Monday, 11 July 2016

The Neville Level!

Wed night, June 1st, St. Philips paddle was canceled on PNL, so a few of us just had to go have a look at how wild the ocean would be from the gusting 50km + winds. Of course we have to load our kayaks on our cars to go have a 'look' :)

So it was big. It was wild and it was trying to make the channel take the whole ocean  in one gulp! But Tony came and suited up. Neville came and suited up. Terry came and suited up. I took a good long look over the breakwater and tried to decide if I could handle it. I was pretty nervous, and excited to try, but the wind just made a big epic movie out of it!

Neville and Tony came over to talk it out with me. We walked out on the pier and had a good objective study. But we didn't stay long as the waves were starting to crash over the pier. They told me they thought the waves were within my abilities but there is no pressure to go out and nothing to prove.

Well, my nerves were having a fight... they were dying to go out and they were shaking in their boots at the same time:) So with one last vote of confidence from Neville and Tony, you know I suited up! :)

 Not so bad right? Except that there are actually 3 kayakers somewhere in that picture!

there's 2 surfacing....

They all surface.....! 
.....And they're off again ! :)

It was a real exercise in mental and physical control as I was getting ready. I had to use a lot of self discipline for my nerves and rational thinking for my confidence. But this was going to happen :)

The only respite was right in the marina. I knew that once I began, I would have to commit fully. There would be no breaks or little nooks near the rocks to rest up.... mentally or physically.
I sat there looking out through the mountains coming in through the channel and tried to make them not be larger than reality :) It's just an ocean rollercoaster :)

This pic was taken by Tony

So.....I had one good run of it. And it was Awesome! I paddled out against the wind and rode the walls of waves that approached ....and watched my kayak hang over the top of each wave and then ride it down for the next wave. Neville and Tony and Terry all rising way above me and disappearing on their own waves as we pushed on through the wind :)

Then when you figure you are far enough out to enjoy a few surfs back, comes time to turn around... without capsizing... and ride those surfs back . I wish I had something to track the speed at which they sent us flying back towards the cove. ...something else to add to my gear list!
It was full on concentration with just enough room to realize how awesome and exhilarating it was!!

The 3 musketeers took a few more runs out as I watched and learned a lot!....before coming back to the marina to share experiences.

We tried to put a kayak level on the conditions so that we could tell our paddle buddies about it.... we decided it was off the level charts, so Terry coined it the Neville Level :) as in ..."I'm Neville getting in out of this!!" ... or "I'm Neville doing this again!".... yeah right! :)
"The Neville Level" pic by Tony (Whose bow is nowhere near the ocean :)

We are all watching the weather and watching for a chance to ride the ocean roller coaster again! :)

Thanks Tony, Terry and Neville for the awesome experience and the support and confidence and coaching tips... especially at the bottom of an approaching wall of sea! :)

Awesome sauce!


  1. Just looking at these pix again. That was some big stuff and you captured it very well.

    Tony :-)

    1. Thanks Tony, but I know I need a real camera to catch these awesome times and clearly as you do! :)

  2. Excellent post Cathy. Your a champion!

    1. Thanks Shane... wish you could have been there to get your fix!! :)