Wednesday, August 11, 2010


We started out 3.5 kilometers west of Pyoseon Beach, just in front of the sea where the Hayaneon-deok Guesthouse is on the coast road. The Guesthouse allowed us the night before to lock up the sea kayak in back, and we were grateful for that.

Waiting is the hardest part. A view of our departure spot.

While biding the time, I took a photo or two of the washed-up waste, a few feet away.

We were antsy just until 8:30 a.m., to find the right mixing of where the tides changed from high to low, looking for a place to part the whitewater for an escape. Finally, we were out and moving incredibly fast for three hours, in total for The Jeju Big Swim's Day 10 (9th day of swimming/kayaking) during Monday, August 9, 2010.

Not much to write about for the first two hours and 45 minutes. We passed, Sehwa-ri (the other Sehwa), Gama Primary School and Shineville Resort - whose waters nearby were lined with garbage, notably glass bottles, and bits of plastic, small shards - around Tosan-ri, approaching Sinheung-ri.

The wind was behind us, the current moved swiftly and we needed to head a bit into shore eyeing a resting place. With whitewater blanketing the coast, swells increasing and a fishing boat tending to its big net nearby, we went between the fishing boat and the coast. I spotted a small lighthouse about 0.25 kilometers away, but was not sure about a harbor or access into it. The waves were pulling us closer to shore and I saw no clean break from the whitewater; Sherrin had just been swimming for about 3 hours, the wind changed, and I felt a few drops.

Looking at the coast, I could see a gazebo, and a road close enough to us. Sherrin and I decided to land immediately. I handled a few big waves, squared up, turned around and had two seconds to react to an enormously crashing whitewater wave that got me from behind and went over my head, knocking everything out of the kayak, except for me and the safety bag. Six or seven water bottles gone, the drink went in the drink. Everything in the front was floating outside of the kayak, but tied together and attached to the bow. I yelled to Sherrin, who was still swimming in. The waves pushed us in further. I was a few strokes away from landing. Another whitewater wave pummeled me on the left side up against the rocks. Now, the safety bag was out and in the water. Within a minute, I jumped out the kayak, steadied the kayak, grabbed the safety bag, threw all our other gear in the front, Sherrin landed, and we stabled the kayak up some rocks, before taking about 30 minutes to haul in everything up to the gazebo and access to the road.

In safely, no scratches on us, just on the kayak.

We went 6.5 kilometers and were advised by several people to call it a day. We listened.


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