Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Wild Isle of Man 2!

I am no play boater as I may have mentioned once or twice before. I have been sea kayaking for nearly three years now, and yet you could count on two hands the number of times I've been in a play boat. This weekend however, I decided to give it a go. As yesterday's blog bares testament, Saturday was more a case of endurance and survival than "play" as we battled the force 8 gales here on the Isle of Man. Today was different, as gentle well formed surf waves rolled up Fenella Beach.
With my Pyranha 7 o and three mates from Manx Paddle Sports I began my surf runs. I've surfed a thousand times in my Rockpool Alaw Bach but this was different. I just couldn't get up enough speed to catch the wave. The best I could manage was side surfing through the break zone. My regular sea kayak spray deck often imploding on me resulting in the inevitable swim. What could be wrong? Well, my boat wasn't long enough and so I borrowed one that was. This time I was in a Necky Jive and catching waves became much easier, although I displayed little control. Again, if I inverted then off came my spray deck as a prelude to another embarrassing swim. Also, the bow would tend to bury itself. I learned that there was a similar boat called the Necky Glide with a more upturned bow and that this would be much better. Perhaps I should get one? It then dawned on me that I already have a boat with enough speed to catch any wave. Nor does the bow bury. In addition getting in it becomes part of me and I can feel every wave. This is a boat that would have got out through the surf yesterday in a force 8 gale, and it has. This boat is a Rockpool Alaw Bach and it is the ultimate rough water boat. I'll grant you though there can be a slight issue when it's fibreglass hull meets a rocky beach at speed, but hey, you can't have everything.

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