I've nearly wet myself over some of the mistakes I've made so far, well now that I think about it I have wet myself just not in the way that I originally meant,,,,,,,,,,Aggh you know what I mean. I'm just finding it so piss funny I have to share it!
There's one more embarassing moment I'll share except I'm not quite sure how best to describe it. I went for a paddle with Karl at Young's Crossing on Sunday, if you know the stretch of water it's shallow in places with some fallen timber and at the far end there is a fair bit of rock bar just under the water. While we were paddling along talking, Karl run up hard onto a section, I looked at the situation and thought if that happens to me, still being a bit wobbly and all, I'm taking another swim for sure.
At this stage all I've got in the paddling technique arsenal is my paddle like buggery on one side to turn the yak trick. You know the one, it makes the Queen Mary look manuvourable. And believe it or not I do have some personal pride left and was determined to have a dry trip this time, especially in front of another kayaker and especially another kayaker who doesn't mind sinking the boot in if he can get a chance.
So all of a sudden these rocks below the surface become a big issue in my pointy little mind. Karl casually slides the espri and himself back into the water with minimal fuss which leaves me paddling on point now. By this stage we were getting up close to the weir and of course there is more and more of these bloody rock bars popping up all over the place.
Even with polaroids they seemed to sneak up on me and by this stage my pointy little mind has gone into over drive with this weird little mantra "Don't hit the rocks, don't fall in......don't hit the rocks, don't fall in ect." Eventually I got caught in a tight spot in which the rock bars sort of formed a chicane, so what do I do? Back paddle to a complete stop so as to assess if there was a way through, nup! Casually glide through using my paddle as a rudder to steer my way passed obstacles while bleeding off speed, nup! I employed my patented Queen Mary turning technique.
Of course with every stroke on the same side of the yak I'd turn a little but also speed up and move faster towards the rocks. As a result I'd have to paddle quicker and quicker to turn faster to try and overcome the increasing foward momentum and of course as I made it through the first turn I had to change direction and start the process all over again but starting from a quicker base speed. Luckily with Karl behind me he couldn't see the stressed out look on my face.
After turning that small section of river into something like a cappucino I luckily popped out into a small clear area and mate I was still dry, talk about happy. Karl must have been happy as well, because I could hear him chortling behind me, "Dude, that's not going to work as a good long term technique". He then popped passed me and to my amazement used his paddle on BOTH sides of the yak in a strange yet compelling manner and promptly turned the yak inside its own length. Bloody hell I'm an idiot
I thought to myself.
I had a crack at it then and there and it worked a treat and I was still dry. We started the paddle back with me feeling pretty chuffed as I could now spin a kayak around on a five cent piece and then, crunch, straight up on a rock bar.
I let my guard down for just a second while basking in the warm afterglow of achieving something new and staying dry at the same time and look what happens.
Normally about now I'd be telling you "and water is wet" but what can I say, I must be improving as I made it over the rock obstacle still attached to the yak and still dry. Hell I even made a half reasonable dismount when we got back to the launch point but more importantly The Queen Mary Technique has been retired from use.
Apologies for rambling but it was hard to describe and when I think how I must have looked and the expression that had to have been on my face, it just makes me laugh. This kayaking is good fun, hey? :lol: :lol: