An itch

August 30, 2006

Monday 28th August 2006

Its one thing to roll a nice narrow kayak. Its quiet another to roll a big red bus. I was itching to try.

So first Monday back at work I headed off straight after to my usual spot at Nobiru.


My plan was to roll and practice my self rescue techniques; cowboy re-entry, re-entry and roll, and rolling the boat after wet exiting in ways to avoid lots of water ingress.


The water is very warm now – nowhere near as warm as in Tokyo but still a nice temperature. I wore my wetsuit top though as I planned to be in the water most of my evening.


I got there at 5pm with the tide very high, so high I was almost able to paddle out of the car park which floods ocasionally.


The wind was quite strong maybe 12knots from the south which was whipping up some waves. My spot though is great because it’s protected all the way round and I had no problems.

It’s quite something, takes a mental effort, to do that first rolling under. I did it then tried my new short roll. Success! Amazing I can roll my bus. I then did my C to C no problems then failed (faking it) to pratice the ‘put across’ roll. I couldn’t quiet get this though and had to wet exit. No problem I practiced my re-entry rescues. Everything going great. I then did a rentry and roll, nailed it first time but without attaching the spray skirt the boat was pretty full of water. I’ll try this next time attaching the skirt although that looks difficult.

I also did the ‘get your ear in the water sculling for support’ thing which worked fine – I find it easier on the way down that on the way up where I end up rolling up rather than sculling up…

I was rolling and rolling and rolling though and very happy.
Then I saw some waves further along the beach and decided to try a bit of surfing. The surf was tiny maybe 40cm and breaking close to shore – high tide – but I got it working and practiced my braces. Its amazing that when your on a wave its really hard to get off. Got washed ashore a couple of times but having fun!

On the way back I tried an impromptu roll while still moving and failed, my new back up roll failed too and I was forced to wet exit into the more exposed wind and waves. Good pratice hanging onto the paddle while the boat and you get blown along. Makes you realise how accidents can happen. I even failed in my first cowboy re-entry (the leashed paddle got trapped under the boat and in trying to untangle it I fell off) and ended up with lots of water inside the kayak. I got back in using the cowboy method but then decided rather than bail for twenty minutes I should practice my swim to shore. 200 meters but with the wind at my back it went quite quickly and actually quite nice as the water is warm.

Anway after emptying the kayak on shore I paddled back to the put-in, it was getting dark.


Near the put-in I experienecd a very interesting current. The tide had just turned and was flooding water back out of the bay pushed by the wind while the main swells were rolling in from the other direction. These were colliding on the shallow sand bar (3 feet deep) to create some fun water. There were long breaking waves, only 30-40cm high but running for 100m without falling over. There was also a very fast counter current and patches of eddying water. It really felt like a river. I caught the surfing waves easily and was travelling at 10knots zooming back and forth. Getting back out to catch a new wave was easy because all the water was running that way and I got to do some very fast edged turns in the eddying water.

I think this is a bit of a phenomenon here caused by the very high tide and the right wind direction. When I got back to my car in almost pitch darkness I really was able to paddle across the tarmac – I hadn’t realised that the tide had come in a further 8 inches from an already high tide at 5pm!



The reinforced concrete fence posts, faked-up to look like wood, that blanket Japan.


2 Responses to “An itch”

  1. clydewinter Says:

    When you’re in waves, you want to roll up into the oncoming wave (not into an oncoming current, if any). Roll up on the side you’d want to brace on if you were upright. Maybe that would have helped in that offshore mishap.

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