Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paddling in a quartering sea

Yesterday we paddled up to Chamberlains Head.  We started to feel the forecasted strengthening winds when we turned back.  We had steady wind on our starboard aft that generated waves big enough to force the stern downwind.  Maintaining a heading required some strategy.

When we got back to St. Philips Malcolm and his threesome came in after us.  I missed the start of the conversation and came into it as Malcolm asked if Hazen did sweep strokes to stay on course.  I believe that's the way it went.  Anyway, that's one idea.

I volunteered that my strategy for paddling on course in quartering seas is to get into sync with the sea and as a wave approaches, edge the kayak into the wave but keep paddling as normal.  I find that the combination of edging to force the bow to port and the wave forcing the stern downwind keeps me on course.  I find it also less tiring than having to continually sweep on one side and also the paddling cadence drops to match the period of the waves.

Of course, that doesn't mean an occasional sweep isn't necessary as circumstances dictate.

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