Philip Wylie (pjwylie@planet.eon.net)
Sun, 17 May 1998 15:02:27 -0600

Date: 	Sun, 17 May 1998 15:02:27 -0600
From: Philip Wylie <pjwylie@planet.eon.net>
To: "\"K. Whilden\"" <kwhilden@u.washington.edu>,
Subject: [baidarka] PFD's/ROLLING & GREAT BOOKS

Bob Perkins wrote:

Yesterday I was the only one actually wearing a PFD
(we were on a fairly shallow river), two paddled without
spray skirts, and at least two did not have spare
paddles. We did encounter some boat wakes large enough to surf.
People like me who don't roll get criticized all the time and I
understand the reasons for that criticism. On the other hand, I have
a pretty good grasp of what conditions I can handle and what I can't.


There is so much that I have learned from people on this list
server and wavelength (past tense). One of the finest gifts anyone
gave me was the encouragement build a Dyson Baidarka and to have gone
out and purchased my own copy of 'SEA-KAYAKER' DEEP TROUBLE- by Matt
and George Gronseth. I wish I could remember who that person was
(probably was Kevin Whilden). The content of this book exposes the
risks and or failure of self belief.... "I have a pretty good grasp
of what conditions I can handle and what I can't."

RSK (Rich) has preached the imperative of wearing a PFD under virtually
all circumstances (a tribute to common sense and value of life) and
advice from one whom I deem to be an accomplished kayaker.
I am not so self confident that I can extricate my self from
any situation. My ego would like to think so but my higher self
says otherwise. It is ironic that someone would criticize (while
not wearing a PFD) someone else who happens to be out on the water;
for not knowing how to roll but is in fact wearing a PFD. Gadzooks!

The experiences written about in 'DEEP TROUBLE'are valuable teachers
that can save one's life. Such stories certainly should keep one's
ego in check so as not to think conditions are so simple that nothing
could likely happen to them. This is an AWESOME BOOK! It has dispelled
many false perceptions that I once held.

I also have John Dowds book 'Sea Kayaking'-A Manual For Long Distance
Touring which I consider excellent. If anyone could recommend one
or two (all time great books) along the lines of the one's mentioned
I would love to hear about them that I might be even more enlightend

Now, I am presently taking rolling lessons (with friends of mine)
from white water guys who are very supportive. No I cannot roll
just yet, but getting close (2nd lesson only). My problem is with
mastery of the hip snap. However, the encouragement received from
one instructor (who just got back from WW-Kayaking in Patagonia
and New Zealand) is that there is more than one way to skin a cat
when it comes to doing a rolls. So I am not beating myself up for not
being able to hip snap just yet. Moreover, these practice boats we use
are not the best fitting nor have the best spray skirts but the
circumstances these boats put me in provide great teaching nevertheless.
It is not that easy to roll a flooded boat.
The fact that I have huge upper body strength causes me to be dependent
on that instead of the imperative of my hips. It's coming, but I am not
as flexible in the hip area as some (especially the younger guys).
I am aggressive and determined to master the techniques. These
white water guys are great and we are having a blast and learning lots.
Had fun at the end of the last class where I attempted to surf land
the WW-boat onto the pool ledge. The great speed that I developed
turned into a sudden crises when I realized at the last second that
there was no way I was going to get the bow over the pool ledge for a
surf landing.
I was doomed to crash into the wall of the pool ledge straight on with a
full head of steam. I planted my paddle at an instant to brake my speed.
Sploosh I was now inverted (involuntary roll) and had relized
(now upside down in the water) that I had a paddle in my hands to roll
me back up. Yeh, almost did it but ran out of breath after two attempts
and had to wet exit.
I can see the value for a breathing tube and lots more practice.

I understand that the Aleut and the Greenlanders both regarded
their Kayaks to be their PFD's and that a wet exit was not
a desired option. The roll enabled them to remain one with their
craft (life support system). It makes sense to me to be of the same
mind that my baidarka is my PFD inspite of my wearing a Lotus PFD
or whatever. Why should a paddler not have the same attitude......
...to regard there kayak as their PFD as well as being skilled how
to wet exit and recover their kayak?

Best Regards,


Considerably North of the 49th parallel where the forest fires
are burning rampant the the smoke inversion makes me think I'm camping.
Less timber for Japanese chop sticks. Oh well they should go for plastic
anyway and save the next generation of trees.