Paddling Tips One more time:  Wear YOUR PFD

If safety doesn't matter to you maybe ego does.  Don't be a Doofus.  Where your PFD.  If you want to know who the pro-
paddlers are, just look at who is wearing a PFD.  When I'm out on the water, I can tell who is a pro just by looking for a PFD.
I can also tell who is a rank amateur (doofus) by looking for the lack of a PFD.



It's that time of year again here in Crystal River.  Snowbirds and manatees returning.  We want to keep them all safe.  For
the paddler we always run into those who hate to wear a life jacket.  It typically go like this:

  • I’m a great swimmer; I have been swimming for my entire life.
  • If something happens I’ll just swim to shore.
  • I will keep a jacket in my boat, and if I happen to capsize I will put it on.

Maybe, but also maybe not and the maybe not is the problem

70% of boating fatality accidents result from drowning, and almost 85% of those who drown are not wearing a life jacket! 70
Also important are preparedness, knowledge, and experience, which take time to develop, but a life jacket is the one quick  
bomb proof ways to prevent drowning.

A false sense of security often emerges from the environment you are paddling in. The Boat U.S. Foundation has done
extensive research and has identified that more than 90% of drownings occur in inland water, most within a few feet of
safety and involve boats under 20-feet long. Don’t be deceived by what seems familiar to you. Sudden changes in weather,
medical emergencies such as heart attacks, boat collisions, and mechanical injuries can all hinder your ability to survive.

Kayak Dave puts it this way: "Saying that you could put a life jacket on after a capsize is like saying you could put a seatbelt
on before a crash."

Just last year, the Canadian Safe Boating Council hosted a trial among experienced boaters to test their ability to put on a
life jacket in the water. Not as easy as it sounds.                                                               

The Environment: Manatees

Clueless paddlers (many of them in the doofus category) are creating more and more problems for manatees.  People
need to understand that manatee well being is not strictly about being hit by boats.  Any disturbance that makes a manatee
move when it is trying to stay warm or nursing a calf causes stress.  Touching or petting manatees effects their behavior.  
So does feeding or giving them water.  These last two acts are enumerated under the ESA.  We do not think swimming with
manatees is good for the animals because of the lack of enforcement and the increasing volume of clueless people. Efforts
to work with the swim programs to promote a no touch ethic have proved largely futile. That is why we do not rent kayaks
for the purpose of swimming with manatees.  Please practice passive observation.

Before paddling on Kings Bay, please take the time to watch Manatee Manners for Paddlers



The Treasure's of the Trails Paddling Edition is getting close to publication.

Click here for a preview (not to be used for navigational purposes) of a draft partial section from Matt, Max, and Tom's
Citrus Paddling Trails Book. (PDF)

Max and Tom are the authors of Finding the Treasures of the Trails.  

Many of the POI's in the Paddle Citrus Link below will be covered in greater detail in the book.  The book will cover the
coastal, lake, and Withlacoochee River areas of Citrus County in much the same format as the currently available
the Treasures of the Trails
(Hiking, Biking, and Birding)

November/December 2017 1st Edition
Copyright ©2003 Aardvark's Florida Kayak Company   All Rights Reserved

Call the Shop at 352-795-5650 for more Info on these events or click on the links.

  • Stone Crab Jam Nov 4 2017

  • Great Florida yard Sale Nov 10, 11, 12 2017

  • Grinchmas Dec 1 2017

  • Sip and Stroll Dec 7 2017

Check for Class Schedule and Other Club trips at Aardvark's Kayaks and SUP on