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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:53 pm 
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Location: San Diego
I am considering kayaking the Baja California Pacific coast in the next 2-3 years and I was wondering if any of you thing that the AI is safely capable of doing this.

I am reading a book titled "We Survived Yesterday" by John Reseck and he claims to have endured 10' waves breaking on sand bars several miles out to sea.

Can the AI handle 10' waves?

Can the AI handle steep beach, large wave, perhaps rocky landings?

Will the hull sustain an intense pounding wave?

It looks like it will sail quickly with the wind, and using the drive it should do well.

Has anybody done an expedition such as this with provisions like water, food, camping gear for a 30-40 day stay?

Let me know what you think or have experienced.

Good day.

Lou


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:39 am 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
It will handle 10 foot swells in open ocean. I can vouch for that.

Also didn't have too much problem with "rollers" when swell curled over.

Can not vouch for breaking stuff, but there is a post on here where a Florida guy went over the falls, twice I believe and sailed away.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:29 am 
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Location: Phuket, Thailand
loubud wrote:
I am considering kayaking the Baja California Pacific coast in the next 2-3 years and I was wondering if any of you thing that the AI is safely capable of doing this.

I am reading a book titled "We Survived Yesterday" by John Reseck and he claims to have endured 10' waves breaking on sand bars several miles out to sea.

Can the AI handle 10' waves?

Can the AI handle steep beach, large wave, perhaps rocky landings?

Will the hull sustain an intense pounding wave?

It looks like it will sail quickly with the wind, and using the drive it should do well.

Has anybody done an expedition such as this with provisions like water, food, camping gear for a 30-40 day stay?

Let me know what you think or have experienced.

Good day.

Lou


Hi Lou,

Only what I think....

10' wave or 10' swell? 10' wave about to throw coming down on top of you would be interesting/terminal in any craft. I believe that the technique for landing in hard dumping surf is to get yourself just behind the biggest wave as its breaking (for Gods sake dont go over the falls!) and paddle like hell through the aerated water THEN RUN LIKE HELL up the beach with your kayak in tow before you get sucked back into the maelstrom by the next inbound monster!!!! This 'running with the boat in tow' bit might be tricky the AI is quite heavy. Shoaling waves running over sandbanks miles out to sea sounds like a shocker too. but I guess you could simply avoid them??? Charts etc? What sort of winds do you anticipate? Best wait for more cogent advice than mine from those who sail in Hawaii, but I would have thought that for a protracted expedition in dangerous waters off a remote coastline I would want a craft with a low Center of gravity, a boat that if flipped could be righted immediately, I would want a deck on it to keep me dry and I would want a paddle so I could brace coming in thru the surf (where it wasnt dumping...probably the same kind of beaches your talking about but at low tide). I would want light, portable, durable with as few moving parts as possible....sounds like a rotomoulded sea kayaking job to me!


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Lou,
Get ahold of me ! One of the main adventures I have in mind is to cruz defferent spots in Baja. I have spent alot of time there and know it very well except for the spots you need the AI to get to. There are alot of of really great fishing villages to camp at and the people are really nice.

Roderick


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:59 pm
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Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
I've been Surf Kayaking on the East Coast of Oz for years now, I would be loath to try landing my AI in anything larger than 18" waves.
Of course surf varies infinitely and it can be gentle and mellow or a snapping, agressive monster, even small surf.

There is a Post in this Forum from an experinced AI Pilot who re-constructed his AI in breaking surf and recovered it however I think that was the act of a man who is not only skillfull, fit and young but also very fortunate. The lesson to be learnt from his experince is that after loss of control his AI did ,"fold up", quickly in the surf.

The AI is not a surfcraft, nothing is really built to survive surf except surf rescue Rubber Duckies and even they get trashed sometimes.
The AI is a plastic recreational sailboat and would most likely be bent and broken if you turtled it in surf.
That's OK if it's at your local beach but daunting if you are at a remote landfall on the Pacific coast with a lot of expensive equipment and a long walk.
(Presuming you survive the wreck and recover all your gear.)

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Well I just landed a AI in 2-4 foot surf last weekend.

There is a lot more to a beach than wave height. Slope, sand verus rock, set frequency, etc.

It's also how you setup your landing. In my case went in with sail furled, drive pulled, paddling like hell on the back side of a wave in front of me, and as it turned out guessed right about the following wave being small.

Local dealer prefers using the drive and securing it in folded position at last second. Good method for sand as you come in pretty fast.

While I am not poo pawing dangerous waters like high surf offshore sandbars, good seamanship, chart knowledge, study of coast pilots, google earth, etc are things that I think loubud will probably study in advance.. Also if he goes with someone else, a beach recon using fins and leaving two yaks out with the partner could prove useful.

Your not trying to surf here. Just get in or out safe. :D

At sea the AI is probably one of the safest yaks around. And yes I flipped it in 30+ knot winds when the aka brace assembly popped up. Not that difficult to get upright.

You would be hard pressed to find a better candidate for his Mexico expedition.

IMHO :mrgreen:

Aloha

Dan

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Last edited by AlohaDan on Fri May 22, 2009 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:03 pm 
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I agree with AlohaDan, I've been in some inclimate weather that I would never go out in with a regular kayak and the AI handles it superbly. I've never felt unsafe in any conditions I've been out in. I would avoid 10 ft breaking waves like the plague though. I think those would be easily spotted and avoided with the AI, but I really don't know anything about waves breaking on sandbars and why you might need to go near them. I've done some small surf landings and could probably do something in the 2-4 range with practice, but bigger I would probably try to find an alternate landing spot. Seems like if you really researched it you could find some coves with protection from the swell where you could land in small sets. On the North Shore of Oahu we landed with 5-6 foot swells by using local knowledge. A guy we went out with knew of a certain spot on the coastline where reef really reaches far out and blocks the incoming swell creating a spot where you get nice small surf, just a few hundred feet down it picks back up to 5ft breaking surf in those conditions. I would definitely go with a partner or group in case you do encounter problems. Also, look up some of the toolkits, spares and other emergency items people suggest. 30-40 days would probably also require some sort of water catching/de-salinizer apparatus.

I recently learned of a friend of a friend participating in a 4 man paddle race across the atlantic over about 3 months. Your trip sounds in the ballpark of that, I would look up that competition and check and make sure you have similar equipment/food/items as them ( maybe not nearly as much :) ).

http://www.woodvale-challenge.com/Atlan ... +Race+2009

Sounds hardcore man, take some pictures/videos for us, I'm excited to hear about it!


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
I anticipated people writing in with legendary tales of their exploits in surf and how their consumate skill kept them from wrecking their craft.

I say again, if you start making a daily practice of landing in surf at unfamiliar beaches in a boat not designed for it sooner or later disaster will strike you.

I simply cannot, as others have done, encourage and assure you to do something that I know is dangerous.

The only other thing I can think of since some are confident that the AI is no problem in surf is that your surf is different from ours somehow.
No surfer I know would try to bring a light sailboat through the surf here on the open ocean beaches, experienced Life-Saving crews in powered surf craft often get wiped out here.

The ocean is terribly unforgiving of any incapacity or neglect.

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:46 am 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
No one is claiming the AI is a surf machine. But it can be landed safely on various types of beaches, and certainly more than 18" of surf..

Quote:
I anticipated people writing in with legendary tales of their exploits in surf and how their consumate skill kept them from wrecking their craft.


Your exageration is compounded by your ignoring studying where you are going and what kind of places there are to land- in advance.
Even in well known areas caution rules for the prudent yaker. Around here for fishing sorties, for example, predicted swell heights are often studied as much as wind velocity.

You come across as making out people stupid enough to try surfing the AI in dangerous areas that suddenly sneak up on them.

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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
I don't know about other AI sailors (other than Dan) but even though I'm very familiar with my sailing area, I have 6-12 websites I check for local conditions, forecasts and webcams before I pack up to go out, and then observe actual conditions before unloading, and then during setup. (Many are on this page of my website: http://www.kayakingbob.com/weather)

My area is pretty protected from the raw oceans power but I still end up in challenging conditions and equipment problems from time to time, which were overcome by planning, equipment, experience and great support both with me, and on shore.

Dan's area can be much rougher for launched and landings than mine, and he gets out and back, more often than I do, safely, to fish (and catch BIG ones!). Don't knock his experience and advice!

I do agree with
Quote:
if you start making a daily practice of landing in surf at unfamiliar beaches in a boat not designed for it sooner or later disaster will strike you.
and
Quote:
The ocean is terribly unforgiving of any incapacity or neglect.


Kayaking Bob


Last edited by KayakingBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:09 am 
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Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Dan, pardon if any offense caused, my wording may have been too strong but it comes not from wanting to appear an expert but from the fear of someone getting hurt. I nearly drowned myself a couiple of years back and the thought of being in strife in the surf just sends shivers down my spine, I reacted.

18" is not a limit it is MY limit, people can do whatever they like with their AI's.

Please don't assume too much, it is certainly not my intention to indicate that anybody is stupid.

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:41 am 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
OK No problema.

I'll tame it down on my side also.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
Hey Guys. I don't have west coast AI Experience but I was once in charge of all US Coast Guard assets south of San Mateo Pt including boats planes and helos.That area can get rough and there is alot of Search and Rescue going on out there. First off I would recommend a 406 EPIRP and a Spot. CG Airsta San Diego can have an HH60 overhead in about two to three hours in most places down there. Until then your on your own. They will hoist you but your AI is on it's own. The closest boat would probably be at least 100 mile off. The Mexicans have some old navy boats but at least when I was down there they did not get underway much.

As far as using the AI, I would recommend actually getting one and get at least a year of offshore experience in the San Diego area before setting off South. Get food at navigation because fog is real bad. I lived at the lower lighthouse on Pt Loma for a time and it was foggy almost daily sometimes till noon. Carry charts and I would recommend not one but two GPS's Water is cold so a dry suit would also be a good investment. In fact be prepared to be constantly wet. The AI is not a dry ride espeacially in a wind and chop. So is the AI the proper craft for an extended trip along the coast of Baja? I am not sure but I know this it will be an adventure and you will be cold, wet and uncomfortable a good amount of the time.

Oh, and I can say from experience that if the CG Helo shows up overhead and a rescue swimmer jumps out, his first question well may be, "are you F'in nuts? :lol: But rest assured he will still get you home no matter how rough the conditions.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:55 pm 
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quirkster,

Awesome post! I've come to realize that I'm way too conservative for most people so I don't want to poo poo ideas based on that, but I don't think anyone could talk me into that trip! Being 100 miles from the nearest boat or 2-3 hours from the nearest helo ride is way too much for me. I might do camping excursions for a couple days, but I like short days and a warm bed for the most part. :) Glad to know the CG does it's best!


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:16 pm 
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quirkster,
Do you now Mark Gilroy?He was in charge up in Humbolt for awhile.


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