Hurricane Sandy

-- Last Updated: Oct-29-12 8:20 AM EST --

This is a video of our ocean paddle when Sandy passed by on Saturday. It's just one camera on my head, and illustrates our approach to get out of our comfort zone and stay safe, not a Red Bull commercial. Winds were 20knots gusting higher, and swells were about 6' - 8' with a cross wind so spaced out 14 seconds. We launched at one end of the beach where it was manageable to avoid the big waves but ran into some 5-6' then landed through about the same, although they were dumping hard. The wide angle lens makes things distant and small, but was fine for us. Like I said it's no Red Bull commercial and anything more than this would be too risky for my skill.

Stay safe in the NE coast. A cat 1 can produce a heavy flooding, power outages, and downed trees. Nothing to take lightly, especially if you have to deal with it.

Anyway here is the video. You can change the quality settings for however fast your connection is. Hope someone might appreciate our approach to get out and stay safe. We had a blast out there, and hey, if you are down this way around Charleston there are great paddling opportunities.

PS.. feel free to add pictures, video, or comments, or links about Sandy.

Sorry about the free royalty free music! It's the best I could do, lol.

Nice job! Both with the paddling and filming. That is just about the most fun that can be had in a sea kayak.

that looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing the video

Great Clip
Damn that looks fun.


– Last Updated: Oct-29-12 6:57 PM EST –

yeah it was a blast.. appreciate the comments.. hope to get out more often.. didn't surf as much this summer as I'd like..

PS.. just got home so haven't watched the news but did see a picture of Ocean City Maryland underwater. Good lucky up there in the path. Everyone on used to them landing down here, but the flooding is bad for anyone to go though.. of course.

What a blast!
Thanks for sharing that.

you bet
watching Sandy hit NY and NJ… that is really bad timing right at high tide… hope everyone stays safe up there in the flooding and torrential rain to follow!

All in all
Sandy has postponed a November Pine Barrens trip, maybe for years with expected blowdown!

If you can drive to it you can canoe it. Blowdowns are normal.

This is the first year in a number of years that I have not comingled with Pineys.

Sandy not so good to me
Thanks for the video. That looks like a fun day out there. I really need to get down there for a weekend or two and paddle with y’all.

I had the chainsaw out last night until after dark, freeing up some kayaks. A tree snapped about 10’ up from the ground. It was right next to the back corner of the shed, so it just bent the tin a little on the roof and rolled off the corner. Unfortunately, I have a kayak stand covered by a big tarp on that side of the shed with 6 composite kayaks on it. Son of a _____!

The tree wasn’t huge, but the trunk was still over 14" in diameter all the way up where I sawed it in two to drop the heaviest weight off the top kayak bearing most of the load .

So the good news. The stand took some of the hit, before it cracked and splintered, and the top of the tree landed on top of the fence, which bent and gave some, but didn’t collapse. The wood splintered and released the hardware and allowed the two top kayaks on one side to fall to the ground seemingly unharmed. The Carbon Kevlar Capella 169 on the other side bore the brunt as far as kayaks are concerned. The front strap holding the bow was attached to a lag bolt screwed into a 4x4 post, and it didn’t give. The stern side did, and the stern came down and planted in the dirt, knocking down the kayak underneath of it, and somehow held up a good portion of the weight of the tree without completely splitting. So that Capella effectively saved the kayaks underneath of it by staying in one piece.

Unfortunately, there was definitely some crushing going on, and a hole right through the side of the Capella. I love that Capella 169 for the surf, and they don’t even make that model anymore. There’s a serious composite kayak builder around that does repairs, so I’m really hoping I can keep her on the water. This is a pretty recent picture of me in the Capella. I hope it isn’t my last.

Sorry that tree did some damage. A carbon Capella 169 was my first kayak. I was still a beginner but it did well in the surf. I see them for sale in the PNet Classified. Earlier this summer a huge oak limb fell on the corner of my house. It punched some bath tub size holes in the roof, took out the corner of the roof, power lines, meter box, and some damage to my car. The limb was about 24’’ in diameter, a water oak, so had it landed straight on the house it would have crushed it. Those limbs are very heavy and cause a lot of damage. That’s what I thought would happen up there, but it appears that there was quite a lot of damage. Hitting at high tide is also very bad timing.

Although it sucks I suppose it could have been worse.

I updated my profile so feel free to contact me if you are headed this way. There is a good paddling group on meet up, and I’ll go out with anyone who wants to paddle. I hope to get up the NE some summer.

Glad someone was able to enjoy Superstorm Sandy :slight_smile:

Sea Kayaking Hurricane Sandy
I’m a canoeist who has literally zero experience sea kayaking, but I did work at S.C. Emergency Management for years doing hurricane preparedness and response. I was working there during both Hurricanes Floyd (1999) and Isabel (2003). In both of those hurricanes, people died doing exactly what you were doing on that video. Although SC is a long way from the point of landfall for Sandy, it’s still a dicey proposition due to differences in the way the ocean acts during a tropical disturbance compared to normal swell increases from typical storms. It’s like how surfers think that the waves will be awesome during a hurricane, and then are almost always disappointed with the waves or worse, swept out to sea. It’s like the Running of the Bulls in Spain- it looks fun, probably is fun, but is also pretty stupid to do. Again I know that you were far away from landfall, but with the title of the video, it looks very irresponsible and leaves a “Darwin Awards Nominee” feel to it. Call me a party-pooping, naysaying curmudgeon all you want, but having dealt with hurricane casualties, and seeing how many of those were due to people heading TOWARD the hurricane to “have fun”, the video title and the activities it encourages make me cringe.

Hello Cave Demon,

I respect that you have had some sobering experiences with storms of this type. And, you stimulate my curiosity. Could you provide some more detail on how the “differences in the way the ocean acts during a tropical disturbance compared to normal swell increases from typical storms” are revealed in this video?


fun and safe

– Last Updated: Nov-04-12 6:49 PM EST –

I'm not aware of any sea kayakers who who have lost their lives or needed to be rescued during a hurricane in this area. Can you please provide a link? The title it says "Sea Kayaking" not surfing. This is a kayaking form not a surfing forum.

I think the title is appropriate. It implies there is risk involved. We are wearing helmets, and specialized gear. Far more people drown by rip tides on a seemingly calm day. I also think there is far greater risk to people who are new at something, like kayaking.

Last year there were almost a dozen deaths from hypothermia when people simply fell off their canoe or motorboat right here in Charleston County. How about white water canoeing, rafting or kayaking? That's more dangerous.

The hurricane or storm swells are safer because they don't have the on shore wind pushing them.

I agree that you know nothing about kayaking. There are plenty of people like you around here with no training who feel the need to ridicule individuals who enjoy training and more challenging conditions, and, also put themselves at far greater risk on calm water because they aren't properly prepared and think they know everything.

I don't appreciate your snide remark about "darwinism award" but this is the internet and trolls take cheap shots all the time.

The fact is sea kayaks are extremely seaworthy. If you don't like it you are in the wrong place.

PS.. This is just one link to a canoeist who drowned from hypothermia in this area. There are many more, as I said about a dozen each year. Now please provide your link to all these sea kayak causalities during hurricanes in this area.

I surf and paddle Folly also.
Last May in 30 kt winds and 5-6’ waves it was about all I could handle. Paddled around Bull Island and camped on Capers Island about two weeks before Sandy. Looks like I should have joined you! Looks like y’all had fun.

sounds good
30 knots and 6’ waves would be extremely challenging! Even 17knot onshore winds with 4-5’ can be very difficult to even get out past the surf. I love Bulls and Capes. Joe and I get along really well. When we show up we don’t know if we are going out or not. There is no pressure. I really don’t care. Last year Irene was too much, although there were some surf kayaks out with the surfers. Surfers take more risk but it’s what they live for and it’s a healthy lifestyle. I’d like to get out with more rough condition kayakers, so feel free to contact us. My email should be in my contact info. We really have fun and have good team work.

I’ll look you up sometime.
It was challenging and I lasted about 15-20 minutes then called it quits that day and hit the marsh. I camped at the James Island Park since I am a good 3 hours from the coast and the next couple of days weren’t so rough.

I have to ration my trips to the coast but try to get down there about every 6 weeks. Mostly I like to primitive camp on Capers or Murphy Islands and paddle and explore but do stay at Buck Hall and James Island camp grounds other times. We spend a week at the beach each summer too (Isle of Palms or Folly). I would love to do the FL Everglades this winter, but don’t know yet if I can. I don’t want to do it alone.

I have done a few paddles with the Charleston kayak meetup group, but mostly paddle alone or with my wife, son, or a good friend. So I might have to get in touch with you the next time I can’t get company for a trip.

Drop me a line when you are paddling down this way.My email in on the message function. I’m on James Island. I get out with the meet up group every now and then but mostly friends just email. For surf we mostly go out in 2-5’ waves, and 3’ are really fun. I’ll send you and email next time we go out. I also paddle a lot solo because its so easy to just put in and get on the water. I may even try to kayak and surf up at Hatteras, but won’t have time until early December. I wouldn’t want to do that alone either.

Wow that looked like fun
I also love to surf big waves in a sea kayak on the great lakes. Cant have any more fun.Looks like you had a great time.

As far as safety that’s kinda funny as I see people in rec kayaks all the time out on the lakes. They have rec kayaks with no flotation if tipped over there kayak sinks. Now that’s dangerous were you where well prepared. No were near as dangerous as beginners in rec kayaks not properly dressed out on one of the great lakes. Those are the typical ones you read about drowning.