Ranking Comp One Clare, Donie + Alan
14 March 2020
. attach the tow line around the tower’s torso just under the arms so that the PFD takes the chafing. Get the line in the center of the back. Attach the towed kayak also around the kayaker’s torso so that either of you can release it in an emergency. Either use a bowline knot (see chapter 7) or use a clip of some type. Pass the line through the bow loop of the towed kayak for better tracking but do NOT attach it here as the towed kayaker can’t reach it to undo if necessary. If the one being towed is able to paddle at all, have them do so. It will keep them warm and occupied and the extra paddle power will get you back faster. If there is a major problem, consider attaching paddlefloats on both sides of the kayaker being towed for additional stability
For an inland trip, there are many things to think about even apart from the weather, which is probably the most important consideration (see next section). First, is the access open at this time of year, and what is the height of the water? Is there a current, and if so, which way does it flow and how strong is it? What is the water temperature? Are there any known hazards, such as tree stumps just under water, a dam to kayak over, water skiers, hazardous substances in the water, alligators (!), and is there anyone to help if you need it?
Some launch points are open all year whereas others are seasonal. Check on line if you go on your own, and for class use, the instructor will have checked. Some places have charges for either parking and/or launch fees, usually about $5. Many places have automatic permits vending machines, so bring small bills. In most places, although you may leave your car adjacent to the launch point while launching/recovering your kayak, you need to park in designated areas so as not to clutter up the launch point. The height of the lake is likely to drop as the summer and fall progress, so be prepared for a short distance portage.