...to the excellent Incident Report link you posted made the following observations (some of which were thought provoking for me and might stimulate some discussion) :
"Your trip and conditions made me think of a trip I made many years ago with Gerard Hoitink: Same conditions with quiet weather after a stormy week.
We rounded Ameland and above the Bornrif we came in similar trouble in waves up to 2-3 meter, oft with a turbo on the top.
Almost all capsized and while trying to perform X-rescues all kind of accidents happened: a broken nose, a perforated seakayak, one person almost got hypothermic.
I also helped paddlers back into their kayak but did not take the time to empty cockpits to prevent accidents. All around I saw pairs of 2 kayaks tumbling over each other in breaking waves, while trying to empty cockpits.
Apart from this, the ending of the event was also good: we let us wash ashore and were brought to the camping by Staatsbosbeheer who arranged a tractor with wagon for our transport.
I also learned very much from that event: it kept me busy for a few months while thinking it over and over.
About your trip:
I think the conclusions and recommendations of the accident at Noorderhaaks are very good.
I only would like to add a few comments/additions to the conclusions and recommendations in your Dutch report:
- never try to paddle up a high wave (having a turbo on top) at a perpendicular angle. If you paddle perpendicular and don't make it to the top the most likely thing to happen is that you will flip backwards.
A better way to stay in control is to paddle the wave at an angle of 30-45° making it possible to make a low or high brace when you eventually get caught in the turbo.
Ok, you will end up bongoing with the wave sideways, but you stay upright and in control (lots of practise in surf are necessary to reach the stage of not to capsize in such a bongo-wave).
- The same practise in situation with following waves, preventing a forward loop.
- when waves are as big that there is a risk of a wet-exit, or feeling that you are not in full control, clip your towline to you kayak to be able to prevent separation from your kayak and get back to your kayak in case you was not able to hold on the kayak due to the forces of the wave. I realise you must be careful not to get the rope around your neck.
Ok this is a risk, but probably the risk after being separated from your kayak is even bigger because you are almost invisible for rescuers and exposed to cold water. Besides that you are alone, very alone in a wide sea."
The Connyak BBS