Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spiekeroog day 4-9

Looking back at the item I posted about the first 3 days on Spiekeroog, I am not completely satisfied with the text I wrote.
That’s partly because of the presentation of the weather conditions. The daily marine weather forecast suggests it was all very heavy. Ok: it was not comfortable. It was pretty cold (10-13 degrees Celsius), but the wind was (mostly) not that dramatically as the forecast predicted. The marine weather forecast regards the whole German Bucht, the region of the Ostfriesisische Inseln is somewhat sheltered with winds from SW to W. So we could paddle every day, only making longer trips was out of the question. The most heavy winds (up to 7 Bft) occured at Sunday, when the group was already back home and Govert and I left Spiekeroog as some of the last kayakers. Just an hour before us Freya, Bernhard and Andreas took off for Neuharlingersiel. They were towing the 3 Greenland-kayaks of Freya and had a very hard job.

Sundaymorning, ready for leaving Spiekeroog

The main point why I am not totally content with my text, is however because it only describes the “technical” program of the course. And the pleasure in organising and guiding a week like this is not just working through an interesting “educational-kayak-program”. The essence lies for a big part in the social element: working and living close together with a bunch of individuals that become a group within a few days. I find it difficult to express by writing (in English…) the atmosphere of the week. So many things make the difference: The beautiful and restful scenery of Spiekeroog. The people in and around our group: Lars and his relaxed camping shop/café at the campsite. Old Laramy - the pub where we finished in the evening. Discussions with Silke about German economics and politics, with Bernhard about the German and Dutch kayak-philosophy. The stories of Kai and Anke travelling around the world. Hakola first leading the third kayak-course in his beautiful built Greenland-skof-kayak, and later coming back with his family in an original Umyak. All the other people I don’t mention now. And the outstanding culinary qualities of the German cooks: we had a great stylish dinner in the restaurant Inselzauber, and the absolute recommendation is Siwalu. The “Kutterscholle nach Finkenwerder Art” accompanied by great glass of wine “Gewürztraminer” are in itself a reason for a visiting Spiekeroog.
Let's finish the Spiekeroog report with a photo-impression.

Preparing for praktizing the high brace with support

Playing Cinderellas' shoes with Freyas' kayaks
Balance brace on the green
Forward stroke with Bernhard
Family Hakola arriving with Umyak
Back in Neuharlingersiel: fish and chips


Freya Hoffmeister said...

I do thank Matthias (and Bernhard) for each towing one of my kayaks TO Spiekeroog at night, but BACK to Neushasi there was Andreas, Hakola's 16 year old son, and again Bernhard doing this tough job. I can't say we haven't been working hard on the way back...

Hans Heupink said...

Hi Freya!
I will adjust the text. Nice to see the kayak-virus is heritable. Gives me hope for my son..
Alle Achtung für den Andreas, mit 16 Jahren!!!