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Rough Water


Paddling in Wind, Waves and Current

Paddling at Deception Pass

This year after the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington with Chesapeake Light Craft, I volunteered to drive the Ford Flex back to Annapolis towing the Outrigger Junior on the trailer, caravaning with Joey Sch

Autumn Gales Rough Water Sea Kayaking Event

Petrel Play at Wiccompessit

Blaine Skillings photo

For the past few years, my friends Greg Paquin and Paula Reigel (Owners of Kayak Waveology) have organized the Autumn Gales rough water sea kayaking symposium in my home waters of Fishers Island Sound. Greg is a BCU coach and he brings in other coaches from locally and abroad. This year he had Nigel Dennis, Peter Jones, and Harry Whalen from the UK as well as Carl Ladd from Rhode Island as well as local guides such as my friend Carl Tjerandsen. I was invited in the local guide capacity.

Rough Water

Over Labor Day weekend I attended the second annual New England Intermediate Rough Water Symposium hosted by Tom Bergh of Maine Island Kayak Company. Tom brought in BCU kayaking coaches from England as well as top paddlers from the US. I was there as a local guide to the waters and as an assistant coach.

The video below is something I put together giving my impressions of the event.

Not so Deadly Waves

Tropical storm Noel swept by New England in late October and sent some fun waves towards Napatree Point. I didn't get much good footage while paddling, but the resulting video is still fun.

Rough Water Sea Kayak Play Video

More video from the reefs in the passage between Watch Hill, RI and Fishers Island, NY. This is out near buoy #2 on a day with about a 3 knot ebb. I'm paddling my Petrel. Also on the water were a Chatham 18 and a couple NDK Explorers.

Playboating at Blue Hill Falls

After teaching my class at the WoodenBoat School, I got a chance to head up to Blue Hill for some play time. There is a reversing falls that has a nice play wave popular with the whitewater crowd. I took my Petrel in for a little surfing action:

Playing with Video

I've been playing around with taking video using a Pentax Optio W10 that I have strapped to a helmet. The quality of the video is not great, but the results are kind of fun. The first is one is from a couple days paddling the reefs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island and the Race and the second is an afternoon surfing off Napatree Point.

In both videos, the boat I am paddling is the Petrel.

I hope you enjoy the action.

Determining Wave Height

He said, "I was out there and the waves must have been 6 feet." Funny, I was out there at the same time and didn't see anything bigger than 18 inches. What is going on? Estimating wave height is very difficult. Sitting down in a kayak, low to the water, waves look pretty big.

It is usually OK to be inaccurate in your estimation of wave height, after all it is you who is out there, and if it a wave looks big to you it probably is big for you. But there are good reasons why you may want accuracy. For example, if you are planning to go out and check the forecast and it predicts "3 foot waves" you want to know if their 3 feet is the same as your 3 feet.