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Plum Island Fun

Bill Gwynn

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My brother and I put in at Pavillion Beach around 1pm in search of some confused seas to practice our bracing skills. We first headed over towards Cranes Beach, there was a liitle bit of stuff there breaking over the sand bar, but not as challenging as what we were looking for. As we looked further out, we could see fairly large breaking waves, so off we went. We had never paddled here before, and we were very surprised how shallow it was for quite a ways out, I would guess we were a good 1/2 mile off the north end of Cranes. We paddled all the way out until the water dropped off. Out here there was some good sized stuff 3-5ft, but it wasn't consistent waves, they were kind of all over the place, here one second, gone the next. We played around there, and worked our way across towards the tip of Plum Island, as we got close to Plum Island, there was really interesting Clapotis type waves, some of them looked pretty large and intimidating, well, we came for a challenge, so we headed right into it. I caught one that felt like 10ft, I'm sure it was actually only 5 or 6ft, I took off like a rocket for one heck of a ride, but then before you know it, the wave just dissapears from under you. We did have alot of fun. I had a couple of capsises with sucessfull rolls, and one unfortunate wet exit (rescue practice in these conditions was also something we needed to do). Of course we took some pictures that can bee seen here:


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Clapotis-type waves? That's a new and unfamiliar term to me. What are Clapotis waves, Bill? I may as well know in the event I ever run across them!

...Cat Scratch Fever...! I was hit this morning at about 6:00 A.M.!

And now I have that post-paddle "rock-n-roll" sensation going on which, having grown up in the 70's, I am thoroughly enjoying!


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Clapotis waves are created when you have a wave that bounces off a sea wall or rock ledge, (this is called a refracting wave) and heads back out into the incoming waves, you end up with a really tall peak when the two waves meet. The waves we had yesterday were not really Clapotis, but I didn't know what else to call them, they kind of looked like Clapotis waves. I believe they were created by the sand bar some how, and some of them stood up with tall peaks like a Clapotis... I hope I didn't confuse you, I think maybe I confused myself. LOL.

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