Had an interesting non-obvious incident up in Maine when I was dragged to a disconcerting underwater location. Here's what happened.
Got a line wrapped in what appeared to be a lobster trap buoy but similar to any mooring buoy. Seemed like more of a nuisance than anything at the time. Kite was on the water in light wind, and figured I'd unwrap the line once I was dragged to the buoy. This type of buoy seemed to be anchored by a heavy chain running vertically to the bottom. What's not obvious is that once the buoy is pulled to 45 degrees with respect to its anchor point, the chain is no longer long enough for the buoy to reach the surface; the buoy has no choice but to sink. And sink it did when my kiteline snagged on it. As the line slid through the snag, I was pulled first toward the buoy on the surface, then, much to my surprise, down underwater after it.
After a couple minutes, felt lucky to get the tensioned underwater line unsnagged, but rather disconcerted by the thought of how easy it could have been to get a loop around a wrist or leg. Think maybe I won't go out next time I realize my knife's back in the car, eh?...or maybe Bay Area rather than Maine...
you think thats bad?? i was up in lancelin and got a mooring rope and my kitebar tangled around my ankle as I drifted over it. Gusty winds, a downed kite that doesnt relaunch (RRD supertype) all pullling on your ankle aint a great combo!
HAD VERY SIMILAR EXPERIENCE
dropped kite in light wind, one line around the float
thought feed it through be ok
ended up being like a fly in a spider web
luckily wind had died out
not a good feeling
spent 6 hrs untangling the lines
Thanks for the excellent post. There are a lot of "what ifs" to be considered by those of us who go out on the windy water with kites and lines.
You said: "And sink it did when my kiteline snagged on it. As the line slid through the snag, I was pulled first toward the buoy on the surface, then, much to my surprise, down underwater after it. "
When I used to windsurf on the Columbia River, I was told that this would happen when you got your foot caught in an Indian gill net. The current would pull you downstream and then under water. I once got my foot caught in a net there, and boy did I scramble to get it untangled. I never bought booties with buckles on them after that experience. I am glad I was informed ahead of time and did not wait to free my foot until I felt the tension of the net......maybe ....too late.