A Family Adventure

in the mountains, ocean, and air

Revenge of the kayak

June 20, 2009
Emilie Phillips

We finally managed to do 20 miles in the kayak today. However it wasn’t all we had hoped for.

We headed out from Portsmouth, NH going north along the Atlantic coast. The initial bit in the bay was fine, but once we got out to the unprotected coast, the waves started to be an issue. The seas were at least three feet and some of the bigger waves were headed towards six feet. Despite our surfing experience the previous week, Tyson was getting stressed and tense from trying to keep the boat upright. We ended up stopping at a beach about five miles out to stretch and take some pain killers for unhappy muscles.

The next issue we ran into was that when I use my whole body to paddle, my leg movement rocks the boat. On flat water, Tyson had managed a similar technique and we were ok. But on the ocean, Tyson felt the need to brace a lot. So we were sort of working at cross purposes. I thought it worked well when I convinced Tyson to stop bracing nearly so aggressively so that I could help brace too. However, I’m willing to let the boat tip a lot more than Tyson is, so he wasn’t nearly as happy with it . At times the best compromise was to alternate who paddled and who rested.

Then I started getting sea sick. I rarely get seasick, but the waves combined with the twitchy boat was enough to get to me. This started just before the turn around point. The whole way back, I couldn’t even look down at my chart to figure out where we were.

And then most of the way back was just a terribly long slog with both of us tired. Today was eight miles longer than the longest we have done this year even on flat water. I did request a stop back at the beach five miles out to let my queasiness subside enough to eat some and get some energy back into me.

5.5 hours total time which would just barely get us back before the end of the race.

Previous update: too sick to train.

Discover how we turned the corner.