Saturday, November 29, 2008

the fear factor

Yesterday the sea was getting higher and higher, and today the sms came in at 6.05, the morning paddle has been canceled due to seas too high . As usual this means that all those with privately owned kayaks and no fear will turn up at the beach to see if we can go out on not. The decision to paddle is our own, and we take full responsibility for anything that may happen. To take a group of kayakers of mixed ability and skill levels out in rough seas is a heavy responsibility and one that is not taken lightly, and so if the sea is anything like dangerous, Ehud will rather postpone or cancel the outing, but if you own your own kayak you can choose what you want to do.
Anyway there were a few of us out today in high seas, and I must admit to feeling a bit apprehensive at times when seeing this huge wall of water rushing towards me . I decided not to surf at the rock, the waves were huge and of the dumper kind,not my favourite conditions for surfing, so 3 of us went out to sea and then came back. Mickey decided that the sea had calmed down again and headed off to catch some waves, Shahar and I decided to play in the shorebreakers. Zohar was on the beach and got some nice photos of us in the surf, meanwhile Mickey had come undone. He had caught a large wave, flipped over and broke his paddle , then his forward bulkhead failed and his kayak filled with water preventing a reentry and roll and making a rescue very difficult. We decided the best thing to do is to tow him back to shore. As I had the only towrope it was up to me to tow a swamped kayak and a not too small paddler and his stabilising friend back to shore. I can tell you that this is very hard work, and not a job to be taken lightly especially in large surf.
Lesson of the day: make sure your kayak is seaworthy and that all the bulkheads and hatches are in good working order, and always have a spare paddle.
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