After a hard and frozen winter, it was a perfect spring day for a downwind outrigger run of about 30 miles on the ocean, out and around New Jersey's Absecon Island. While air temperatures were in the low 80s, the water was still 46 degrees. I dressed for the air. —Margo Pellegrino
ASK THE EXPERT
Stephanie Siaris is a coach at the San Francisco Outrigger Canoe Center, with 20 years of competitive paddling experience.
"Three suggestions: (1) Listen to those niggling feelings! Even if it feels a little compulsive, recheck your gear. Your gut may know that your hands forgot to tighten a screw. (2) Always dress for immersion—especially when paddling alone. (3) Use the buddy system for long-distance paddling. When out alone, it's best to stick near shore."
Illustrations by Koren Shadmi