Kayaking Technique Forum

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

I dont think there is a 'radar signal generator', or at least Ive never heard of one. The best option Ive heard of is a mylar flag on a short pole, like a bike flag.

Dont make the mistake of thinking you'll see a freighter before it becomes a problem. If you happen to look, you will see. But even if you do see it, thier speed is extremely deceptive. A kayak is really slow in comparison - you dont have much time to make the correct choice and execute it.

And, I'd heartily agree with the earlier comments about 'playing with them'. I remember a sailboat race, in Portland, where a barge plows right through the middle of the fleet. This isnt all that uncommon, but in this particular case I decided to gain some ground by using his propwash. I was headed upstream, and he was headed down, and the timing was right. I crossed about twenty feet off his stern.

That propwash grabbed a 26' sailboat, and threw her almost on her rail! I was more than a little suprized! In the end, the ground I gained put me up several places in the fleet though:) Nothing to play around with in a kayak, thats for sure.

I dont have a lot of experience in the channels with the kayak, some on the Columbia but there it is pretty easy to get out of thier way, because you know where they have to go. Usually the channel isnt all that wide. But you still have to see them coming from at least two miles off. He'll cross that two miles in about 8 or ten minutes.

On the open ocean, it's a whole different story. More than once running up and down the coast in a sailboat, I'd be on watch and turn around to look, and there's a ship a mile or so away. Damn scary, I'll tell you, especially at night.

: I think you misread- I was asking if there is a device LIKE an epirb but that
: just sends a signal to make you show up on a radar. True, recreational
: boaters are the biggest danger (and I doubt they even have radar), and no,
: I don't plan to play around in shipping lanes. I would feel safer knowing
: that if I ended up somewhere I shouldn't be, whether by my fault or by
: nature's fury, I at least had something other than luck to fall back on.
: I'm sure a person would see a big ship coming long before it became a
: problem, but I would like to have something so that they can see me too,
: just in case. Don't worry, I would never even think of using an epirb just
: to say "hey, here I am," unless it was followed by "and I'm
: about to die."

: Thanks for the feedback.