It was an eerie morning as we wandered on to the beach, along with a few other early risers and dog walkers. The temperature was 28°C at 8am and the sea fog lingered around the headlands as we organised ourselves for a paddle.
An eerie feel to the morning as the sea fog lifts
They have been for a swim and are now ready to chase that ball
Only a few people on the beach
The physiotherapist had told me to take it easy on my injured shoulder (courtesy of a recent mountain bike crash) for the next couple of days. “That’s ok” I replied,” I’m just going for a quiet morning paddle with an old guy I know, so not too much exertion”.
It started out alright but then we both decided that a quiet paddle was a little boring and that a bit of play would be beneficial. Here’s a few photos from our “quiet play” session.
Steve gets belted on the way out and is carried backwards towards the shore.
…and makes a close inspection of the seabed.
Ian plays on a small wave….careful of that shoulder injury
…and bounces around in the choppy waves
Steve starts his famous kayak disappearing act
We don’t have to worry about special training sessions for rough water kayak skills; it’s almost an everyday occurrence for us.
Paddlers Ian and Steve
Training for Disaster is a philosophy I try to encompass in all aspects of my training as it helps me push the boundaries of my dwindling kayaking skills. I try to look at my kayak skills in different ways and identify the right way and the wrong way. Sometimes it helps to get it wrong in order to improve.
When practicing landing in surf I do it the right way, waiting for a smaller wave to pass under me then paddling after it to chase it shoreward, sliding gracefully up onto the beach and the wrong way, catching the wave, usually broaching the seakayak and having to support stroke as it is bounced along.
Paddle onto the back of a small wave and follow it to shore.
Sometimes you have to wait for a smaller set of waves
Get it right and you will slide gently onto the sand.
Steve shows how it’s done landing between larger sets of waves
Pick the wrong wave and you might meet disaster.
Sometimes you miscalculate badly. That’s me in there somewhere holding onto my paddle
Practicing for the times that you get it wrong will increase your confidence and your ability to recover after errors of judgement and can even make for a lot of fun. You don’t need huge waves to improve skills so try to practice every time you go kayaking.
Often the fun can be just getting out there…..
I was trying to stay dry today !!
Then there are paddlers I know who don’t need to “Train For Disaster”. Disaster is their middle name and part of their everyday paddling life, providing lots of fun moments, some of which are caught on camera like this one.
All Washed Up. I have no idea what happened here…..but it looks impressive
Cheers ….Ian Pope.