Ten people turned out for the fall skills practice session at Mariner’s Cove. Jane Hardy, and Gennifer Gatan (on far right) from CKF lead the group in practicing the “Heel Hook Rescue”, the “T-Rescue”, and the “Cowboy Recovery”.
There were some new people there, and it was so good to see Robin on the water again.
The Cowboy Recovery (above photos, first two) may be difficult to master, but it is a great way to develop your balancing skills. The T-Rescue (not shown) is a basic skill that everyone should learn. Photos of that will be added when this report is turned into a safety article.
The Heel Hook Rescue is the easiest way to get back in your boat. For fast rescue in high wind and cold water, it does not matter which way to have the bow pointing, and can be performed as Jane and Erin are demonstrating below (first 4 photos) with a bow-to-bow configuration, but is more efficient if the boats are bow-to-stern. The rescuer holds the boat as shown, while the other person faces aft and hooks the heel inside the cockpit toward the bow, then pull up and roll onto your stomach, assisted with your arm while straightening your leg. If you are using your right heel, then your right arm is used to reach across your boat to assist in the rotation. Grab both your deck line and the other boat’s deck line with that hand, which will keep the boats together, making the entry more stable, especially in rough water. The Heel Hook is easier than other reentry methods because our leg muscles are much stronger than our arms, so let the leg do the work.
There are videos on the web showing these and other methods of getting back into your boat, but the best way to master them is to take a class at Aqua Adventures and come out to our practice sessions. Hope to see you next time.