Freesteel Blog » Last month in Dublin

Last month in Dublin

Monday, December 24th, 2007 at 9:01 pm Written by:

Over the weekend of 25 November, Becka and I made it to Dublin to stay with a friend who has recently taken up sea kayaking. I have finally downloaded the pictures a month late.

Here is Becka showing how to capsize and not stay under for long enough to get rescued. It worked the second time. I was astounded at the slickness of the procedure for emptying the boat (assisted by water-tight bulkheads fore and aft of the cockpit whose existence I didn’t know about), and re-entry (you lift your weight against the paddle straddling the empty boat and slip your legs in).

The next day we did a kayak dive in Dalkey Sound, it feeling being very exposed to go any further out, and having found a deep bit close inshore to the cliffs (about 18metres). The current was strengthening, Becka got tangled up in fishing line, but got free before I managed to untangle my knife from its holder and then lose it for good trying to put it back (I think this needs some attention). The visibility was similarly atrocious (though there was a lot of life), and the best bit was getting back out and on land.

We even went and sat in a cafe for an hour with a big cup of hot chocolate, which is unusual. Turned out we were both coming down with the winter vomiting virus, which accounted for the slackness.

Kayak diving is always a bit on the edge, and I will be ordering a marine radio for after Christmas. Still, there’s much worse nutters out there, as I heard on the Sea Kayak podcast on the way home, where some guy paddled solo to St Kilda, Shetland, and all the other Scottish islands in one go, and his rescue plan was an EPIRB. Since it takes a few hours to recover the body out at sea (living or dead) when its position is accurately known, and he wasn’t wearing a drysuit (not practical for such long durations), he had a diving wetsuit which he was going to somehow climb into while bobbing out at sea and not so gradually freezing to death. My immediate response was: “It’s been a while since he’s tried putting on a wetsuit.” Even on land it takes a lot of effort.

The other notable thing about sea kayak camping over long durations is that the food is absolutely terrible. They’ll proudly boast how they ate pasta and soup for weeks on end. Maybe being out at sea is such an overwhelming experience you don’t notice it at all.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>