Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Kayak Frogger
In Response To: Re: Open water safety ()


The fact that you can do something doesn't mean that you should do it. Nor does it mean that you should do it just so you can be prepared to do it at a later time. You cross shipping channels only if absolutely necessary... and then with the greatest care. It isn't about challenge or accomplishment or training, it is about common sense and safety... yours AND the safety of the other vessel AND the safety of rescuers who will come to fish you out of the water OR find your body.

Using your logic I might just as well go walking across the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago so I can be prepared in case I need to walk across there one day. Playing Kayak Frogger isn't my idea of smart fun. It is dangerous and rash.

Even a VHF is small comfort in an environment where you simply can't be seen... even if they know you are there! Calling for speed and bearing is kind of meaningless if you don't have charts and equipment right at hand to plot the courses.

Unfortunately, the solution is to stay out of the way of ship traffic... pure and simple. I learned this sailing on the Ohio River when our motor stalled with a 15 unit barge bearing down on us. The barge can't stop. It can't turn. It can't do anything but run you over... even if it knows you are there.

I also foolishly decided to "play" with some barges on the Illinois River in my canoe... barge whitewater... that one almost cost me and a friend our lives. Big vessels kick up big wakes and their engines suck in lots of water and other stuff... and they churn up the water making it almost impossible to paddle.

I stay away from big boats now. Live and let live.

Safe Paddling!