Re: Self-Rescue

Posted by Tony Calvert on Jun 14, 2004

I think Kurts method of emptying the boat(or the majority of it) was one of the most useful tips I have recieved, whether or not it works in a rough sea, hopefully I won't have to find out.

I'm learning to roll with a whitewater kayak club and they are teach that a bombproof roll will get you out of most situations of accidental submersion both in the rapids and on the sea.

They do spend quite a bit of time teaching you how to avoid being upside down in the first place which is the old adage "prevention is better than cure".

I've decided to work a little more in the whitewater boat so that I am rolling both sides with the right technique(I tend to lift my head in the sea kayak, physcological thing I think). At the moment I can roll quite happily on the right side holding the paddle as you would when paddling but the left side I still have to shuffle down the paddle shaft to give me a little more leverage.

As Kurt says half the fun is just learning all these things and being able to go to a pool every week allows me to try a few things in a safe and warm environment.

I tried and failed at rolling in the ocean last weekend, Air temp was around 16 degrees celcius, beautiful sunshine and I was well dressed for the air temp, in fact I was sweating a little because of the amount of clothes I had on. At the end of the paddle and about 10 metres off shore I thought I would try my new roll out in the real world. The water felt coolish when sitting on a kayak above it but it was not pleasant once I got my head under, the minimal rolling training I've had goes out the door when you get into the cold water of Wellington Harbour(Just guessing but probably around 12-13C) and I kept lifting my head so the roll failed and I had to bail out(more wet exit practice). The 3-4 minutes of dragging the yak to shore were not a pleasurable experience, although I warmed up pretty quick once ashore.

Lessons learnt: No matter how warm you are above water it is going to be a lot cooler under it on a Wellington winters day.

The pool is not the real world(I think I knew this one anyway)

A wesuit may be a worthwhile purchase for paddling in a New Zealand winter.

My conservative approach to the type of paddling I do will continue for a while yet (maybe forever).

As with a lot of my other hobbies, "The more you learn, The less you realise you know".

These are the ramblings of a novice kayaker but he is having fun!

Chers Tony

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In Response to: Self-Rescue by Kurt Maurer on Jun 14, 2004

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