Delmarva Paddlers Retreat 2003

Paddling Delaware and the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia

 

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Delmarva Retreat 2003

The Delmarva Retreat was once again a well-done, well-organized success.  No direct connection with this Delmarva Paddlers board; it predates the message board by some 13 years; it was well represented this year by a few of the “locals”.  Cindy and Charlie Cole of Ocean View began it 15 years ago; Robin Snow is now the event organizer.  Pictures have been uploaded to the picture section of the Delmarva site.  See http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/DelmarvaPaddlers/lst Thanks to Gabriel Romeu for his contributions too.  His are under the 03 Delmarva Retreat photo album as a sub album.  Laura and Ashley, both racers on the “Circuit”, were there for their first time.  I apologize to Ashley, as there are scant few photos of her.  Laura on the other hand was everywhere it seems when the cameras were out.  I saw very little of Ashley during the Retreat, but when I did there was usually a big smile on her face. 

 The Retreat started midday on Friday for the first time this year; with paddle making and some advanced rolling classes with Pavia Lumholt.  Be sure to see the pictures of Ashley and Laura making their own paddles.  Ashley’s first and Laura’s second.  Pavia was in from Greenland and is a great source of information for this all Greenland paddle event.  The food was as always good and plentiful; the staff of Camp Arrowhead has been very accommodating.   Friday night we all gathered by a very warm fire to hear and see a presentation by George Dyson on the history of the Baidarka and kayaking along the northwest coast.  Dyson wrote the book “Baidarka” and several others. His work has been very influential in increasing interest in the building of skin boats, especially those used by the Aleuts.  If you have any interest in the Baidarka, you will come across George. 

 Night came around much too soon, so several of us headed down to the beach and learned about the stars and constellations from Wendy.  She’d point out clusters and there would many “oh yes I see it's.  I have no doubt that they were up there, Wendy was very knowledgeable, but without a laser pointer, I still have know idea what I was looking at.  And I suspect some others were lying when they said they did. 

 Saturday brought beautiful weather and given the poor forecast for Sunday I decided to take out my camera.  After a great breakfast of Kirby and Holloway sausage and sticky buns, classes began.  With a full belly I stayed with the camera, no rolling or rescues this morning.  Greg Stamer, Harvey Golden, Pavia and Mark Molina gave a combined class on the use of the Greenland paddle.  They all have competed in the Greenland Kayak Championships in Greenland, and their combined knowledge gave us a wealth of information to go and try on the water.  I then headed up to the pool area.  I knew Laura would be taking rolling lessons.  What I didn’t expect was to see several new rolling techniques being described and taught.  Gabriel taught a very simple exercise on land that really demonstrated how important maintaining a low center of gravity is to a successful sweep roll.  Will Bigelow was then in the pool teaching rolling in a simple three step process.  It clicked in my mind and brought all of the lessons I’ve taken together.  I took tons of pictures mainly to remind me of the steps.  Will is with the Walden Paddlers group, aka Walden Pond Scum, their words not mine.  The technique sure seemed to be working. See the pictures of Laura taken by Gabriel doing a roll.  She’s also wearing a Tuiliq and in (wearing) a skin boat.  Wonder what project she’ll be working on this winter. 

 Lunch was had and then into the water for me.  It was amazing how cold that bay had become in just one week.  Ray and Margaret Killen taught advanced rescues and the weather certainly cooperated, the winds came up and gave us a good bit of chop to practice in.  They have Katabasis and instruct ACA, BCU and Greenland style in the Egg Harbor NJ area.  http://members.aol.com/kayakillen/katabasis/ A hot shower afterwards felt great and then off for more food and socializing.  Mark Molina gave a very good presentation of his recent experiences in Greenland and the competition he won this past summer.  We then all gathered around the swimming pool for a demonstration of the 33+ rolls required in the Greenland Competition.  Harvey, who was in the middle of a 6-week honeymoon, and Pavia were in the cold water while Greg narrated.  John Heath passed away this year; he is arguably the father of the Greenland renaissance in this country.  He brought the sport to the US and was a frequent attendee of the Retreat.  Many paddlers know of him and many at this year’s Retreat knew him personally. Robin led a very moving poolside tribute to him.  Surrounded by small lanterns on the pool coaming two paddlers accompanied an empty kayak, a practice on Greenland honoring a departed paddler.  It’s fair to say even those who didn’t know John were moved.

 We all then gathered on the beach and warmed by the bonfire and adult beverages sang into the night under the leadership of Paul Peeling on guitar and his girl friend Laura, wonderful singers both.  I’d love to hear Paul play in a Rathskeller somewhere.  Donna had her guitar and a fellow whose name I missed had an accordion.  The camaraderie was excellent; Mitch, Jennifer and Don from Coastal Kayaks joined us for the evening.  They meet Glenn Gauvry with the Ecological Research and Development Group, a group dedicated to the preservation of the horse crab.  That was that, no singing form that group, but a friendship based their mutual interests was developed.  Good things should come from that alliance.  Sleep came easily, and no one rose up early for a sunrise paddle.

 Sunday came, and the weather was much better than predicted.  Breakfast was again filling, oh those sticky buns.  We continued meeting, greeting and gabbing.  We paddled a little, practiced our new found strokes and braces.  Lunch and the auction came and went and we just didn’t want to leave, so several of us took a paddle up to Love Creek and back.  I asked Ashley to join us, but she had arranged for some bracing instruction, you just couldn’t get enough of it.   Appropriately tired from that excursion we slowly packed and slowly went home, all of us promising to return next year.  And promising to paddle together during the year.  And we will, the good Lord willing. 

Thanks to Gabriel for the additional photos. http://www.studiofurniture.com/delmarva/

 Much more information may be found on Greenland Paddling at http://www.qajaqusa.org

 Good-bye Big Dog, we missed you. ( And now Cindy too! )

 

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Last modified: 08/10/14