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

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sea Kayaking Isle of Man - A Different Race.

Not all tidal races are the same. Nor is any particular tidal race the same the whole time. Much depends on what's causing them and when you go. The top photograph is of me in the small tidal race between the Isle of Man and Kitterland, just below the Calf Sound Cafe. The lower two pictures are of Ian in a race much further around the back of the Calf just beyond the Stack, on the South West corner of the island. This race is produced by tide gushing over submerged, irregular rocks as it wraps it's way around the Calf and smashes into opposing currents. This produces a swirling, gnarly mass of waves, eddys and currents heading in seemingly random directions. When a tidal race is like this it really isn't worth playing in, and entry becomes more an exercise in survival. It is not unusual to have 3 or 4 waves crashing into your boat from all directions making choosing which one to brace upon an impossible decision. Get it wrong and you are going over. The first race however in the top picture, although on this occasion slightly bigger, is much more manageable. Predictable standing waves move in a uniform direction allowing easy surfing. This race is produced by tide flowing through a narrow, shallow gap between two islands. This causes the water to speed up resulting in turbulence and uniform, constant waves.
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