Else where I talked about training the better half to re-enter the Adventure after a huli. Huli (capsize) recovery is one of your big safety items. No sense in buying a second boat for exploration trips if she couldn't handle getting back in.
Apalach had responded to my problems of using a foot stirrup without success talking about using a paddle as a bracing device.
The method he is talking about is as described by Tom Holtey here:
http://www.sit-on-topkayaking.com/Artic ... eFloat.htm
To understand what I'm trying to explain I recommend reading it first. You will also see what I mean about not being simple.
While we may buildup to that technique eventually I wanted something simpler at the start to provide the encouragement of success. There's a lot in Tom's technique, particularly for the non athlete who is old enough to collect SS.
So I rigged the stirrup on the opposite side of re-entry so she could bring it under the boat and her weight would actually create a counter balance to her getting in without having to go through the paddle rigging phase.
First problem is the same as the referenced technique. Getting the stirrup to drift under the boat so you can grab it.
OK by passed that problem for the moment by my feeding it to her.
Still couldn't make it. Why? The stirrup as I rigged it was too low. Note this error is detailed by Tom in his article. He adjusts the stirrup length by wrapping it around the braced paddle. In his words You will find it surprising how close to the surface your foothold will have to be.
This was about where we were after the first training session and Alpalach suggested Tom's technique.
But I wanted it simpler. Flip the yak right side up, pull down the stirrup and get back in .
So the stirrup length was adjusted in shallower water until it was correctly hung off the reentry side. We'll post more on how we do that on a permanent versus temporary basis later. Correctly done look at the two problems in Tom's technique this eliminates- 1. Getting the line under the boat and 2. Adjusting the height of the stirrup by wrapping the line over the paddle.
The simple method of providing a counter weight is to have the coach/me (partner)on the opposite side so she didn't bring the yak back over on top of herself. This completely eliminates worrying about rigging the paddle etc.
This also let's me talk her into what she should be trying to do. It also positions me to get a hand under her arm pit to pull her in if there is an injury bothering one of her arms, and she needs more help.
Using this method she was successful in getting her body over the center of the yak, but clobbered herself why she tried to twist her butt into the seat.
So we tried one more time with a little positive encouragement and she made it.
She's working up a storm at the gym on her upper body strength. But technique is also involved. Here's a simple exercise I have her doing at home.
Kneeling in front of the bed she moves the right leg into a squatting position while her left arm is full extend onto the bed, the right on the bed's edge. She then stands up using her right leg . Have your mate push a bit with arms if required. Now in the erect position facing the bed she pivots to the right so her butt falls onto it.
We will do one more this weekend with a PFD on, then call it quits for awhile. If she pulls that off it's enough to proceed to the next training step where she goes longer than around the harbor. A neighbor has a paddling only yak I can borrow to accompany her.
I'm not trying to get her to do crew changes for the Molokai Hoe, just enough to be safe, and have the confidence she can do it if required. True she still requires my assistance as a counter weight. I can live with that during initial short trips as she gains enough experience to see if that second boat is going to be purchased.
Why not make her get the paddle reentry technique down cold, before turning her lose? Motivation. She enjoys the pedaling. The short distances she has gone, she has already commented on the clarity and color of the water,reef, homes on the water, etc. So she's having fun at the start.
In the meantime she' making progress toward independent re-entry.
Remember when coaching a technique illustrate whole-part-whole. Then work on individual parts. If you have someone unsure of themselves in emergency situations post your coaching tips here.
Finally while it is a great article, I can't help but criticize this comment by Tom : When you tip it is important to keep a hold on your paddle and do not let it drift away. A paddle leash can be quite useful for this. Bear in mind also that you cannot let your kayak get away from you either. If you do not use a leash tuck your paddle shaft between your legs or under an arm while you reach for your float & stirrup, still holding onto the kayak.
LEASH THE YAK TO YOURSELF ALWAYS*
Even though we will try my holding her yak down as a counterweight with me still in mine, note the leash attachment includes me getting into the water as a counterweight. Takes me a New York minute to reattach from it's normal hold to my bow line.
*(OK when landing in surf you can unleash it)