I had a great time at the 20th “East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival”
I left St. Petersburg Florida Wednesday night and arrived just as the sun was rising in Charleston South Carolina. Pulling into the campground this years H2Outfitters team greeted me.
- Jeff Cooper, Cathy Piffath, and Bonnie from Maine
- John & Jan Engel, and Dave Leshan from Pennsylvania
- Ward Swann & Dave
- Tom Boghosian from New Jersey
- Christina from Hungary
- I rounded out the group being from Florida
I spent my next days teaching several classes to beginners and novice paddlers. Cathy had me teach Basics, Beyond the Basics, Combine and Refine, Rescues, and Rolling. It was an intense teaching schedule for us. We had 75 minutes to teach a set of skills to six paddlers with two coaches for each of the classes. I am unsure of how many people I taught over the weekend but it had to be around seventy people over the three day weekend. The hardest part of seeing so many people is the memorizing of their names. A few times in the evenings I bumped into students within the camp ground and even in Charleston. And luckily I knew their names.
Every night our team went out to dinner. We ate at the Mustard Seed, Melvin’s BBQ, Hominy Grill, Southend Brewery & Smokehouse, and Charleston Crab House. All of these places treated us to great food and service.
I did not get to visit like Sean did during the festival. My fun came from hanging out with the team Jeff and Cathy assembled to teach at ECCKF. Granted Jake Stachovak of Portage to Portage bumped into me while he was on a bike. (In side joke) He invited Sean and I up to his place six months after he completes his journey. And I also met Steve Fleming a fellow BCU coach who invited me to paddle in Silver Spring, MD. So looks like I will have a few cool post coming.
Unbeknown to my wife I almost came home with one of H2Outfitter’s kayaks. For the classes I taught in an Ellesmere by Boreal. This Ellesmere has an ocean cockpit. The control and comfort of the fittings inside greatly outweigh the challenges of getting in and out of a small cockpit. I enjoyed the feel of it on the water so much that I asked Cathy if she would part with it. “Not yet, maybe next year”. Anyway my wife would have flipped if I came home with another kayak. LOL