Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: we
In Response To: Re: powerboats to the rescue ()

. We are not arrogant. We have the right to claim our
: superior record in not being a threat to others who share the water.

Hi Craig,, boy it sure is easy for threads to hit buttons. Loose hips to territorial issues. I don't know the record well enough to equate superiority or if that's possible but in my experience the people are the same no matter the water craft. You do bring up the thought that if a paddler doesn't have experience with the usage of larger boats then there's a high likelyhood that that paddler may act in ways that require the larger boat to compensate for the paddlers ignorance. On the flip side if a powerboater or PWC operator had the experience of close calls from the 18" high perspective of a paddler the powerboater might change dangerous behaviours.

Forgive me if I've already posted this anecdote to recently. At an ACA instructrors workshop and exam we had as one of our participants a ships pilot. He's the guy that would go out to the huge container ship and pilot it up the Chesapeake under the Bridge to wherever. Big ships. One of the activities in our course was giving a presentation to our fellow instructors-to-be on various topics oriented towards a beginning sea kayaking course. Anything from kayak design to appropriate clothing to paddling technique to....hazards and navigation. Here was his experience: He's piloting a container ship up the channel to the Kent Island Bridge (big bridge), he's aware and in communication with a tug pulling a barge north of the bridge, another container ship, the ship traffic behind him. I don't know the exact confines of the channel but he doesn't have room to stop or be anywhere but the course he's on. Here's the fun part, about a 1/2 mile from the bridge (he's in a ship that takes miles to stop) there's a sailboat crossing his course right under the bridge at 6knots, there's are two sportfishing boats in 90degree courses also crossing right under the bridge at 25knots. And of course all the other recreational traffic parallel to the channel ready to veer across the channel at random moments. The little boats all have their uneventful crossings, no loss of wind, no last second oops as they negotiate their rules of the road or "go thataway!". But what should be see from way up on the bridge? One lone kayaker in a barely visible color dashing across his path at some lightning speed of 3-4 mph. Do to his perspective on the bridge he's sure that the kayaker will be hit by a bow wave and chewed up by house sized screws. He related to us all that went through his head for the next 30 seconds untill the kayaker came into view on his port side near the bridge support. I lost track but it was a series of reports to authorities, employers, insurance co. lawyers, drug tests, lawyers, insurance, authorities, lawyers...oh, and that a ship he piloted killed someone. I think if that paddler had .001% of the knowledge and experience that the pilot had he would never have endangered himself and others by the crossing he made.

I do agree wholeheartedly that people in kayaks probably do injure themselves more often then an individual gassing around in a Bayliner but there's nothing superior about it, just physics. Little boat, little mass, big boat, big mass. Little boats should stay away from big boats...
Heck it's time to stretch, you got it right,, get loose,, play on some waves.