It was one hell of an event. I almost skipped this
year to go instead to the Mid-Atlantic Small Boat Show at the Maritime Museum.
Robin Snow, the event organizer, convinced me to go. It really wasnít that
hard. I missed a great show, but I participated in a most enjoyable 3-day
event instead. No regrets. Iíll have to start going to the Mystic
Seaport boat show so as not to miss next yearís Retreat. Unlike the ACA
and the BCU, the Greenland style of kayaking is passed on through mentoring.
Mentors like Pavia
Lumbolt of Greenland, Greg Stamer form Florida and current Greenland Kayaking
Champion. Like Harvey Golden and Vernon Doucette, historians in Greenland boat
building and traditions. Charlie and Cindy Cole of Ocean View; Cindyís a past
Greenland Champion. Margaret Killen, Rita and Gabriel Romeu, Jenny and Greg
Welker, Chuck Sutherland and the list goes on. Giving of themselves, tirelessly
teaching all day, many times one on one. Itís billed as an all Greenland event,
but you will gain even if you only use a ďEuroĒ blade. Learn to carve your own
blade. Or borrow one. You may just find it to your liking.
The weekend started with Robin asking that I take Dubside
and Pavia on a tour of Rehoboth Bay Friday. There was a slight communication
problem I guess, because we only paddled a few hundred yards when Pavia
announced heíd paddle enough and began practicing his repertoire of 30+ rolls.
Dubside, who was borrowing a hard-shell boat, joined in and found a dozen new
rolls heís never attempted in his Feather Craft. Sorry, no pictures were taken,
so youíll have to take my word for it. For those unfamiliar with Dubside, his
picture is in the 13th Delmarva Retreat album. He is well known for
toting his folding boat through the mass transit system in Philly to get to the
water. Joy tried to lend him her Betsy Bay, but Dubside must have been afraid
it would cause him to cross over to the hard side, and ran for cover. We then
all headed for Camp Arrowhead. The evening brought a yummy dinner and a short
program on building skin on frame boats at Mystic Seaport. Much milling around
and great conversations.
Saturday started with a beautiful sunrise and Kirby and
Holloway sausage and pancakes. Wonít be loosing weight this weekend. Plenty
of things to do but Joy and I decided to paddle across the bay to Thompsonís
Island instead, and then back by lunch. Um um good. After lunch was a rescues
course with Rita and Margaret. Theyíve been trying to get me wet for some time,
and now was their chance. I wanted go back to the basics so we started we the
most basic, the wet exit and paddle float re-entry. Then on to the t-rescue,
the bow rescue and finally the scoop rescue. Phil and I had paired up, we both
have a fair amount of paddling experience, but the scoop rescue was new to both
of us. Margaret showed us how to get an injured paddler back in the boat and
right them. We had divided into two classes; Phil and I finished early but
didnít find the others who were doing advanced rescues. So we paddled over to
Dan Smith and practiced our harpoon throwing. You just never know when
something like this may come in handy. All I was able to score was ďPolar Bear
BaitĒ. Good thing we have a Super G close by, my family would starve if I had
to return to hunter-gatherer. After all day on the water, time for a beer, a
shower and dinner. More good food and peanut butter pie.
Saturday evening started the Danís classic video on the
reproductive habits of the barnacle. You had to be there. Then a presentation
from Greg Stamer on Greenland and the Kayaking Championship followed by Harvey
Goldenís slide show on kayaks he has surveyed in museums around the world. Then
off to the pool were Harvey and Pavia showed the rolls required to compete in
the Championship narrated by Greg. It really defies gravity. Now the best part
of the evening was upon us. The bon fire, a sing a-long and just a little beer
and wine. Unfortunately, too much fun in the sun and this old boy was in bed,
sober, by 10:30, but from all reports those that stayed had a fine time.
Sunday brought cooler weather, more Kirby and Holloway and
eggs. I think I forgot to mention the sticky buns. Mmmmmm. I was signed up
for a rolling lesson. I ate sparingly, just one plateful. Then it was off to
the pool. Chuck Southerland is a great teacher, I think I got it. Chuckís
method was a little different; he focused on taking my roll apart into 4
distinct steps and then taught me how to continue to teach myself. Iím closer
now than ever to a reliable roll. Itís up to me to practice. Actually I think
if I did practice after any of my previous lessons Iíd be rolling now. No time
to do anything after the pool session, so itís off to the showers to warm up and
then to lunch and the auction.
Every year the Retreat earns extra money to help defray
the costs of bringing special guests in by holding a live auction, silent
auction and a raffle. Excellent items all around, but there were a couple of
things on that raffle table that had caught my eye. So there went my money;
surely one of the fine sweatshirts, or if I were really lucky the Tuliq would be
mine. And true to being a B, by the time my raffle number finally hit
they were gone. I did pick up Ray Killenís fine book on Navigation, so all was
not lost by any means. Noteworthy for its accurate and concise information, but
most astounding to me was to see two pictures of Ray paddling with a bent shaft
After lunch and the auction, it was off to kayak games.
Now comes the toss up, do I participate or do I take my camera and sneak in a
few shots. Camera won; after all I was dry and warm. See the recent posts at
Retreat 02 in the photo section.
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/DelmarvaPaddlers/lst Iím glad I went
with the camera. See the Katrina and Rachel series. Katrinaís Dad had arrived
to pick her up just as she was entering the rolling competition. Charlie Cole
had taught her the roll on Saturday. Her face at the end says it all. She
didnít know her Dad was there to see it. Rachel nailed 9 or 10 rolls in 30
I canít believe I even contemplated not going.
More images from Brian Scarborough
For more info on the Retreat and to get on the mailing
list for next year go to
http://delmarvaretreat.com/ Iím sure Gabriel will have photos there too.
Information on Greenland Kayaking see
Answers to my most frequently asked questions; No I donít
have a reliable roll yet, but I am closer. My new paddle is an $18 piece of
quarter sawn western red cedar 2x4x8, $2 Linseed oil and 4hrs of my time. My
newest blade matches the performance of my Artic Passage, a little more fine
tuning of the grip and some drip ties and I believe Iíve found itís replacement,
especially as Perception does not make it anymore. As before the original
images in higher resolution are available for the asking.