Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Washington D.C. and Step 2(z)

Well, what a whirlwind couple of days. I drove up to Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon to stay with my aunt Betty and Uncle Michael in preparation for my USMLE Step 2 CK exam on Monday. I decided that if I was driving all the way up to D.C. I should bring my boat along too, the Potomac is just right out their door after all. So, on Saturday morning I put in at the C&O canal lock near their house and paddled down to our Nation's capitol. It didn't take me long to pass Georgetown U. and their crew teams(just kidding, they were flying by me). I paddled around the Roosevelt Memorial and then took a few pics of the Lincoln Memorial. I then unfurled my Pacific Action 1.5 sq meter sail. I was really hoping that there would be enough wind to sail back up to my aunt's house, but alas, only a light drizzel greeted me. Nonetheless, I did get the sail out in a few gusts and was really pleased with its performance. I am planning on taking it out again this weekend in a bit stronger winds.

I am also pleased to announce that my Standard Horizon HX471S VHF radio came yesterday. I plugged it in to charge the battery but unfortunately I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet as I had to drive down to Atlanta, GA last night for another exam.

Other exciting news, I have been talking with members of Parkinson's support groups along my journey and will be meeting up with folks in Yanktown, SD and Kansas City which is pretty fun. More info on those meet-ups will be posted as it becomes available.

Well, I have to grab a bite to eat. USMLE Step 2 CS happens in the manana!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paddle Rescue

What is a med student to do when all there is to do is study for USMLE step 2? Go dump themselves in cold, cold reservoir to practice self rescue techniques. Up to this point I haven't been able to get into a pool all winter to practice self rescue. This has been hanging over my head for awhile with my upcoming trip; with the air temps in the mid-70's, and the water temps in the 40's I felt inclined to get a bit wet. Adam Mueller, one of my M.D./PhD climbing friends joined me to video tape the debacle. I was pretty sure he was just interested in watching me freeze. My goal was to practice doing the paddle assisted re-entry. The basic steps are as follows: First, after rolling over, wet exit the boat. Second, flip the boat back over. Third, get out the paddle float, blow it up, and then attach it to my paddle. Fourth, thread the paddle blade through the rear deck bungees. Fifth, slither up onto the back end of my boat, sink my feet into the boat, and then twist into my proper position. Here is the link to the video footage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZRyFQ-fp0 . Needless to say I froze, but I got some great practice. Now all I need to do is practice getting back into the boat in 30 mph winds and 6 foot swells.

In other news, I am awaiting my new Pacific Action 1.5 sq meter sail which should be coming this week. Tom at Tom's TopKayakShop helped orchestrate the purchase. I am also anxiously awaiting the Standard Horizon HX471S VHF radio which should be here this week as well.