Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Run Over?

Just found a link from the forum at Advanced Elements to another forum -- this one for motorhome enthusiasts. The post it links to is from one of their senior members, Nigel, who is also into kayaking. He tells how he was run over by a power boat a few days ago.
Scroll down through the well-wishing to see Nigel's description of his decision to capsize and how his feet were injured. He's lucky to be alive. If Nigel hadn't capsized, the injuries (which were bad enough) might have been to his head. And if the yobs who ran him over hadn't stopped to help him, Nigel probably wouldn't have made it to shore on his own.
Memo to self:
-I'm invisible in my kayak. Yes, this colourfuly-dressed person in a bright kayak is invisible.
-Larger boats might move faster but are unable to steer out of MY way, I must stay out of THEIR way.
-My kayak's place in the spectrum of boats from floating log to ferry is solidly in the "speedbump" category.
-When a collision with a high-speed boat is inevitable, roll over (away from the approaching boat) to take the blow on the hull instead of my upper body. It's possible the fast boat will slide over my kayak, and push me down for a second or two.


  1. It sounds silly but this is one of my biggest fears. I paddle on lakes a lot with fisherman going 60 miles an hour. I don't understand their hurry. In Alaska we had a cruise ship tell us to stop paddling because it was coming through. It clearly had the 'right of tonnage' I paddle in a red kayak, with a red dry suit and a red PFD because I want to be seen - in retrospect they should all be yellow! But what really gets me - and I have posted about this - when a kayak is upside down its white hull looks like a white wave. why do manufacturers do this?

  2. I don't think it's a silly fear. I think you're being reasonable. Cadboro Bay, where i do most of my paddling at present, is filled with sailboats in breezy good weather. These boats move at a good clip and are harder to steer than a motorboat. My friend Michael Koster gave us some tips on figuring out the probable paths of sailboats so we can avoid them. (Tip: if a fleet of little boat-lets are all doing figure eights around two anchored floats in a quarter of the big bay, stay the hell out of that half of the bay!)
    Bernie agrees with you about the white hull. He painted his wooden kayak "marine safety yellow." The idea is that while varnish on wood looks pretty, he says that his kayak would look like a log. If people see his boat upside-down, he wants them to say, "Is that a giant banana? No, it's a boat!" instead of "Oh, a log."

  3. Re white kayak hulls and manufacturers, I was talking to Mark from Delta Kayak at Paddlefest a couple of years ago. He had brought a prototype Delta 16 that he'd made entirely in black, but he'd said he'd never make another one with a black hull as it showed every little nick and scratch.

    I'm guessing that to SAR personnel that the white hulls, while they may be a similar colour to waves, sure don't behave like a wave. Maybe it's a pattern recognition thing, something the same colour as a wave, but doesn't behave like a wave.