Monday, April 12, 2010

The Open Coast, or, All Your Eggs in One Kayak

I recommend watching this video of US Coast Guard crews doing surf drills at the mouth of the Quillayute River which is the location of the incident described in this chapter.

Paddling the open coast, especially at the mouths of rivers, requires not only excellent skills, but you really need to understand the dynamics of currents, tides, winds, swells, and breaking waves because all of these are present and interacting to create potential chaos. If you can find an old copy of the book "Waves and Beaches" by Willard Bascomb, I strongly recommend that you take the time to read it. I found it to be very helpful in understanding the physics of the surf zone before I began to venture into it myself. Matt Broze also has a very good sidebar article in this chapter talking about paddling on the open coast and addressing wind, waves, and surf specifically.

I'm wondering what experiences you might have had in wind, waves, surf, and river currents. I know that over the years, I've had waves implode my sprayskirt, wash my spare paddle off my deck, crack my paddle blades, as well as give me the most exciting rides of my life. Learning to whitewater kayak over the past nine years has also helped me a great deal with understanding currents along with improving my rough water handling skills.

What comes to your mind as you read this chapter? Please share.


Oh, BTW, I noticed that my chapter numbers did not match the chapter numbers in the book. Apparently, when Rick started this blog, he assigned chapter 1 to the "Introduction" chapter. I'm going to leave the chapter numbers off my titles for a while to avoid confusion. Then I'll pick up using the numbers and make sure that they match the chapter numbers in the book. :)

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