Monday, September 03, 2012

Rattlesnake Island - Rattling Experience

Sitting, chatting at Dorothy's friend's house in Peachland with the views of a kayaker heading for Rattlesnake Island... I decided to go then and there. I had completed a 4-hour ride earlier though had plenty of time to eat and recover.

View of Rattlesnake Island from Jack & Dian's house in Peachland

Leaving the house, I noticed a flag dancing stiffly in the wind and knew it would be a tailwind out.

Rattlesnake Island is almost direct across from Peachland 3.5 km. The island is hard to spot while in the water as the island blends into the terrain of the mainland behind it.

Rattlesnake Island (internet photo - too choppy at the time to take a pic on the surfski!)

Paddling my trusty stable surfski, the waves got uncomfortably choppier midway. Stubbornly making my way, the wind pushed me out to the north.

Making it across, the wave chop was too turbulent between the island and mainland, so I skipped paddling around it and headed back to Peachland.

Teeny spec of me in my surfski with a motorboat going by

Heading back, the cross wave wind was horrendous though fun in a weird way. I kept a deathgrip on the paddle not to lose it to the wind. The cross waves spooked me enough that I decided to go direct into the wind and make my way to shore until I felt safe to parallel my way back to the start.

Ha, the wind was so strong I was crawling at 4-6 kph (normally paddle 8-10 kph). I've not put in such an effort for awhile. Glad I ate lots earlier.

My path bypassing Rattlesnake Island due to the wicked crosswind and turbulent waves

As I made it closer to shore, I noticed a truck driving slowly by the roadway. It was Jack and Dorothy coming to rescue me. They could see from the house that something was up. The turbulent waves midway are not visible from shore.

I laughed and thanked them! I wanted to now paddle it in, as it was a tailwind back.

A couple weeks later, my 2nd attempt went well to paddle around the island though horrible to come across a pea-size brained motor boater that thought it'd be fun to try to swamp the kayaker with the boat's wake as he purposely accelerated thru the narrow channel between the Island and the mainland. That incident was scary. That guy was an idiot and I was helpless as a small boat on the water. Not a good feeling.

In general, I've had to keep my eyes and ears peeled for ignorant boaters almost every time I've paddled on Lake Okanagan. Some just don't understand the effect of their boat's wake on a small craft. A few come too close and politely wave hello!

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