Sunday, August 21, 2011

Self-Rescue Techniques, Ongoing

Watching YouTube videos doesn't do it. There is no substitute for practice. The practice is more difficult than I thought it would be. I go to the same "Maiden Voyage' lake for practice, because there aren't many people around to watch me founder. The first session:
"The Cowboy Scramble:   FAIL. I couldn't get my body high up enough on the boat without it flipping over on me.
"Re-Entry And Roll":   FAIL. I just couldn't figure it out.
"The Ladder":     PASS, (C minus). I managed to get it done, but the 'yak is awfully shaky when I'm on top of the rear deck.
"Paddle Float Re-Entry":   PASS.  I really dinged up my deck with the paddle, though. I discovered that I needed  to use the deck rigging to hold the paddle.
The second session:
"Paddle Float Re-Entry":  PASS. It got easier, once  I realized that you can do it more than one way, as long as you remember to keep leaning on the float side.
"Re-Entry And Roll":    FAIL. I'm going to need lessons.
"The Ladder":  PASS (B minus).  It works, but this boat bangs me up.
"Cowboy Scramble":  FAIL.  I think this works better in kayaks with higher initial stability.
Both times, I tried the self-emptying technique, where you lift the stern, and get the water out, and both times, the 'yak flips itself over, naturally. Most of the water comes out, but I go under. I think its because of the way my cheapo PFD rides up.
Well, at least I know one reliable way to get back in if I ditch.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ram Island & Swimming Rock

Put in at Esker Point Beach in Groton. Nice area, adjacent to "private" Long Point, which would be the best place of all to put in, provided that you're a millionaire, and you live there. Went out to take a look at Ram Island, and Swimming Rock. Very busy with power boat traffic, in the channel between Groton and Fisher's Island. I'd like to try for Fisher's sometime when there is less boat traffic, like the fall. Without boats, there is an easily manageable 1-2' chop, but the near-constant traffic in the channel keeps sending 3-4 footers.
Nearing Ram. wondered if I could beach for a minute & stretch my legs-guess again!  When I was about 100 yards off, I noticed a man in a humble skiff, a bit closer in than I. Several fierce dogs tore down to the water's edge, and barked furiously at him. Glad I didn't try it. Someone's really interested in preventing trespassing.

Mouse Island. Close into shore.

 This is either Swimming Rock, or Whale Rock. Tried not to disturb the cormorants.

 I stopped on this rock to stretch my legs. And pulled Bonehead Play Of The Summer. I'd found a little niche in the rocks, and pulled the 'yak what I thought was far enough up. Went to the other end to take this picture....and you guessed it......when I returned, the boat was 20 yards out! Dove in after it, with camera in non-watertight PFD pocket. Considered tring to get in, but instead swam back to the rock, pulling the boat, very thankful when I felt a rock underfoot.
Went back out in the direction of The Dumplings, coming closer than I had before, but the water was getting bigger, and rain threatening, so I chickened out.
I managed to dry the memory card out enough to upload this pics, but the camera is probably shot. No biggie, since I was very lucky twice today, first when someone else discovered the canine residents of Ram Island, and again when I got back to my kayak.