Sunday, March 19, 2006

NKB kayaktrip Voordelta Zuid-Holland

I was prepared for a tough kayak-trip. All week the wind on the Dutch coastline was 5-6 Bft, temperature around zero (Celsius), mostly clouded, hardly any sunshine. Bitter cold. But when I met the group at the outer-harbour of Stellendam this morning, sun was shining, wind 3 Bft, temperature 5 degrees 'C. That's more comfortable, you might almost call it "friendly weather". I have seldom met such a homogeneous group kayakers as today. Well equipped, good prepared, a good condition and a good mood. With these guys the tough conditions would also have been fun!

Today was nice. I like the Voordelta with its contrasts: the industrial mainport of Europoort in the north, the rural island of Goeree in the south, the endless sea in the west, the sandbanks with birds and seals (no seals seen today) in the east.
As the sun disappeared and the wind was increasing up to 4 Bft, 30 km paddling still means working. On the seaside of the sandbanks (West from the Hinderplaat) there were nice windwaves that invited to some surfing, and on the way back in the shipping lane (Slijkgat) the headwind kept the muscles warm during the last miles. We have paddled first two hours, made a stop for 20 minutes at the Slufterdam, and finally paddled three hours back. Not much time for eating, a hungry Hans enjoyed Janine's pasta meal this evening!

More pictures: click here
(note the wet look of David on one of the first pictures: a tough guy starts his kayaktrip with a dip. In winter? Keep smiling!)

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