Saturday, February 22, 2014

Out On The Water

It rained about 50 mm overnight and, when we drove over the Barron River on the bridge at Kamerunga, we were surprised to see the weir that we usually cycle over covered by swirling brown water. There must have been some heavier falls up in the catchment area. Certainly, it would have been a good day to go up and catch a view of Barron Falls as the river height at Myola was nearly four metres. But, we were on our way to Palm Cove for a short kayak trip. Feeling optimistic, we had packed our sails and hoped to sail at least part of the way out to Double and Haycock Islands.

Although there was a shore dump at Palm Cove (courtesy of a steep beach) there wasn't much in the way of wind, only about 10 knots, and blowing from the ESE. We could sail, a little bit, towards Double Island, which is slightly north, but getting to Haycock Island required paddling. No great hardship really. We saw a couple of turtles on the way out, one of which almost jumped clear of the water. 

Launching into light onshore winds

From Haycock Island we could sail (and paddle) to the beach on Double Island where we practiced some eskimo rolls. I have been frustrated of late with my progress and had decided that the next three practice sessions I could not quit until I got three rolls, then four rolls for four sessions, and so forth. We had been out to Freshwater swimming hole the day before, and I had got three rolls (for about six), so I persevered again until I got three. My big error was bringing my head up, which engages the wrong knee, and summarily pulls the boat back over. I did a few high brace drills dipping my head right into the water and that really helped. Doug flipped his kayak with sail up, pulled the sail down and then rolled up. Very impressive. The water was very clear which helped him see what he was doing. 

 Storm clouds to the south

I tried to use the sail all the way back to Palm Cove from Double Island, but I ended up with the sail pretty much parallel to the wind, so I pulled it down for a distance. Landing on Palm Cove beach was easy, despite the shore dump, but I was not quick enough to pull my boat up the beach and the next wave in filled the cockpit. 
Sheltered cove on Haycock Island

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