Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Re: 10 little ducks?
A lot of good points. I am an avid sailor and sea kayaker on northern Lake Superior. We play with all sorts of vessels; sailboats, powerboats, jet skis, tugs and 1000ft bulkers/tankers and even float planes in fairly confined waters at times. We don't need licences for human powered craft YET, but we're heading that way. Our local shops advise its customers on safe boating when they rent vessels. As far as I know, commercial guides do require a minimum amount of registered training to operate.
Admittedly, Superior is a different kind of waterway than in New York, but there's a couple "universal guidelines" we kayakers (and sailors to some degree) should all remember:
1. If they're bigger or faster than you, you'll lose
2. If they're bigger or faster than you, you'll lose
3. If you're more than a mile out (on this lake which is only a few degrees above freezing even in summer) and you get dunked, you'll probably die.
4. Because you draw 3.25", you have no business being in a shipping lane
5. Like on the land, before you cross the "road/shipping lane/pier opening" use your eyes and ears to look both ways.
6. If you're going to be in the same playground as the big kids, have a VHF and monitor channel 16. We hear Securites often, especially from the big guys.
Basically, you MUST to take responsibility for OWN safety.
I can understand how amateur kayakers can be a nuisance, even if they don't mean to be. Sometimes the weather changes unexpectedly and they get blown offshore or the sea kicks up a hell of a mess suddenly. Not exactly the kayaker's fault. However in this case the kayaking guide, a commercial operation should have known these basic rules as well as having full familiarity with the waters being visited, and should have had a handheld VHF as a minimum requirement of having a business/guiding license.
If there's a problem, maybe it's time for local boating authorities, rental places, clubs to start educating people.
Commercial operators and professional seamen should be following the COLREGs to the LETTER (watches, signalling, etc). I don't understand how they could allow themselves to become lazy about that.
Last edited by wymbly1971; 09-08-2016 at 11:59 AM.