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

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Sea Kayaking Isle of Man - Lost.

Last Sunday Jess, Ian and myself took part in one of those paddles we will always remember. We circumnavigated the Calf of Man from Port Erin, as we have done on many previous occasions. As we rounded the Stack to the southerly side of the Calf we were hit by a SW force 5 wind directly opposing the tide. The gnarly conditions resulting are shown in the photos above. What isn't shown above is the final tidal race at the "drinking dragon" through which we had to paddle to complete the circumnavigation. Ian went first and only just made it through against the fast flow. Having watched Ian, Jess and I thought better of it and opted to paddle through the slightly slower flowing but massive tidal race along side the smaller race. We estimated the wave size to be 30 to 40 foot, the flow was against us and we had to surf our way through. Very quickly we were engulfed by two extra large waves and once I'd gathered myself and spun around, there was no longer any sign of Jess. In fact she had surfed the first wave, and was capsized by the second, but managed to role back up. I circled around in the race looking for her but as we occupied separate valleys between the mountainous surf, I just couldn't find her. We both thought the other was lost for a short while, until on the peak of another monster, I just caught sight of her and I continued on through the race. Whilst all this drama was taking place Ian thought we were both "playing" the surf and re-entered the race so as to not miss out on the fun!
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2 comments:

The Black Spot said...

Such a great paddle...

Ian said...

An absolutely amazing paddle that smashed my existing limits. I hope we find waters like that again very soon.