“Thunderbirds are go…”

kayaker towing an SUP ashore at St Brelade due to offshore winds

Offshore winds can be very deceptive

A great day afloat in St Brelade today doing BCU 3 Star training.

Wind came up a bit and Keith ended up doing his “International Rescue-Thunderbirds are go” bit to help a lad on an Stand Up Paddle-board (SUP).

3 SUPs had headed into the middle of the bay (near the rock in the photos) where they found the NE wind (average 10 knots peaking 15 knots) hard work. The group broke up into a dash to shore so Keith gave some help to the young lad. One problem was the lack of any towing point on the paddle board so he had to hold the tow line by hand. An option might be to tow from the SUP stern where there is often a leash point.

I still see a few kayaks without any tow points or toggles on the water which can be an even bigger problem.

Breakdown of kayakers group control in headwinds

The reality is that this could just have easily been a group of kayakers. I’ve seen similar things happen with a group of kayakers and the same break up of the group in almost the same spot.

An option is to avoid paddling directly into the wind. Paddle across wind to the nearest shore. You may find this easier even though it might result in a longer walk back to the car.

This was followed by a lad on an inflatable tyre/ring needing a hand ashore.

Tip: Watch out for offshore winds. It may seem sheltered close to shore but the wind will be stronger as you head away from the land.

Tip 2: Dress for immersion. It may have been 19 Degrees but the sea is still 9 Degrees in March.