Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another perk of paddling: an international network of friends

Tom Motte, our Rhode Island connection.
While we were in Maine, we briefly met Tim Motte, who tossed out a casual invitation: "Come to Rhode Island!" As with many invitations of this type in the paddling world, much more is implied. The full invitation is, "Come to Rhode Island and I'll take you on some amazing paddles and introduce you to my kayaking cohort." And in this case, "You can stay and my house and I'll make you lunch!"

Today's menu: Peanut butter, banana, pumpkin seed and raisin sandwiches. 
So, of course, we went to Rhode Island, where we got to know Tim and the Rhode Island Canoe/Kayak Association (RICKA) crew.

Meeting on the beach. 
Tim is a BCU five-star leader. According to the British Canoe Union, this means he:
has entered a higher level of performance, involving a high level of personal skill and leadership in advanced situations. It is a leadership award and the appropriate test for paddlers who wish to lead  groups of other paddlers in appropriate locations in advanced tidal waters and  dynamic weather conditions typified by the Climate of the British Isles. The five star leader has the skills and judgement to select appropriate trips for a  range of ability levels.  
Tim points out the intended route on a chart.
We were privileged to spend two days paddling on the Rhode Island coast with Tim and the RICKA paddlers. Rhode Island has only 40 miles of shoreline if you look at its general coastline, but it has 384 miles of tidal coastline, which includes coast, islands, bays, sounds and rivers 100 feet or wider. In other words, it's a craggy place, perfect for rock gardening and rough-water paddling.

It was great watching Tim lead a group in these waters. In keeping with his five-star award, he adjusted the trip for participants who had varying degrees of comfort in the conditions. It was also great to meet more than a dozen RICKA paddlers from Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, who realize how fortunate they are to live so near this amazing kayaking environment.

Kayaking brings a diverse range of people together, creating strong bonds between people who otherwise would never have crossed paths. When we meet kayakers from other parts of the country and the world, we recognize in them the same passion for paddling, delight in sharing it, and desire to protect the places where it's possible.

Thanks, Tim and RICKA. We'll be back.


Unknown said...

Hi Alec,
Can you say me what does Tim carry onto the deck in the first image?
Some kind of tubular foam or what?

bpfamily said...

Good question! They are paddle holders. The reason they are so high up on his front deck is that he pulled out his spare paddle to give to someone in the group, and they slid out. He stored them under his bungees until he could replace his paddle. --S&A