Looking for our Sea Kayaking Expeditions?

September 18, 2008

Another Season Begins!

18 September, 2008

Another season begins!!

After a furious bout of planning, mailing, packing, storing, and house cleaning I left my boat, van, and stuff in Bellingham, WA on 15 September. As always it was bittersweet to leave the ‘ham in full indian summer mode for the Great White South. As the turboprop climbed out over Bellingham Bay I could look northwest across the San Juans and into the Gulf Islands of the Inside Passage. Oh to think where Becky and I were just one year ago on this day, about to finish our three month paddle. This summer was a bit different with paragliding consuming most of our free time.

This season I’m departing about one week early in order to attend a search and rescue training in New Zealand before heading to the ice. Becky should join me in Christchurch around the 28th and we’ll fly south together.

Its worth mentioning that this season I’ll be working in a new role. As a field instructor for the US Antarctic Program I’ll be instructing scientists and support staff in winter survival skills, glacier travel/crevasse rescue, high-altitude emergency medical response and serving as a primary SAR team member. I’m also going to be in charge of monitoring sea ice conditions, something I’m looking forward to learning more about. Change is good.

SAR training in Christchurch is provided by Grant Pratley (formerly of Mount Cook Nat’l Park Rescue) and his Search and Rescue Institute of New Zealand (http://www.sarinz.co.nz/). Over the next week we’ll cover search theory, high angle rock (in the port hills of Christchurch), and steep angle snow rescue (in the mountains around Cragieburn ski field).

Overall, the training was a good refresher on industrial rescue techniques. But the big kicker was my introduction to the mid-clip snow picket. More on that in a subsequent post.

Three cheers for my friends Jen and Brian who are joining me this season as instructors for the USAP!!

No comments: