Loc: False Pass
Acc: Trident Seafood bunk
Dist: 46,4 km
Start: 07:30 End: 14:05
Last night, I decided I let my ambitions go to make it before 1 pm slack water through False Pass…means I was not happy to get up at 5 am to make it likely working…I woke at 5.30 am, dreamed on a bit with open eyes, and was waking Michal only at 6 am. On the water by 7.30 am, we felt we had all time of the world to just go with the flow…
Karel’s forecast was w to ssw 2 to 6 kn until noon, then sse 8 to 11 knots gusts 14 in the afternoon. Ok, the strength was on the spot, but the direction was just the other way round…thank goodness! We started in sunshine relatively slow, but as we saw the millpond water, and felt a tiny push, we got it going just straight across…no hugging th shore as originally planned. These kayaks want to run in these conditions…and we both liked to RUN! Not much to sight-see on the shore anyway, power-music on, and we were flying along side by side!
It was soon pretty much possible, we would make it through the False Pass narrows just about around 1 pm on slack, so no stopping besides once, but full power on! We both just smiled at each other as I announce the numbers on my GPS…if we had two days ago an already quite fast 42 km marathon run with 6,4 km/ overall average in very light headwinds, paddling around 7-8 km/h, we now paddled 8-9 km/h in very light following winds…and a long time the GPS showed 7,4-7,5 km/h average…wow! If there is no pleasure in coastal sight seeing, we find pleasure in running the fully loaded heavy kayaks with our wing paddles like surf skis…well, maybe a tad bit slower.
Michal was the best training partner I ever had, and I was for him. Since he took his heavy PFD-monster off, he had never put it back on again, and got better by the day. In long distance powering, we are now both absolute similar in speed and focus, but I must admit Michal can accelerate a slight bit faster out of nothing to catch a lurking tiny surf wave… 🙁 well, I have my excuses to be an aging women compared to a 41-year old young man, hehehe…good job, guy!
We were both very soon soaking wet from sweat under the dry suits, and just had to keep on going quickly again on the few breaks we had, not to shiver too much. About 7,5 km to the turn point to the False Pass narrow, thing changed to the worse…the wind turned from se to sw and kicked up quite a bit – one can get up only too late! Wasn’t the original plan to take it slow today as it comes? And here we are, first flying along, now punching for 7,5 km with maybe 5-6 km/h only around the windy corner. Will we still be able to get through the narrows before or around slack current? Things became exciting…until we turned in, and felt the wind was in our back again and funneling nicely through the pass. SMILE…and we flew off again with now well 9 km/h!
We will make it just at 1 pm slack tide through the narrow spot! Not planned, but plans change and develop over the day…we felt like running through the most narrow spot like through an invisible finish line with the current and wind in our favor. Right behind the narrow, the current turned, the water became a slight bit choppy with 15 knots against tide, but the wind was still pushing us stronger over the now counter current. We had won the day! And a nice relaxing afternoon off, not waiting somewhere until the ebb current let us in…but actually, the maximum ebb current would have only been 3,7 km/h, and there would have always been the eddy line…but it was a nice challenge!
At Trident Seafood, manager Dean Fasnacht, whom I met before already briefly in Chignik, welcomed us and showed us our bunk room. Thanks so much for your friendly hospitality! And thanks to Clyde Pedersen from trident Seafood in Chignik to “forward” us to False Pass Trident’s destination! We got all our gear and kayaks loaded on a flat bed truck, rinsed the kayaks, and happily rinsed ourselves in the hot shower, first fully dressed in the dry suit, then slowly stripping…what a feeling to get warm and clean again! Laundry and some nice meal did the rest to let us feel at home for two nights. Internet should work only from 7 pm to 5 am, see how that goes…and how strong it will be for picture uploading.