We had a great time Saturday on the water. Two paraplegic veterans and their families participated in the paddle. The participants, their families, and local kayaking enthusiasts enjoyed their time paddling the mangrove trail around Fort Desoto.
Saturday was the first day we used a special outfitted Kestrel 120 OC by Current Designs Kayak. The Kestrel 120 OC accommodates a specially designed seat that supports paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes.
It is also easy to outfit the stern of the Kestrel with a set of pontoons to inspire confidence in the guest.
I will elaborate about this boat and its adaptations in a future post.
I would also like to offer a special thanks to Kokatat, and Werner Paddles, for their help in supplying the Team River Runner Tampa Chapter with gear.
The waterway was low with a slow incoming tide. This concentrated the fish into deep holes that allowed some of our participants to test their fishing skills. Several got fish to hit their bait. Unfortunately, no one landed a fish.
After the paddle, we enjoyed a barbeque and discussed ideas for future kayaking.
In January 2009, I will teach a kayak rescue class for the Tampa Team River Runner volunteers. Several volunteers have never paddled with an amputee or a person with limited movement due to a spinal injury. Therefore, this class will become a necessary tool for the safety of the participants as well as the volunteers in the event of an unplaned capsize.