Before we were halfway across, we hit ‘squirrely’ water (yes, it is a technical term!). The bow of Shadow was pulled one direction, then the opposite. It only took a minute to know the conditions we were in for me to stop trying to correct my course. I’m getting better at read the water conditions as I’m in them.
Further across the current picked up and we were fighting it. With the current weakest at the shoreline, we adjusted course for the shoreline. Easier said than done! You could feel the boat being pulled away from the shore. Break stroke and you would get pulled out. Let the current take you and the next stop would have been down the Narrows and under the bridge. (Again, why this section of water is dangerous for the inexperienced kayaker).
By the time we made it around the tip of Vashon, I was tired. I couldn’t believe how strong the current was just off the shore. Even Barry mentioned it was the strongest he’d seen it.
- The second lesson was picked up during Steve’s assisted rescue. We’ll normally pull a flipped kayak across our cockpit to empty it making re-entry easier and less pumping required. With loaded boats, that maneuver is skipped. There is too great a risk for injury. It wasn’t something I had even considered.
- Lesson three – Loose hips. While the old expression is ‘loose lips sink ships’, in the case of kayaking ‘loose hips’ it’s loose hips that matter. They help keep you upright! I need to relax more and allow the kayak to move the way it wants, not force it.