Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paddle downhill

Peaceful now ... things will change

On our way back Sunday from Flamber Head at Freshwater Bay to Bauline Point we had an open ocean paddle in following seas of up to 2 metres and wind waves on the port beam. Clyde said he wasn't fussy about paddling in a following sea; can't see what's coming from behind he said. That's true but its easy paddling.

Who would chose to peddle a bike uphill as opposed to downhill if given a choice. Obviously, most would opt to coast downhill. Same with paddling in a following sea.

Paddling forward in a following sea, it feels like the boat stalls as the swell overtakes me and I get the sensation its actually slipping backwards on the backside of the wave, so I stop paddling. To continue paddling would amount to paddling uphill and an inefficient use of energy. As the next wave approaches I feel the stern being picked up and I begin to paddle to catch the wave; I shoot forward - sweet.

After a while I begin to get in sync with the water and edge the boat instinctively to counteract a broach. Its like a ballet. Occasionally, its unpredictable and the kayak veers off course. In the past I'd sweep etc to get back on course. Now, I just let the boat go knowing it will, unpredictably, come back again.

I hated paddling in a following sea but I've practiced and found what works for me. Going downhill is not always bad!


  1. Know what you mean, having just enjoyed a very similar day on the water a couple of days ago ("left" coast). Fast trip home with following waves but there sure is a greater sense of "accomplishment" (and sometimes control!) when facing into the wind and waves. :-) D.

  2. Absolutely agree Duncan, I also enjoy paddling into the wind and waves although some windy days it feels more like a sense of relief than accomplishment when the bow hits the beach *lol*

    Tony :-)