Wednesday, August 16, 2006

GPS Map -- Coast Guard Kiteboarding Rescue

Yesterday I spoke to John Gomes to thank him for coordinating my rescue; he provided some interesting data that I have posted below in the picture. This is a map generated by the GPS positioning unit he was wearing during his kite session - the triangular portion to the right of, and up to, the Golden Gate bridge is the area where SF kiteboarders normally kiteboard. The patch of dense red lines next to, and paralleling the Golden Gate Bridge (HWY 1) is where all the 'activity' started .....
Kiteboarding outside the Golden Gate Bridge -- This is where Young's board broke loose, and subsequently where my kite went down.

The interesting piece here is the very long arc that starts at the bridge and heads west / south west -- that's the distance I drifted in 15 minutes after my kite went down. The bridge looks small when viewed from Crissy field. This distance is further, and was travelled a LOT faster. John's GPS unit shows the point where he noticed my equipment failure was terminal, and his zig zag path to get upwind to come to my aid as I drifted out to sea, followed by a downwind run to get back in the mouth of the Golden Gate and back to Crissy starting at the point where the Coast Guard pulled me out of the water to save my ass...

The force of the ebb was amazing. Here are the Tide and Wind Conditions during the rescue. Even with wind pulling my kite toward the gate, I just kept movin' on out (west). With my kite providing some resistance to the current flowing out of the Gate, the water rushing past me had enough pressure to cause it to 'spout' off my neck. The other element I would not have predicted was the effect of eddys. The closer I got to the south shore, the more I could feel my self and my gear getting pulled in counter clockwise circles - deflating my kite as the wind rotated me into the wind. Likely, in another 5 minutes, the ebb tide might have shot me past that last point --- Buh Bye SF, and Hello Captain Whitey !! Fresh, wet toast for the sharks at the Farallons!!

2 Comments:

Blogger Peter Campbell said...

An interesting experience. Having read this, I am now taking my GPS with me, and a mobile phone in a waterproof case.

4:02 PM  
Blogger andrewcallen said...

crazy. I broke a windsurfing boom right off crissy in the early 1990's and drifted to the golden gate before I had the sail wrapped up and started paddling. thank goodness another windsurfer towed me in.....cause we didn't have cell phone, GPS's or even kites back then.

9:57 AM  

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