Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Upcoming Events - Long Island Paddlesport Symposium and Paddle Smart New Haven

Well, pitchers & catchers have reported, and the Cyclones are trying to sell me tickets, and for all it was a seriously yucky day out today, it must be that Spring is getting close and Summer will eventually be moseying into view as well. Phew. Not that it's been such a horrible winter, it's just that last winter was hardly worth the name at all, and I kinda liked it that way. Spring approaches, a lot of people start getting the time-to-get-out-in-a-boat itch. March is still a little early, but if you happen to live in my area (OK, I'm taking "my area" in a sort of broad sense), and want to get yourself in the mood and the right frame of mind, there are a couple of really excellent events happening on the weekend of March 7th and 8th! Curious about paddlesports? Gotten a taste of paddling and want to explore where to go next? You'll enjoy either one! Which one to pick? Well, there's the beauty of it, one's in New Haven, Connecticut, the other's in Oakdale, Long Island, so generally, you'll be able to let geography decide. They're both free, and open to the public.

I'll go in date order and start with the Paddle Smart Safety Event in New Haven on Saturday, March 7th. I haven't been to this one, but TQ participated last year and came back with a glowing report, said it was a really good event. Here's the press release for the event, from Coast Guard Auxiliary member, organizer of the AMC CT rolling sessions at the Greenwich Y, and all around very neat person Jean Trapani (I'd have posted this for her even if TQ hadn't enjoyed it so much, that just helps!):

Coast Guard Auxiliary to Participate in Paddle Smart Safety Event

New Haven, CT - The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the US Coast Guard in participation with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oating Division, the City of New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation, Power Squadron and ConnYak will present an afternoon of safe paddling demonstrations and information sessions on Saturday, March 7th, at the Wilbur Cross High School, 181 Mitchell Drive, New Haven from 10 AM to 4 PM. All demonstrations take place at the indoor pool.

The event is free of charge and will feature in-pool demonstrations and other presentations including self-rescue, life jackets, choosing the right craft and communications.

A variety of representatives from the paddling industry will be on hand to answer any questions. This is a fun filled day of safety and skill building for the whole family.

Inquiries can be directed to Jean Trapani, Coast Guard Auxiliary at



From I-91 South: Take Exit 6
- Take right onto Willow St. at end of ramp
- At second light, take right onto Mitchell Drive
- Pass the Wilbur Cross Athletic Complex on right
- At second set of tennis courts, take right
- Parking in school lot.

From I-95 North: Take Exit 48
- Follow signs for I-91 North
- Take Exit 6 (left exit)
- Follow directions from I-91 South above.

- From I-95 South: Follow signs for I-91 North
- Take Exit 6 (left exit) - Follow directions from I-91 South above.

Then on Sunday, March 8th, we've got the Long Island Paddlesport Symposium. I'll be there with the Sebago gang again, we always have a table there, some of us will be suiting up and soaking our heads in the Connetquot River (still pretty derned chilly, youbetcha!) as one of the afternoon's on-water demos, there'll be all sorts of talks over the course of the day, it's just lots of fun. Full details here, and a gallery "trip report" from last year over here!

Not in the tri-state area? This sort of thing starts happening quite a bit all over the place this time of year - check in with your local canoe & kayak club, outfitter, or Coast Guard Auxiliary Branch to find out what's going on in your area!

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