2022 Courses and Trips

Here are the descriptions of the courses and trips that Cross Currents will be offering in 2022. 

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. 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.

  3. The number of people in group houses is limited to ten. Proof of vaccination is required to stay in a group house. Masks and/or social distancing will be practiced in common areas of the house (especially the kitchen).  People will be encouraged to eat meals outside whenever possible. 

 

Courses and Trips


The following section presents an overview of all the 2022 Cross Currents courses and trips. 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.

 

New Course, Just Added: Intro to On-Water Navigation

May 7, 2022 (Sat.)

Location: Kent Narrows, MD

Instructor: Paula Hubbard

Cost: $100, 10% discount for CPA members

You may have taken the one-day classroom navigation course with CPA and now it’s time to apply that learning to the real world of sea kayaking. This will be an introductory class that will cover all the basics of on-water navigation. Learn how to read a nautical chart and compare it to what you are seeing while you’re on the water. The class will include understanding aids to navigation, how to measure distance, the basics of the “rules of the road”, and how to safely cross busy boat channels. Learn how to use a chart and compass together to plot a course and then follow that course to a specific location.   We will also work with some visual navigation tools such as finding and using a range to hold a straight course. 

Paula is an expert in sea kayak navigation and has taught the one-day CPA classroom navigation course for several years. This course will meet at Kent Narrows and run from 9:30 AM to about 4 PM. The class is limited to 10 students. While open to all, priority will be given to people who have not done on-water navigation previously.

 

This course is sponsored by Cross Currents Sea Kayaking. To register, email Rick Wiebush at rwiebush@gmail.com. The cost is $100, but CPA members will get a 10% discount and pay just $90 for this fun and informative course.

Navigation for Paddlers: An On-Line Multi-Session Course

Feb 23; Mar. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr. 6, 23 (Wednesdays 7 – 8:30 PM)

Location: your house and Jonas Green Park, Annapolis (Apr. 23 only)

Instructors: Rick Wiebush and Paula Hubbard

Cost: $295 for all eight sessions ($200 if you can’t do the on water session)

 

This navigation series will cover just about everything you need to know (and nothing you don’t need) for safe and effective navigational practices while paddling. The series will include seven on-line sessions followed by an all-day session on the water to pull everything together and apply your new (or refreshed) skills in a practical way. We are breaking this down into manageable bites – instead of a day-long marathon - to help people better retain the information.

 

The sessions will be on consecutive Wednesdays starting on March 3 and ending on April 6. Each session will last approximately 1.5 – 2 hours. The on-water day will be on Saturday, Apr 23 and last about seven hours.

 

The sessions will be interactive, with exercises, small group activities, and plenty of time for questions. We will be using a formal curriculum. There will be homework for most sessions, and there will be a culminating, trip planning project at the end. Here are the topics, by week:

 

Feb 23: understanding charts: symbols, latitude and longitude, measuring distance, understanding scale

March 2: using chart and compass together to plot courses, and to figure out where you are (i.e. triangulation)

March 9: understanding tides; accessing and reading tide tables; tidal causes and variations; rule of 12ths

March 16: understanding current; interpreting current tables; accounting for current in crossings; 50/90 rule.

March 23: dealing with wind: types of wind, Beaufort scale, effects of wind on paddlers; strategies for dealing with wind

March 30: trip planning – bringing it all together: factors to take into account; details of the trip planning exercise

April 6: trip planning presentations: selected participants will present their trip plan including rationales for the decisions

April 23 (Saturday): on water – identifying aids to navigation; determining location; using ranges; dealing with current (ferrying); comparing the chart and land features; dead reckoning, inter alia.

 

Registration: this course is limited to 15 participants. Register by contacting Rick at crosscurrentseakayaking@gmail.com

 

Florida Nature Coast Exploration

March 5 – 12 (Sat – Sat) and March 12 - 19 (Sat - Sat)

Location:  Crystal River, FL area     Instructors/Guides: Rick Wiebush and Laurie Collins

Cost: $625 + housing

 

Join Rick and Laurie for this fun-filled adventure that will involve a week of day trips exploring the rivers and springs of north Florida, as well as islands in the Gulf of Mexico. These will be special trips because we’ll be paddling in several places that none of the previous Florida trips have visited. The paddling will be mostly flat water, about 8 - 10 nm each day, and will include a wide range of environments and wildlife. We will be spending about half the time exploring rivers and springs, looking for manatees and other wildlife. We will hit the famous Suwanee River, the Santa Fe and Crystal River. The other half will be spent on the Gulf Coast heading out to offshore islands like Anclote Key and the Cedar Keys.

 

Cross Currents has rented a couple of group houses, but people are always free to arrange their own housing this year. The group houses are spacious but will be limited to 8 – 10 people. Other options are motels or local airBnBs. The rental houses 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 $625 course cost includes lunches each day, pick up/drop off at the airport (if flying), and guiding. 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 Outer Banks and Cape Lookout

May 13 – 15, 2022 (Fri – Sun)    

Location: Atlantic Beach, NC   

Instructor/Guides: Rick Wiebush, James Kesterson

Cost: $325 (+ housing)

 

This has been such a great trip in previous years, we just had to offer it again! The Outer Banks is a paddling paradise and we are going to spend three days exploring different areas of the OBX during a perfect time of the year!  In May the air temperatures are great and the water is between 65 – 70 degrees.

 

We have a 5 BR, 3 BA house that we will use as a base. During the weekend, we’ll do a series of day trips including:

 

  • A 15-mile trip from Swansboro out to – and around – the totally undeveloped Bear Island.

  • A paddle to Cape Lookout National Seashore. I’ve done this trip and there is only one word to describe it: spectacular!

  • Depending on conditions, a paddle to Drum Inlet for some bouncy water

 

Housing and meals are not included in the price. Housing is usually about $55/night per person for a shared room. In the evenings, we can either cook at the house or go out to some of the great restaurants in the Beaufort/Atlantic Beach area. If we have some time we should walk around Beaufort and maybe visit the fabulous Maritime museum.

 

James Kesterson will be helping to lead this trip. James is from Raleigh and considers the OBX his personal playground. You’ll love his style, and his incredible knowledge of the area!

 

Beaufort is approximately a six-hour drive from the DC area. We will have the house starting on Thursday night, so people can come down after work that day.  We’ll paddle all day Friday and Saturday, and until about 3 PM on Sunday, so that people can get home that night if they want. If enough people want to stay over, we can get the house for an extra night.

 

Intensive Intermediate Skills Workshop

May 21 - 22, 2022 (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. 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.

Introduction to Kayaking

June 4, 2022   (Sat.)

Instructor: Paula Hubbard

Location: Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD

Cost: $125

 

This course is designed for people who have just started out (or are about to). The whole point of it is to get you feeling comfortable and confident in your boat and to become aware of the safety issues associated with kayaking. And to have fun doing it!

 

We will intersperse discussions, skills practice, and short trips throughout the day. Spa Creek is both a very protected and very scenic waterway.  We’ll cover boat control skills including forward, reverse, sweep and draw strokes. There will be games and drills to help master the various movements. We’ll introduce you to the basic rescues and give you plenty of time to practice them. For those with a spray skirt, we can cover the procedures for a wet exit (getting out of the boat while upside down).

 

Note: you need to have your own boat for this course. We may be able to make one or two rental boats available.

 

Greenland Skills with Mike Hamilton

June 4 - 5, 2022 (Sat - Sun.)

Location:  Rocky Gorge Reservoir, Laurel, MD

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $225

 

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 these two days 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 (forward, reverse, sweep, draws) and advanced strokes and maneuvers (bow rudder, low brace turn, hanging draw), we will explore ways to prevent capsizes through effective bracing.

 

We’ll focus on edging your kayak and extending your paddle to make your turns crisper and to counter the effects of wind. Then we’ll incorporate that into your basic forward and turning strokes. We’ll deconstruct the forward stroke and learn all of the secrets to make it a really effective stroke for you. To top off the weekend (if time allows), we’ll spend some time observing a rolling demo and discussing techniques.

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.

Paddle Smarter, Not Harder: Women’s Skills Workshop

Dates: June 18 - 19, 2022 (Sat - Sun)

Location: Sassafrass River, Chestertown, 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 Sassafrass River.

 

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.

Rolling School: Video Analysis with Mike Hamilton

June 18, 2022 (Sat.) + follow-up

Location: Rocky Gorge Reservoir, Laurel, MD

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $100

 

Cross Currents is starting a Rolling School this year that will be led by Mike Hamilton. We are starting off with two new courses. This is the first one.

 

OK, so you have a roll but it’s a little shaky and you think you can do better. Maybe you are good on one side, but the other side is just not coming together for you. New rollers often experience a disconnect between what they think they are doing and what they are actually doing.

 

If you could only see yourself rolling, and at the same time get feedback from a rolling coach, you would be able to recognize what needs to improve and make the small adjustments to become a much better roller. Using multiple camera angles, we’ll capture you rolling and then produce a video with slow-motion replay and captioned frame freeze. You’ll also get an analysis summary from which to form a game plan for your future rolling sessions.

 

Each session is 60 minutes and is one on one; the video and analysis is produced within one week. To see it is to believe it!

Rough Water Skills and Leadership

June 24 – 26 (Fri – Sun)

Location: Cape Charles, VA

Instructor: James Kesterson

Cost: $325 (+housing)

 

Oh boy – this is going to be something! James has put together a curriculum that will combine elements of the ACA L4 and British Canoeing Sea Leader skills.  Essentially this course will cover a combination of open/rough water skills, navigation, leadership, and judgement.

 

If you are interested in ramping up your skills for an L4 assessment or IDW or for the BC Sea Leader award, this course will put you in a great position to be successful.

 

The course will utilize three exciting and different environments. The first day will be at Smith Island near Kiptopeke. James wants to deal with the tide race at the tip of Smith, do some surfing at Smith and then circumnavigate Fisherman’s Island, which will also require dealing with surf and current.

 

The second day we’ll go out to Quinby inlet, planning the best route to take, practicing navigation on the way, assessing conditions at the inlet and, assuming it’s a go, surfing on the outside.

 

On Sunday, it will be off to Metompkin Inlet for more surf, current, navigation and leadership work.

 

In the evenings, time will be devoted to assessing the conditions you’ll likely find the following day and making decisions about which venue to use, what you are likely to encounter when you get there, and what kind of skills you might work on in that specific environment. In other words, you’ll be exercising judgement and thinking like a leader!

 

The Gathering at Tangier Island

July 1 – 3, 2022 (Fri. – Sun.) 

Location: Tangier, VA

Instructors/Trip Leaders: Rick Wiebush, Laurie Collins

Cost: $325 (+ housing)

 

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 =10-15) of Cross Currents customers, 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. We'll circumnavigate Tangier, play in the zipper, maybe get some small surf, explore the "Uppards" and follow the chain of sandy islands that lead up to Smith Island. Most paddles are about 8 – 10 nm.

 

For those who are interested in working on some skills, we can use 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. The basic idea is to integrate 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).

 

What’s included: the $325 covers guiding, instruction, and the cost of the r/t ferry. Housing and meals aren’t included.  The B&B typically is about $50/night per person for a shared (two person) room. An option will be to have a local waterman take us to his crab shack and explain how the business of crabbing works.

The Rolling School: Rolling Enhancement Series (3 Sessions)

July 9, July 23 and Aug. 6, 2022 (all Saturday mornings)

Location: Rocky Gorge Reservoir

Instructor: Mike Hamilton

Cost: $175 for three one-hour sessions

 

Most paddlers learning to roll need more than one lesson to be successful, so this summer, the Rolling School is offering a series of three one-hour sessions for those who enroll. Take three lessons, each two weeks apart (with homework in between). We will get you up to speed with the foundation moves you need, then we’ll put it all together and help get you rolling. With dedicated practice and attention to your lessons, you might become a roller by summer’s end. Summer school was never so cool!

 

There will be a maximum of three people involved in this series. You do not need a roll to do this course! You can do the class with a Greenland paddle or a Euro paddle.

Introduction to Kayaking

July 16, 2022   (Sat.)

Instructor: Denise Parisi

Location: Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD

Cost: $125

 

This is the second of three Intro courses. It is designed for people who have just started out (or are about to). The whole point of it is to get you feeling comfortable and confident in your boat and to become aware of the safety issues associated with kayaking. And to have fun doing it!

 

We will intersperse discussions, skills practice, and short trips throughout the day. Spa Creek is both a very protected and very scenic waterway.  We’ll cover boat control skills including forward, reverse, sweep and draw strokes. There will be games and drills to help master the various movements. We’ll introduce you to the basic rescues and give you plenty of time to practice them. For those with a spray skirt, we can cover the procedures for a wet exit (getting out of the boat while upside down).

 

Note: you need to have your own boat for this course. We may be able to make one or two rental boats available.

Risk Assessment and Incident Management

Date: July 24, 2022 (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, bad stuff 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!

Women's Adventure Weekend

Dates: July 29 – 31, 2022 (Fri – Sun)

Location: Metompkin Inlet, VA Eastern Shore

Instructors: Ashley Brown, Laurie Collins

Cost: $325 + housing

 

A weekend of classes led by Ashley is spelled F-U-N! And L-E-A-R-N-A-L-O-T!

 

There will be plenty of adventure this weekend as you learn how to deal with somewhat bouncier water (for some in the groups) and very bouncy water (for others in the group). 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.

 

For the less-experienced members of the group, this three-day course will expose you to paddling in surf, current and open water. You’ll get acclimated to rougher water by practicing skills in smaller waves, including those skills that will keep you upright in current, waves and surf.  You will learn a variety of techniques to launch and land through surf and to play safely in the surf zone.   When you are ready, 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.

 

The more experienced participants will have an opportunity to learn advanced skills and practice them in the bigger conditions that are available at Metompkin (like that beautiful surf break off the northern part of the inlet.) 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. Time will also be spent on reading the water, risk assessment and some leadership skills.

 

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.

ACA L4 ICW and Update with Ashley Brown

Aug. 2 -5, 2022 Tues - Fri.)

Location:  Metompkin Inlet, Onancock, VA

Instructor Trainer: Ashley Brown

Cost: $150/day (+ housing)

Join Ashley for an exciting L4 ICW at two of the premier spots on the east coast for developing or honing L4 instructor skills. This four-day course will take place on the VA Eastern Shore at Metompkin Inlet and Smith Island Inlet, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Exciting L4 conditions are (almost) guaranteed every day at one or both venues: wind, waves, current, surf, bounce. If you want to become an L4 instructor, or already are an L4 instructor and need an update, or just want to ramp up your skills, this is an event that you’ll want to take advantage of. Ashley is an ACA L4 IT and L5 Advanced Open Water Instructor. She blends advanced skill development with solid pedagogical approaches both on and off the water, and wraps them both in a context of fun and excitement. Click here for L4 Instructor criteria.

 

This course is offered by Wavepaddler and sponsored by Cross Currents. The cost is $150/day. Updates require a minimum of two days. L4 skills assessments require all four days. L3/4 practice students are welcome for a minimum of two days at $120 per day. Group housing will be available at an additional cost of $55 - $60 pp/per night.  Questions? Contact Ashley at wavepaddlerashley@gmail.com. To register, contact Rick Wiebush at rwiebush@gmail.com.

 

Cape Cod Exploration

Aug 6 – 11 (Sat – Thurs.)

Guides: Paula Hubbard, Rick Wiebush

Location: Harwich (mid-Cape) MA

Cost: $525 (+ housing)

 

Join Paula and Rick for five fabulous days of exploring the various paddling environments offered by scenic Cape Cod. We will have two rental houses (one of which is absolutely spectacular) that will serve as a base for our day trips to venues up and down the Cape. (If you’re interested, this trip can be tied directly into the RI rocks and ledges course the weekend of Aug 12 – 14.)

 

We plan to paddle what are recognized as the best spots on the Cape. Most of the paddles will be about 8 - 10 miles, though we can extend that for those who want to do more. The venues include:

 

  • Nauset Marsh, which is known as one of the most productive saltwater marsh habitats in the world and in which we can expect to see a variety of shorebirds, as well as otters (!) and seals.

  • Great Island which has glacial bluffs and is mainland Cape Cod’s most isolated coastline. Great Island is a six-mile barrier island system with ospreys and oyster catchers, and maybe some diamondback terrapins. Here we can access both protected and open ocean waters.

  • Waquoit Bay is a national research reserve on the south side of Cape Cod. Its protected from Vineyard Sound by two beautiful sandy barrier beaches. We can explore undeveloped Washburn Island.

  • Woods Hole, home of the famous Oceanographic Institute. Here we have to negotiate the currents (often fun!) to head out toward some of the Elizabeth Islands. The Elizabeths are a group of 16 islands that divide Vineyard Sound from Buzzards Bay. I’ve got my eye on some little rocky islands called the Weepecket Islands since they have a beach to land on and are home to lots of cormorants, roseate terns, and seals.

Rocks and Ledges

August 12 - 14 (Fri – Sun)

Location: Narragansett Bay, Newport, Rhode Island area

Instructors: Ken Fandetti, Rick Wiebush, Paula Hubbard

Cost: $325 (+ housing)

 

Join us on this very exciting and challenging course during which we will learn all the basic strategies for dealing with swell as it meets dramatic rocky shorelines and islands. It is just too much fun!

This is a three-day course. The first day (Fri) will focus on practicing the strokes and maneuvers that are used most frequently when playing in rocks and ledges. These include forward and reverse “sprints”, sculling draws and draws on the move, advanced stern rudders, bow rudders and low brace turns.  We’ll also review the safest strategies for dealing with the unexpected capsize near swell and rocks.  To see how these strokes and maneuvers work around rocks – and to develop confidence - we’ll practice in small play spots for most of the day.

Over the next two days, we’ll try some runs through narrow slots in the rocks, ride swell up to get as close to the rock face as possible and try some pour-overs. You'll learn how to use risk assessment to select appropriate play spots. We'll start with small features to develop water-reading skills and work our way up to bigger features.  In all play spots, what you do will be “challenge by choice” i.e. if you don’t feel comfortable trying something, that is totally fine. You can just watch or maybe try a smaller feature. This is about expanding your skills and challenging yourself; not about being stupid or unsafe.  This is not a testosterone challenge!

If you want to do this course you should be a pretty solid intermediate-level sea kayaker with good boat control and bracing skills.  A roll would be helpful but isn’t required. You do not need previous experience in rock gardens, although you are welcome to join us if you have had some exposure to this aspect of paddling. You definitely need a helmet.  

Introduction to Kayaking

Aug. 20, 2022   (Sat.)

Instructor: Denise Parisi, Shelly Wiechelt

Location: Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD

Cost: $125

 

This is the third of three Intro courses for 2022. It is designed for people who have just started out (or are about to). The whole point of it is to get you feeling comfortable and confident in your boat and to become aware of the safety issues associated with kayaking. And to have fun doing it!

 

We will intersperse discussions, skills practice, and short trips throughout the day. Spa Creek is both a very protected and very scenic waterway.  We’ll cover boat control skills including forward, reverse, sweep and draw strokes. There will be games and drills to help master the various movements. We’ll introduce you to the basic rescues and give you plenty of time to practice them. For those with a spray skirt, we can cover the procedures for a wet exit (getting out of the boat while upside down).

 

Note: you need to have your own boat for this course. We may be able to make one or two rental boats available.

 

Intensive Intermediate Skills Workshop

Dates: Aug. 20 - 21, 2022 (Sat -Sun)

Location:  Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD

Instructors:  Laurie Collins, Luci Hollingsworth

Cost: $225

 

This is a repeat of the two-day intensive skills development course (see May 21 - 22) 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. We will place a major emphasis on edging to facilitate turns (or going straight!), bracing, and using the wind to your advantage. There will be a LOT of drills, games, getting wet, and fun!

 

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

The Gathering at Rehoboth Bay/Cape Henlopen

Fri-Sun (Aug 26 – 28)

Instructors: Jeff Atkins, Mike Hamilton, Rick Wiebush

Location: Camp Arrowhead, Lewes, DE

Cost: $295 (+ housing)

 

The idea behind the series of “Gatherings” is simply for paddlers to come together for a long weekend of learning, community, and fun. We’ve held gatherings in multiple locations (Tangier, Chincoteague, Onancock, etc.), but this will be the first time we’ve done it at Rehoboth Bay near Cape Henlopen. We’ve reserved Camp Arrowhead as a base. (That’s where the Delmarva Paddler’s Retreat is always held). It’s a pretty place, with easy access to a variety of venues, and very affordable housing options.

 

There will be flat water and rough water trips and classes offered each day so this event is appropriate for everyone. You can do a trip one day, take a skills class the next day or mix and match any way you want.  Paddling venues include Cape Henlopen, the Delaware and Rehoboth bays, Ocean City, MD, Little Assawoman Bay, Trap Pond State Park, and more. There will be classes in rolling, rough water skills, intermediate skills, Greenland skills, etc.

 

There will be a mix of housing options including tenting, 6 - 8 person bunk cottages, and a small 3 BR house. The cost is $295 + housing (housing at Camp Arrowhead is $35/night. Off-site rental houses and motels are really expensive at that time of year.

British Canoeing Sea Leader (4*) Training

Sept 21 – 22 (Weds – Thurs.)

Location: Cape Charles, VA

Instructor: Todd Wright   Cost: $275 (+ housing)

 

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 23 – 25, 2022 (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: $375 (includes three days of classes + Sat. dinner; lodging is separate)

 

The Kiptopeke Symposium routinely is a fabulous event - 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 in the beautiful state park lodges, 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 2022 courses will be finalized by about May 15 and registration will start that date as well.  We will email everyone when registration opens.

 

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

 

Most people will be staying in one of the five Kiptopeke State Park lodges that we’ve rented for this year. The lodges all have six bedrooms and three baths with a full kitchen and plenty of room to spread out and relax.

 

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.