Got to Elmore slip (Lee-on-Solent) around 10am today with the hope of paddling to the Isle of Wight but as predicted it was a tad lumpy out there, about F4-5. I was trying out the Corryvreken paddle I bought off a friend the other day so set off towards the Island.
As I had done about 1 1/2 miles offshore the sea state became really swelly, with 6 foot breakers crashing over the side of the Scupper.
I decided to head parallel along the coast towards HillHead watching the dredger working only a few hundred yards off the beach and also the gliders that get towed out by planes.
As I sat there I looked over my shoulder to see a glider suddenly appear…..but this one wasn’t like the others, it was about 100ft above me and about a mile out!
I watched intently and started to paddle as fast as I could towards where it headed knowing full well that if it landed in the sea they would either be trapped and drown or become hyperthermic before help arrived. The water is freezing at this time of the year so this was a real possibility and not an exaggeration by any means.
As I paddled hard towards it, it skimmed about 40ft above the water before pulling up suddenly, stalling and disappearing over the small wall. I could see it’s wing so I called the coastguard who just because I always preceded my callsign with “kayak” tried to put me on channel 67 for routine traffic!
I soon saw the police arrive and so headed over to have a nose. As I landed a man was asking me 101 questions about kayaks and thought I was mad when I asked if the glider was OK. “What glider?” he asked. “The one there” I said and pointed to the MASSIVE GLIDER in the playing field about 50 foot away! haha.
This is how close it was to the sea…
Anyway the pilot seemed OK and because the field was boggy luckily no-one was hurt. As I set off I, the PCSO whistled after me and asked if I had seen it. I had of course the berst view in the house! He wondered why I hadn’t videoed it – had he seen how lumpy it was out there?! It was however much nicer coming home.
I headed back to Elmore Slip in good time just glad that everyone was OK. So now apart from tankers, Yachts and boats I now have to look up!!!