Last Sunday (Sept 12, 2010) four of us decided to head down to St. Philip's to ride the waves. My house overlooks Conception Bay so I had a pretty good idea of what we were going to be up against. I don't have the exact weather details right now but the winds were pretty stiff from the North/North East and they had the swells and waves whipped up on the bay. When we arrived the waves were breaking over the jetty at certain intervals and there was always a good surge in the channel. Tony and Clyde are much more experienced paddlers than myself and Dennis so they surveyed the conditions and decided to go for it. Dennis and I opted to watch and see how the boys made out. They suited up and headed out without incident. Dennis and I watched the channel for another 10 minutes or so and decided that the swells seemed to have dropped a bit with the tide. We suited up and headed out.
I had my camera mounted on my deck for taking videos. I did not try to handhold the camera while on the water. Below are some stills from the videos as well as links to the videos, themselves.
Leaving the Gut
Walls of Water
The winds, waves and swell made for an interesting ride. I certainly would not have had to make a lot of headway into the wind and waves. It was a good slog to keep up speed and as soon as you stopped paddling, you stopped moving.
In the next video, I decided to come up behind Dennis and Clyde to try to give some kind of perspective to the conditions. Unfortunately, the camera does not do the water justice.
Up, up and away!!
I decided to try the zoom on the camera to see if it affected the video capture of the wave and boat action. It made a big difference. It gave a lot more motion to the video. Here's Tony making headway!!
Into the breach!
After about an hour of bouncing about, I decided I had enough!! I was still feeling the effects of too much beer and wine from the night before and the incessant bouncing and pounding was not doing me any good!! PLUS it seemed like the swells were increasing in size. Dennis and I headed over to the channel to scope it out. Tony came along shortly. Clyde, in the meantime, got caught playing a little too close to the beach and ended up on it - thankfully his paddling skills kept him safe and he left the water by that route!!
Tony took the lead on re-entering the channel. Just as he entered a brace of large swells filled in behind him. If you look closely at the picture below (halfway between my bow and the person in yellow on the jetty) you will see Tony and his boat about jetty-level!! Crazy!!
Tony, are you in there?
Dennis and I sat out for a few more rounds of swells. We were waiting for the lull so that we could make a dart for it. While we were waiting I poked my nose into the mouth of the channel a few times only to pull back quickly as the swells increased. The image below (found at 1:20 of the following video) shows a massive swell that came up behind me. I was back paddling out of the channel at this point. My bow is pointing skyward at this point!
Submarine about to surface!
(**My apologies for the expletives in this video - I don't know how to edit them out!**)
After this last big swell, things dropped considerably and Dennis and I had a smooth passage on through the channel. Inside we regrouped with Clyde and Tony. There was some discussion about going back out, but my guts and head were gone. Damn you beer and wine!! Perhaps that was just my body's way of making sure I didn't go back out. It was good time on the water!!