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- You can register to receive text message notifications of Civil Defence emergencies in a number of areas. You can visit www.optn.co.nz to register online.
- A very useful app, Get Home Safe allows you to enter trip reports and send a message if you fail to return on time
- Insecure loads - just a little reminder about loading your kayak onto your vehicle - always use a bow rope to tie the front of your kayak to the tow point of your vehicle (another on the stern is even better). Most roof racks are designed to take the load downwards onto the roof of the car, but if you are traveling on the motorway, or if it is windy, it is possible for the wind to lift the load and actually rip the roof rack right off and potentially cause a serious accident if you take out the vehicle behind. It is likely that your insurance company won't cover the damage, and you could get a ticket for an insecure load into the bargain.
- Tips for Caring for your VHF Radio - although many VHF radios claim to be 'waterproof', most of them are only splash-proof and your warranty is void if you actually get it wet. We strongly recommend that you carry your VHF in a dry-bag to protect it. When recharging don't leave it on the charger for more than 4 hours or you can burn out the battery. Let the battery run down quite far before recharging or it will develop a memory and your charge time will become shortened. If the connections start to become dirty you can clean them with an eraser.
- It is a good idea to get your kayak serviced occasionally, and this is especially true if you have just bought a second hand one from a dubious source. We are happy for you to bring it into the shop and we will give it a safety check at no charge. You only pay if there are repairs needed, and club members get a discount off labour.
- Is your kayak insured against loss, theft and damage? Most insurers do not cover kayaks unless specified. Check with your own insurance company to ensure that you have the coverage you expect.
- Always wash your kayak down thoroughly after use, especially the moving parts like rudder and foot pedals. We frequently get kayaks brought into the shop with rudder problems and when we strip it down we find it is encrusted with salt and sand which has either caused the rudder to seize, or to erode.
- Especially for those who are coming to surfing over the summer - never get between the beach and your kayak. An incoming wave (even a small one) can cause serious damage if your kayak smashes into you.
- Never use a flashing strobe light on the water at night, except in an emergency. White flashing light is an emergency signal meaning 'man overboard'. Flashing red light could look like a beacon. An all round white light 1 metre above the deck is recommended, with a Dolphin torch or similar available to shine at an on-coming vessel if it appears not to have noticed you.
- Haven't been out on the water for a while and feeling a bit out of practice? Come along to a pool session to review and refresh your skills. There is a bunch of us there every Tuesday evening, just messing around. We practice our rescues, Eskimo rolling, and play around. It is all very relaxed so don't be shy. Or you can join in on a Sea Kayak Skills Course as a refresher. You are welcome to join us, just let us know you are coming so we ensure we have enough gear. Henderson West Wave Pool, 8-9.30pm, $10 payable to Russ or Larraine includes pool entry.