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Lessons from the Triangle by John Martin

Sometimes life provides a nicely compact and dramatic reminder of some lessons that should not be forgotten. In January of 2005 I had a paddling experience that I would classify as the best day of paddling a kayak thus far in my life. Virtually all the key points I had learned over the years were reinforced and I was dramatically taught some new lessons as well.

The location is the east coast of Tybee Island and Little Tybee in Georgia. This area includes the notorious triangle which I prefer to call the washing machine (ever look in a top loader when agitator is kicking?). The triangle is meeting point of river tidal ebb, Atlantic current, and prevailing winds - from 3 sides as you might expect from the name. The day is cool (high of 50) with water temp in low 60s. Sky is overcast with low cloud cover. Visibility below clouds is in excess of 3 miles. Wind is NE minimum 25 knots but often 35. Waves vary by location as noted below. Mick and I decide it is the perfect day to get the biggest waves we've experienced to date and see how our skills and rescue drills work. We get everything we hope for and more.

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