Tuesday, February 17, 2009

WInd & Waves and lots of Rain

Monday morning broke with the conditions from hell, blustery with driving rain and cool temps. The lake had whitecaps but it looked manageable if you went across the main bay over to the east bay. Everyone threw on their spray skirts and cold gear and headed over with out incident. The work out was 8x6min @ level 2 with 20sec pickups at the 3min mark. I felt great, smooth in the water, stable and fast despite the conditions. I even managed to surf some of the waves during the pieces it was sooo much fun. By the end of the workout I have to admit I was feeling cocky the workout had gone well and the waves posed no problem and were actually fun! This is when my instincts and common sense left me. The wind had picked up alot making large white capped waves on the main bay, everyone except yours truly headed up wind and were going to tack across the bay. I decided that I could handle the waves and would go straight across to the dock, this meant I would be broadsided the entire way, undaunted by this thought I took off across the bay. I had little problem with the balance however the wind and waves were making it impossible for me to stir using the rudder forcing me to brace and paddle on one side in order to steer. With 200m to go I was battered with a strong gust of wind pushing me into an even worse angle with the waves I braced to stir but my blade was caught by the waves and I flipped over. I righted the boat as quickly as I could but lots of water had already poured in, I managed to turn the boat so I was no longer broadside to the waves, the boat paddle and I were tossed around as I watched for the coach to come get me. Waves were causing problems for the motor boat as well and it seemed like forever before he could get near to me. "leave the boat and paddle, just get on board, I'll pick them up." I was beginning to get nervous with the weather so I did as he said and swam over to the boat and climbed in. The back end of my boat was underwater at this point and we couldn't maneuver the motor boat to a good angle to reach it, time went into slow motion, waves crashing, wind blow, rain driving, the motor boat being tossed around and my boat sinking. By some miracle Nathan was able to grab the stern of the boat as the whole thing disappeared under the water from there he slowly brought it up, meanwhile no one was at the controls of the launch. "Can you drive the launch in while I get your boat up?" there really was little choice in the matter if we tried to switch we would have lost the boat. I fumbled around with the controls I had know idea what to do. Nathan was yelling through the wind trying to explain, it took a minute and then I figured it out. we were bounced around fairly good as I tried to head us into the dock, once we were closer to shore Nathan was able to empty most of the water from my boat and get it up onto the launch, at this point we needed to change places. I tried to move around the boat at the same time as Nathan this proved to be a bad idea when he knocked the boat trying to get over it the action knocked me out of the launch, I smacked my face against the boat but barely noticed I had to get to shore. Nathan couldn't help he had one hand on the boat and the other trying to control the launch so both wouldn't end up smacking into the dock and other boats.
Everything ended up well the boat was fine and so was I except a bruise on my face unfortunately my paddle is M.I.A but there is still hope I will find it.
I realized from this experience that it is better to use caution against the elements then just relying on skill because stuff can happen very quickly.

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