Sea Kayaking, Redsands Towers revisited under sail

Sea Kayaking,  Redsands Towers revisited under sail

I am once again in England and with a small errand to complete at Canterbury, I took the opportunity to paddle out from Herne Bay to Redsands. I have completed this paddle a few times, but the new interest for me was to make the trip using the sail.

Winds were forecast at Bf3 6am increasing to Bf4 for the rest of the day. Having been watching the trend over the previous days the weather did show improvement.On the Esplanade opposite the Old Pier there was hardly a breath of wind, I even wondered if it was worth rigging the sail.

But once a little way off shore there was just enough wind to fill the sail, so with some assistance from the wind I set off for Redsands

About four miles out  had the large windfarm development on my starboard. The area is patrolled by a Guard Vessel,  I was paddle sailing at around 5 knots and this clearly interested the skipper who after circling me, followed me for some twenty minutes until I left the area. The wind was now at a comfortable Bf4 and giving me a good bit of lift

By the time I reached the Towers the wind had now reached the top end of Bf4 and when I turned to make the return trip I found the wind had backed just enough to prevent me sailing back. I did try tacking but found this was quite laborious and that it was far more efficient to just paddle into the wind. I Stowed the sail away on the deck and set off.

Approximately halfway back there was a significant increase in the Wind, it was a good Bf5 and constant, and my course took me straight into it, it was going to be a meaningful paddle ! In fact the wind did not abate until I was stood on the beach. I took a look at MSW after the trip and from 3pm the Bf3-4  was showing as Bf5.  I had last checked at 8am

Looking at my GPS trace you can see a nice gentle curve on the trip, paddle sailing out. On the paddle back the sudden increase to Bf5 is quite apparent looking at the trace.

I found this a useful exercise in understanding the use of the sail, I had rather hoped to make the return trip under sail too, but then it’s always good to have a bit of flexibility in the plan. It was a good paddle….. and on my birthday too.

Sea Kayaking,  Redsands Towers revisited under sail



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