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

Friday, 15 August 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Swim!

It’s hectic at work at the moment with the Manx Grand Prix motorcycle races about to begin. I grabbed the chance to take a quick paddle from Port Erin Beach yesterday. I didn’t have time to arrange company and so I headed out to the choppy waters off Bradda Head alone. I passed the dinghies of 7th Wave weaving back and forth across the bay, and waved at their fleet of sit upon kayaks hugging the shore line. But once around the corner, below Bradda Tower, I was alone in the disturbed and sometimes frantically choppy sea. It was here that my recklessness began. It started with left and right roles, one after the other. A bit of sculling for good measure soon progressed to an attempt at extreme photography. In the interest of providing my readers with an unusual and interesting photograph I inverted myself and attempted to take a photograph of the underside of my now up turned kayak. I guess I’m not as athletic as I thought and my spray deck popped and with the choppy water rebounding off the cliffs, I parted company with my kayak. It was at this point I was grateful for the hours of time I have spent in tidal races practicing wet re-entry. Without this I may have met a watery end on the shear cliffs beneath the old mine workings. But within 30 seconds I was back in the boat, all be it with a cockpit full of water. My recklessness continued as I opted not to re-apply my spray deck and I played with the swell with my slowly submerging kayak. The cockpit now completely filled, every wave had to be braced and played. Any speed I might have achieved was gone as my heavy boat writhed, tipped and tried it’s best to expel me. Eventually, beneath Port Erin Life Boat station, I jumped out, expelled the water and re-entered to paddle home. Well, sometimes you have to make your own fun!
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