Tuesday, December 31, 2013

AAA Carolinas good at promoting car safety - not so good with paddling safety!


First, for the record, I salute AAA Carolinas advocacy for highway safety legislation, automotive public policy, and doing their part to help make our roads safer for motorists. One of the benefits of being a AAA Carolinas member, in addition to utilizing their great road side assistance program, is receiving their bi-monthly Go Magazine. Unfortunately, AAA Carolinas fell short on safety in the cover photo of  the January - February  2014 issue, by showing a couple sea kayaking off the island of Kauai without wearing PFDs!

One of the most essential pieces of safety gear that persons should wear, at all times, while paddling, is a personal flotation device or PFD.  According to the United States Coast Guard, almost 75% of all persons killed in boating incidents drowned. Of those, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.  In my opinion, a PFD is NOT optional safety gear, but mandatory. Both Rachel and myself always wear a properly fitted PFD when paddling and I urge all my readers to do the same!

I fired off an email to the Editor-in-Chief, Angela Daley to get her side of this story and within 10 minutes of sending it, I received the following reply! Wow. Fast response!

"Hi Mike. I appreciate your input on our cover photo and agree with your endorsement of personal floatation devices for watersports. I too am an avid kayaker here in the Charlotte area and always wear a lifejacket, so it certainly was an oversight on our part. Sounds like you're doing some great things encouraging safe kayaking — I will have to read more of your blog for ideas and places to kayak! Have a great new year, Angela."

It's encouraging when organizations like AAA Carolinas step up and admit to oversights like their recent Go Magazine cover photo. I also wish Angela a great new year and safe paddling adventures in 2014!

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Thoughts for a New Year in 2014

Another year comes to an end... and with it the renewed hopes and dreams of a New Year in 2014! I always have mixed emotions at this time of year, but still have optimism for what will unfold in a new year. Plus, I'm looking forward to my paddling season resuming in a few short months!  ;-)

Here are my wishes and hopes for 2014. May they all come to pass!

Mike's 10 Wishes and Hopes for 2014

Thank God for all your blessings
Spend more time with family and friends
Say "I love you" more often
Smile and laugh more
Love yourself and then love others
Build up, don't tear down
Give more of yourself and watch it returned tenfold
Appreciate, respect, and care for nature
Help others
Take life one stroke at a time ;-)

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Durhamblogger Top 10 Posts of 2013!

Howdy everyone! It's that time again when I cautiously open the door to the dusty archives vault and pull out what my readers' chose as the top 10 most popular Durhamblogger posts of 2013! Here they are in reverse order. Enjoy!

#10. Paddling at Hickory Hill (Falls Lake) after nearly a year absence!

#9.  So you want to buy your first kayak?

#8. A Beautiful Morning Paddling at Sandling Beach, Falls Lake

#7. Installing Kayak Seat Cushions - An Easy Project

#6. Not Eddie Bauer! No PFDs on models!

#5. Before Kerr Lake - An Interesting History Lesson!

#4. Gear Review: Teva Fuse-ion Water Shoe

#3. Paddling on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway!

#2. Cockleshell canoes or going to war in a canoe - Revisited!

And the number one Durhamblogger post of 2013... drum roll please!

#1. Paddling and Cold Water Survival

Thanks to all my readers and I look forward to many more paddling adventures in 2014!

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