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

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Tidal Race Video!

We have spring tides here in the Isle of Man at the moment. When the flow is heading west and the wind is from the west, then some interesting conditions arise. This was the case in the Sound of Man at the weekend. This is the narrow gap between the main Isle of Man and its smaller offshoots. As the tide surges through this narrow, shallow sea passage, and the force 5 to 6 winds whip up the waves from the opposite direction then you have a serious tidal race on your hands.

Jess and I set off from Port Erin down to the Sound on Sunday. We timed it so that we arrived at maximum flow. The roare and hiss of the gnarly, breaking waves could be heard some way off. The flow was so fast that the heart of the race was pushed further west than is usual. But it changed by the minute. You couldn't look away as the snake like stream of chaotic turbulence writhed to and frow beyond the entrance to the Sound. We skirted around the edges initially, easing our way in. Eventually we were in the Sound itself. I shot the video above to give you some idea. It's not easy holding a video camera whilst in a tidal race. There is usually some requirement to put in a stroke or two. Most of the clips I took were interrupted by me suddenly dropping the camera, grabbing my paddle and desperately trying to stay up right. At this point the camera sees only my spray deck, the only interest being the loud splashing and occasional whimper from myself as I narrowly avoid submerging in the icy Irish Sea. Thus, the video above is of one of the calmer moments Jess and I experienced on Sunday.

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