Friday, 6 December 2013

Friday Frolic ... Paddling off Tiger Head

When the conditions are just right a very interesting thing happens off Tiger Head near Dodges Ferry ...

If you zoomed in on that red line out you'd see lots of going back and forward.
A large outward tidal movement (today it was 1.4m) from Pittwater Lagoon (through a narrow constrained point) gets set against a strong (15+ knot) South / South Westerly wind and the result of this fast moving water against the wind swept seas is large, steep waves a bit like these ...




Now the beautiful thing about this from a paddling perspective is that:

  1. you can tootle off from the boat ramp in perfectly calm flat water, and then just a few hundred metres off-shore find yourself in some very big waves, very quickly; and
  2. because of the way the tidal flow works the current effectively pushes you into and through the waves, on your way out before you get to turn around and have some fun coming back in again making it a very easy way to get some fun downwind runs in ...



Now just to give last night some perspective, Geoff (who was taking these photos) did a quick calculation of wave size using the length of my boat as a measure, and if you see that little white line running down from the front of my boat in the photo below ...


That line is 3.2 metres long, which makes these waves well over three metres.  Getting it now?

I went for three swims in an hour (yea, you want to be pretty comfortable self-rescuing in these sort of conditions) and there was a very strong correlation between going fast and crashing out ...

The yellow patches are my self rescue periods.  I got a bit tangled in my tether on the third swim.
But if that was a taste of what this place has to offer ... I want more.




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