Flat but choppy and warm

June 24, 2007

I still don’t have a new waterproof camera so no pictures sadly.

The sea was flat with less than a foot of swell but with some wind blown chop and pretty warm. I spent 4 hours paddling around, fooling around in the water. I brought my carbon fibre racing paddle to practice with – felt funny but I got how it works.

I was also keeping a look out for a spot to practice the method of landing on a rocky cliffy shore that Marcus Demuth wrote about:

“Nigel taught us ‘landings in hostile environments’, which was by far my favorite new thing I learned. To land on a rock, or in a cliff-like coast, the kayaker clips himself to his own kayak with his tow rope, then slips out of the kayak and swims to, and finally climbs on, the rock with his paddle in his hand. He then places his paddle and himself above the high water line and crashing waves, and pulls his kayak up to himself on the rock with the tow line. I could not have been more impressed by this technique, and was eager to try it when it came to my turn. To launch, you let the kayak slide back into the water, sending it off with a good push, then, Yours Truly jumps off the rock into the Irish (or any other) Sea, gets back into the kayak with a re-entry roll, and then clip yourself off your boat.”

And also a place to do a seal launch from.

seal launch photos from jackson kayak

I found a perfect seal launch spot that could double as the landing spot. The only problem is that it is pretty high – 4m off the water (no where near as high as the above pictures though!) – which makes hauling the kayak up pretty hard work and also will take some bottle to do my first seal launch from…

Just 6 weekends left in Japan before we go back to Scotland for good so I may well run out of time.

I spent a lot of time in the water today pratcising various things. I started off rolling pretty well but my blade was sinking too deep so I tried to make some corrections. Sod’s law I then failed to roll. I tried a rentry and roll and failed at that too. I then tried a cowboy rentry but the kayak was too full of water and too unstable. I swam the kayak into shore – noting how easy it is for the kayak to get out of reach and how fast it moves away from you when you’re swimming – bailed and paddled back out. I then failed again twice more at rolling to my great surprise and frustration. I thought I had that roll nailed down and was really supposed to be practicing my offside roll. Anyway I took the opportunity to practice the paddle float rentry and various methods of sliding ito the kayak. I think my failure might have been related to the broken paddle as at one point I felt the blade twist and then slice through the water.

It is good to get this kind of shock though makes you realise that its probably complacency that kills most kaykers.

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