Friday, November 04, 2011

Release Date 10/30/2011

I went to a kayaking seminar up in Stonington CT. The idea was to paddle in all the tide races near there. They have  2 that are normally used. Sugar Reef, and some other nearby reefs that run on the ebb, and Wikapesa passage that runs on the flood.
On 10/28 we went to Sugar Reef for a tide race paddle, but it was a bust because it was VERY windy, but the wind was going with current, and effectively flattened it to nothing.

We could see where it would normally be running at about 1:00PM, and stayed for about an hour, but it never  really turned on and the waves were barely 1 foot peak to trough.
Using the Currenct predictions for Napatree point we get a max ebb at 14:40 of 3.1 knots, so this should have made the race run, but the wind was going in exactly the same direction, and knocked  off.  We got on the reef around 2:00PM.  Spreading out to the West from Sugar Reef, we also tried some other spots that are part of the same reef system, Horeshoe Reef?? But there were no good waves anywhere.

The weather the next day was even worse, more wind from the Northwest around 20Kts. The plan was to paddle out to a place called Wikapessa pass just off the Eastern tip of the Fischer’s Island. The current was flooding. This spot only runs on the flood, so it would have been Wind against current.

The instructors tried to split the people into 3 groups, but the participants didn’t really pay attention and were soon spread out all over the harbor, about 20 people total. I got way out in front figuring the leader would take us to the best spot, but he went a bit down current along the southern side of Fischer’s Island. I think his plan was to work along the shore out of the current back up to the spot, but the people were so spread out they got concerned, and took most of the group back to the CT shore.

Yes it WAS windy

One of the groups from the far back went on to the pass, and had a good hour or so of surfing, because their instructor noticed the current was less further East, and had them paddle over that way. Nobody else knew that was happening, and I had to stick with my group.

The slog back along the coast was miserable since it stayed really windy, with the wind shifting off to the Northeast, and then pretty heavy rain. We stopped for lunch right outside of the harbor, which was really unpleasant in the cold rain. I didn’t have a chart and wasn’t paying attention or I would have requested we simply go back to the bar. It was only a 30 minute paddle from lunch back to the dock.

On the third day the wind was even greater, and I took the less aggressive choice of the two trips back to Napatree Point. It was so cold and the wind so strong that I though getting back to Wikapesa not have been possible, but this was a mistake, since that group went out, surfed, and came back before we got back from a boring slog along the beach.
I didn’t have any pogies or gloves, but was able to borrow a set of gloves from a friend on the last day.

The entire region was pummeled by SNOW Saturday and Sunday, but in our little sliver of CT it was just rain. We saw the snow on the drive back on Sunday night.

Truth: Ice is slippery.

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