Amazingly, I have not snapped a rudder pin in several years. However, I really pushed the kayak to the limits today intentionally. Heavy winds today on Cachuma Lake and I wanted to see how she would do. Had a blast but my hat was wildly twisted and my sunglasses were slightly damaged by the force of the sail and waves smacking into my face. I left the dog behind today because I knew I was going to push things alot farther than I ever had. After about 7 runs back and forth, I lost rudder control and knew the rudder pin had snapped. I furled the sail, grabbed the paddle and used it as a makeshift rudder. I had been sailing upwind from the marina in case anything went wrong so it made it easy to get home. Had fun letting the kayak surf the big swells back home. When I sailed downwind before the rudder pin snapped, I was watching the bow and front half of the kayak being totally submerged about a foot below the surface for quite a long time. Didn't have time to figure out if I was pushing it too much or if this was normal in high winds and large lake swells with steep sides. Had a couple gallons of water in the kayak after taking her out of the lake. One thing I did figure out was that changing a rudder pin on the water in heavy seas could be a real ordeal. But for me today, I just pulled into the marina nice and easy using the pedals and paddle. I will fix it tomorrow morning since they closed the lake to boating (due to high winds) right as I pulled in. Here is a very short GoPro HD Hero clip of me having fun today.
One thing I will say is that I was very prepared for what happened and felt comfortable about the situation and what to do. The reason for that is because of reading about all of your previous experiences and learning what you did. So thank you all for helping me today.http://vimeo.com/24334332