The following blog has been lifted from the Forum General chat page.
About 18.00 Barry I (Lollystix Paddles) Mark B, Andy E, Clive M (MCC), Mike D and others went out for a play from Bradwell – believe they all had fun too and included swimming. No names will be mentioned but clearly a “Swimmer of the Moment” Trophy winner. Mark, have you seen the trophy?Johns words
Marks story – On this evenings sea paddle four of us where out supporting “Lollystix paddles” = Barry.
On the evening of this sea trip the wind was gusting up to force F5/6. As Barry had a client, the four of us where there in support, and to practice our skills in these challenging conditions.
So with a good briefing by Barry on wind tide, weather, conditions and looking at the kit we all carried, such as first aid kit, boat repair & all the rest this was to help to put Barrys client at ease.
So we could all very subtly discover his customers skill level we paddled out of Bradwell Harbour entrance aiming for the two yellow marker buoys & then back into the safety of the Harbour. As we left the safety of the entrance the tide & wind came apparent with the wind from the WSW. High water was at the same time we set off, which gave us wind over tide, so challenging conditions.
We were all comfortable in these conditions so as one group of six, but splitting up a bit to gave us all room to move, I stayed close to Barry & his customer for the evening. On the second trip out we decided to head for Ross’s Revenge which was into the wind. This was about a one hour run there.
We all sheltered in the lea of the ship from the wind & then started back to Bradwell. This was going to be wind over tide with some very impressive ways to surf. Surfing is not my strong point; there hasn’t been much opportunity for me to practice sea kayak surfing. So, with some good encouragement from Andy E, Barry and Clive M, I decided to give it my all & with my successful roll the week before in F5/6, I was quite relaxed.
So off I went into the unknown, leaning forwards & backwards when required & seeing the whole of the nose of the kayak disappear & pick up the next surf wave (some of the time), I was flying.
All the time I was thinking, the Greenland paddle that I had made two months before was doing well, but in these conditions it would of, or might of, helped if the paddle had been a bit more stronger with all the force in the conditions.
I had just heard Andy E on the VHF marine radio say slow down when I spun out to my right & flipped over with a wave crashing down on top of the sea kayak. A little voice in the back of my head said, “Ok, take a deep breath psychologically, & where do we go from here?”
I knew that there would be five kayakers bearing down on me some time soon. Unbeknown to me, Andy E & Clive M where on their way. So I took my time & set up for the roll, & when I was happy, & all around me felt right, I started the roll which seemed to be working. Yes, I came up well, but the water smashed down on my right shoulder and started to push me back under the waves.
So under I go. Ok, I am back here again. I do remember that the water was lovely & warm plus so clear. If I did not need air, it would have been nice to see what I could see, but this was not the time to daydream. So, back into the roll & yes, oh yes, I made it, but the water smashed me on the right shoulder again and under I went.
Sitting here writing this, I was thinking maybe I should have tried a third roll; food for thought.
When I popped out of the sea kayak, I was quite surprised at how rough & big the waves were. So, holding on well to the paddle & the cockpit of the sea kayak; it must have been a good minute before a wave lifted me up with the Kayak & I could see Andy on the left & Clive going for it on the right. Sitting in the trough of the wave I did think I hope that they put the brakes on before getting to me. – Would just like to say “thanks boys”.
So with Andy on my left, he told me to grab the front of his sea kayak. This was all well & good, but at that moment I dropped a mile or he rose a mile. Andy said swim for it, but with a paddle in my right hand & my sea kayak looking as though it was going to hit me from the left & Andy’s kayak smashing back down, I decided to stay where I was & make my way to the front of Clive’s kayak. It is very surprising how calm & collective you are with all the training we have had over the years with Bramston CC.
So with Clive M going into automatic mode & grabbing the nose of my sea kayak & flipping it like a pancake, I gave him my paddle. I then waited for the right wave, in the right place to help me tumble with my head facing the back of the sea kayak. Patience waits for the wave to pass. You know by the motion of the sea through your body when to rotate into the seat of the sea kayak. Then it is time to put on your spray deck and at the same time pump out the remaining sea water. Andy E was standing off just in case he was needed to support the rescue, he wasn’t but he did make a rescue on Clive’s silver flask which had been knocked off his kayak in all the commotion.
A note to self – stow my camera back in the sea kayak not under my buoyancy aid next time I am trying to surf.
submitted by Mark B 110720