In at the deep end........
Well, they do say you should practice rescue manouvers in realistic conditions and today certainly lived up to the name.
We had 25 mph winds gusting to 50 so the introductory lesson took place on the Saugatuck river. There I learned all about paddling against the current (outgoing tide) and keeping on course whilst being buffeted by occaisional blasts from the side winds. My self rescue exercise took place ahead of schedule when I lost my balance - managed to hold onto the paddle and learned first hand how valuable paddle leashes are for staying in touch with the boat. All the safety equipment worked like a dream and I stayed warm until we put the boats back on the car and I removed one of my gloves and found out what wind chill plus wet fingers is like.
So, now I have a few aches in places where I didn't know I had places and can't wait to get back out - hopefully in slightly more benign conditions.
When sight fishing, look over your shoulder from time to time, you never know who's behind you