One of the things that typically happens with ConnYak paddles is some people are in the water and others are launching and someone is still not even dressed yet. The ones in the water and dying to get going and sometimes are actually slowly heading away (sometimes even the wrong way) By time the late arrivals are in the water the group is already way spread out. As soon as they see the group start (in their rear view mirror), they are now 80 yards out in front and full of adrenalin. They haul-ass out and the group spreads out further.
What's the solution - there is none. The group is large and that's the way it is. Usually the ones in front finally run out of steam and the group catches up and someone may mention "lets let the stragglers catch up". Then the accordion shape starts again. Sometimes people even go to the wrong destination or lunch stop and I really don't care.
If the wind kicks up and paddlers get nervous, it stretches out further. Some people paddle fast so they can get through rough passages faster and some just have no choice other than paddle at their average speed. Some seasoned paddlers watch out for the group and some are just off doing their own thing. Somehow there's never any body bags and I think for ConnYak we paddle in doable conditions even when it's rough.
I know from experience that any rules or protocol is good for a week or two but then it's back to human nature. Thanks Jon for our yearly reminder that awareness and consideration are good things for paddlers.
The Connyak BBS