Friday, September 11, 2009

Tom's Back? Gnarly!

How many of you remember Tom Nickels? When I arrived in Charleston in the Fall of 2001, the Charleston Audubon was the first group I got involved with on a trip out to Capers Island. Being on the water was great, and got me thinking...

In the Spring of '02 Melissa and I took the three day Kayaking Fundamentals class being offered at the James Island park, and Tom was our instructor. I mentioned I did freelance web work, he mentioned he was running a kayak tour and instruction business from his home on Folly Beach, and so it began. Through Tom I met Scott, and because of Tom's web site (be sure to look at his new one too) I got the nod to come on board when SKC was getting started.

That Fundamentals Class marked the second time I ever sat in a kayak, and for six years it would be the only formal paddling training I'd had. I really did enjoy that class, but somehow I hadn't learned the training lesson -- classes would improve not only my paddling, but my enjoyment of paddling. It's 2009. Lesson learned.

Lately I've had the pleasure of frequent paddles with great and generous paddling instructors. And I've been able to attend two tree-day Instructor Development Workshops. I'm a better kayaker than I was the last time I went out with Tom, and I am a much, much more enthusiastic paddler.

Currently my enthusiasm is focused on Tom's trip back to the Charleston area and his collaboration with our shop, teaching a modular ACA (Levels 1-4) IDW/ICE in December (and again in April, 2010), two days of open water "Gnarling with Nickels," and a multi-day BCU training paddle on the Georgia Coast. I'm not sure how much I'll get to be on the water, but it will be good to have him around. A bunch of paddlers are going to have some great times while he's here. Will you be one of them?


1 comment:

Lina said...

Great blog, cute dog!

Lina Lukashevich
Author of
Kayak Anna and the Palidrome Creek
a splashing eco-adventure for readers ages 9-12