Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shaken, not stirred and on the rocks

Wednesday evening saw eight of us for some cold water entertainment.  Three of the guys were in short rock-hopping type boats.  They got started riding over some pour-overs.  The rest of us watched for a while with me trying ...

... to catch the right moment to guide my 18 foot Nordkapp through the foam without risking life and limb.  It was hard to catch an opening as the guys were constantly buzzing about.  A long kayak isn't as nimble and I didn't want to find myself tangled up with Brian, Dean or Shane in the soup.  I managed to find an opening for a couple of rides before ...

... the five of us with long boats decided we'd seen enough and went for a paddle.

The ocean was surprisingly violent around the rocks and timing was essential to avoid situations like ...

... this.  I watched Gary paddle through the rocks here and it looked good but as I was near exiting a wave over my head presented an unpleasant surprise.

I got swallowed by it and pushed back ...

... and up and got deposited onto the rocks.  A couple of more large waves tried to paste me into the rocks but I managed to hold onto the rocks and hold position.

What looked to be a chance to escape turned out to be a wave that pulled me off the rocky perch and upside down.  Fearing more bashing I wet exited and the next wave deposited man and kayak back on the rocks.  Amazingly I kept calm, stood on the rocks to empty the kayak, got back in and waited for the right size wave to lift me off to make my escape, which I managed without further incident.

Its all about timing but the sea was unpredictable last evening and I rolled the dice.  Lesson be learned!

The above three pix are still screen shots from a bit of video Cathy recorded.


  1. How did you find being a swimmer in the soup compared to in the boat? The question being is it better to swim in certain situations when you are not in control anymore? In any case, important to be calm like you apparently were.

    1. The wet exit ft felt like the right thing to do under the circumstances. Not that I made a conscious decision that it was better to swim than get bashed around on the rocks upside down.

      I've been in those situations before so I knew to stay calm Also, I didn't want to involve my paddle mates in the nasty conditions.

  2. Always thinking of others! Even in tough situations! I wish I had caught it all on video, but I had to standby in case you needed help getting out of there. You were super pro! :)

    1. Ya, its best to stay calm in those situations for to lose your head only makes things worse.