How Things Can Quickly Go Pearshaped !

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:33 pm

Ever have one of those weeks / days when things start out bad and just get worse, well I've had one this past weekend that culminated in a pretty messy conclusion that could have been much worse !

Been up here at Bream Bay watching the big swells and surf running and after not being on the water for a month ( been carrying a few injuries, but that's all another story) I've been itching to get out.

Up early every morning, down to the beach to check the surf, back to bed, down again later to see if it's dropped....whilst the forecast shows it dropping its still been pretty big, so I've not had any luck getting out...until this morning..

In a hope that things would be much much better given the off shore breezes the past 2 days, I hatched a plan to get lil Miss Hainesy boyfriend who's a keen surfer to give me a hand to get out.

So down to the water at first light, I set up, he's in his wetsuit, I jump in and he holds everything steady. The surf is still big and like every day there's 3-4 lines of breakers and some BIG ones out the back.....

Anyway, we spot a lull and he starts pushing me and I paddle like crazy....out through the first 2 sets, 2 waves over the front, and then one of the big ones forms up in option but to keep going and luckily I get to it and onto it just before it breaks.....

As I've stowed everything I spend a few minutes setting up and start fishing..... Weed, weed, weed and more weed.... Sounder is full top to bottom with weed..... So I head further out and it gradually disappears.....

Now I've been coming up here for a fair few years and I don't think I've ever been skunked....I may not have kept anything, but never skunked ..until today!

In nearly 3 hours of fishing, not one hit, bite, strike or anything ! Only one boat out and he looked like he was suffering the same fate.

Whilst the swell was still there it looked like it had dropped so I made the call and decided to come back in.... As planned I let the Mrs Hainesy know so she could rustle up the troops in case I needed them....little did I know....

About 500m off the beach everything was stowed, and with the BF and a mate of his ( a former surf life saver) in the water I spotted a lull in what I thought wasnt too bad a conditions and started in....

Next minute.....3 huge swells came through...managed to avoid the first two, but the third one broached me and with me nearly regaining control I tipped out.....

By this stage I'm 200m off shore in about 3 m of water.....those that know me know that swimming is not one of my fact probably a strong weakness !....

Then another 2m wave breaks on top on me and in all honesty I was in a fair amount of strife.... by then the yak that I was still holding onto got swept away....
Under another wave I go again.....a few swallows of water..
Still can't feel the bottom but can feel the strong undertow pulling me out...
Couple more waves and by this stage I've managed to feel the bottom with the help of the lads who by this stage have reached me..
One of the tourists on the beach is about to jump in and help, but by this stage I've dragged my sorry arse up onto the sand...
After talking to Mrs Hainesy on the beach, the whole episode took about 10mins or so...

So..... Quite a scare and one that could have ended up much worse than it did...

Now that it's been a few hours and I've had time to think about it, what are the learnings...

Well here they are....

If the weather / conditions / surf look bad or they are beyond your own capabilities don't go out ! There may not be someone there to save your arse or to help you !

Today I learnt the importance of having a good fitting life jacket !... They say make sure your jacket is tight fitting and doesn't ride up...... Believe me, it's absolutely necessary. Without a life jacket I may not be sitting here writing this !

Have a think about your spray jacket.... Mine is a good quality / brand and has a pack away hood. During today's upheaval the hood came undomed and every time I ended up under a wave the hood filled with water and made it difficult to get my head above water.

Despite all the risks, I did have a safety plan, which was to wait until the BF (and his mate as it turned out) were on the beach / in the water to help in case I needed help.....which I obviously did !
Given the sames circumstances would I go out in those conditions again on my own...absolutely not !

For some time now I've practised stowing away all my gear....rods, reels, FF.... Today was a perfect example of why I do .....didn't loose or break anything....not even a drink bottle.... My cap came off but that washed up pretty quickly.. I recently fitted a seal to the ReLoad tackle pod and that worked a treat.. Despite taking a pounding and being upside down, no water got in anywhere !

If you're in strife like I was, don't try and stay with the yak.....the surf is too powerful and it gets ripped away from you anyway... Same goes for the paddle....I expended a bunch of energy trying to hold the rear of the yak and surf it in.....would have been much easier to let it go and try and body surf the waves in ... I also took the precaution of releasing my paddle lease before I came in as well....just as well I did other wise I probably would have been tangled up in that as well !

So....guys and gals, that's my tale of how things can go pear shaped pretty quickly and why you should never go beyond your own limits and always have a contingency plan in never knew when you might need it
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

Viking ReLoad
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ZMW 2196


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Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:55 pm

Geez mate... Dunno what to say about that, glad you are all good though....

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:59 pm

Bloody hell mate, great read in a horrible sort of way and thanks for sharing the lessons.

Good to hear you're all good and a pic or two of your seal would be appreciated.

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:49 pm

Well it's true then only the good die young :) glad your safe Steve good read mate,lessons to be learned.

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:21 pm

:| Good stuff sounds like hell of a day, glad all had happy ending. Good reading specially for the new guy's. and a note seen first hand if your life jacket doesn't fit perfect, waste of time.
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:41 pm

Hey Hainesy, glad you're alright mate!!
Thanks for sharing and that's pretty good that you had a plan like that with beach support.
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:58 pm

Tough day at the office. Glad to hear it was a relativly happy ending and thanks for sharing. Sure there will be some learnings for a good few in your tough day.

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:27 pm

What a bugger mate but glad it turned out all good and your safe :y:
I'm always meaning to come down for a fish with you when your up but I just don't like surf launches :doh:
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KARMA as i fish out of a kayak i don't eat shark

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:30 pm

Geez Hainesy, so glad you're ok.

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:14 pm

Smart move alerting the rescue team in advance! May have been a little smarter to stay in bed, but easy to say with hindsight. Glad you're OK :y:

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:00 pm

Didn't things go pearshape also 1 -2 years ago! You got towed backed to shore by a Boatie?
Glad your all ok dude :y:

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:33 am

Maaaaaaaate. Sharpen up. Glad you made it back.

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:03 am

Bit of a reality check we all get those soon enough fishing from a kayak , Get yourself a gopro these events are worth recording even if its just for private viewing

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:48 pm

Thanks for that story, again it's good to have help nearby...... I probably had my worst fishing day yesterday :swear: , I'm gonna write my first forum post. 8)

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:36 pm

great story! Unfortunately most of us need to experience a near miss or two and a few gulps of salt water in order to make better decisions.
Great advise about having someone there to respond if things are marginal.
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Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:16 pm

A great cautionary tale!
I've always unclipped my paddle leash as I approach the beach, but only after I managed to tangle both feet in it and faceplant in front of a small crowd after a flawless landing.
You're aware that while it affords one the momentary illusion of satisfaction, the spewing of bile is never a permanent solution.

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:55 pm

thanks guys...

I was in "two minds" as to whether or not to do the TR and to "confess"as to what happened. In the end I figured it was better to tell my story and hopefully it will help someone else make a better decision in the future.

I've been in this sport for a few years now and made countless trips in some pretty gnarly situations but as yesterday showed sometimes you can get bitten in the arse !
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

Viking ReLoad
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Phoenix Hornet - "Retired"
Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.3 - "Retired"
Viking Profish 440 - "Retired"
Scrambler XT - "Retired"

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:47 pm

Good stuff Hainesy! We all can learn from these experiences if shared :y:

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:53 am

I suspect most people wouldn't be that prepared. good read

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:56 am

You know that old saying "if in doubt don't go out!" Glad you made it out of the water alive and in one piece mate.
Fishing is like a box of chocolates. you never know what is going to be served up...

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