Swim AWAY from the Boat!

Posted by Mac on Jun 13, 2004

Mutter... Coffee...Tab Key...

Another great installment, Kurt. I think the fellow you met in the rented yak was me or my alter ego. I was fooling around at the lake yesterday where it is finally warm enough to spend a comfortable half hour in the water. Put on the pfd and decided to push braces to the point of failure. Using a spooned paddle's backside, I was able to hold the kayak at three o'clock and my torso at two with the brace exyended completely. Know what I found was a critical component of sustained bracing? CONCENTRATION! Had that ol' infinity symbol goin' like sixty when I decided to look at my prow (for some unexplained reason). It amazed me at how quickly the paddle blade dug in and sped me and boat to the six o'clock position. It happened so fast, I don't think recovery was possible. One simple wrist flick missed and the wheels really fell off.

Mind racing, nose bubble (worked!), eyes open (glases actually stayed on), sacrificed any attempt of recovery in favor of saving about $500.00 in eyeware, tossed paddle, glasses in one hand, released skirt with other. This was my first "voyage to the bottom of the sea" (four feet of lake water - you ol' drama queen!), but even so, I was amazed at how the folk on this forum helped. There was so much going through my mind about what to expect and what to attempt that I never thought of being scared.

I don't know if this is normal, but I found that I had to relax to leave the cockpit - my knees and feet were locked in for my previous bracing, and only got tighter as I capsized. Ripped off the skirt and had to consciously straighten my legs to "fall out". I don't think it was a fear reaction but more of what has become a reflex - for me - to lock in whenever something ain't right.

Next time I gonna use a sport band for the goggles and see what else I can do.

I made one attempt at the upside down cockpit drain - but my boat is very long and the ends are very narrow. I wasn't able to create enough lift before the boat spun out. After two trys I was breating pretty hard, and as I was alone, decided to simply flip her upright nd tow her to shore. I was amazed at how little water was actually in the cockpit.

Anyhoo, thahk's to all for the great advice - LOTS to try.

Kurt, slow the *&^ down! I'm tryin' to keep up!

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