Urban Adventure at Sea- Paddle Canada Level 1

Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 1

This trip like many others began with some indoor planning, however uniquely in Buchanan B302 on July 12th. That evening we learned the theory of what we would encounter in the next two days of our course. We learned our vocabulary, the basics of route planning for the water and assessing risk using our knowledge of the weather and tides.

A couple mornings later, on Saturday, July 14th, we met Krista Cawley, our instructor, at the Jericho Sailing Centre at 8am. With the sun already bright, we geared up, slathered up and got ready to take to the waters. In the morning, we learned to move forwards, backwards and any direction in between efficiently in our kayaks.

Around noon, we paused to eat our lunch and watch windsurfers capsize from Jericho’s rooftop patio, before joining them too.

At that point, the wind had picked up and the waves were a bit choppier. But we decided it would be good conditions for rescue practice. It’s best to be realistic! When it was my turn, I paddled out to Krista, confident, since I had done this before and was happy to be showing off. So I rolled myself over, christening my wetsuit. I then quickly pulled the kayak upwards, clipped on the paddle float and attempted to pull myself up. “A piece of cake!” I thought. I clamored aboard, almost upright, before flipping myself over again. This probably happened 3 more times. Krista waited patiently. Finally, I pulled myself into the cockpit and began pumping the water out. A pump too hard and I was back in the water.

Eventually, we called it a day.

After an hour long bus ride home from Jericho, I collapsed on the floor of my room, cried “my arms!” and stayed there for a couple hours.

The next morning, on July 15th we met to discuss our day paddle plan. We would go out to English Bay, with the westerly winds pushing us along. We warmed up with some land stretches and then picked up some new skills on the water before venturing out on our plan. Soon enough we were skipping across the waves towards our destination. I paddled along blissfully commenting on the beauty of the day, when the waves began to pick up and I saw the moving flash of Lukas Schreiber’s bright green shirt in my peripherals. “Oh no!” I shouted. He had taken an unexpected swim.

We circled around and Joey Gabrick showed off his newly minted skills as a rescuer. Now at ease, we continued along our way and made it to English bay in 45 minutes. Since we had time to spare we decided instead to land at second beach for lunch.

After munching on some of Alberto Contrera’s homemade sourdough and imported cheese, we launched our boats and began paddling against the wind. With the rocky waves, I held a tall posture, feeling as if I was a riding a horse and surfing all at once.

We arrived back at Jericho’s shore certified!

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