Real case scenario - use of towing system

På Dansk nedenfor.

Three knights rode due west, for a bit of sea kayak surfing. The weather was amazing for the season: sunny, hardly any wind and 14℃ = lovely.

We opted-out the area with breakwaters, south of Blåvand - it was too dull. Instead we drove to Vejers Strand. Now, that was a completely different ball-game.! Loads of the white stuff, one had to punch through, to get to the green area between the sandbanks. The forecast said 3-4,5 feet swell, with 7 sec period. This combination does give loads of water, that has to pass over the sandbanks, resulting in very few waves under 1,5m, many 2m - and a few at 3m, when a couple of waves joined their forces. Quite a lot more than I anticipated for the day... Anyone can handle 3m waves/swell, as long as they do not break, which they did - otherwise it is just up-hill and down-hill.
At one point I glanced backwards, seeing a kayak wobbling on the top of one of these breaking monsters. Just a glance, that I had my own business to attend to...

I think all reached their limits, and had a few fabulous surfs. Outside the sandbanks there were some 30m peak-peak. Quite different from the 5-8m we are used to.

We ended the event with a very educational Real Case Scenario:
We needed to get a cold (from swimming), tired and insecure (from cold) paddler back into his boat, and on-shore. The first part was done by towing him into the green area, between the sandbanks. An assistant gave him support - ups-a-daisy ;) So far so good.
Problem was we had to get him safe to shore, through the surf-zone. We were only three people and one tow-line. (luckily a Jeff Allen tow, more later).
We decided to place an anchor-man in the rear - and support on the casualty. This pair would take turns in pulling us through, while the anchor-man was supposed to maintain direction and low speed. It did not take long before the anchor-man came rushing past the float, breaking hard. Second time this happened he un-clipped the belt, to let the drogue do a better and safer job, while he rushed to shore, to help with the landing. This last part went real nice and smooth, thanks to the drogue.

Lesson Learned:
1) We were in deficit of towing systems. The ones below deck does not count. Had we had one more towing system, Jeff's throwbag could have been used solely as a drogue, while the 'free' paddler could have pulled the raft through the surf.
2) That the anchor-man overtook the raft twice, shows very clearly that 15m of line is not one bit too much, west of Skagen.!
3) Jeff Allen is absolutely right: A paddling anchor-man makes no sense above 4feet of surf. Better to drop the drogue, or use a swimmer.

Today I am very pleased that I have modified Jeff's system, so that it immediately could be used as a drogue. The early design I got, does normally need to fixed with a knot. With my modification it can just be dropped - and it worked. Jeff's design has changed later.
One thing I would have preferred was that the line had sunk - it came in the way all the time, paddles, around boats, catching skegs (not today though). I only need the bag/belt to float.

Looking forward to next time - much wiser. ;)

/////////////////////// DK \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Tre gæve gutter drog mod vest, for lidt havkajaksurf. Vejret var fantastisk: sol, ingen vind og 14℃ = dejligt.

Vi fravalgte høfderne syd for Blåvand - det så sgu for tamt ud. Istedet kørte vi om til Vejers Strand. Se det var en helt anden ball-game.! En masse hvidt (skumfiduser) der skulle tonses igennem for at komme ud. Derefter et grønt område mellem to revler. Udsigten 3-4,5fod swell, med 7sec frekvens. Denne kombination giver meget store mængder vand i hver bølger, som rejser sig over revlerne. Langt højere end jeg havde forventet.! Der var ikke mange under 1,5m, mange på 2m - samt nogle enkelte, når de slog sig sammen, på 3m - alt sammen brækkende bølger.! Enhver kan magte 3m bølger der ikke brækker - det er bare opad bakke og nedad bakke. Bliver de til skumfiduser, er det noget helt andet.!
På et tidspunkt ser jeg mig tilbage, og ser en kajak sidde og vippe på toppen af sådant et monster - "hold da op" tænkte jeg, men jeg havde jo også mit at se til, horfor jeg vender fokus framad/indad/nedad igen.....

Alle fik "set løverne", men fik vist også et par fantastiske surf.!. Bølger i indre Danske Farvande får en helt anden dimension. Udenfor revlerne hvor de 'sande' bølger løb, var der vel 30m fra top til top. Noget ganske andet end hvor vi her har 5-8meter.

Vi sluttede af med et yderst lærerigt Real case scenario:
Vi skal have en kold/træt (af at svømme) roer op i hans båd og på land. Det første blev klaret ved at trække ham ud i det grønne område mellem revlerne, en støtte på - op med ham. Så langt så godt. Problemet var han også skulle på land. Vi var kun tre mand og ét tov! (heldigvis et Jeff Allen tov, mere senere).
Vi beslutter at sætte en ankermand på bagud, med tovet - samt en støtte på den kolde. Dette makkerpar skiftes til at trække flåden indad, med ankermanden til at holde retning og til at holde farten nede. Ret hurtigt kommer ankermanden surfende ukontrolleret forbi flåden, trods 15m line.!! Da det sker anden gang kobler ankermanden sig af, og lader tovet virke som drivanker - det går mere gavn end en ankermande der ikke magter at være anker. Ankermanden spurter frem og på land, for at tage imod flåden, der dog nu kommer ganske roligt og kontrolleret fremad, hjulpet af drivankret.

Lesson learned:
1) Vi var i underskud af træktove. Bugserudstyr under dæk tæller ikke. Med at tov mere kunne Jeff's throwbag være lagt bagud som drivanker. Ankermand kunne så istedet have trukket flåden ind gennem surf-zone.
2) At ankermanden overhalede flåden to gange, viser med al tydelighed, at 15m line ikke er en skid for meget vest for skagen.
3) Jeff Allen har fuldstænig ret: En sejlende ankermand giver kun mening op til 4fod surf - en god meter. Derover er det bedre at droppe posen, eller hænge en god svømmer ud.

Jeg er idag glad for at jeg har modificeret Jeff's tov, således at det umiddelbart kunne fungere som drivanker. Den tidlige model jeg har, skal originalt bindes anderledes, for at fungere som drivanker. Med min modifikation, skal det bare droppes - og det virkede perfekt.!
Noget jeg havde foretrukket, var at linen ikke havde været en flydeline. Den kom kun i vejen for pagajer, rundt om både, ind i skeg (ikke idag dog). Jeg har det fint med at det kun er tasken/bæltet der flyder. 

Glæder mig til næste gang..!! :-)

Derek Hutchinson †

"Travels with Paddles: Derek Hutchinson †: I Just learned that Derek Hutchinson passed away yesterday. I have never met Derek. However my first reading about sea kayaking (in 1994) ..."

He certainly meant a lot to me and my progress in, and understanding of, sea kayaking. If only he had been more known in Denmark. He's books are amongst the best written and illustrated, till this day, to be seen on the market. They still stands tall.

He's honoured in UK Rivers Guide forum.

A word from another one in Dereks league, and generation:
"One of the most experienced sea paddlers ever.
His writings about his sport were such that one had to put the book down and rush to get onto the water to try out his instructions from the books."


We all know Valley's toggle system with bungee and a hook. On a few occasions I have seen the hook catch the other boats lines, during a rescue. Obviously this is not very good - at all.! The hook has also slipped off, while I was pulling the boat on land, resulting in serious pain from the finger that got hit. Strangely it tends to hit the exact same spot more than once....

That there is quite a few issues regarding toggles and safety, it does matter how you alter/make these things. Gnarlydog has a couple of good points on this subject.

This is not at all my own idea - once more, stolen from Gnarlydog :-)

Who needs Kari-Tek

I have chosen to use a trailer for kayak(s) and gear, but I also chose not to pay bucks for a rack - this is what came out of it.

 Though I am a journeyman smith, I opted for a wood solution that I had it at no cost at all. Honestly, this wood-thing was meant to be a test - something temporarily. Like always, making something temporarily that works, you end up using it for ever.

Some steel does not hurt :-)

Latched together everywhere.

By moving the posts aft, I still have the full size of the bed.

We do not want want the strap to slip, do we...

GPS, or not to GPS - that's the question

That I like the art of navigation, I get by without using a GPS for this purpose.  I prefer using chart, compass and watch. Until now I have (almost) always been close enough in knowing my whereabouts and finding my way. On the other hand, I do like to see my track - either just for fun or to geotag some photos.

Hence I do not want to use power consuming software, on my mobile. I use one of either: My tracks, Move! Bike Computer or GPS Logger. They have various ways to either share or send data, but My Tracks feature to make an export to Google Docs, does kind of appeal to me. Power consuming software like i.e Endomondo, just don't get a chance here.

i-gotU is an other option. Especially useful on multi-day trips, due to it's battery life (if set to longer log-intervals).

Vis Sydfynske Ø-hav 2010-07-08 --> 13 på et større kort

On occations I have used a Forerunner - just another option. Here from a trip around Fanø.

This is the Roll - from Cackle TV, Justine Curgenven

Cheri Perry & Turner Wilson has made this DVD, with an approach to:
 "...focus on the most useful rolls to you in real water conditions."

I ask no more.!

All too often I see people performing maybe 10-15 different rolls in poolconditions, whereas they are unable to roll in real conditions  - this leaves me absolutely indifferent. Happy to see a DVD that shows you stuff that works, and the importance of it.
There is also a lot of focus on forward finishing rolls, rolls where you recover tucked forward - very good !
"Boat first, head last" - haven't we all seen the opposite a thousand times or more. Getting it right from the start, makes everything else so much easier.
Loads of brilliant  keypoints. The shoots are taken from different directions, helping you to mirror, or see, just the detail you are missing.

This video actually made me want to play with this stuff. Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks.? Certainly hope I can.!!

PS - no, I do not have any personal interest in this, other than I like to see people getting past their circus-roll, and closer to a bomb-proof roll.