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Pod Leader Information. Kayak for a Cause IX July 25, 2009. Updated 7/09 [email protected] and [email protected] What Makes a Great Pod? Good Leadership. Congratulations on becoming a pod leader!

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Pod leader information l.jpg

Pod Leader Information

Kayak for a Cause IX

July 25, 2009

Updated 7/09 [email protected] and [email protected]


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What Makes a Great Pod?Good Leadership

Congratulations on becoming a pod leader!

Welcome to this auspicious group of individuals committed to working together to raise funds for some very worthy causes.

The Pod Leader is the single most important person in the Kayak for a Cause effort. Your role is to bring together, in a cohesive manner, a group of excited paddlers eager to cross the Long Island Sound. Your job is to inspire your group of paddlers to be a pod of committed and skilled individuals that will work together to make the crossing in a safe, responsible, and respectful manner. Our job is to help you do this.


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Know your FAQ

  • Read the KFAC ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on the website – know your stuff so you can share it. Questions… go to the About Us section to find the appropriate person to direct these to.

  • Dave Haddox, a.k.a. Cap’t Dave, is the Pod Coordinator, and will be in contact with you to offer support and guidance. Many questions can be answered by him. [email protected]

  • Get to know the website – so you can help others navigate it

  • Create your pod webpage, get your address book ready, as well as templates for emails


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Know your Team

  • Be in touch: View team roster frequently and contact all pod members. Go to the “Reports” tab in My HQ, click on “Team Participant Report” to view paddlers, email addresses, and individual/team donation totals.

  • Share the love: Create a pod email list, along with cell numbers, and share with the pod. Some pods (ok, the kiwis) have created an online survey on www.surveymonkey.com to collect pod data and share it. Contact the kiwis if you want more information – [email protected]

  • Communicate: Program the cell #’s of pod members into your phone and your co-leader’s phone. This is very helpful when you’ve planned a paddle and are kept waiting, should you get separated on-water, or in an emergency. Program the local marine police and coast guard into your cell. Keep your cell in waterproof container and on your body when paddling.

  • Socialize: Have some FUN together – plan a pod meeting – local restaurant, bar, home, conference call. Get to know who you’re paddling with.


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Know your Team (2)

  • Pod Meeting: Add some business to that ‘get together’ - discuss expectations, fundraising, and a pod plan. Bring a list of everyone’s contact info, and check for accuracy. Emails, cell phones, availability for paddling together. Email it to everyone post meeting.

  • Pod Paddles: Bring a calendar and schedule some pod paddles. Try to plan at least 1 paddle where the majority gets out together. Combine with other pods. A fleet of KFAC boats is available for pod use for a nominal fee. Contact [email protected] for more information.

  • Dry Run: Nearer the date of the crossing, get as many of the pod together as you can for a ‘dry run’ of the paddle. Plan a course for 7 – 13 miles (round trip) to get a sense of what is involved. Dry Run Social: As Pod Leader, consider having a post-paddle party at your home or at a local hot spot.

  • Instruction: Schedule some sessions with a local instructor for skills specific classes – it’s cheaper when there’s a few of you and they’re more flexible about timing. Have some FUN!

  • Personality: Again, have some FUN! Most pods like to stand out on the crossing, be identified as a team. From balloons attached to kayaks, to hats, national flags, t-shirts… Get a theme going and play with it.


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Training

How prepared your pod is on the day will directly impact how much you enjoy the crossing, and how safe you are. To that end – be in touch with your pod and make sure they’re ready. The Safety Director ([email protected]) can provide you with a report listing the safety status of team members.

  • Safety Status: Every paddler, leaders included, must have a safety certification. If they have paddled KFAC before, they are exempt from this requirement. If not, there is a KFAC-sponsored Safety Clinic they can attend, and a list of other training facilities in the FAQ. Direct questions to the Safety Director

  • Practice: All paddlers should practice their skills over the summer, regardless of their experience level. Especially capsizes and recovery. If the conditions are less than perfect for the crossing, they may well have to do this/assist others. Reinforce this with your pod members, and offer opportunities

  • Fitness: We paddle as fast as the slowest paddler – encourage your team to be fit.


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Training Resources

  • Google local kayaking operations. Find out what they offer, negotiate deals for rentals – especially when bringing pod members.

  • Look into private instruction – for yourself/co-leader and for the pod. Consider skills specific classes. It’s affordable in small groups.

  • Find an outfitter that carries all the gear you are recommended to have – negotiate a discount! Refer your pod to them.


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Have a Paddle Plan

Staying together during the crossing is of the utmost importance. Pod organization and communication is how.

  • Start with a clear plan: there are up to 12 people in a pod, and it can be a superhuman effort to keep them together on open-water. We’ve created a pod formation that is very effective (example follows). Consider customizing this for your pod. Communicate it to them – BEFORE THE EVENT – so they at least have an understanding of the concept.

  • Assign Roles: You will receive from KFAC detailed information on your pod members, this may be helpful in assigning roles. Paddling with them in advance is a better way. Meeting with them and getting input is helpful.

  • Make changes to the plan as you feel necessary/receive feedback from key paddlers (sweepers). You may want to move them around to energize and reduce boredom – 13 miles can take a long time!

  • Review: every hour you have a 5 minute break, use it to check in with team.


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Stick together

Paddlers are required to stay with the pod – this is a safety issue. Pods paddle as slow as the slowest paddler, and this can be challenging.

  • Towing: If a paddler is really slow, you may need to tow them. Give your fastest/strongest paddlers this role. Slow can mean fatigue, dehydration, unfit or unskilled. Make sure your paddlers know NOW that if they fall behind they may be towed. This is a great motivator to get fit.

  • Buddy up: Buddies keep an eye on one another – watch for dehydration, stay on course, stave off the boredom with conversation. And they notify sweeps/Pod leaders if there is an issue.

  • Rogues: Some people just don’t want to/can’t stick with the pod. Chase Boats follow pods not rogue paddlers - if something goes wrong it could be the end of KFAC. In special circumstances the Pod Leader can give permission to leave the Pod. If someone leaves your pod without permission you can send a sweep after them, or a chase boat. If it’s the latter – the boat takes them home and they don’t paddle KFAC again. Make sure your pod knows this in advance and they’ll be more likely to stay with you.


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Positions

Once you know your pod, you can assign them positions.

  • Foreward: These paddlers set the pace and navigate - so should be well versed in this prior. Your navigator will be given the opportunity to attend a conference call that will share the latest information on the course, based on weather, tides, wind. Prior to that they should review the navigation slides (following). Questions, consult the KFAC Navigator - Pete Rollins ([email protected] ). Get a compass. This paddler is patient and responsible. They are not in a hurry, but keep up a good consistent pace. They turn and check on the pod regularly, and take direction/instructions from the sweeps.  Ability to sing i.e. entertain the troops - a bonus! 

  • Middle: Lighter paddlers/skills not known. These paddlers are directly behind the forward leaders, drafting off them - helping them to keep up speed. Being at the front is motivating. If a slow paddler drops back you may need to stop the pod to rearrange. Nothing more discouraging than being tired and falling behind.

  • Sweeps: Great pods have ‘sweepers’, strong paddlers (who might ordinarily get bored) that circle the pod, check in to see how everyone is doing, round up the stragglers, problem solve as needed. Sweepers keep in close contact with the Pod leader/co-leader (co-leaders can be sweepers’, Pod leaders should not – they’re overseers).

  • Aft: The Pod Leader is usually at the back, keeping an eye on the big picture and directing the show.  Co-leader is usually a sweep, could also be a forward.


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Elissa

Nora

Mark

Emily

Larry

James

Colleen

Larisa

Jim

Monique

Pete

Co-leader

Kim

Pod leader

A Typical Pod Formation

Direction of Travel


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On the Day (Norwalk, CT)

  • Meet at Calf Pasture Beach no later than 0600

  • Sign waivers and medical form

  • Regarding coffee, know your bladder – it is over an hour ride to Huntington, NY on Long Island.

  • If you are paddling your own boat and it didn’t go on the caravan yesterday, load it onto the trailer. Help others do the same.

  • Grab your gear (double check your gear list – gear in your car in CT won’t be of much use to you)

  • Bathroom stop

  • Check your podmates

    Ask them speak to you privately if they have any new concerns, medical issues etc.

    If anyone is missing, notify the KFAC staff. When the last yellow bus leaves, it’s gone.

  • Take photos, say goodbye to loved ones

  • Get on the bus.


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On the Day (Huntington, NY)

Disembark the bus and head for the beach.

Apply Pod numbers to your PFD, and find the corresponding number on the beach

Move your pod to their boats, get in and adjust seat & foot pedals, check rudder

Load your gear

Bathroom stop

Yoga anyone? Don’t forget to warm up and stretch

Check your pod – If anyone is missing, try to reach them or notify the Beach Captain that they are MIA.

Take photos

Listen for your Pod # for launch sequencing

Launch quickly and efficiently

Head North!


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On Water

FOLLOW YOUR LEADER: Considerable time has been put into setting coordinates, reviewing the weather, tides, moon, (horoscopes). The first pod off is on the right course. Follow them. Your navigator also has all this information. Trust them – you may not be anywhere near the first pod.

  • Stay in formation unless told to do otherwise.

  • Notify ‘sweeps’ if you need any assistance.

  • Chase Boats are only to be contacted by the Pod Leader/Co-leader.

  • Paddle consistently forward until the first hourly 5-minute break.

  • Feel free to go for a swim during your break – great for relaxing muscles, and refreshing.


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What if and How to…

  • Signals: if you hear a whistle = turn and look, then follow direction given by that paddler. Paddle straight up (vertical) = means ‘on me’ go to that person and raft up. Paddle horizontal on head = stop. Paddle vertical and moving side to side = danger, look around you for immediate issues, form a raft if necessary. Paddle pointing in a direction = look that way. If this follows the ‘danger’ signal, then really just pay attention and be careful. E.g. if there’s a barge, or large boat, there may be a large wake. We don’t attempt to overtake barges. Commercial traffic on a fixed heading has the right of way (and they can’t change course quickly!)

  • How to get attention: Capsize! Not really, though very effective. If you need attention – talk/call/yell to your buddy or anyone near you. If that doesn’t work, blow a whistle/horn. Understand that the chase boats may come racing over if you do the latter.

  • How to get help: Notify the sweeps who will send a message up to the front to stop the group as well as back to the Pod Leader.


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What if and How to…(2)

  • What to do if your buddy capsizes: Decide if you are comfortable rescuing them or call in a sweep. If the conditions are less than optimal, the most experience kayaker may need to do the rescue. If this is the Leader, then the Co-Leader assumes responsibility for the overall pod, including lookouts for motor traffic. It is very easy for everyone to focus on the rescue and not notice that the entire pod is drifting into harm’s way. You can’t Lead and rescue simultaneously.

  • When to rescue: If there is a lot of water in the boat and/or the paddler doesn’t feel comfortable with a self-rescue. Self-rescuers get one try, after which it’s an assist (reach across their kayak and pull them in by their shoulder strap). Paddler should pump their own water out – it helps them regain composure and warm up if needed. You could take turns if it’s a lot, or try to use 2 pumps at once. If you don’t have a bilge pump – a sweep will provide you with one.

  • What everyone else should do during a rescue: Raft up and keep out of the way (outside rafters can move the group) until everyone is ready to move on.  Make sure the rest of the group knows and stops. Observe.

  • Preferred form of assisted rescue: “T” is the safest and most commonly taught rescue. Quickest is straight over the cockpit, with a roll into place.


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Emergency Response

An emergency is not someone capsizing, although why they capsized could indicate an emergency. Weather (waves), health issues. If it’s weather, then you want to stay as close together as possible, listen carefully to Pod leader.

Scrubbing of Event: Most likely weather-related. 3 horn blasts from Chase boats. Raft up and await further instruction.


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Emergency Response (2)

  • Physical emergencies: Heat exhaustion, dehydration, hyperthermia: flushed skin, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, tiredness, disorientation, less communicative.  Hypothermia – loss of feeling in fingers, fumbling, mumbling, irritability. Injury – chances are they should be transferred to a chase boat. Pod leader’s call.

  • What to do: Stop. Let the sweeps/leader/co-leader know. Have the pod take a break while addressed. Heat/dehydration: cool down by wetting head, take off layers, add a hat. If the situation is not serious the paddler may go in for a swim (assisted exit and re-entry). Hydrate. If dehydrated drink slowly and regularly, rest, take Advil. In both situations consider towing.  Hypothermia: too cold – add layers, hat, gloves, keep them moving. Worst case – put on a chase boat.

  • 5 min breaks: prevent emergencies. STOP FOR 5 MINS every HOUR. Raft up, visually check pod for any issues. Reconsider the formation – move people around so they’re not bored.  Stretch, snack, check beverages, go for a swim/toilet break.  Change the layering of clothing based on body temp. Adjust equipment.


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Emergency Response (2)

Physical emergencies: Heat exhaustion, dehydration, hyperthermia: flushed skin, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, tiredness, disorientation, less communicative.  Hypothermia – loss of feeling in fingers, fumbling, mumbling, irritability. Injury – chances are they should be transferred to a chase boat. Paddler and Pod leader’s call.

What to do: Stop. Let the sweeps/leader/co-leader know. Have the pod take a break while addressed. Heat/dehydration: cool down by wetting head, take off layers, add a hat. If the situation is not serious the paddler may go in for a swim (assisted exit and re-entry). Hydrate. If dehydrated drink slowly and regularly, rest, take Advil. In both situations consider towing.  Hypothermia: too cold – add layers, hat, gloves, keep them moving. Worst case – put on a chase boat.

5 min breaks: prevent emergencies. STOP FOR 5 MINS every HOUR. Raft up, visually check pod for any issues. Reconsider the formation – move people around so they’re not bored.  Stretch, snack, check beverages, go for a swim/toilet break.  Change the layering of clothing based on body temp. Adjust equipment.


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Equipment

Leaders and Co-leaders should each (in a perfect world) have:

  • Extra beverages!

  • Spare paddle

  • Paddle leash

  • Bilge Pump(s)

  • Tow belts

  • GPS – programmed with destination

  • Compass – on lanyard

  • Boat repair kit (duct tape, wire and cable ties) 

  • VHF radio

  • Light/Strobe Light

  • Noisemaker - whistle or horn


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Equipment

Leaders and Co-leaders should each (in a perfect world) have:

1st aid kit: Eyedrops (eg, Visine®), antihistamine tablets(eg, Benadryl®), sting spray, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), tape and moleskin for blisters, nausea/seasickness tablets, lip balm with UV protection, sling/bandage, extra sunscreen (40 SPF, water-resistant)

Beverages, energy bars/gel packets

Cell phone - in easily accessible dry bags/phone packs. Paddler cell #’s programmed – know who is traveling with a phone. Reception is not always good – still worth it. Especially if separated.

Emergency contact list & medical info for all paddlers in the pod

Paddle floats – for rescues, displacing water

Extra line (tying boats together should they have to be abandoned)

Spare emergency clothing: windbreaker

Dry bag for the extra gear

Bilge sponge


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Everyone Should Have

PFD, skirt, paddle, hat, more beverages than you could imagine drinking, sunglasses and croakie, water shoes, wicking clothing, suntan lotion (pre-applied), snacks (fruit, chocolate, powerbars), cell phone in an easily accessible waterproof pack, gloves

Really good to have

  • Camel back

  • Noisemaker - whistle or horn

  • Light/Strobe Light

  • Watch

  • Bilge pump

  • Tow ropes

  • VHF Radio – know our channel for the crossing

  • GPS

  • Compass

  • Spare paddle

  • Paddle leash – really helpful, allows you to drop the paddle in the water, and it won’t go anywhere

  • 1st aid kit in pocket or day storage - headaches pills, band aids, eye drops, lip balm with UV protection

  • Waterproof camera

    IF YOU DON’T THINK YOU’LL NEED IT WHILE PADDLING, STORE IN HATCH


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Fun Facts About The Tripby Pete Rollins

  • Total Distance Paddled will be 10.2 Nautical Miles or 11.7 “land” miles (Nautical Mile =6080 ft; Land Mile =5280 ft).

  • This is approximately 7,344 paddle strokes, but if you don’t believe me, try to count them as we cross. (Okay, it also depends on wind, current, and paddle speed. 2lbs of force per stroke times 7344 = 7.3 tons of work…)

  • Assuming we paddle at 3 knots, and rest for 5 minutes each hour, we will average 2.8 knots/hr. Given 10.2 nautical miles divided by 2.8 avg. speed, it will take us 3 hours and 36 minutes to paddle across.

  • Wind speed and direction can have a big effect on our speed. Basically, a 15 knot wind coming head on will slow a 3 knot paddler into a 1 knot paddler…. We don’t like wind in our faces.. (see Burch,1987, p. 102 for more).


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Tides and Currents (2009)by Pete Rollins(Be Happy To Discuss With Anyone Wanting More Details)

  • Reference is Eldridge Tide And Pilot Book 2009.

  • Low tide is 08:39 AM at South Norwalk. Given the 9:30 or so start time, the tide will be rising or flooding during our trip,

  • More importantly, Westerly flood at THE RACE starts at 8:37 A.M. So, for the time we are in the sound we will be experiencing a current that is setting us in a Westerly direction (the force of this current will range from 0.5 to 1.4 knots, with strongest current occurring around 11:37 in the middle, p .89, p.96)

  • For ease of calculation, assume one knot acts on us for 3.6 hours, if we didn’t compensate we would end up 3.6 miles to the West of our desired location. Therefore, although the compass course we want is 002°, we may need to steer (or head) 012-015 ° at times to compensate… Note: We’ll have GPS so we will attempt to navigate the straight line (i.e., shortest distance). Don’t worry if it appears that the PODS ahead of us are drifting right or left.

  • For more detail check out pages 89, 96 and 97 of Eldridge.


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Navigation

  • We start at Crab Meadow Beach on LI

    • Coordinates to follow on subsequent slides

  • Half-way point:

    • N41 00.8’ W073 21.1’

  • Pecks Ledge Light (almost there!):

    • N41 04.7’ W073 22.0’

  • Then 310° (magnetic) to Calf Pasture Beach



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Crab

Meadow

Beach

Northport Stacks


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Crab Meadow Beach

Launch Site


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FINISH

LINE !

Active

Channels

Norwalk Power Plant

Blue Building with a

Single Smokestack


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