The Paddling Thread

Started by daniel1948, December 15, 2019, 05:41:36 PM

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daniel1948

The above post was the last time I was able to go out paddling for a week! Strong winds and heavy rain. Exactly one week later, two days ago, the wind had finally settled down enough to paddle. So Monday and Tuesday I paddled with KCC.

I have mentioned before the guy who I believe must be mentally ill, whose filthy, run-down, and trash-strewn two-masted sailboat had grounded on the beach after a previous storm. He also owns a surplus torpedo weapons recovery craft that he bought on eBay for $17,200. Some folks have started calling it "the battleship" because it's easier to say. His attempts to get the sailboat off the beach were pathetic, since he cannot swim and he cannot tie knots. Half a year ago or so, the battleship also broke free of its moorings and grounded on a reef.

In this latest storm BOTH of those boats broke free of their moorings and grounded. He clearly knows NOTHING about boats, or how to moor them.

So now the battleship is grounded on the beach immediately north of Kihei Canoe Club, blocking access to the beach north of the club. That's where I normally access the beach when I walk to MCC or HOCVS. The result is that I cannot get through there. There's another beach access farther north, but it means walking on South Kihei Road, which is a dangerous place to walk. The southern half of South Kihei Road has sidewalks, but the northern half does not. Nor does North Kihei Road.

So I paddled with KCC these two days. It's one of the advantages of belonging to three canoe clubs. We had nice weather for just two days.

Today we're having another storm. Fierce wind and intermittent heavy rain. Today would have been my day to take out the OC2, which would have meant having to get up to MCC somehow. Either walking on the road to the other beach access, or driving up.

No idea if they'll ever get that fucking battleship off the beach. The owner is utterly incompetent. The Coast Guard says it's not their problem. And the state seems unwilling to ever do anything. There was a capsized trimaran out in the bay for six months or a year a couple of years ago, and the state did nothing about it. It finally broke free and drifted onto the beach, and some ordinary folks cut it up and hauled the pieces away. That won't be an option for the battleship. It will need a professional salvage operator to get it off the beach. It's entirely possible that once it is gone, it will have completely destroyed the beach there (always a very narrow path) and cut off access to the beach at that spot. A LOT of people use that access. This guy has fucked over a lot of people through his incompetence.

The owner of those boats is a menace and should not be allowed to own boats, but I doubt anything will happen to him.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

This morning I went down to the beach at KCC, but the surf was too nasty and we didn't paddle. The waves were big but not huge, but the period between them was very short. There were virtually no openings to launch. The waves looked kind of like when we have a strong onshore wind, but there was no wind. Out on the ocean, though, according to the forecast, the wind was from the south and west, and that brings these kinds of conditions.

Yesterday I didn't get to paddle because my OC2 buddy had a family emergency, and KCC was doing beach cleanup, so no paddling there, and because of the beached boat and a flooded road, I could not get to either of my other two clubs. The day before that the water was still brown from the runoff. And the day before that it was raining. (If my memory of which day is which is right.)
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

The above was Friday. On Saturday there was an onshore wind and I didn't bother going to the beach. On Sunday there was no wind at all and I went to the beach to paddle the OC2, but the surf was big (not like surfers consider big, but big for launching a canoe) and we didn't go out. It was just too dangerous. We watched a guy go out on an e-foil and he got wiped out by big waves twice before he finally got through. Yesterday it was so windy I didn't bother going to the beach. Today I walked to MCC for the first time since the grounded "battleship" blocked my usual beach access. I found the alternate access farther north thanks to another MCC member. (Though the beach is in such bad shape from the storms that walking on the road, which I don't like doing, would be a better choice.) But they cancelled the paddle because of rough conditions. We might have been able to launch, but they won't go unless they're confident of being able to land safely when we get back. Landing is the most dangerous part of outrigger canoe paddling.

So once again, no paddling. It's been a week and a half since I've gotten out on the water, and before that it was a week without paddling. Whale season is slipping by and the weather has been SHIT!!!
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

No paddling since posting the above, and it's very windy today. Normally the prevailing wind is from the east, and this side of the island is sheltered, with only light winds in the morning. But when storms dip down south from the north Pacific, they bring south and west winds. The westerly winds also bring high surf to this side of the island. Normally the north shore gets the big surf. The forecast shows the wind changing late Tuesday, but the surf will probably continue for a few days. We can't paddle if it's too windy. We can't launch the boats in high surf.

But there's some good news: The state has awarded a contract to salvage (i.e. remove) the 85-foot "battleship" (torpedo weapons retrieval craft) that's grounded just north of KCC and blocking beach access to the north of the club. The mentally-ill owner bought it for $17,200. The contract to remove it will cost the state $841,820. They can't tow it away because of holes in the hull which would cause it to sink rapidly. They're going to have to cut it up I suppose. I really don't know how that will be done, but it's good news that they're not going to just leave it there. It's right in front of a condo, so possibly the condo owners raised a stink and got the state to act.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

There was no wind today so we went to the beach to take out the OC2, and the surf was marginal. We probably could have made it out. There were some big waves, but there were also lulls. However it was chilly and overcast and my stomach hurt, and I was tired because of yesterday's a-fib. Any one or two of those things, we probably would have gone out. But with everything, we decided to play it safe. The next few days the forecast is for ripping wind.

A third of whale season has gone by and I've paddled maybe 2 or 3 times. This weather is really disappointing.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

FINALLY got out paddling today. No surf, practically no wind. Lots of whales, though we didn't get any action. They were just swimming around. Stopped at a coral reef and I got to swim. It's cold today, and the water is colder than I've been in since last winter. But it was really nice to get out there finally, and to get in the water briefly.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

Got some great whale action yesterday. There was light wind when we launched, but it got pretty strong when we were a couple of miles off shore, so we came back in a ways to where it was more moderate. And then a whale started pec-slapping and continued for what must have been 15 or 20 minutes. Humpback whales do this occasionally. They lift their fifteen-foot-long pectoral fin and then slap it hard on the water, making a big "WHUMP!" sound and a big splash. Less often they'll slap their tail. They don't usually keep it up this long.

We were a quarter to a half a mile (my guess) from the whale when we heard it slapping behind us, and I was sure it would stop before we could get there, but we paddled up to about 100 yards from it (the legal limit: boats have to stop if there's a whale within 100 yards, but it's fine if they approach us) and then as it continued its pec-slapping it was also swimming slowly, and it passed us about 20 yards away, and then continued on slowly.

By the time it stopped slapping there were maybe 8 to 10 canoes around, watching it, as well as a couple of kayaks and three paddle boards. I was in my two-man canoe, and two HOCVS canoes were there, and an MCC canoe, and several KCC canoes, as it was visitor day at KCC.

It made for a fun day on the water.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

Went out in the two-man canoe (OC2) again today. And the whales were AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING!!! First we had a mom, calf, and escort that just hung out around our canoe for what seemed like forever, surfacing right next to our canoe several times. Then we had a baby breach. Then there were several more "ordinary" whale encounters. And lastly we had what seemed to be a group of four (that's extremely rare other than in a competition pod) who were staying near the surface (rather than diving after a few breaths) and one of them was blowing jets of water out of the side of its mouth.

At first I thought that last one was spouting while on its side, because of the jet coming out horizontally. My buddy thought the sidewise blow was a different whale underneath the one we could see. But as soon as it spouted I could see it was not on its side, and since it repeated the action it was clearly not a second whale underneath.

Whales don't breathe through their mouth, so that wasn't it. We finally realized what it was, because it was also opening its mouth partway. Baleen whales eat by taking a big mouthful of sea water, then filtering it through their baleen and expelling the water. We never see that here because there's nothing for them to eat here. But this whale was displaying eating behavior. And we were seeing the jet of water, not air, coming from the side of its mouth.

Three or four times we had whales swim directly under our canoe. That's how close they kept coming to us.

After that we paddled back to shore, with a couple of stops for more whales. Altogether we were out for about four and a third hours.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg

daniel1948

The weather forecast for today was borderline, but at 5:00 a.m. there was no wind here and since it's fucking Valentine Day (a depressing day for those of us who are alone and don't want to be) I figured I'd get out of the house and go down to the beach to at least see if conditions would permit paddling. Then at 6:15, just a little before I'd have left the house, the wind came up with a vengeance. Onshore, as predicted. Onshore wind makes for difficult surf conditions for launching the canoes. So no paddling for me on the most depressing day of the year.
"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."
-- Greta Thunberg