One man's rush to jump on the kayaking bandwagon

Mini tide race

I went out this morning with the intention of heading out into Masonborro Inlet to find some waves. As I rounded the south end of Wrightsville Beach, the wind really picked up. The wind was out of the north and the tide was going out. This resulted in quite a bit of rough water. I played around a while in the chop, practicing turning, surfing, and just getting more comfortable in rough conditions. While I was out, the wind really picked up and I watched the inlet turn into something that was intense.
Location of the standing wave and the eddies
Location of the standing wave and the eddies
When the tide is going out, the current in the inlet runs around 2 knots. There seems to always be a small standing wave right at the south tip of the island. As the wind really picked up, I noticed a fairly large wave moving very slowly up the inlet. I paddled up and over the crest and surfed down the front of the wave. I let the current carry me back up into the wave a few times and then decided to head back out in the inlet. It was then that I noted the whirlpool.
It was around 12 feet across and about 18 inches deep. I watched it move around as the standing wave slowly moved further up the inlet. I then headed back out into the inlet. Coming back in, just as I approached the backside of the standing wave , I unexpectedly hit a strong cross current that shot me sideways across the inlet. I paddled through it and decided to call it a day.
tags: coastal

December 28, 2007