"Recent News Items"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, August 3, 2012

I must relate my opinion of some recent news items.

The first was truly epic.

There was an announcement that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was headed to England to visit his British friends and take in the opening of the Olympics. I’m sure his intent was to show us he could blend in with people from around the world. His plan was to meet with and be advised by leaders from countries whom he hoped to be doing business with in the near future as president of the U.S.

Not only did he meet with world leaders, he got a lot of press coverage that almost overshadowed the opening of the Olympic Games.

Romney’s trip could have been a golden opportunity to present a different Mitt Romney, one who could speak without putting his foot in his mouth and be representative of the country he longs to lead.

I could hardly believe what I witnessed as Romney responded to Brian Williams’ questions about his opinion of London’s preparedness for the games. He not only grossly offended the British Olympic Committee but an entire nation. He created a feud between himself, the Brits and representatives of Salt Lake City! This time he literally put both feet in his mouth and the more he tried to bail out, during subsequent interviews, the worse it got.

Before Romney starts the next world war, I hope someone is delegated to baby-sit him and give him guidance. At the very least, they could see to it that he avoids live newscasts. He may view live interviews as free publicity, but time after time they have spotlighted his inadequacies.

Let the Games begin and forget Mitt; he doesn’t represent our country — at least not yet.

I was a little disappointed in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. The stunt of making it appear the queen had bailed out of a helicopter and joined the activities via parachute did not appear to amuse even her. The Brits are not known for their lightheartedness or humor, so the whole thing seemed very strained and somewhat boring.

The Games will keep me glued to the action because of the opportunity to view the best competition in the world in such a variety of events. I’m sure the classy British style will enhance each of the sports presented.

Close to home, several news items got my attention and I wish to add my comments to those presented.

The most recent was a front page headline story July 28 that stated; “Experts warn after another rescue: be careful with kayaks.” The article related a mishap regarding kayaks that ventured too far offshore.

Kayaks can be fun but when you put a kayak, float, tube or many other such “toys” in the water, you must determine several items:

1. Does my PFD (lifejacket) fit properly? Test it by lifting it at the shoulders, if it slides up, it’s too loose.

2. Will I be cold if I get too far offshore?

3. What direction is the wind blowing from? Is it offshore from where I am starting out?

4. Does anyone on shore know where I’m going and when I plan to return?

5. Will I be capable of reaching my destination or getting back to where I started?

It’s a good idea to carry a cell phone but they don’t last long if they get wet. Place it in an airtight, clear plastic bag. You can dial and use a cell phone in the container.

There are many magazines, books and articles devoted to the sport of kayaking. It is the fastest growing activity on the water. When enjoying the activity on an inland lake, pond or river you’re usually close to shore and therefore able to easily reach safety or at least a place to rest. When kayaking on one of the Great Lakes, you are usually limited to one point of safety. If the wind is blowing you away from shore, you may be a long distance from safety.

Ocean kayaking is very common along the Florida coast, in mangrove passes or ponds. Kayakers are advised to never go offshore in ocean or gulf areas. The Great Lakes — often referred to as fresh-water oceans — should be no different.

As I see it, it really comes down to common sense; use a buddy system when enjoying any type of water sport. Take all the precautions to keep yourself safe.




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