Ferry Wakes

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by ztar, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. ztar

    ztar Paddler

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    Dan, I take your point re ferry wake riding: "Hmmm... I thought the only reason that the ferries are there is to make those big wakes for playing on.

    In all seriousness tzar (and with no disrespect intended), I don't see a problem with playing in the ferry wakes -- I certainly don't condone getting in the way of the ferries (for obvious reasons), but to catch a ferry wake after a ferry has gone by doesn't seem to be anything that a ferry captain is going to get upset about."

    I'm in full agreement and, I suppose, I was reacting more to rider's comment re "Getting closer to a ferry may be interesting."

    How close? How interesting?

    I'd rather err on the side of caution and on the side of not making a ferry captain's day on the water unnecessarily complicated. Otherwise, let's ride those waves whenever we can.
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I agree -- the only thing that I think would make a kayak a nuisance to a ferry is being on, or paddling too close to the ferry route. Of course, sometimes we must cross those routes but it should be done with lots of time before or after the ferry has passed.

    I can't see where being any closer than 200 metres to a ferry would be necessary at any time -- in fact, I think it would be foolish. I suppose there are a few thrill seekers who get a kick out of being so close that they could touch the ferry, I'm just not one of them. I doubt that ferry captains would find it very funny either.

    *****
     
  3. blondie

    blondie Paddler

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    Lately, I've used a lot of my ferry travel time staring off the side lusting after the wake. Someday I'd love to head out to horseshoe bay and play a bit. When crossing Johnstone straight last week, our group realized we were on a collision course with a cruise ship. Two of the group panicked and rafted up, but me and the other two headed in at a very safe distance. In the end, the wake wasn't much more than a couple rolling waves, a little disapointing. :( Maybe next time!
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Down here, we often seek out freighter wakes as they transit the shipping lane which goes up the Columbia Rvier, which is easy and safe to do, because freighters are very restricted in where they can travel ... and the channel is well marked. We usually hover near a buoy as a freighter approaches, and as the ship gets close, nose out into the channel to get more fun ... although lingering over some shallows near the channel can sometimes be toooo surprising!! :lol:

    The only time a freighter wake gets nasty is when a surge passes from deep water to gradually shallowing water. This sometimes will toss power boats up onto the beach and strand them, and is often too powerful to stand up to. We have fun with newcomers, letting them get into the middle of packing up, on a shallow beach, and hollering "surge wake" at juuust the right moment! :twisted:

    Seriously, these surge wakes can hurt people who do not know about them, and can drown small children and nonswimmers.

    Ferries are another kettle of fish, inasmuch as they seem to play fast and loose with where they travel. When paddling in the Gulf Islands, we are very wary, especially in the passes, where a 200 metre separation might be hard to maintain, some spots, don't you think?
     
  5. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I only mentioned 200 metres as an arbitrary number -- yes, Dave, there are spots in some of the passes where 200 metres would be impossible. For the most part, the ferry wakes are pretty tame -- they're just big slow rollers. Unless you're near a shallow shore...

    Now if you want to get some serious steep 4+ foot wakes, try paddling in the Fraser River when a big tug goes by. Some of those tugs leave huge wakes behind them -- toss in a shallow bottom near the shore and things can get exciting in a big hurry. :D

    It's amazing how different vessels create different wakes -- a small tug can sometimes throw a huge wake compared to a big tug, and oftentimes the wake from a large freighter passes almost unnoticed.

    I think the best way to deal with the big wakes if you don't want to surf them, or are just not comfortable with them, is to head straight towards them. Take them on at 90 degrees and you'll be amazed at how well your kayak can handle them -- you might get a bit wet, but you'll be wanting more in no time!

    *****
     
  6. rider

    rider Paddler

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    I wasn't talking suicidal-kind of close. 8O at 22 it's not my time to go yet. I am thinking closer enough so the waves still have some chop and not just rollers. I'll probably head out there again the coming saturday to test out how my new Necky Dolphin behaves in waves. Blondie,wanna come ? :wink:
     
  7. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

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    West Coast Paddler: come for the kayaking discussion, leave with a date. Rider I am now going to use your picture for my online dating activities if you do not mind :wink: .

    No ferries up in my neck of the woods but lots of fishing boats and they can throw some nasty wakes close astern. What you do astern of the ferries (and I have paddled around them in Swartz Bay and Saltspring Is) should not terribly concern them as they are more worried right now about passengers diving off in Active Pass (for those who do not remember).
     
  8. ztar

    ztar Paddler

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    Funny thing is (or downright spooky). astoriadave's pic looks very much like me... poor sod ;-)
     
  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Now, that's a shame. Here is a new one. Hope you don't look like this.
     
  10. ztar

    ztar Paddler

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    I don't know Dave; you be the judge.
     
  11. blondie

    blondie Paddler

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    Sorry, I've been busy getting ready for the West Coast trail, I'll be looking at water from land for the next while!
     
  12. rider

    rider Paddler

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    :D That's awesome. WCT is on my top list of adventures to do. Been planning on doing it this summer but things didn't quite work out :( next year i guess. Good luck :D which end are you starting from?
     
  13. blondie

    blondie Paddler

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    We started from the South end at Bamfield (easier). I quite liked it that way, we had lots of time to lighten our packs and warm up before some of the more technical terrain. Beach hiking is amazing- kind of a good halfway between hiking and kayaking!
     
  14. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    You guys have this (former) backpacker very confused. Isn't Bamfield at the north end of the WCT?
     
  15. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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  16. idealmilk

    idealmilk New Member

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    If you cant find a ferry (which is difficult in Stockholm as the place is crawling with them but as already mentioned, the wakes arent usually that good) then speedboats can be good - some of the larger cabin cruisers, when forced to slow down can produce a run of smallish but decent surf waves, just aim to cross the stern of the boat a few metres after it has passed perpendicular to the spreading wake and paddle like a demon, then you get the excitement of the churn plus the secondary wave train. The speedboat drivers, if they even notice you, are just a little bemused.

    For extra thrills and if you know a very capable speedboat owner and trust them implicitly, get them to run straight at you then pass you really close, it isnt great for surfing but it is pretty wild and the sight of a speedboat hull coming straight at you is 'memorable'.
     
  17. blondie

    blondie Paddler

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    oops, my screw up! Back to ferry wakes... :wink:
     
  18. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    You know, this discussion is definitely proof of the stability of kayaks! Before I kayaked I understood that common courtesy and safety asked that motorboats slow down and give kayaks (and canoes) good wide berth so you don't cause them trouble! Now I too look for the wakes behind boats, the bigger the better, and I am not a thrill-seeker! Good advertising for kayaks!
     
  19. rider

    rider Paddler

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    no ferries this weekend, went to rent a Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro in squaimsh, really thought this is the kayak i'll end up buying. eh not quite what i was hoping for.
    I did sprint onto a nice wake from a powerboat that went very close by at full speed and got about half the kayak length in the air. it was fun.
    I wonder if its possible to get air from a head-on wave(newbie to kayaking).