Ok, so here's how Delmarva went this
As usual, it was a super fun time. We had beautiful weather. The sun
was shining, keeping things warm, and the skies were clear, keeping
some things dry. Like, tents.
On the other hand, there were plenty of things getting wet, as one
would expect, including people, neoprene and kayaks.
I can only relate how things were from an instructor's view, and I hope
that the participant's view was equally good.
As many of you may know, we had a new retreat organizer this year, as
Robin Snow was too busy moving and working in a new job. However, she
did help Ed Zachowski transition to organizer, and he did a wonderful
job. Things went smoothly, except when I fibbed him and told him I
couldn't find the 2 West Coasters I was supposed to pick up at the
airport. Good thing that joke didn't last too long when Don Beale and
Bob Kelim walked in moments later. Then Ed started strangling me a la
Homer and Bart Simpson.
As you all know, the Retreat has gone all Greenland traditional
technique. We had some of the best instructional talent in the country.
Unfortunately, we were unable to get a Greenlander, or even Pavia
Lumholt this year, but we made up with that by having an excellent crew
from New Jersey, Walden Kayak Society, the West Coast, Montana, and
even New Orleans. Greg Stamer was in from Florida again. We missed
Harvey Golden, but I suspect traveling out would have been too much for
him now that he's got young Max to look after. It was really great to
have such diverse teaching from all over.
Dan Segal had a new class structure this year, which was borrowed from
the ski instructors. There were stations set up, and each station had a
description of which skills were to be taught. All participants were
able to select where they wanted to go, and then instructors could be
moved around as necessary. I think this worked really well. The 7 or so
skill sets were taught in at least 3 different sessions, so I think
very few people missed out on skills they wanted to learn. We
instructors were able to pick up things from each other. We had people
getting rolls left and right, and people who had worked unsuccessfully
many times were finally able to break through barriers.
Dubside was back in town. Now that he's going to become a left coaster,
we won't see him much. He had full sets of qajaqsaasaarneq ropes, and
many people were able to try "Like a kayak." Don Beale did an excellent
job in the paddle carving class, allowing all participants to leave
with a finished paddle. As far as I know, only 2 were broken, but it
was awfully shallow out there.
Duncan Winick jumped the pond from Scotland, to give a wonderful
presentation. He explained how he took lines off a boat built in 1959
in Greenland, and freely distributed those line drawings. Over 50 boats
have been based on those lines, including the Anas Acuta. The sister of
that original kayak was given to John Heath, and the frame was at the
retreat for viewing. How 'bout that?!
There were tons of new faces, which was great. Many I saw said they'd
be back next year. It was sad not to see some more familiar faces,
I have to say overall, it was another very successful and fun Delmarva.