Montag, Oktober 29, 2007

Progress Report 10/29/07 Monday - updated by Freya 04.11.07




Satellite Messages Received from Freya Today, Monday 29.10.07:

Message 1: Rounded the Cape in rough conditions landed to find a way to launch without this f*&%^% skeg becoming stuck and climbing out in rough seas :(

Message 2: 41.55 174.06 35km only skeg problem wore me a bit, but rope trick works now :) ugly dumping stuff to launch tomorrow :( dolphin played with me

Forecasted weather from Karel Vissel ( http://www.kayakweather.blogspot.com/ ):
Mon mrng nw 4bft noon nw 3bft aft nw 4 bft seas 1.90 mrng south of cape campell seas 2.90mtr from s and se
Tues mrng nw 4bft noon nw 3bft aft nw 3bft seas 1.60 to 1.20 mtr from se

Update by Freya 04.11.07:

Cape Campbell...Joe Heberley told me I might not make it around in Moday's forcasted conditions...it was about 7 km away from where I camped last night.

I launched through some moderate surf from a small cobbels beach, and for sure I got the rope skeg stuck...with a sidewind becoming stronger I felt the urgent need to figure that problem out at some point.

So I just climbed out straddling the back deck, slid backwards until I could reach the attached loop on the skeg and luckily pulled it out. Balancing act succesfull done...but was that a solution for the next lauchings, too???

But first around the Cape...it is a flat area with very confused seas through lots of reefs. I knew there was a way sneeking around close in to the beach, but the water was so shallow I got stranded on the first try...
I took my chance to jump out and to have a look around the point to check the situation, and what I saw was very confused seas, but at least I thought I could manage to stay close in as planned. Some fat seals were occupying the beach at the Cape, obviously surprised to see a person out there...I hurried to leave them alone and launched again - again with a stuck skeg...

Paddling around proved to tricky and some hard body work, but it was actually even more rough south of the Cape then! For some reason I expected it to be somehow sheltered, but I should have better studied Karel's forecast more carefully...wind 3-4 from nw (following), but seas 2,90 m from s/se!! Still I wasn't used to seas coming from the opposite wind direction, but for sure it created some lovely water...

Should I dare to land again and hopefully manage to launch then with an idea of a rope-system for a non-stuck-skeg, or just keep on going with no skeg? There was no inviting place to land around the Cape in these conditions, lots of reefs with intimidating spray going over it. Just don't look at it and stay far off and out...

I decided it was worth a try to climb out again to loosen the skeg, I trusted my balancing skills even in rougher water...but it happened what must have happened - I lost balance on straddeling the stern and slid into the water :-((

Not too much of a big deal, as I was in a dry suit and had lots of options to get in again, but being out there on your own first time in such a situation makes it feel a bit different.
I decided not to go for the wet-hair option with an elegant re-enty and roll, but rather just pull myself up again, straddling and slide in - just into a fully flooded cockpit from the next set of waves then...hmmmm, ok, pumping out was the next job to do, and I was really missing my electrical pump I used to have in my older kayaks...the manual pump with an almost full on spray deck eventually did it's job half, but I felt it was not worth to keep on pumping, I was a bit exhausted and chilly, and rather spotted a bit of a protected gap behind a reef to somehow land safely.

I gave my body and soul a full two hours break after that funny exercise, and pulled a piece of string out of my repair kit which I threaded through my already existing little pull-out-loop on the tip of the skeg. I attached it behind my seat, and on the next launching it worked well! The rope skeg was stuck from cobbles and sand again as usual, but I released the main rope, pulled on my "help rope", and out it was!
Just releasing the help rope off the skeg loop then, and I will never launch again on my own without that piece of string attached to the rope!
I was already thinking about how to release the skeg on my own when I paddled with Greg around Iceland, but you actually DO what you feel what needs to be done at some point just sometimes a bit later...

After a two hours break the launching off that beach was almost impossible, as the ebbing tide left only a kayak wide gap in the reefs...I really hadt to kick me to give it another go, as the strong following winds were so tempting out there...

But I noticed once being on the rough sea again, although I made good progress, the previous experiences were telling on my body and mind today, and I pulled to a next inviting looking beach spot after only 1 1/2 hr of paddling again. Some broaching sideways in a moderate dumping wave, still keeping dry hair...well, I am used to paddle with my dry suit hood on :-))

I stuck my helmet under the back deck net only without clipping it to teh net, that it first gives me an easy access to grab it, and second somehow forces me to put it on on any landing and not to loose it then in any size of surf. It doesn't hurt or bother me to put it on, and it is easy to underestimate the conditions...being out there on your own anyway. And a dangling helmet besides the kayak which came off the net but still being clipped on is nothing worth either.

Landing at 4pm already gave my some rest I needed, I was in cell phone range and could call all my contacts who wanted to hear from me...

2 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Well done! Rope tricks might help you on Halloween night as well (do they celebrate in NZ)!

1:27 vorm., Oktober 30, 2007  
Blogger derrick said...

ahh, who needs a skeg!??? LOL! Enjoy that Launch. ..

3:44 nachm., Oktober 30, 2007  

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