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The photo above is a framed article that I had written in Paddler Magazine on Derek Hutchinson. He was touched by the article as I showed it to him at the Kittery Trading Post kayaking show in Maine.
"It's the little things in paddling that really count" said Derek Hutchinson as he transformed his kayaking students from frogs into princes and princesses. What a weekend it was! The weather was perfect - sunny, breezy, the temperature at the Pataconk Reservoir matched the temperature of the water which hovered around 74 degrees - just warm enough if you happened to be one of the few who forgot one of the little things!
Derek was in rare form, which he always is - an incredibly knowledgeable and brilliant advisor as well as an astute critic that can pick up on any mistake. And he is sure to let you know! "Mel, look what you’re doing!" was uttered more than a few times during those days. "That’s a slice! The deck is made for your map and nothing more. Keep your arm straight! Didn’t we agree on how to hold our paddle for this stroke?" We had the opportunity and privilege of spending two days of kayaking lessons with Derek Hutchinson and it was well worth it! It was a weekend I will never forget!
Over the years, Derek Hutchinson became a friend and mentor to me with my kayaking. I'm glad to have met him as he passed away too soon.
Thanks Derek for those kayaking memories.
Read about "Paddling With The Best - Derek Hutchinson"