Wednesday, April 04, 2012

How's your roll?

 Just beyond the heavy industrial land of Hunterston...

 ...we were back on a wild stretch of coast. The Three Sisters of Hunterston were formed during the current Holocene period, when brash ice erosion rapidly cut the cliff line as the land rose at the end of the last ice age. Once the ice melted, the land continued to rise but the rate of erosion slowed leaving a rock platform at the base of the cliffs. Caves in the cliffs were inhabited as the area was populated following the retreat of the ice. The stunning Hunterston brooch was found here in 1830. It dates from about 700AD and is finely worked in gold and silver with amber decoration.

As we approached the end of our paddle, Colin and Andrew were somewhat overheated from keeping up with the kayak sailors.

As we approached Portencross Castle, Andrew asked me "How's your roll?" As I was looking forward to it with some relish, I said that it had bacon, lettuce and tomato with a thin spread of mayonnaise. Then, as Mike, Phil and I landed, Andrew and Colin cooled themselves with lots of rolling and thrashing about in the icy water. I watched them as I munched my roll and I realised that sea kayaking encompasses a very broad church of activity.

The shift in wind from SW to NW and our choice of launch site in the SE meant that we sailed the whole of this 30km circumnavigation of the Cumbraes. Yes, paddle sailing your sea kayak is a whole heap of fun, even though it might lead to excommunication!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Douglas, Enjoying your blogs as always - this one made me wonder if you've done much practice rolling with kayak sail deployed? Just read an interesting article in Ocean Paddler about the possible problems - I'm sure you're well aware of it - and would be keen to know your thoughts/experiences?
    Regards
    Wilson H.

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  2. Thanks Douglas - really enjoyed our day around the Cumbrae's via Bute! That is despite not having a sail. I was in need of a lie down at the end but good training. Also I would thoroughly recommend a dip in icy water at end so long as it is planned!!! Catch up soon. C

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    1. Colin it was a pleasure to have your company. :o)

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  3. Hi Wilson, the kayak will most likely not turn upside down when the sail is up so almost certainly you will need to come up the same way as you went over, with a high brace, so no swimming pool set up positions! If you let the sheet off, the sail will be free to rotate in the water as the kayak comes back up.

    I don't roll if I can help it as I have surfer's nodules in my ears (and two hearing aids)from too many dunkings in cold water.

    I read the article and I think it was very good for sailing offshore in f5+ wind. However, I hope it does not put people off kayak sailing in moderate, sensible conditions.

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  4. Good morning,
    Nowing the orthor of the OP artical well, I think its a well writen pice, and I agree with all within it, in lighter winds ther arnt all the isuws , but we need to be awear that conditions can chang rapidly , and when things go rong thay can go rong faster with a sail up !
    the sails can be roled up ! it takes a good slow role , I generaly have to wet exit, stow the sail and reenter and role. if you can uncleat the sheet and the up hall the sail wil go limp in the water and easier to role. but in practice I think the sail adds to stability and to a degree you wont be in a position to need to role . the only time I get into trubel is doing bum things like paddlesailing to close to the back of the surf zone , or sailing fast into the beach and forgeting the rudder or skeg!
    best regards
    Mick MacRobb
    FEKS

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    1. Thanks Mick, yes it was a very good article. We do allow ourselves to get spread out when we are in moderate conditions along the coast, however, last weekend we left Ailsa Craig (15km offshore in a gusty F4-5. We stuck in a tight group 3 abreast so we could always see each other. We were hitting speeds of 18km per hour so could have very quickly become separated. The three of us had VHF's on channel 6 in case one needed to attract the attention of the others. Two of us had PLBs. I also agree about the sail steadying the kayak. Last year we were rounding the headland at the west point of Tiree in a force 5. It was a bit bumpy. We had the sails up but I dropped mine to take a photo of David who was ahead of me. Suddenly my kayak was all over the place. I put it back up pretty smartly!

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  5. complimenti foto straordinarie!

    http://iseokayak.blogspot.it/

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    1. Grazie Maurizio. Mi piace il tuo blog.

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  6. Thanks for the reassurances, Douglas and Mick. I think it's just a matter of waiting for the birthday fairy now!
    Regards
    Wilson.

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  7. Wilson, I can't think of a better birthday present!

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