Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bro on the Beach

Last week my brother and sister-in-law came for a 5 day visit. They were just getting their twin boys off to college and needed a vacation. Chris builds sound studios in New York and Julie has a popular cafe where they live in the Catskills. With winds at 0-5. Ellie and I joined them in the decision to "just hang out at the beach".

We found a quiet stretch and set up our tent. On the second day we returned and Chris and I headed out on my sit-on-top kayak. The waves had settled down at low tide and we picked a calm set to head straight out. We made it through about 5 waves and felt we were clear. Wrong. A large one started building way out and by the time it made us we weren't going to make it. I told Chris to dive into it and we came out the other side as the kayak shot to the beach.

We both still had our paddles. He wore a ski-type vest and I, a self-inflatable. Being so far out and swimming hampered by the paddle, I inflated. The cartridge fired off and filled the vest. Very full. It felt like two cantelopes mashing against my ears. I side stroked with the paddle in hand and eventually started catching waves toward shore. Holding the paddle parallel to the waves let me use their force to my advantage. Eventually we both made it to the shore. The girls had grabbed the kayak and were glad to see us.

What I took away:
1. It is smart to wear a life jacket.
2. The self-inflator was the large size and forced too much air in the vest. By pushing down the valve at the top of the manual 'blow' tube you can release air while swimming. And blow more in if needed.
3. If you need to loose a paddle to swim.... they have more at the store.

It was a great visit and a couple of long, restful days at the beach. Oh and did I mention the steamed platter at Outback Crab Shack?!

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