Any mild winter’s day that has good weather for walking in the park is also a good day to get on the water in a small boat. The waterways are uncrowded, access is easy, and we get to see things that we don’t see in Summer, such as seals in Long Island Sound and bald eagles on the Connecticut River. The crisp air makes a cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day taste just that much better.
The sneaky hazard, though, is not the weather, but the water temperature. We may have been blessed with warmer than normal weather, but the water in Long Island Sound is still dangerously cold. Water conducts heat away 25 times faster than air, and a capsize or accidental dunking in cold, off-season water will quickly induce cold shock and hypothermia. Proper clothing, equipment, and skill, however, can minimize this danger, and making an off season outing safer than a drive on I-95.
The Small Boat Shop will conduct its annual Cold Water Safety Workshop on Saturday, January 26, at its location on the water at 144 Water St in Norwalk. Starting at 10:30 that morning, various experts will discuss hypothermia and cold shock, how to treat them, and most importantly, how to prevent them. Other aspects of off season safety will be discussed, and safety equipment will be on display. Anybody who attends the program, as a finale, has the option of donning a drysuit and jumping into the cold Norwalk River to observe firsthand how effective and comfortably warm the proper equipment truly is.
This event is free. There will be sale pricing on cold water equipment and clothing. Reservations are not required, but the Small Boat shop does appreciate a call in advance so that they can plan seating. For more information, the Small Boat Shop can be reached by phone at 203-854-5223 , or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1983, the Small Boat Shop has been the premier source for anyone interested in sea kayaking, rowing, canoeing, and generally exploring the coast in small craft. Several brands of boats are carried, along with a complete selection of paddlesports and kayak fishing accessories and technical clothing. The on-water location makes it easy to try out a kayak before purchasing it. The staff has a wealth of skill and knowledge and is experienced at picking out the craft that best suits a customer’s needs.