Sunday, March 12, 2006

Loosdrechtse Plassen - ...and more ice in march!

Yesterday I made the appointment with Jaap and Guus to paddle around Woerden on sundaymorning. But as Jaap and I arrived at the boathouse of KV Wyrda early this morning, we found the canals in Woerden frozen after one cold night. So we loaded our kayaks on the car to make a ride to open water. Guus arrived a few minutes later with his Kajett on the roof of his car. The Kajett is a fast sport-touring kayak, designed for flat water. Though Guus has no problem handling the Kajett even on big open water, he decided not to join us. It's a pity Guus couldn't paddle with us, but it's a wise decision not to paddle on open water with a kayak without water-tight compartments and deck lines in this time of the year.
We finally paddled the Loosdrechtse Plassen . The "plassen" (=lakes) itself were ice-free, but the sides in the lee were frozen, so we couldn't transit to other waters.

It was the first paddle in daylight and the first longer paddle in the new drysuit. I am still in the try-out period. First thing to discover is: "what to wear under your drysuit?". Provisional conclusion is that polypropylene underwear and one layer of fleece do well under cold circumstances. I wonder how fast it will be to hot. Another question is how I bear the latex seal around my neck on longer paddles. In the beginning the neck seal feels rather tight, but I have noticed that after a while I get used to it. But I worry about the red spots on my neck after half a day wearing the dry suit. I don't like to be a redneck! Perhaps I should shave myself before I go paddling. This would be a new dimension to my paddling: during kayaking trips up to four days I don't shave... (I noticed I am not the only one: perhaps it's a good occasion to alter the Dutch kayak etiquette!).

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