I asked Doug Van Doren
about leadership on the water.
take is that the strongest paddler will often naturally end up leading the other paddlers through an emergency, whether or not this person is designated as the leader or not.
Doug Van Doren
and I arrived in Wawa Ontario midday on Friday.
We stepped out of the car to view Rock Island Lodge's panoramic view of both the Michipicoten River mouth and Lake Superior.
The dappled gray rocks, with pock marks of orange lichen and moss stripe the pillowed rock formations the lodge sits upon.
Those rocks serve as a small, but seemingly functional barrier to the world's largest and often most tempestuous body of freshwater in the world.
was invited as a guest instructor.
Earlier this year I inquired with Conor the organizer of the event about tagging along with Doug
Conor graciously agreed and I made arrangements to accompany Doug
to Wawa for the Symposium.
Early on Friday Doug
taught a forward stroke clinic to the Naturally Superior
I was surprised and enthused by the group's high skill level.
They all improved their forward stroke demonstrably within the time Doug
spent with them.
I also tried to absorb a lot of the material for the next day.
Having been in and helped teach the class I marveled at the working blueprint of the class and how he
and I continued out to paddle into the wind and then back for an hour or two.
The Canadians kept passing random objects to Doug
for him to roll with, such as: a rusty axe, a peg leg, (also known as the ghetto leg) a bicycle seat, and a drain pipe.
All of which he
managed to complete some variety of roll.
The bicycle seat was my favorite as he
was able to complete a forward recovery hand roll with it.
When it finally came to me, both Bonnie and Doug
were hot on my heels, and I paddled like hell to keep the lead.
I could hear Bonnie behind me.
But when I rounded the lighthouse, I could tell she
was not that close.
I crossed the finish line well ahead of Doug
I sat panting for at least a minute and then Bonnie, followed closely by Doug
crossed the finish line.
made up a lot of ground on the race, but I am still left wondering who would've come out on top if we'd left at the same time!
September 19th, 2007 | Tags: Doug Van Doren, Greenland Style, Instruction, Naturally Superior, Paddling, Symposium, Wawa | Category: Eskimo Rolling, Expeditions, Greenland Style Paddling, Paddling, Sea Kayaking, Surf Kayaking, Writing | Comments (5)