AMC-SEM Chapter

Paddling

General Information
The kayaking and canoeing committee offers a variety of trips in the region. We hope that you will join us on some of our outings. As we always emphasize conservation, please remember to bring a trash bag to keep our waterways in pristine condition. We are always looking for new places to paddle and new co-leaders/leaders: please let us know if you are interested in either!

What to Bring:
In addition to a PFD, a complete change of clothes in a dry bag, water, lunch, and sunscreen. Some trips especially in Spring and Fall may require a wet or dry suit, or wool and pile clothing suitable for cold water immersion. The possibility of strong wind and/or rough water may make some trips unsuitable for open canoes or kayaks without spray skirts. Consider water temperature, not air temperature, and check with the leader.

Trip Ratings/Levels

Level 1 No previous or little sea kayak experience is required.
Level 2 You should feel that you can perform the following:  a) paddle 6 miles in a day given the weather conditions for that day; b) a wet exit; c) maintain a straight heading without the use of a rudder; and d) turn your kayak using forward and reverse "sweep" strokes.
Level 3 All of the above, and in addition feel confident in:  a) assisting and performing a deep water rescue; b) paddle 13 miles in a day given the conditions for that day; c) paddle in 10 to 15 knot winds with seas of 2 to 3 feet; d) be able to launch and land from a beach in these conditions; e) use a marine band VHF radio.
Level 4 All of the above plus:  a) paddle 15 miles in a day given the conditions for that day; b) paddle in 20 knot winds; c) handle open ocean, large swells.
Level 5 All of the above, and be able to paddle 20 miles in 25 knot winds with adverse sea conditions.

All trips:
Allow time to park, unload, and be on the water ready to paddle at 10:30 am. Registration is required only for trips specified by the leader. If you haven't paddled with us before, or are concerned about the suitability of the trip to your abilities or equipment, please contact the leader or Paddling Chair.

We have several policies concerning safety:

  • US Coast Guard approved life vests (PFDs) must be available and worn at all times by all paddlers. The leader is the sole person who can relieve people of the requirement for wearing a life vest. For all paddling in Massachusestts state law requires PFDs to be worn by all canoeists and kayakers between Sept 15 and May 15. This regulation cannot be altered.
  • On some paddles spray skirts for kayakers may be required to be available and worn. The leader will make that determination. If you show up without a spray skirt and the leader requires spray skirts you will not be allowed to join the group.
  • The leader may require wet or dry suits to be worn when water temperatures are low. In that case no one will be allowed to join the group if not properly attired.
  • All paddlers separating from the group for any reason must inform the leader or sweep and do so in company with at least one and preferably two buddies. All paddlers will stay within a short paddle of others in the group.

All participants in AMC activities are required to sign the AMC waiver form provided by the leader.

Paddlers participate at their own risk.

Activity Participation Policy

"AMC encourages involvement in its mission and activities, through its membership, programs, policies and procedures. Our goal is to be a community that is comfortable, inviting and accessible for people of any age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Some AMC programs are designed for a certain age range of members or for a special activity or topic. However, any person who meets the minimum qualifications (skills, experience, fitness) established by the trip leader(s) for an activity is eligible to attend, if space is available."


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