On Kayaking London‘s Twilight paddle yesterday evening, when I turned to see one of the kayaker’s looking for something in the water the first thought I had was ‘Ooh, perhaps he’s found something interesting on the Thames for us to blog about’. But not this time.
Yes, he’d found something, but it was something he’d lost and found as opposed to just found. His paddle.
As you probably know (or can guess) being stuck in a kayak on the Thames – or anywhere, for that matter – without a paddle is not a good place to be.
Your paddle is one of your best friends. Choose one that complements you. Keep it close. Love it. Be nice to it. And try not let it go*!
Trust me – I’ve learnt the hard way. Having developed a nasty habit of letting go of my paddle while practising rescues when I first started kayaking, this year I found myself swimming unnecessarily at the Bitches in Pembrokeshire: knowing how to roll is all good and well, provided you haven’t already offered up your paddle to the water gods. And swimming (twice) in the Ramsey Sound in March in non-drysuit-type-gear is a cold way to learn that lesson. Luckily for me Nige from Seakayakguides was on hand to curtail my Irish sea swim(s). I don’t reckon I’ll let go of my paddle any time soon again.
So let’s hope we don’t find more paddle-less paddlers or paddler-less paddles on the Thames any time soon.
*Top tip for adamant paddler-throwers: learn how to hand roll.