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kross57

Lesson Learned

19 posts in this topic

Put your name and number somewhere in or on your kayak!!! I am always telling folks this, but this time I didn't follow my own advice. 

 

I was surfing my kayak the other day, far from any other surfers. I have it leashed from the bow to the paddle. Unfortunately, when I wiped out on a wave, the leash broke. It was too rough to keep track of the kayak, so I swam for shore, expecting to find my boat on the beach. Nope!  

 

Rip currents and an offshore wind had carried it out. By the time I spotted it, it was well on its way to Portugal, along with my seatback, leg straps and gopro camera. Nobody around. Rather than lose a thousand dollars of gear, I decided to swim for it. That took a looooong time, with the wind pushing it farther east. Once I reached it, I had to paddle it all the way in with my hands, and then get through the surf that way. Not fun! 

 

The moral of the story is, always have your name and number somewhere on the kayak. This could easily have happened to my fishing yak during a surf launch, or even in the bay on a windy day. And you won't always be able to catch it.  I'm sure someone in a power boat would eventually find it, and often these people are honest enough to return it. But they can't if they don't know who you are. 

 

As far as leashes, this kayak only weighs 35 pounds and is leashed from the bow to the paddle. It was a pretty sturdy leash and it still snapped. Forget trying to leash a heavy fishing kayak to the mid section or even the bow in the surf. No way.  

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Good lessons there, glad you got her back. Did you hand paddle seated or on your belly? Did the paddle continue on to Portugal? Below deck I write my name in two different places.One easily seen, and one where only a contortionist with a mirror could read it. The latter for ID if it's ever stolen.

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13 mins ago, cheech said:

Good lessons there, glad you got her back. Did you hand paddle seated or on your belly? Did the paddle continue on to Portugal? Below deck I write my name in two different places.One easily seen, and one where only a contortionist with a mirror could read it. The latter for ID if it's ever stolen.

I never let go of the paddle when I wiped out. But I had to leave it on the beach. I knew I could never swim fast enough to catch the kayak with one hand. I paddled in sitting down.  

 

The surf kayak has no hatches so I have to write my name on the outside. I hesitated before, but, now, I think I will.   

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15 mins ago, dbjpb said:

Did you find it difficult to swim with a pfd?  I find it much tougher.

For surfing I wear a kiteboarding impact vest, the Dakine Surface vest. Not as much floatation as a PFD, but much slimmer and easier to swim in. 

SURFACEVEST-BLACK-610934918533_04000145_BLACK-51X_MAIN.jpg

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The other reason you should have your name and number somewhere in your kayak is that it will eliminate unfounded rescue searches when someone finds your unoccupied kayak drifting along on it's merry way. In my 32 years of ocean rescue, I can't tell you how many times we wasted time and resources searching for someone who may or may not have fallen out of a drifting boat or yak. Many were caused by kayaks drifting from shore during high moon phase tides. Also if you happen to lose your boat and there is not a name and number attached. Immediately notify the local USCG Station that your boat is adrift with a description. 

Glad you were able to retrieve your yak without incident and that you were not injured, and thanks for bringing up this subject.  

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27 mins ago, westhavendave said:

The other reason you should have your name and number somewhere in your kayak is that it will eliminate unfounded rescue searches when someone finds your unoccupied kayak drifting along on it's merry way. In my 32 years of ocean rescue, I can't tell you how many times we wasted time and resources searching for someone who may or may not have fallen out of a drifting boat or yak. Many were caused by kayaks drifting from shore during high moon phase tides. Also if you happen to lose your boat and there is not a name and number attached. Immediately notify the local USCG Station that your boat is adrift with a description. 

Glad you were able to retrieve your yak without incident and that you were not injured, and thanks for bringing up this subject.  

Excellent points. 

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2 hours ago, BluesCruiser said:

I tape a copy of my salt water licence to the top of the kayak

 

pungo pungo

That's a great idea right there.

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37 mins ago, kross57 said:

I just use a sharpie permanent marker. As an anti-theft measure, the engraving would be better. 

Actually, for anti-theft, just photograph your serial number. 

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3 hours ago, BluesCruiser said:

I tape a copy of my salt water licence to the top of the kayak

 

pungo pungo

Wouldn't last very long in mine. Even stuff written with a sharpie fades in a few months. 

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