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Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Mon 6 Jan 2014 05:28
Well well, what happens when you put a swedish paddler in a kayak and let him go out in the tidal stream of Whitianga?
The tide here is like the ocean breathing in six hours cycles. Pull in the water for six hours until it gets a couple of meter above chart datum, then let the water out for six hours until you almost think there is no water left. And as it happens the current gets quite strong in both ways. Well, thats a no brainer for people living in the tidal world.
And it is a no brainer for us either, anymore. But I have not really paddled in these strong currents before.
The trick is of course to go against the current and then go back with it. If you are not staying out long enough so the tidal stream turns and you get to paddle against the tide both ways. Haven't done that so far.
But as we have been moored in the river I took the kayak for a ride and got back as the current was at the worse speed, probably around 4-5 knots.
So I approached with the kayak and thought it would be smart to get it just in front of the dinghy that hangs in a line a couple of meters from the aft of the boat.
Well that was not so smart. Not the least. As the kayak got in front of the dinghy it also came sideways to the current. And it got a great grip on us pushing the kayak under the dinghy.
The I did the next notsoverysmartmove... I threw the paddle in the dinghy, thinking it would free my hands to get everything back to an orderly position.
Well as the kayak came out on the other side of the dinghy, I was still hanging on for my life to .... well I don't know.
But I realized that without a paddle I could not just let go and start all over again. Sitting in a kayak without a paddle being washed out to sea looks dumb, to say the least...
So as the current had one direction, and I tried the other way the current won. It pulled me sideways, and started to pull the kayak off my body. I was laying like a line along the dinghy feeling how the cold water got me as the kayak got away from me. And finally I had the kayak just hanging on my toes on the left foot, and I could barely hold on so I yelled for Ellinor.
She came out and tried to pull the dinghy in so she could get in it to help me out. But she could not pull against the current and finally my toes gave up and the kayak disappeared just as fast as a salary.
So next thing was trying to get into the dinghy but the current was washing me down and I struggled to get to the swimming platform of the boat.
Got there and Ellinor could now pull in and we took off with the dinghy after the escaping kayak, the whole equipage came back, wet but ok.
So now I learned a lesson, never show your widest part to the current unless you have space to do so.
Yesterday we were invited to Ian and Jan for drinks with 20 people. A great gathering with lot's of interesting and interested friends of them.
We enjoyed it a lot and then we stayed the night.
Coming back by lunch today it was time to take Salsa to the marina and berth her. Our space is free again and now we can stay here till April when we will put her on the hard.
Looking at the current I thought about the kayak and believe me our engine had to work the hardest ever to gain control in the current. She was taking off sideways like a shot from a gun.
That was the current news for today...