Oops

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Mark R
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Oops

Post by Mark R » Fri May 20, 2005 9:43 pm

I'm paddling on my own at sea. Something goes wrong and I find myself upside-down.

Options, please?

To be honest, I know and have tried out the theoretical responses...roll, re-entry and roll, paddle float...but what I suppose I'm really asking is, anyone have experience of how self-rescue works in practice? Anyone used them in anger?
Mark Rainsley
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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Fri May 20, 2005 9:59 pm

No, thank goodness!!! Touch wood, fingers crossed and every other good luck charm you can think of...

They're up there with letting off flares and calling out the big yellow egg-whisk or big orange boat. I hope to god I never have to!

yellguest

oops

Post by yellguest » Sat May 21, 2005 1:39 am

I too paddle on my own and had an unfortuante incident last year when i came out of my kayak and was not able to get back in. only being a relative novice to the sport i was unable to roll although i did have a paddle float. i tried to use this but despite getting onto the deck of the boat was unable to twist back into the cockpit.

i even tried the cowboy approach but that too was tricky to get into the boat. the weather was not too bad but the wind was producing some waves to add to the balancing act.

in the end i used my VHF (icom euro mv) and called for assistance from local fish farmers who were close-ish by. i had spoken to them earlier and knew the radio channel they used as a chat channel.

They came to my rescue. it taught me a lot about the limitations of my paddling experience and how difficult it can be when things do go a little pear shaped. I still paddle alone but i am careful as to where i go, what the weather and wind are doing and carry a load of safety stuff. I also practice with my paddle float and am learning to roll to increase my chances if it happens again.

If i did not go out alone then i would hardly ever go out and so would not enjoy the new hobby i have found.

Keep going out - just be careful

Vulch (not signed in

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Post by Vulch (not signed in » Sat May 21, 2005 10:22 am

Try it out this summer - useful exercise. I messed about with my C trek last summer in a safe bit of Poole harbour - tried to get in unassisted following a capsize only to find that it is really quite tricky! Cowboy mount works well in a dancer, but my sea kayak has a rudder! Do you pump out before you get in or after? I came up with a strategy that works for me - sometimes - and feel a bit safer and more confident as a result.

Vulch

Guest

Post by Guest » Sat May 21, 2005 1:10 pm

Re-entry roll works well if you're rolling is ok (but begs the question why you didn't roll in the first place!) - but take the time to swim the front of the boat back into wind/waves before getting back in - in rough conditions this will make things much more successful!

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sat May 21, 2005 1:22 pm

Yep, re-entry and roll. Still working on it meself though :(

Why would you be out of the boat though??? There is a school of thought from some of our aussie friends that the roll-of-choice for sea paddlers is the pawlatta - - - - -

Mike.

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Yellow Penguin
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Post by Yellow Penguin » Sat May 21, 2005 5:31 pm

I've been practicing the re-entry and roll in the swimming pool, with the added touch of replacing the spray deck before rolling. It's suprising how little water gets into the boat this way. But it takes a while and i usually come up right at the end of my tether, gasping for breath. If you can stay under this long and still roll then there should be no reason to come out in the first place, unless you've lost your paddle that is! Anyone tried hand rolling a sea kayak?

As for the pollata roll... I use it when riding a surf ski because of the high centre of gravity. It's also a good back up roll if your screw roll isn't working.

My suggestion to all solo sea kayakers is don't do it unless your confident in your rolling ability... learn to roll asap. Going out solo with out being able to roll is not only erring on the wrong side of sensible, it's asking for trouble... just look at yellguests experience.

But in the event of an exit, what is the best way to empty the boat after your back in and the right way up? I bought my sea kayak 2nd hand and the previous owner removed the deck mounted pump in favour of a 3rd day hatch. Now all I carry is a small bailing jug and a sponge tied to the seat... Not ideal I know, but what is?

CaptainS (not signed in)

Post by CaptainS (not signed in) » Sat May 21, 2005 5:46 pm

Hand pump or the waterbuster electric pump

Off-topic because I haven't started paddling yet (but will spend many weekends practising rolls in the sea): are there any other reasons for exiting the boat apart from running out of breath?

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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Sat May 21, 2005 6:27 pm

are there any other reasons for exiting the boat apart from running out of breath?
Your head coming into violent contact with underwater rocks perhaps? Or a snake inside your cockpit?

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sat May 21, 2005 6:43 pm

Yellow Penguin wrote: But in the event of an exit, what is the best way to empty the boat after your back in and the right way up? I bought my sea kayak 2nd hand and the previous owner removed the deck mounted pump in favour of a 3rd day hatch. Now all I carry is a small bailing jug and a sponge tied to the seat... Not ideal I know, but what is?
Pump and dump before turning the boat over - a technique where you hold your paddle floating in the water and use it to give a little extra flotation to help you in quickly lifting the bow to drain the (hopefully small amount) water in the cockpit. By forcing (pumping) down on the paddle at the same time as you raise the bow, it's surprisingly effective. Then flick the boat over quickly.

As to getting rid of the water, the answer is a pump - a stirrup / hand pump is the minimum and it would also be well worth fitting a foot pump if you have enough space in the cockpit. The hand pumps fitted behind the cockpit in many early boats are a pain - the pumping action is to one side and is very wobble inducing!

Check the Almanac / Equipment and boats page / Boat outfitting article.

I know only too well the outcome of having a swamped boat and no means of emptying it. The story is one the Sea Trips page!

Mike.

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Sun May 22, 2005 5:30 pm

Anyone tried hand rolling a sea kayak?
No, but I've seen it done. By the author of this thread!;0)

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon May 23, 2005 1:04 pm

If you carry any gear on deck (like splits) or have a deck mounted pump you can rule out the "cowboy" method.

I've only rolled my sea kayak in practice, but I have a pretty bombproof roll so I expect to be able to do it if I ever need to.
Re-entry and roll is fairly straightforward, we used to do it a lot in the pool using a couple of approaches (starting head to one side, starting head in the cockpit, putting the deck on, leaving it off) but I've never even practiced it in a sea boat. I don't see how it would be any more difficult (other then the rolling part) unless you have gear rattling around which blocks your route back in.

Rolls were of course invented by sea kayakers so most of them are appropriate (Steyr and Combat being the exceptions I can think of), the theory that suggests using a pawlata is one based on needing more leverage, when so far my findings have been that with good technique sea boats roll fine with a screw roll (half full boats in practise conditiona). I would say whenever possible use a screw type roll that doesn't require an extended paddle position, 2 reasons- you are less likely to lose it moving our hands along, and you are in a better position to do somethng useful with it when you come up (like starting to try and turn into the waves to avoid going over again). That said there are other extended paddle rolls that are only really applicable to sea boats (storm roll and vertical storm roll) and were originally developed for rolling in heavily aerated "soup" from big waves (paddle is taken deep to green water). I say learn and practice loads of different rolls, then if your screw roll doesn't work try something else.

The other important point is that depending on loading and stuff, sea kayaks don't turn over either way very fast, and if you load your decks like mine the chance of inverting totally is slim. It is Important to be confident at sculling because that could in many cases prevent a roll. In the event that your roll runs out of steam halfway up, the boat probably won't go back quickly and you will have enough time to convert the roll into a sculling support and bring yoursefl up that way. And of course if your boat doesn't invert sculling on the "up" side is preferable to trying to roll in fresh air, or deep water!

I would say for paddling solo go for re-entry and roll, you can even do a re-entry and scull if the boat settles on it's side, and a paddle float may help you keep your head above water as you get in for that? Never mind the spray deck before rolling, a full boat is stable enough to put your deck on after, and seriously consider a pump that doesn't need any hands to operate it (if conditions have forced you out, you will need both hands to keep upright...)

JIM

gizmo
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Post by gizmo » Mon May 23, 2005 3:25 pm

I have two kayaks - an acrobat 270 in which I learnt to roll and a Rockpool Alaw. I find the Alaw easier to roll. I haven't tried rolling it loaded yet but will do so soon and I'll post the result.

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon May 23, 2005 4:20 pm

Question- I'm paddling on my own at sea. Something goes wrong and I find myself upside-down.

Answer- Sponson (tee hee!)

RichardCree
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Post by RichardCree » Mon May 23, 2005 4:33 pm

the rockpool boat rolls fine when full of kit

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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Mon May 23, 2005 6:41 pm

I've got a solid paddle float which is OK but a bit bulky. I don't like the idea of having to faff about blowing an inflatable one up. Sealine make a CO2 operated paddle float which should be reasonably compact but quick to deploy. I haven't seen them for sale in the UK and I imagine it would be difficult to import one from a US supplier because it includes a pressurised container.

The "Back up" is another CO2 operated float, not really a paddle float as such but it can be used as one.

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Post by CaileanMac » Mon May 23, 2005 11:09 pm

Mark,

You have had all manner of methods presented to you but I challenge you now in the nicest possible way to try them out in controlled 'real' conditions and report back to us here at on the forum?

If your in Scotland this summer, we could meet up and I could provide you with a 'big pair of hands' to sort things out if Neptune throws a spanner in the works, whilst you practice the various techniques. Might even round up Richard C to provide some subtle words of encouragement. A 4ft lumpy sea with a force 4 ought to do the job nicely.

Cailean :-)

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