Valuable instruction description.
If the deck cracks, we can repair. Yet learning takes place in calm water first with aids not necessary when the movements become fluid and successful.
I have full equipment, dry suit/ACR/VHF/CELL and a Coast Guard sticker for this AND a BackUp suggested by friends Yoder and Horodowich. I'm seaworthy but not technically proficient.
25 years in Florida changed my temperature responses from comfortably coated in ice from spring white water. I'm here practicing in warm water for a Keys to Mississippi tour looking for conversational dolphin. Unlike SJI, the area is not kayaked but is covered by the Coast Guard.
Approaching SJI water WITH equipment was psychologically daunting.