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PWC Kayak Skill Practice at the Brownsville Marina, Bremerton, WA
(Experienced swift current and eddy current during tidal exchange and padddled about 5-6 miles)

NO PICTURES. I was expecting to capsize on this outing, so I did not take any picture.  In fact, nobody took a picture.  I wish I took some pictures though. It was an excellent experience

Since I bought a Kayak two months ago, I have been paddling at least once a week at a local lake to keep myself get accustomed to kayak stability and to get in shape for a longer paddling trip with the Pennisular Wilderness Club (PWC) members.  However, my ultimate goal for Kayaking is to build upper torso strength for extended backpacking trips and mountain climbing.

For this week's paddling, fortunately, a PWC member and an excellent Kayaker, Bob McBride sponsored a Kayak Skill Practice session during a large tidal exchange at the Brownsville Marina, Bremerton, WA.  A Brownsville HWY bridge near the Marina provided an ideal location to practice bracing & tilting the boat when crossing into/out of current and paddling against the current using its eddy current.  I was not totally comfortable tilting my kayak (since I can not roll) or having the paddle in proper bracing position but somewhat comfortable tilting my Kayak for turning instead of using the rudder (Thanks to Tom Henning's Kayak class).

The event was excellent.  Thanks a lot, Bob, for the excellent lesson and demonstration.  Good experience with the swift current.  I need a lot more practice and experience but learned a lot.  It was fun and my uppper torso got some good exercise.  After the practice session, Dave and I paddled about 5-6 miles more (leasurely paddled all the way to Keyport and back).

Eight paddlers particiapted the event. Two paddlers capsized while trying to experience strong current with 90 degrees bow angle.  The key point was to have the paddle in low brace position on the down current side (The safe way is to have the entire paddle on the low brace position at the down current side).  If the right side paddle was accidently in the upper current side and lowered in the water,  the right paddle along with your body will be quickly dragged down by strong current, will be capsized, and take you along the down current quickly.

The second lesson was to paddle against swift current using the eddy line where current flows both ways: one swift current down and the other slow/stagnent current up.  The paddler catches slow current and paddle up against swift current.  The key is to paddle along eddy current and keep the boat 180 degree against strong current.  Bob demonstrated multiple times with ease.   Eventually, everybody made against swift current, then, of course, swift current had disipated significanly after about one hour.

Tide info for 16 June:
0447am 11.4 (high) 1157am -3.3 (Low) 0734pm 12.6 ft (High) 1205am 7.3 (Low).  We were out in the water at 0400pm about 4 hours after the low tide.  The swift current lasted about 1 hour.  It was a good timing that we were almost right in the middle between low and high tides (Bob uses 5 ft to estimate the swiftest current time).

Recommended gears:
a. Wet/Dry Suite (just in case for capsizing)
b. Helmet (just in case for capsizing and hitting the bottom or rock)

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