Bunsby Islands

Espanoza to Brooks Peninsula
August, 2001

Part 7: Brooks Peninsula: playing in the surf

Day 12, 8/13/01

Weather: Fog and clouds in AM, clear in PM.

Paddle: Day paddle to sandy beaches and then surfing.

We plan to paddle along the south side of the Brooks peninsula. Since we planned this trip Marie has wanted to paddle AROUND the Brooks and back again. I thought we would be doing good to just get a ways out the south side. When we round Jackson point I think that we can see the whole south shore and the far point does not look all that far away. The shoreline also does not look all that interesting.

We also see a beautiful sandy beach with moderate surf on it. Briggitt, Joseph, and I land on the beach while Marie and Wendy go to explore further beaches. This is Briggett's first surf landing. She get most of they way in then tips when her boat is caught sideways by a wave. Since she's wet Joseph says she might as well empty her kayak and go out and practice.

Marie bracing in the surf.

Briggitt and Joseph in the surf.

We spend a couple hours riding the surf back in. I get a little lax about bracing into waves and am tipped once. I can push off the bottom with my hands and struggle back up. This reminds me of the importance of rolling. I could have just got out of my boat, but it would be safer and easier to be able to roll back up.

I practice several rolls outside the surf. It has been a year since I tried to roll. Last time I did I dislocated my shoulder on a high brace. It was my second dislocation on that shoulder and I choose to have it operated on last fall. That was my second surgery to repair dislocation. You an read all about it in my surgery journal. Since then, when ever I think of rolling I remember dislocating my shoulder.

But I successfully do a couple rolls on each side and seem to be using good form. Latter in the day I roll over in the surf. Even as I'm going down I know that I'm going to roll my boat back up. Fortunately, it is shallow enough that I can brace off the sandy bottom and easily bring myself back up.

Wendy and Marie show up while we are taking a break. After lunch they practice bracing into waves in the shallows. I go out again an Marie takes pictures of me.

I catch a few big waves. On these the boat quickly turns sideways and I brace into it. My boat circulates through the wave and the foam washes around me. Feels like I'm in the wash cycle. I do learn that I don't have to lean so far into the wave. After that I can hold most of my body above water and these rides are more enjoyable. However, I was caught sideways by a large wave as it broke and was underwater for several seconds.

I have more fun on the smaller waves. My boat will accelerate down these and ride out in front. If I am well aligned then I bailey have to touch my paddle. Even if I'm not I can usually keep from broaching. On these I can ride most of the way into the beach then turn out of the wave and paddle back out.

Here are several pictures Marie took of me playing in the surf.

Paddling out.

End of a wave.

Elbows kept low to avoid dislocation.


I was usually able to turn around and head back out.



Here I'm in a larger wave.


If you look close you can see that the kayak is moving quickly across the wave and into the break.






Marie and I leave together. We paddle past the wreck of a coast guard boat, now a rusting hulk on the rocks in XXX bay. Through the bay I see lots of small fish swimming around the kelp.

Marie near the wreck.


The river.

We paddle up the small creek by our camp. Past the entrance we go around one corner and are in a different world. The sound of the surf is muffled by the trees and we float up this quiet river.

Wendy has cinnamon raisin bread backing and it smells fantastic.

[Back] [Home] [Trip Journals] [Climbing] [Kayaking] [Flight] [Photos] [Food]

Page last modified:  Dec 16 17:08 2003  by  Tom Unger