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

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Storms Abound!



video

It has been pretty stormy here on the Isle of Man. Ian, Jess and myself took advantage of the relative calm of the force 6 westerly winds on Saturday to surf and train at Port Erin. It's not easy to steer or turn a 17.5 foot sea kayak in force 6 winds, and so in between surf runs we would rest by practicing skills in the shelter of the small harbour. The video above is of Ian who really is beginning to perfect his role.
On one such run, paddling out beyond the shelter of the bay and past the green buoy which marks the end of a submerged reef, I looked upwards at a building sized wave just beginning to break. A second later all was white, the stern of my kayak was pointing downwards, and my boat hurtled backwards for what seemed like minutes. Mentally I prepared myself for the shock of capsize. I jammed my knees into my cockpit and put tiny low braces on the left and right alternately. All that was left was for the wave to decide on which side to capsize me. In fact I was spared, the white froth subsided and I emerged into the daylight from somewhere near the centre of the wave.
The weekend's kayaking was made all the more enjoyable by the news that my 3 piece Rockpool Alaw Bach is repaired and will be back with me by next week. I truly am grateful to Mike Webb of Rockpool for once again fixing one of my kayaks. I know that this repair was particularly difficult. Speaking to Mike over the last few weeks really has wetted my appetite to try out the new boat he's working on; but more about that later in the week.
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