I had an experience very close to fatal for other members of the trip. I was sent out to rescue two. But the trip leader pushed on, in spite of my warning.
There was a near fatality.
It was amazing that young man wasn't killed.
I was kind of a hero for the rescue I did. They were inexperienced, having to help them was at least somewhat expected.
But I didn't feel good about it.
In fact, I "lost my nerve" over that experience. Why?
I felt I couldn't rely on the "stronger more experienced" people like me to listen to me.
I was badly shaken.
I didn't realise how much.
Much later, I was out again. There was exposure that could be fatal, and could go around it.
I was being dared to do it, unroped.
It was what those two young boys were doing, the one who had nearly lost his life.
After one more incident involving brash stupidity, I preferred solo trips.
At least I didn't quit going out.
I hope you don't quit, but cut yourself a lot of slack: don't push the edge.
For example, don't run your boat up to maximum weight capacity in rough water.
Discuss your gear with your companions. Discuss and make improvements.
Make easy trips, with more camping. You will feel better.
Don't push yourself or let anyone push you.
What is right about this picture?
For example, I have Kokotat 4-way stretch pants and Aeroskin jacket and Neosport cap to wear under my regular kayaking clothing, for mild temperatures immersion, I wear with my West Marine "Type V" PFD. I have my Ripcurl "core" wetsuit, made for surfers, to wear under my kayak clothing and my Stohlquist "Type III" PFD for cold water immersion. Do the paddle leashes show? I use paddle leashes as well as have a spare paddle: yellow collapsible spare paddle above the PFD. The red net bags hold my bow and stern inflatable floatation bags I use, so my kayak will bob back up to the surface.
What is wrong about this picture?
For example, my basic survival gear is not attached to my PDF. It also goes hiking with me. At least, I do keep it in a net bag to keep it all together so all of it goes on every trip. My helmet is not pictured. In addition, my Warmers gloves and pogies are not pictured.