We took the afternoon off work and went to go paddle the rented surf skis in the ocean. The spot we chose is Ipswich Bay in MA. This area has a combination of a protected bay and easy access to the ocean. It also happens to have a couple sand bars that are good for surfing on, but that’s for other trips. However, today the seas were quite small, so there weren’t any real waves worth worrying about. The biggest hazard was the tide turned to go out at 7PM. We would have a bit of current opposing us going back in, but we’ve dealt with it before.
I started out in the skinny V10L. Pretty much immediately I was nervous and tight and constantly battling falling over. Tyson was reasonably calm and collected given that he had already paddled the V10Sport for a couple hours yesterday. I actually made it a good distance before I tipped the boat over. So we did a deep water rescue. Shortly thereafter we came ashore and swapped boats.
Once in the more stable boat, I could actually pay attention to my form. It still felt kind of tippy, but manageable. Tyson in the V10L was doing ok, but really only managing one or two paddle strokes between braces. All this made me start to feel a bit less like a loser and actually enjoy the day. The only issue was that I was getting hungry and thirsty, but everything was back at the car because the boats have no storage space.
Eventually I was feeling confident enough that we swapped boats. This time we managed to swap in the water. For the first 30 seconds I had nice form and wasn’t tipping the boat. I was rather proud. Then everything went down hill. Eventually, after I think two swims, I acceded to trading boats again.
Tyson swapped boats with me hanging on from the water. Then while paddling the skinny boat around to help me into the V10Sport, he tipped the boat over. Thus we now had two people out of their boats in the water. Well, the one bit of gear we had put under the one bungee on each boat was a paddle float. So we commenced our self rescues. I got up onto my boat the first time, but then flipped it over the far side. So I was more careful the second time. Just about as I was getting myself situated, I watched Tyson make the same mistake. So I paddled over and helped him up.
Possibly frustrated from being in the water too long, Tyson proceeded to flip his boat over 3 or so more times within the next 10 meters. Me laughing my ass off probably didn’t help. So finally I swapped back into the V10L. By now I was feeling relaxed, and had a little more practice with the more forgiving boat. I still had to pause and relax somewhat frequently, but I was starting to like the V10L. I did ok in some small chop. I even managed to surf a couple small waves. It is amazing how small of a wave a racing boat will surf. So I think we mostly achieved our goal of learning how to be comfortable and paddle well in tippy boats. I did still end up in the water a few more times.
We did a poor job of navigating the currents going back in. We ended up against the sand bars in the middle. So we portaged those to get past the pinch point with fastest current. We both were starting to get reasonably hungry and cranky. I was tired enough that I requested the V10Sport. And we puttered in to the beach. Tyson actually finally seemed to get the hang of the V10L on that last part.
We got back too late to return the boats, so we’ll be doing that tomorrow. And then we found a sub joint open until 11pm for dinner.
Once we get the house done, I think both Tyson and I will be investing in some faster fancier boats; though probably not all the way to these racing machines.
Previous day training: forward stroke clinic.
Next day training: back in the Bullitt.