First off, glad everyone is safe. Secondly, appreciation for paddlers who are willing to share their experiences and hard earned lessons.
So, I always have float bags in my bulkheads, as well as a DIY float bag to fill up the front of my cockpit area. The latter has already made a difference when a breaking wave imploded my skirt and filled my cockpit. In retrospect, I realize I was able to brace and stay upright a little “easier” because I did not have as much water in my cockpit as would otherwise without the cockpit floatbag. I have also been carrying a repair kit, emergency shelter kit and VHF with me whenever I paddle afar to play beyond my “normal” surfzone venues. Am currently installing an electric bilge pump in my rockplay boat which is plastic (unlike my surf boat and the composite boat in the video). Likely other things to consider and do.
Appreciation again for the Headwaters Kayak for that video!
I have a ‘pet peeve’ about securing items with bungy - I suspected just as the video began, that there might be trouble with the paddles (btw, no mention at all about the loose paddle in the video, obviously secondary or less important - but could cause problems - distaction, etc).
If you’re going to use bungies to secure items on deck (some would say don’t) - make sure they are very tight (I use olive cleats on bungy to secure).
Also, don’t know if it makes much difference, I secure my paddles face down - less chance of wave force catching the blade.
He is an experienced & trained kayaker. Did anyone else notice in the write up that after this incident, he took another 3 day coastal kayaking lesson with Jeff and Cate of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Mendicino? PS - they are great if you haven’t ever paddled with them.
I just know that he knows his way around both white water and rough water sea kayaking. I first saw him in a video interview he did with Sterling Donalson of Sterling Kayaks about 3 years ago. He was also a longtime “team rider” for Sterling Kayaks. Most Sterling kayak owners are into longboat play as that is what the Sterling boats are optimized for.
So, had never heard of the Melker kayak. Googled it out of curiousity. Found this video test of the kayak by Ken Whiting. Pretty long but another type of vicarious experience and “lessons” (more perspective really) learned. (Spoiler alert - use and enjoy your equipment. Don’t “baby” it!) I enjoyed going along and viewing his “adventure”!
That one is a tough one and hits fairly close to home. That current look innocuous but the power is there. We have a play spot on the Grand River near Eaton Rapids that is a short distance above a bridge pier. The play spot is a short chute in a small rock dam - eddy right then ferry or S-turn across & back. Rinse & repeat. Bridge is maybe 25 yards below the run out. Should be straight forward but I can see someone not paying attention and getting pinned there. The other thing that caught me attention is, if I heard correctly, that the person involved was kneeling in a canoe & his feet were trapped under the seat. Kneeling in a canoe would be exactly what I would be doing if I was playing there.
Wow. Pretty amazing repair job. That’s the plus of composites. It’s repairable! The “beauty” of the repair is of course dependent on the skills of the repairer. Speaking for me, I am a hack. I know enough to get my ride watertight and back on the water. With the “aesthetics” of the repair work… Well, I get what I “pay” for it. Not much.