Saturday, October 29, 2011

wooden boats, wind and rescue and a race, but someone has to watch the store

There are more and more wooden kayaks on the water these days, heres Ori and Vered in my double meeting Etai in his Night Heron

Then Izzy gets into the picture with his stitch and glue Chesapeake as well,  so now there are 4 of us together, I`m in my Night Heron too

Off they go , practicing for tomorrows outing to Michmoret  to watch the surfski competition

Later that morning I took out a small group, the wind was picking up and there were choppy seas.
In order to keep the group together we used a tow rope to help the slower kayakers to stay with the group. This also keeps the impatient paddlers with the group.
The wind picked up all morning  and by the time the afternoon group went out it was gusting at 18 to 20k.I  was not there {someone has to watch the store} but have managed to piece together the events after talking to those who were.
As the group began to paddle into the wind and surf some realised that the conditions were beyond their abilities and turned back. Those that went out of the bay passed the reef and also decided to return. The group had one surfski with them. The surfski capsized in the waves and wind and could not remount. This resulted in them being swept downwind in increasing large seas, making them not visible for periods. Most of the group made it back to the shore with a few capsizes along the way . A couple of the more experienced ones tried to help the surfski but to no avail.A kite surfer with a dislocated shoulder was rescued along the way. The surfskier held onto her kayak ,was swept downwind about 2km until she managed to swim back to shore and then had a long haul back to the club. There was a boat in the water looking out for them and the surfer.
All ended well and lessons were learnt.
Know your abilities and trust your instincts, when you feel that you shouldnt be out on the water go home, unless your`e with an instructor who is helping you get better and can rescue you if needed.
Be sure that you can rescue all in your group if the need arises, surfskis and seakayaks are incompatible in rough water unless you have practiced and learned to help each other.
Listen to your group leader and don`t endanger yourself  by trying to help if you cant manage in the conditions. This just complicates the whole rescue procedure.
Get more training in rescue techniques and practice practice practice.
That`s why we have symposiums , there are still a few places available, so hurry before its too late.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looks like surfskis are the next Hot thing at Optimist

They are fun in the waves

Easy to jump into the water for a pee

Make you look good

And now even Avigail is getting into it

Friday, October 21, 2011

mixed feelings

Optimist kayak cllub paddlers welcome Gilad Schalit home

We are all patriots
And will open a bottle to celebrate at the drop of  a hat
The world is changing as we watch,dictators are falling at an increasing rate and our comfort zone is being challenged daily.
As a father with a young girl in the IDF my heart goes out to the Shalit family, and I would expect the same if it was my daughter who was kidnapped. So I am really happy that Gilad is back home.
On the other hand, and there is always another side, is it the right thing to do to negotiate with terrorists and is the price paid not too high? If a unit is sent into enemy teritory to bring back captured soldiers there is always the risk of more casualties, but the point should be that the enemy must pay for their transgressions, war is a costly event in terms of lives lost and we do not take it lightly. But every soldier knows that they will be helped and that they are never alone in a combat situation. So the price is paid.
Maybe in our strange war on terrorists, where the playing field is not level we should change tactics. Why should we play by our rules when the other side has a different set of rules and morals.Surely its time to change our behaviour and talk the same language. We do not have to descend to the horiffic levels that we have seen of beheadings and lynching, but we could make a policy of not taking any prisoners,who become currency in future prisoner swaps, or maybe we should bring back the death penalty. This way we will not be pressured into releasing thousands of murderers who will just return to their evil ways.
I know that this post has nothing really to do with kayaking but our country is so small and everybody serves in the army,so probably my fellow kayakers are also thinking about the events of the last few days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dont be a victim, or why you should come to our symposium next month

Wild water can be a lot of fun

Is this a good way to rescue a friend

Luckily we practice these rescue skills

Contact towing,how to make friends and influence people

Learn how to launch in big surf

And may this never happen to you again
Its easy to become complacent,especially with warm water and clam seas. But even in these benign conditions bad stuff can happen.
If you only go out in flat water and on windless days I guess you dont need much skill,although you will have a pretty restrictive paddling career.
On the other hand if you feel like a challenge and would like to get out on the water rather  than sit on the bench and watch others enjoy themselves, then this is a great oppertunity to hone some of those skills that you will need.
On the agenda:
Eskimo rolling with Helen Wilson, for all those who would like to learn to roll,this is a fantastic chance to learn  from a great teacher. Also for beginners you will learn the correct way and then not have to unlearn all the wrong stuff that you get told along the way.
Ben Laurie will be teaching forward paddling and also surfski paddling
Jeff Allen will be showing how to lead a group and rescues, probably one of the most important lessons you could learn if you want to do more than just paddle flat water. In fact it will make you a better paddler and a better paddling partner. Just think of it, if you go out with a few friends and you have the necessarry skills  to lead, rescue and plan a trip, then you are the most valuable member of the party. In fact this lesson will not only teach you new stuff it will also open  your mind and show you the stuff that you dont even know that you dont know.
Dont miss this great chance to learn from some of the worlds best and have a lot of fun at the same time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coffee and a smoked salmon sandwich

Yesterday the surf was big and the sea was messy,waves coming from all directions and a fair wind. Out at the rock the surfing looked good. I had just got there and was facing a huge wave,thinkingI had managed to go over,  at the last minute it grabbed me and hurled me down its breaking face. I went into a high brace and bounced along with the wave. There were moments that I was airborne and I felt the jarring smash when I hit the water again. I managed to survive the wave but my spare paddle which is always on my deck had dislocated and in the surf and  had broken in two.Dror who was paddling in a surf kayak had seen what was happening and came to help. Luckily for me there was no need for a rescue. That would happen the next day

Today the sea had settled a bit and the waves were more organised. Unfortunately the ammount of kayak traffic had increased and this makes surfing more dangerous.Sea kayaks are more difficult to manouver and when there are so many people in one small spot its a bit dodgy to say the least. 

Nevertheless we all had fun in the surf.

Until I capsized in a large wave and failed to roll. My Petrel does not have a bulkhead in the foredeck and I had forgotten my airbag,so quickly I flooded and when I tried to reenter and roll there was so much water in the boat that this was a mission impossible. I swam to the shore towing my flooded kayak behind me , thinking that its about time to get that bulkhead in as soon as possible.
 Before quitting theres always that last wave that you want to catch  and so when a good one came  I took off. I didnt see Mickey on the same wave untill it was too late and he was coming at me pretty fast. Luckily for me he missed my torso and went over my foredeck flipping me over into the white water which sidesurfed me a while and pulled me out of my cockpit.
 Thats when I decided to go home for coffee and a smoked salmon sandwich

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Summer cools down and the days get shorter

Surfskis are becomming more popular as more and more of our kayakers look for speed
There are still lots of us in regular sea kayaks playing in the waves

SUP`s are also attracting some of our paddlers

Kids take to them so easily

Theres always more to learn

Get your Fenn at the Optimist kayak club

And yesterday Eli caught his own dinner