to paddling with grace and style.

The course will include refinement of all the basic strokes (forward, reverse, sweeps, draws, stern rudder) and rescues (e.g. T-rescue, paddle float) as well as a range of intermediate strokes (e.g., bow rudder, low brace turn) and rescues (e.g., eskimo, scoop). We will place a major emphasis on edging to facilitate turns (or going straight!), bracing, and using the wind to your advantage.

The course is geared toward developing ACA Level 2 (and some Level 3) personal skills proficiencies

British Canoeing Sea Leader (4*) Training

Sept 15 – 16 (Weds – Thurs.)

Location: Cape Charles, VA

Instructor: Todd Wright   Cost: $275

 

The purpose of the BC Sea Leader Training (what used to be called 4*) is to prepare people who want to lead others in a moderate water environment (Force 4, sea state 4, surf to 3 ft.).  This two-day training will place a major emphasis on leadership skills including leadership styles and behavior, judgement and decision making, weather and navigation, and incident management. Skills such as rescues and towing in rougher water, and launching and landing a group in surf also receive considerable attention. The Sea Leader award is a leadership award, not a coaching award.

Todd Johnstone-Wright is one of only four North Americans to successfully assess as a British Canoeing Level 5 Coach Sea, and one of three to complete the BC Level 4 Performance Paddlesport Coach Certificate.  Todd is also an American Canoe Association (ACA) L5 Advanced Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator. He is an extremely experienced and effective coach so if you are ready to take this course, you really should do it.

 

Note:  This is not intended to be an “official” BC training, because we would have to limit participation to four people to do so. The content is the same as the official training, and that is what is important. However, if you really want to get official BC credit AND the course has four or fewer people, we can make it an official course. You should have your 3* award to do this course.

10th Annual Kiptopeke Sea Kayaking Symposium – We’re Back!!!!!!!!

Sept 17 – 19 (Fri – Sun) 

Location: Cape Charles, VA

Instructors: Tom Noffsinger, Alison Sigethy, Jeff Atkins, Ashley Brown, Todd Wright, Rick Wiebush, Ed Schiller, Ken Fandetti, Brian Blankinship, Paula Hubbard, Greg Hollingsworth

Cost: $350 (includes three days of classes + Sat. dinner; lodging is separate)

 

The Kiptopeke Symposium routinely is a fabulous event (well, except for being so rudely interrupted last year). People love it! There are several reasons for all the positive reviews including:

 

  • the range of courses, with everything from novice to advanced level courses; and the number of courses, with about 10 to choose from each day

 

  • the quality of the coaches, who are the best in the mid-Atlantic area and include some who are considered to be the best in the country

 

  • the mix of participants, who come from 10 -12 different states, some as far away as Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida and Canada!

 

  • the fact that the vast majority of participants stay together (this year in Cape Charles houses), which helps create a wonderful sense of community

 

  • the venue itself, next to the Virginia barrier islands, and with immediate access to the calmer waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the rougher conditions that can be had in the Atlantic Ocean.

 

The 2021 courses will be finalized by about May 15 and registration will start that date as well. We plan to offer the most popular courses from past years, plus some new ones. Typical courses include:

 

  • Beginning and Advanced Rolling

  • Greenland Skills

  • Intermediate skills

  • Life on the Edge and Open Water Skills

  • Intro to Surf; Advanced Surfing

  • Intro to Rougher Water

  • Basic and Advanced Rescues

  • Towing

  • Paddling with Grace and Style

  • Edging and Bracing

  • Wreckage in the Wave Train

  • Advanced Navigation

  • Barrier Island touring trips

 

 

Also, don’t forget to check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA6ls-AsWl0

 

Housing

 

Due to Covid concerns, we are doing the housing arrangements differently this year. Instead of being in the Kiptopeke lodges (with 12 people in each), we are going to use a range of houses in the historic and charming town of Cape Charles. Most of the houses hold 5-6 people. A few are larger to accommodate big groups of friends who have spent the whole summer paddling together. If you have a group (large or small) that you would like to have in one house, let us know at the time of registration and we will try to accommodate you.

 

There are several other housing options available for those who don’t want to be with a group. Kiptopeke state park has a really nice campground and there are several motels in the area.

The Low Country Gathering: Beaufort and Charleston, SC

Oct 22 – 25 (Fri – Mon):

Location: Beaufort and Charleston, SC

Instructors: Ashley Brown, Jeff Atkins, Rick Wiebush

Cost: $350 (+ housing)

 

We are going back to Charleston this Fall, but adding a big new wrinkle: spending half the time in scenic and historic Beaufort! Every time we’ve gone down there, it’s been wonderful with perfect weather, great people and exciting paddling. Jeff and Ashley love hosting us and are incredibly fun to paddle with!

Jeff has mapped out a bunch of venues in Beaufort including Hunting Island (see lighthouse above). In Charleston we have the option of surf, the strong currents at Elliott’s Cut and/or some of the backcountry marshes and creeks. And you can count on doing the fabulous night navigation in Charleston Harbor!

 

The basic plan is for people to drive (or fly) down on Thursday so that we can paddle Friday, Saturday, Sunday and at least part of Monday.  If you fly, we can pick you up at the airport and get you back there on Monday.

SOLO Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

Oct. 30 – 31 (Sat - Sun)

Location: TBD, in Baltimore area

Instructor: Todd Wright

Cost $220

 

This WFA course uses the famous SOLO curriculum, and will be taught by Todd Wright. Several local paddlers have taken the course with Todd previously and raved about him.  SOLO is the oldest and one of the most highly respected wilderness first aid training organizations in North America.

 

SOLO uses a combination of classroom, hands-on practice, scenarios, and assessments. You spend about half the time practicing, so it is very hands on.  It is also quite intense, requiring two, eight-hour days. The certification lasts for two years.

 

Since Todd has expertise in multiple fields (sea and WW kayaking, climbing, skiing, etc.), he is able to gear the curriculum to the needs of his audience. In our case, that means he will emphasize the problems and situations that paddlers are most likely to face. This training is for any paddler, but is especially important for trip leaders and instructors. It meets all requirements for first aid training as specified by the American Canoe Association (ACA).

 

We are still working on the best venue and facility for this training, but it will be in the greater Baltimore/DC area.