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Unfazed Jr. Whoops

bob budd

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Last week several of us set out from Manchester in search of rough water practice. None of us were seasoned veterans aside from esteemed leader. Though little has been said since I again thank Mr. Crangle for his time and patience.

The Misery Island neighbourhood provides several opportunities for interesting conditions. Depending on wind direction, etc. one is likely to find something bashing the rocky perimeter of the many islands, whether they be green and populated like Baker’s or little more than guano-stained rocks like the Gooseberries.

When the morning broke from the last of Ophelia we convinced Ryan to follow through with his desire to experience conditions. Our first stop was among the rocky gaps at the mouth of the harbour. On one of his first trips through the gap he was carried up a wavefront and let out a whoop. We spent a bit of time going through progressively narrower gaps getting a feel for what was enough and too much.

We headed out to the ocean side of House Island from there. At one point in the island we each headed past a line of rocks to a small and relatively placid “cove” where there was ample room to turn a single boat. Whilst turning about I found the incoming waves interrupting my attempts to turn about and went over. After rolling up I found myself pointed back out to sea and made my out to Dee and Ryan. When Ryan in, he began to turn about but was surfed against a rock and found himself upside down. First his PFD catching the combing, then he rat swam a few strokes, then he came out of his boat.

Dee headed in and sent him up on a nearby rock and retrieved his boat and paddle. He swam out to me and got him afloat. We were pleased to find that other than a slight chill he had no ill effects from his swim.

As we came around the south end of House Island, intending to continue to the day marker, we spied “enemy kayakers”. I caught up to them about half way to Misery Island and found a rather large group of what appeared to be an extended family. I was glad to see all had PFDs, got the idea the experienced paddler ratio was not in their favour, and they professed a lack of experience with the area.

We all ended up at Misery, the three of us on the big island to take advantage of the facilities, the other group on the little island. We talked over the rescue and events of the afternoon and struck out for the harbour. Along the way we stopped at the day marker at the north end of Misery for a bit more play. When the hour dictated we made a bee-line for the western end of the harbour and slid beneath the gazebo to the beach.

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