Sunday, April 11, 2010

Head first

On a calmer day

When I went swimming as a kid, I'd stick my toes in to test the water before getting in. Rarely did I just jump in head first. Same when I go the the gym, I warm up before getting into the heavy weight. Yesterday it was head first, right into the heavy duty stuff for Sean and myself.

Winds were forecast to be 35 kms south so we decided to practice paddling a bit into the wind and ride the wind back. Where we paddled it was 25 - 30 with gusts almost 50. No big surprise.

The water was a surprise. The wind didn't create organized wind waves. Swell from the NW countered the ebbing tide and rebounded off the cliffs to mix with wind waves from the south. It was chaotic with a lot of pointy water. Sudden gusts of wind added to the need to concentrate.

I would have liked to ease into paddling in active water after a winter (by necessity) of calmer water. The longer I paddled the more comfortable I became as muscle memory kicked in. We put in almost 2 hours and were content to go home.


  1. Tony:

    I like how you used our new term for the wave patterns we encountered yesterday - "pointy". And that's exactly what they were!!

    I don't know about you, but I worked hard during that paddle. Man, was I tired that night!!

  2. I didn't feel too bad for an old guy and my back held up too. It was fun!

    Tony :-)

  3. While 'pointy' sounds like an accurate description. I think what you were experiencing was called clapotis. An unorganized, chaotic sea state involving reflected waves.


  4. Yup, we had clapotis alright. When the clapotis rebounding off the cliffs met the wind waves coming from the south they interacted to create peaks. All very disorganized.

    Tony :-)

  5. Yes, the waters were very confused - even for clapotis!! Made for a fun ride, though.