Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tidal Race

There were three of us: Ian Fong(the eminent Newfoundland sea kayak instructor), myself, and a newer younger, three year veteran of the sport, by the name of John. We paddled Placentia Yesterday. The tides where higher than normal, and John being a local from the area(born and raised, as well being employed as a regional Paramedic)was dying to get out in it....albeit with company. As well as the fact that the tides were higher, we had a stiff onshore SW wind. As good a tidal race with standing/surfing waves as we'll ever see in these parts. By noon, we were playing in the narrow channel below the bridge. We later moved out into the bay as the ebb tide caused the reseeding current to peaked at about 2:30 that afternoon. Amazing...along that kilometer of water, we had thousands of square meters of wave action. It was a blast...I'm new to it, so I learned a lot. Sorry, no camera, no photos. We stripped every thing down(not even a spare paddle....but we each had tow rope on quick release belts)...just some drinking water and a paddle float on deck. I may have had pocketed a tiny digital camera in my PFD next to the mini flares, but I don't have one of those....yet. It was sunny and warm for this time of the year, but I wore the drysuit knowing full well I'd be getting wet today. Later in the afternoon once we were playing in the tidal race, I ended up pitched over several times in a row. I managed to take a breath in between each time, but eventually realized that pulling the spray skirt was wiser. I may need that bit of oxygen for the next activity. Swam for ten minutes or more, until I cleared the tidal race, into calmer water for a re-entry and roll. Fine work, but while I practice all rescues, I'll practice this one even more this winter in the I now believe it is my solo rescue of choice. Old're not learning unless you're getting wet. It was all a great experience.


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