Determining if it is a go or not...

To discuss safety issues and their direct affects on kayaks and kayak fishing. Do it but do it safely!
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Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:53 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400 Lite
Location: Kapiti

Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:08 pm

So yesterday, me and herself decide a late morning paddle to Kapiti Island, seeing as how the forecast was for a low sea, wind between 4-6kt in a SW->SW swing. We get to the beach, and there's a gentle roll of 2-30cm at worst. We get through the channel where it is normally shite regardless of the weather, and have a breather on Aeroplane Isl whilst I catch a few blues for dinner. In the meantime, the wind has picked up and we decide the sea is looking a little rougher than expected so best we get off back.

Well...1.5 hours later, after being put through the wringer by 1.5-2m rollers and a very messy sea state (she did very well...I was getting pretty concerned, and tempted to call the coast guard), we finally landed near Paraparaumu after negotiating sets of up to 2+m surf. I made it in without going over (calling on previous white water kayak experience), but she got end-o'd about 60m out, and was in a right state by the time I got out to her. Luckily, 60 m out from Param and you are still in less than 2m of water. I got to thinking...if we had gone over way out in the channel, we would have been in big trouble. There would be no way for me to help since getting that close to her and her yak would be near impossible. If I had gone over, there's no way I could have helped her as I would be pretty busy trying to survive myself, and I wouldn't be able to get to her anyway.

So really, this post is to share a pretty horrendous experience, and to get some tips on how do you prepare for something like that? We both looked at a number of weather forecast and marine forecast sites, and made the joint decision to go. We had comms (albeit cellphones...handheld VHF radios will be here this week), good quality and fitting PFDs, paddle leashes and everything else secured, flags, stayed together and kept pushing each other along. In hindsight, it was a frickin' scary experience and I'm not afraid to admit I'm still a bit rattled by it. I also saw a few boaties coming back from the island having big problems with the waves, and one getting towed by the CG back up to Paraparaumu. So I dare say I wasn't the only one caught out.

This is what MarineWeather said...
MarineWeather_BS.jpg (69.26 KiB) Viewed 1594 times
Thoughts, comments and tips appreciated.

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Posts: 2403
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:03 pm
Location: Northland

Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:26 pm

Sounds shit mate, glad you made it out OK. I may not be action man, but I only launch/land from harbours and sheltered beaches these days. I've very nearly been caught out a few times in the past and have no wish to go for swim.

Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:13 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: PRO 400 LITE
VHF Call Sign: ZMQ4712

Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:42 pm

Shane H, You and your wife have my sympathy. Two persons out to enjoy themselves, then trouble. Just please you both stayed safe. :y: Yep you do use a very non trusting part of the ocean. it is your eyes that determine the weather around you. Use the weather forecast as a guide only. U said it yourself "the channel is normally shite regardless of the weather" Then in lies one big problem. Channel is not to be trusted. Lot of current goes through that channel so if it apposes the wind wow. One could very easily get caught as you both did. Wind can move for a number of reasons, the tide change may cause wind also. Even ten knots would start to lift your area with a tide running.

Lots of variables to this one .

Channel between Mana Island and Titahi bay which is a lot smaller and has the full cook straight to contend with literally stands on end massively at times. Years back we would set line droppers for Puka/Bass and drop 'massive buoys' out there. When the current got under way they would go under water until the tide slaked off, this happens even on very calm days.

Keep vigilant on the water at all times. When you go somewhere you have to return.

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Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:26 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5596

Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:52 pm

Hi Shane
You got a bit of a scare and want to do better next time but don't beat yourself up mate. You did not do too much worng.

You planned your trip, you were well equiped, you reacted fast to the change in the weather and got home safe. :y:
You did not metion if you told someone where you were headed, but I suspect you did.
All of that adds up to getting yourself out of a scape in one piece. From time to time all of us find ourselves in a place where we are not comfortable, sadly not everyone gets to tell the tale.

I fish alone most of the time so,
* I have three dif weather/swell websites that I check before I go and If there is any doubt I do not go.
* I treat weather forecasts, espically for the marine environment, with a healthy scepticism. They are educated predictions. They will always be wrong its just a matter of how much by, which is why you need to do what you did and be decisive when things change.
*I always have my VHF switched on and tuned to coast guard. That way I have the most up to date idea of the weather from maritime radio and what the boaties a few ks futher out are experiencing.
Sleep in, eat a good breakfast, paddle out slow.

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Kayak Model: Ultra 4.7, Stealth EVO 495
Location: Whangarei

Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:38 pm

Marine weather is a best case scenario forecast. combine MW, metservice and swell map to get a good reference of the of best and worst case
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Posts: 1741
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:34 am
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Location: Papakura, Auckland

Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:54 pm

Hey man, sorry to hear about your ordeal... That must have been some scary sh*t, and especially troubling seeing a loved one in danger.
Glad you're all okay!
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:32 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
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Location: Papakura

Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:38 pm

looks like todays forecast came early
not much protection in that location if the weather gets up, i like the look of the bays further down around porirua though thats my kind of area.
ZMU8769 - OK Prowler 4.7

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