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Post by Pitchpole »

I am sure many people will have kayaked through rafts of algal foam at this time of year and noticed the mess it leaves on your boat. Until the terrible events in the Netherlands ( ... etherlands) I had never really thought of it as a safety risk. I guess if you are swimming it would be difficult to keep your airways clear and it may even be toxic. Does anyone have any experience to share?

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Re: Foam

Post by PeterG »

Cliff nesting sea birds seem to be well aware of the risks. I was always surprised by some apparently ideal cliffs being unoccupied and the next corner being a crush of birds. After a few days of F9-10-11 brought our paddling in Lewis to a halt and massive drifts of foam inundated the coast, the unoccupied cliffs were all submerged in deep drifts and the birds would have drowned, but nesting areas had been blown free of the foam.

I imagine sensory deprivation might be a factor in the foam being so dangerous. I once paddled through a short stretch of a sort of foam and spray clapotis where two seas met, just to see what it was like. However, it was impossible to know, once inside I could not see, hear or really feel anything, although the boat was bucking about, but a few instinctive paddle strokes brought me out into the air again, none the wiser. Except having learnt not to do it again.

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Re: Foam

Post by BobbyR »

Indeed the news reports quoted survivors who stated they became disoriented in the foam.

I’ve been kayak surfing there a few times. The break is a narrow area against the harbour wall. Its proximity to Den Haag, Delft and Rotterdam makes it popular and busy. It can be horrible paddling out into the wind when the surf is up.

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Re: Foam

Post by Ceegee »

I must admit it is creepy stuff, especially when you hit patches deeper than you are tall. Here's me at Dungeons, off the Cape of Good Hope. Mind you, there was a 9m swell that day!!


Steve C. G.

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