Tom Fink writes us as follows:
I don't know if you or others are aware of the great kayak symposium in Feb. in the St. Pete area. Starts off with ACA and then BCU instruction weeks, followed by the symposium in which some of the world's most prominent kayakers (e.g. Nigel Foster, Derek Hutchison) will be there giving instruction and demos. Also lots of boats to try out. Their web site (http://www.sweetwaterkayaks.com/) has the info for the 2002 symposium, but the 2003 is very similar. I am going down for BCU training (BCU is much more skill intensive training than ACA, and ACA is moving towards BCU training) and then for the symposium. I am especially interested in taking Greg Stammers Traditional Paddling course on SAT am and pm. Greg won in his age class for rolling in Greenland some time ago. I love Traditional paddling: easier gentler rolls, paddle much more buoyant and much easier on hands and paddle much superior for bracing. The costs for 2003 are very similar to 2002. I have the new dates and prices of courses in an e-mail back at my USDA office, I can e-mail that to you if you want. At the symposium there are lots of short courses (rolling, paddling in surf, navigation, tides). Sweetwater kayaks is one of the most prominent kayak stores/instruction in the US (along with Kayak Georgia on Tybee Island) and is owned by Nigel Foster.