A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Rough Water Symposium day 3

June 23, 2010
Emilie Phillips

On the third day we were thinking of doing tidal currents and rapids. But it turned out that was poor planning because max ebb tide wasn’t until 3pm which was about when everyone needed to pack up and go home. Instead we debated between rock gardening and greenland techniques. Tyson wasn’t sure I should take my boat to play in the rocks. But it ended up that there were a bunch of people taking the greenland techniques class. And worse, every other class besides rocks was going to the same place — the narrows where we had been the day before. So we decided to go play in rocks with the smaller group. This time it was three instructors and four students.

I think I might still have a bit of the white water kayaker in me. There is nothing quite like the adrenalin rush when I’m not quite where I should be and the waves are trying to smash me into the rocks, and I’m valiantly trying to keep the boat between me and the rocks, my head above water, the boat mostly intact, and get the heck back out of there. I also got a couple of times where I got in the sweet spot and stayed there, riding up and down the waves right next to the rocks.

I was actually doing pretty well with my boat and really had not even left much gel coat on anything. But then one time I headed out through surf when it turned out someone else was trying to surf in. He had the right of way, so it was my fault for not noticing him. I couldn’t go left because there was a rock there. I probably should have back paddled faster. He managed to turn just enough that my boat took his bow rather than me. But unfortunately, my boat is kind of light weight, and cracked along the seam. Since it was near lunch time, we headed to a beach and demonstrated boat repair.

Another trick I learned later in the day was how to land on a rock when the waves are too big and nasty to do it with your kayak – swim. We all swam in one by one with ropes to hold the kayaks off shore, and then reel them in. Getting back in, we pitched the kayaks in the water and did self rescues of various sorts. I tried a coyboy rescue (climb onto the back deck) and found it surprisingly easy despite the conditions.

The pictures, unfortunately, don’t quite give you the up close and personal feel, but they give some idea of the day.