Category Archives: Safety

Staying Healthy While Being Active in These Uncertain Times

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Tall Ships Paddle 2015

Over the past year some people have expressed concern to me about participating in paddling and other outdoor sports, and especially going to indoor social events. We are hearing different, and often conflicting advise on how to keep ourselves healthy, and a lot of it is unfortunately political in nature. From the start of the Covid-19 spread, I was determined to find truth in what works to help me from getting sick, and how to continually stay healthy. I also decided not to let undo fear control my thinking and my life. The right kind of fear– having a healthy respect for things to avoid — is part of our nature, placed there to keep us safe. We are blessed with incredible bodies having amazing immune systems… we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and have the ability to learn what is best for us. 

As an appraiser, I’m trained to weed out false information from the data. When you have opposing claims to the “facts”, by examining each for flaws in consistency, and errors, you can eliminate the implausible, and arrive at a point that makes sense. You then apply comparative analysis in order to form an opinion that correlates with reality…the truth. Using those tools for staying healthy, I have recently researched (because “science” changes and evolves over time) primary data (not someone’s article or interpretation about that data) to get answers. It takes considerable time to search deeper for truthful information, but your health and safety are worth it. The key is to find sources that do not have a political axe to grind, that publish original clinical research that has been peer-reviewed. The following information is based on several articles published in 2020 and 2021. The pertinent sources are referenced at the end of this article. 

Therapeutics for Covid-19

Given the facts that the Covid virus can morph into different variants, that face masks cannot effectively stop the virus (even the N-95 mask, which filters 95% at .3 microns can leak, or the virus can even enter the body through the surface of the eye), that vaccines can lose potency over time, our best defense is to bolster the body’s ability to prevent the virus from replicating inside us. The following is what works for me. You want to decide for yourself, and/or consult with your doctor to see what you should do. 

The American Journal of Medicine, January 2021 issue states that Zinc is a known inhibitor of coronavirus replication. Clinical trials of zinc lozenges in the common cold have demonstrated modest reductions in the duration and or severity of symptoms. By extension, this readily available nontoxic therapy could be deployed at the first signs of COVID-19. Lost in all the controversy over Hydroxychloroquine is the fact that it simply aids in the body’s ability to absorb zinc, which the Journal goes on to explain.  

I take 80 mg of zinc per day, which I get in AREDS 2 by PreserVision. Included also in those supplements are vitamins C, E, along with copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Taking these pills for the past 3 years has effectively stopped the progression of AMD in my eyes, and unknowingly, most likely helped to keep me from contracting Covid. You may consider taking them even if you do not have AMD if you are over 40, in addition to other supplements. They contain essentials for a strong immune system and eye health.

I also take 5000 IU of vitamin D3, which has been found to benefit the body’s immune system. This vitamin, magnesium, and zinc may be the most important therapeutics to take daily to strengthen your body against the virus. Copper and vitamin C have also been linked to cellular health and may be helpful in preventing a virus infection. A baby aspirin a day helps fight inflammation, which the Covid virus brings on.

In summary, it is up to each of us to take charge of our health, so we can be active and fully participate in life and experience the joy of relationships.

Supporting Primary Data:

Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection – The American Journal of Medicine (amjmed.com)

Vitamin D and Its Potential Benefit for the COVID-19 Pandemic – PubMed (nih.gov)

Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths – PubMed (nih.gov)

Serum zinc and copper in patients with COVID-19 and zinc supplementation in parenteral nutrition – ScienceDirect

Masks Don’t Work: A Review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy | River Cities’ Reader (rcreader.com)

Ophthalmic Manifestations Of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

New Research Suggests Magnesium and Vitamin D Can Help Reduce COVID-19 Infections | Saint Luke’s Health System (saintlukeskc.org)

Note: While the article on masks is an opinion piece, the primary clinical research is presented as the foundation for those opinions, for you to read and decide for yourself.

“Stay Ready” – Increasing Your Odds of Keeping Safe

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

I recently heard a great message by David Jeremiah about the human condition, which some elements have direct applications for our sport. It examined the fact that people tend to live for the moment, responding to the immediate and not the important, and put off those things that will prepare them for future events and uncertainties. I’ve expanded on that message to fit our needs.

Our nature is to avoid making hard decisions, those that may increase the level of stress in our lives. This is why we don’t go to the doctor when we should. Part of our make-up is something called the “Normalcy Bias”, the survival mechanism in our DNA which causes us to think everything is ok when confronted with danger of any form. What typically comes to mind is how unprepared people are for natural disasters, like a hurricane. Having not prepared well in advance, they are not staying ready for the event, then have to scurry at the last minute to get ready, often falling short of what is needed for survival. But this is also what keeps us from being prepared for every day occurrences that put us in harm’s way. This is why we have to learn how to be a defensive driver. Learning to be afraid of, or having respect for something that has not yet happened is what changes us from careless behavior to wise and cautious people.

The old adage of “trusting your instincts” only applies when you have developed wise and careful instincts to begin with. We learn as kids to not touch hot objects, but we can also learn vicariously what to avoid. Too often I have read of the tragic consequences of someone venturing into the wilderness or on the water, and not heeding the warning signs of danger. We are out to have fun, and our “guard is down” of paying attention to those signs. Learning to recognize, analyze, then act on those signs will increase the odds of our staying safe. It is one thing to sense danger; it is another to act on that.  

It is better to over-prepare for any event, making careful plans, leaving your itinerary with someone back home, bringing the right equipment, and so on. But the most important thing to take on any outing is a prepared mindset. Go over in your mind every possible danger that may occur on the trip, and think about the safest action to take if that happens. This will give you the ability to act quickly and decisively. That is why going over first aid and safety procedures at the start of the trip is so important. It gets everyone on the same page in thinking about safety, and how to respond as a group. This is why it is critical to know who you are trusting to venture out with. Does that person (especially the leader) have the right mindset for safety.

But there is another aspect of this, one that is related to the Normalcy Bias, and that is the tendency to “freeze up” in the face of immediate danger, and how to better your chance of this not happening to you. Why this is so important can be demonstrated by three examples I have personally witnessed.

While ocean fishing years ago I had three others in my boat and we were trolling for albacore several miles south of San Diego on a calm day. I let someone else steer the boat, who also owned a boat and was familiar with ocean fishing. Suddenly we spotted a six-foot-high breaking wave coming at us off the right side of our boat. At that instance, he froze and did nothing to save us from the likelihood of being capsized by the wave hitting us broadside. I had to physically pull him off the helm, turned the boat into the wave, and pushed the throttle full speed. We were able to punch through the wave, but the boat was half full of water. Keeping the speed up while turning on the bilge pump eventually drained the water out.  

The second instance was being driven home by a friend at night, and we were on the I-8 freeway when a car in front of us clipped another in the rear bumper and it rolled upside down. My friend froze at the wheel while we sped toward the accident. I shouted at him to stop, which jolted him out of that trance, and we narrowly avoided hitting the upside-down car. He later admitted the accident did not look “real”, and he was mesmerized by what was happening. He was mentally unprepared to deal with something out of the ordinary. This explains why some people get up out of their seat in an airplane accident to exit the plane, while others who are able to get up stay put in a bewildered trance. They have not mentally rehearsed that emergency scenario in advance.

The third experience was in a float plane on the Alaska Peninsula during a moose hunt. We did an emergency landing at a remote hunting lodge on the Stony River when we could not get through Merrill Pass to get back to Anchorage. Having stayed overnight, we boarded the plane, pushed out into the river going downstream, and the pilot pulled the throttle cable to increase engine speed. Suddenly the cable broke with the RPM at half throttle. He looked at the broken end and handle in his hand and screamed “look at this”. Then he froze, just staring at the handle. We were still on the water, going really fast, and heading toward a sharp turn and several trees. Disaster seemed eminent, then my brother-in-law (who was also a pilot) reached over and turned off the magneto, stopping the engine. While our young pilot was very experienced in the bush, a broken throttle cable had never happed to him, and he was not prepared for that specific event; the shock of it froze him. Something that older pilots do is go over various emergency scenarios, and the actions taken to avoid disaster. And they do this over and over again. By doing this they develop the ability to focus, think and solve problems under extreme pressure, which transfers to new situations.

It is mental training before something occurs that makes the difference. And through that training we become consistent in our response in an emergency. By repeating that mental training, we gain “mental and muscle memory” which lets us respond to a crisis without stopping to think about it (our mind and body acts automatically). The goal is to be “consistently consistent” through discipline and repetition, and by that we are staying ready for any emergency.

Learn from your mistakes, and take action to not repeat them! I’ve made some notable errors on trips I’ve led, and after each trip have evaluated the event, researched the remedy for not repeating that mistake, then shared that info with the group. While these events and evaluations are serious, finding humor in them also helps to move beyond them, while not allowing trauma to paralyze us. “To err is human, to forgive divine”.

One last element that is essential for a quick response to an emergency is confidence. We gain confidence through that mental preparedness and compliance to the essentials of what is important to know and act on. That confidence gives us the courage to act through the fear of the moment. During the war in England the famous preacher G. Campbell Morgan saw that people were fearing the invasion from Germany, and wanted to bolster their confidence. He told them that all around England were “Strong Men” of consistent action and focus on what is important, and that the “fixed heart is one of courage”. Churchill was giving the same message, and the country became resolved to fight on at any cost.

Be prepared, be brave, stay safe…

Skills Practice Session

Paddlers!  Come play with us.

We’ll use the usual format – buddy up and work on whatever suits you.

Generally, the veterans join in to help coach, so novice paddlers are welcome to get wet with us and be prepared for plenty of laughs.

DATE:                            Saturday, May 19

RALLY TIME:                  9:30 am

LAUNCH TIME:              10:00 am

DURATION:                   1 – 2 hours

LAUNCH SITE:               Aqua Adventures Dock

VENUE:                          Mariner’s Cove, where there is a nice beach and bathrooms

OPTIONAL:                    Getting wet, or not

RECOMMENDED:          Warm paddling clothes with a splash jacket or a dry top/dry suit

 

PLEASE NOTE:

These paddles are not sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures events. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator.”  

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land in small surf

Aids to Navigation

Aids to Navigation can provide a boater with information similar to that which drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours, and traffic lights. This booklet will give you, the recreational boater, the basic information you need about the U.S. Aids to Navigation System (USATONS). This information will help you recognize, understand, and navigate by the colors, shapes, numbers, and lights you will encounter on the water. It will also give you the basic tools you need to read a nautical chart. In addition, you will find information on safety, the proper way to interact with other vessels, tips on boating at night, and how to handle special situations you might encounter, like bridges and locks

http://www.uscgboating.org/images/486.PDF

Skills Practice Session

Paddlers!  Come play with us.

Let’s take advantage of the warm water with a skills practice. 

We’ll use the usual format – buddy up and work on whatever suits you.

Generally, the veterans join in to help coach, so novice paddlers are welcome to get wet with us, and be prepared for plenty of laughs.

DATE:                            Saturday, July 15

RALLY TIME:                  8:30 am

LAUNCH TIME:              9 am

DURATION:                   1 – 2 hours

LAUNCH SITE:               Aqua Adventures Dock

VENUE:                          Mariner’s Cove, where there’s a nice beach and bathrooms

OPTIONAL:                    Getting wet, or not

RECOMMENDED:            Warm paddling clothes with a splash jacket or a dry top/dry suit

 

PLEASE NOTE:

These paddles are not sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures events. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator.”  

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for, and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land in small surf

Skills Session This Saturday!

Let’s take advantage of the warm water with one more skills practice.

We’ll use the usual format – buddy up and work on whatever suits you.
Generally, the veterans join in to help coach, so novice paddlers are welcome to get wet with us and be prepared for plenty of laughs.

DATE: Saturday, October 22
RALLY TIME: 8:30 am
LAUNCH TIME: 9 am
DURATION: 1 – 2 hours
LAUNCH SITE: Aqua Adventures Dock
VENUE: Mariner’s Cove, where there is a nice beach and bathrooms
OPTIONAL: Getting wet, or not
RECOMMENDED: Warm paddling clothes with a splash jacket or a dry top/dry suit
RSVP: Please let Jane Hardy know if you plan to attend

PLEASE NOTE:
These paddles are not sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures events. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator.”

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for, and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land in small surf.

Skills Practice

Let’s tune up our skills while we have such warm water temperatures.

We’ll use the usual format – buddy up and work on whatever suits you.
Generally, the veterans join in to help coach, so novice paddlers are welcome to get wet with us, and be prepared for plenty of laughs.

DATE: Saturday, August 27
RALLY TIME: 8:30 am
LAUNCH TIME: 9 am
DURATION: 1 – 2 hours
LAUNCH SITE: Aqua Adventures Dock
VENUE: Mariner’s Cove, where there is a nice beach and bathrooms
OPTIONAL: Getting wet, or not
RECOMMENDED: Warm paddling clothes with a splash jacket or a dry top/dry suit

PLEASE NOTE:
These paddles are not sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures events. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator.”

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land in small surf.

June 2016 Leadership Class Report

Click to enlarge photos

Click to enlarge photos

Six people took part in the first Leadership Class offered by the joint effort of the club and Aqua Adventures (AA). Jen Kleck conducted an excellent classroom session covering the topics of Leadership Characteristics, the Role of the Leader, Risk Assessment, Preparation for a paddle, and what to go over with the group prior to a paddle.

IMGP1417 IMGP1438 IMGP1446

The group looked at a map of Mission Bay and the anticipated paddle route while Jen discussed the various factors to consider on each leg of the trip. The group then formulated a “Trip Plan”, taking into consideration the different risks involved.

IMGP1450 IMGP1453 IMGP1456

The water session consisted of each member taking a turn at leading the group, and also involved a rescue practice in the open bay. Jen did an amazing job in both the classroom session and the water practicum. She teaches with authority, focus and energy. If you ever have an opportunity to take a class from her, you will not regret it. Be sure to check out all the courses AA has to offer to advance your paddling skills. The club thanks her greatly for her involvement with us.

These joint-effort classes are partially subsidized by the ongoing sales of our club gear at AA, so go in and buy some gear and help contribute to future skills classes for our members. The more gear sold, the more classes we will offer.

Note: The content of this course will be presented in detail soon, and found under the not-yet-created “Skills” tab at the top of this web page.

June 2016 Navigation Class Report

Robin Kedward conducted an interesting morning session at AA on the basics of navigation, covering the topics of magnetic vs true north, latitude and longitude, charts, measuring distance on a map, compass rose, taking and following a bearing, course correction, the parts of a compass, tides and how to deal with them, and the “Rule of 12”. The notes from this class will become a posted article found in our skills group soon.

IMGP1371 IMGP1357 IMGP1362

IMGP1361 IMGP1388 IMGP1397

Click on photos to enlarge

After the classroom session we went over to the dirt lot and everyone practiced “walking a bearing”. Jane Hardy came by to visit for a while, as she is briefly in town between trips to Wales and Scotland. We also took a minute to present Robin with a club hat and T-shirt as a “thank you” for his many years of service to the club and fellow paddlers.

Thank you Robin for all you do

Thank you Robin for all you do

SDKC Sponsored Beginner’s Class Report

IMGP1238

The first class subsidized by the club hat and T-shirt sales at Aqua Adventures was conducted on Saturday, May 21, and was a big success. Six people took advantage of a good deal and excellent instruction by Jen Kleck, who went through the basic strokes, boat handling, and assisted re-entry. More details on these procedures can be found by scrolling down to our skills practice session reports.

Click on photos to enlarge

IMGP1177 IMGP1161 IMGP1162

IMGP1169 IMGP1213 IMGP1232

Lois, Theresa, Johnny, Mary Sue, Carol and Mike were all fast learners, and no one tipped over. After some practice of basic strokes at the AA dock, the group proceeded over to the Life Guard Station. The sales of our club hats and T-shirts are the reason these classes will be offered at such a low cost to our members, so stop by AA and get yourself some club gear!

IMGP1283 IMGP1292 IMGP1258

IMGP1275 IMGP1335 IMGP1301

After practicing the sculling draw stroke, turning and boat handling, the group went back to the AA dock for instruction in how to get back in their boats after a capsize. Steve Wilson assisted Jen during this class, and not only showed off his very cool club hat, but did a few graceful rolls. Many thanks to Steve, and especially to Jen for a very good class in the basics. This is the first of hopefully many classes that our club gear sales will subsidize, so stay tuned for the next one to be announced soon!

IMGP1303 IMGP1316 IMGP1324

IMGP1295 IMGP1297 IMGP1236