Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Huli Drill

Hi Paddlers,
That was a great huli (capsize) drill for a bunch of mostly first timers(myself included) I'm real proud of us all for braving that cold water and getting us all back in the boat lickedy split. Next time I know we'll get the boat upright without scooping so much water! (we'll be very motivated to keep the ama down until we're really ready)

Thanks for the great instruction, David, and kudos to Amy for her awesome steering and leadership. I'm sure both factors were why we could do it so easily and quickly. I wanted to recap for everyone what we did. Please correct anything if I made a mistake.

Although David reminds us it's not likely we'll capsize, that boat was surprisingly easy to flip when we were all leaning away from the ama. Something to always remember. I noticed that one of the clubs in Vancouver B.C (Kitsalano) has even modified their boats with a strap running between the iakos. They call it their ama brace strap and they all put their paddles on it and lean on it if needed. Interesting (and must be interesting conditions that bring that on)

The water was surprisingly cold, even in the lagoon... and it was COLD even though we had prepared for capsize with extra layers (fleece, paddling jackets, wetsuits, PFDs) It does take a moment or two to calm down and not distress....that's why it was essential to know exactly what we were supposed to do. It felt like we needed to get out of there right away (at least that was my first reaction! ) and I say this as a swimmer and someone who loves the water. It is definitely better to dress in non-cotton layers as we head into autumn, you never know when you're going to get spashed or even drenched. Although different people have different cold tolerances, this water will get all of us sooner rather than later and very quickly will make it hard to think straight or even physically function.

At the bottom, I've attached the websites that I sent out before with terminology, pictures of capsize recovery, etc. They are also on the blog. In case you don't go to those websites, here is the huli that we did in a nutsell including basic terminology.

The Pogue water sports huli drill site is really worth looking at ... the other site with diagrams is great, too.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Huli = capsize
Ama = the outrigger float
Iako = the wooden bar that connects the ama to the canoe, there are two iakos
muku = piece of the iako that extends out past the gunnel on the non-ama side

The steerer of the boat is calling the shots.

1. Capsize (hang on to your paddle!)

2. Pop up and count off by seat (1 is the bow, 6 is the steerer. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS UP AND WE'RE ALL OKAY. Hang on to your paddle)

3. Get into position for recovery. Seats 2 and 5 are responsible for getting onto the mukus. Getting to that position from between the canoe and ama is best, using the iako for leverage. These seats will use their weight and arms to pull the iako up and over when the steerer calls it. Seats 3 and 4 will get to the outside of the ama to prepare for flipping back over. Seats 1 and 6 help with ama flip or collect paddles. Wait until the steerer calls the flip before you lift the ama or try to pull on the iakos.

4. The steerer calls the flip. Amy said "On 3: 1, 2, 3" and on 3 we give a big push up on the ama and seats 2 and 5 stand on the mukus and pull on the iakos at the same time. (Our mistake last night was we had the ama in the air before 3 and that caused the boat to scoop a lot of water. It took a long time to bail out.)

5. Bail like mad. Find your paddle, get back to shore and warm up. Make sure everyone is doing okay.

Here are the links:

Huli drill from Poguewatersports in Vancouver, B.C. Great pictures.

Ocean River Paddling Club (Victoria, B.C.) Safety Policies and Procedures including Huli drill

great diagrams on all the pieces and parts of outriggers plus A DIAGRAM OF HULI RECOVERY

Happy trails, on the water and off....

P.S. Click here to see pictures of Kikaha flipping.

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