Excellent advice, Mary Slater. Both Pete_61 and Dogslife have commented on the importance of taking care of their integral booties.
I will definitely be following your suit-up routine.
When I got my first AI back in 2007, I couldn't imagine using a drysuit. (http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&sid=0300f05cbe3d63f4d6e141e0d7acb4e4
) I even exclaimed on another forum, that "this is S FL, why would I ever need a drysuit!" or words to that effect. I did have a great Kokatat Gore-Tex Hooded paddling jacket and good, white-water paddling pants--both of which I had used in Alaska on sea kayaking trips. It seems many of us have gone the route from relatively inexpensive gear in hand to more expensive 2-piece outfits, to the ultimate solution: a drysuit. Of course, the “drysuit” is a major step up in cost, and it is not taken lightly unless you are in really cold country where it is an absolute requirement. In addition, when you (me) finally make that decision to go to a drysuit, which I did this past spring, you still have to decide between a minimal drysuit and a more expensive one. I’ve decided instead of taking the in between step (a cheaper drysuit, which may work in S FL) to go with Kokatat Gore-Tex and integral booties. Kokatat is located in California and has a reputation for customer service much like Hobie.Of course, age and cold-tolerance are also factors.
Put it all together and I've decided a good drysuit is the way to go--it took me a long time to get here. And, Nancy will have to have one too!