You must bring the following:
- Your kayak, which has to be adequate for the conditions you are paddling in (recreation boats without watertight bulkheads should not be taken across the Bay, and I will strongly discourage you from doing so, for example… we have had cases in the past where such boats got swamped and required rescue themselves).
- A USCG-approved life vest. Remember, your safety is key. It’s also the law. And police and Coast Guard support will be all around you.
- A whistle that works when wet.
- A paddle, and perhaps a spare.
- If your kayak has a cockpit, a spray skirt (and a pump to empty the cockpit of water in case of a wet exit).
- A paddle float or other device to help self-rescue re-entry.
- Appropriate clothing for the conditions (water temperature is usually in the low 70s in June, but sunburn is always a consideration).
- Plenty of water. Dehydration is no joke. A gallon may not be as excessive as it sounds here, depending on the weather.
- Snacks to have while on the water.
- Most importantly, your mind, fully engaged to have fun and enable swimmers to do their event.
If you have a VHF radio, bring it. We use channel 69 for kayak-to-kayak communications.
Extra flotation for swimmers is always welcome as well.
There have been cases where people may have spare boats, paddles, and PFDs, which may be fine for the 1 mile swim but requires careful consideration for the 4.4 mile swim, considering the nature of that paddle in an unfamiliar kayak.