Monday, November 05, 2007

Group "Integrity"

It's like herding cats, and it drives me batty. Especially when I am the group leader. A group starts out (yesterday, in the pic above, there were 9 of us...but I digress) and, like random chaotic movement under a microscope, each paddler seeks out their little section of the water. Soon they are too far apart to hear a cry for help or even a whistle.

This is even more so at symposiums where paddlers of all levels self-assess themselves to be intermediate or expert practitioners of the sport and go out in a gaggle of mayhem. Some take off at 4+knots while (and there is always one of these) a small group forms to gossip and does little more than drift along. And the leaders let it happen!

When one of our group goes over you can be sure that the conditions are somewhat challenging. Throw in the dropping water temps, and it becomes apparent that a paddler would be anxious to get back into their boat and be upright. Now, throw in 4 foot waves and a separation of...oh say...30 yards, and you won't see me go over in such a setting. If you do, can you find me? And how long will it take for you to get over to me?

This problem tends to sort out in our group by each of us having at least one partner who stays in our back yard. Yesterday, when I was taking pics like the one above, JB and Doug (I noticed) eased off and waited until I caught up again. That's awareness and the beginning of integrity in a group.

Paddle safe...

DS

3 comments:

DaveO said...

The same thing happens constantly, no matter who or where I paddle. I think the attention span is so short and people get drawn into the 10' circle surrounding them when the waves get a bit dicey that they just aren't cognizant of whats happening. And its tough for the leader to round em up. Lots of independent minded paddlers out there; one can only hope it doesn't bite em in the rear end.

derrick said...

jb loves you more than me. LOL! As the guy with the camera I can't count how many times in groups I'm lost somewhere in the distance. Of course they probably feel i should not be taking so many pictures and it's my problem. In the end though, the camera guy is often a bit on their own. LOL!

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

Solving the world's problems, one paddle stroke at a time...

Good luck on this one... who's running sweep...