Thursday, September 28, 2006

Deutsche Seekajakwoche

Still alive, but to busy for blogging lately. Work takes all daytime and the evenings are filled with a lot of administrational kayak-stuff nowadays:
  1. organising the "Zeevaardigheid" (= BCU 4 Star) examination day for the NKB in October;
  2. busy with the taskforce that is doing a long-term review of the standards for "Zeevaardigheid";
  3. preparing the meeting of the NKB Seakayak-coaches in November together with Axel;
  4. lots of work and talking with the ongoing discussion with the authorities about seakayaking in the Voordelta (in two years the whole estuary becomes a so called Sea-reservate…

Tomorrow I am leaving for Germany to join the Seakayak-week of the Salzwasserunion for some days. Looking forward to paddle a 4 days-tour around the “Nordfriesische Inseln” together with Bernhard and an international group of kayakers. Must be fun!
You will hear from me next week!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vlieland - Weblinks corrected

Michel noticed the links to the pictures of Vlieland in yesterdays' post didn't work correctly. Thanks for your comment Michel: I have repaired the weblinks. Pictures of Vlieland can be seen here.

In addition to our Vlieland adventures: Axel published at his blog a post about the circumnavigation of Terschelling he made with the 5 Star training Group in one day: a very remarkable performance! The 5 Star touring Group was proud of circumnavigating Vlieland in one day and made the tour around Terschelling in two days -> still a serious trip of about 50 nm, but Axels' group has set a new standard! Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Veluwerally and qajaq-meeting

On the last Sunday of September traditionally the Veluwerally is held: one of the biggest paddling events in the Netherlands, paddling down the river IJssel for 35, 50 or 100 km’s. Though paddling over 100 km is rather a performance, the atmosphere is always very enjoyable. I enjoyed three times paddling the 100km, the last time meanwhile 5 or 6 years ago. After this pause the feeling it’s time to go rises again, but September is a very busy month and next weekend I am committed to the traditional Belgium sports-cycling weekend of the Provincial Water and Green Department. That’s also a nice and challenging activity!

One more good reason to go to the Veluwerally is the Qajaq-meeting on Friday and Saturday. Since a few years a Greenland-kayak scene is developing in the Netherlands. It’s the second time the Qajaq-meeting is organised. Freya will be giving demonstrations and classes, and Axel and Nico will also be present. Such a pity I can’t be there!

When you are interested in Greenland techniques and (with a lot of weblinks) are worth a visit!

Picture: Freya with Kaat at Spiekeroog, May 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Vlieland: the pictures and Michels' figures

For the participants: all my pictures of the Vlieland kayaksymposium are uploaded to MijnAlbum. Sorry: despite the fantastic weather, I wasn't in a photographing mood this time, so it's only a limited number of pictures of some activities I was involved. Click this link to download the pictures in original size.

For the statistics, next to the nautical miles, the time tables and the weather forecasts, here are the figures of Michel – the “chef de cuisine”:

In seven days, 48 paddlers processed:
· 130 litres Soup;
· 45 kilos of organic meat and fish;
· 150 kilos of fresh vegetables;
· 50 kilos of fruit;
· 60 kilos other quality food!

And here is the picture the print for the 2006 T-shirt is based upon:

Kaat in surf on the Hinderplaat, November 2005

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Vlieland in retrospective

Paddling back to Harlingen in the Vliestroom

Home again. The NKB seakayaksymposium at Vlieland is over. Our group, 40 participants/sea kayakers, a staff of 8 seakayakcoaches and 1 chef de cuisine, enjoyed a great latter part of the summer in September. If it wasn’t Vlieland, I would call it an Indian Summer!
The weather is rather conditioning for the success of a seakayak-symposium. That is because of the mood of the participants (most people look happier when sun is shining), as well as because of the impact on the sea-state. With moderate easterly winds the conditions for touring were great. Without surf and with hardly any swell however, the conditions were not very challenging for the training-groups. While the week went on, we even feared we couldn’t do the tests for the NKB–certificates (comp. BCU-Star Awards), because the tests must be taken under “moderate” conditions and not at a calm sea. But just on time, on Friday-afternoon, suddenly the wind increased up to 5-6 Bft and the Zeevaardigheids(4 Star)- and the Zeevaardigheids-Extra (5 Star)- tests could be taken!

A brief extract of my log-book:

Saturday: Crossing Harlingen – Vlieland, 17 nm:
Divided the participants of the symposium in two groups. Lead the second group, 17 people.
Wind SE 3-4 Bft. High tide Harlingen 11.45 am.
Leaving Harlingen 11.45 am, arriving Campsite Stortemelk 15.30 pm.
Relaxed crossing, following wind and fast current (springtide).

Sunday: Circumnavigation Vlieland, 30 nm:
With the ZVE/5 Star-touring group: 2 participants.
Wind E 4-5 Bft, later decreasing 3-4. High tide Harlingen 12.30 p.m.
Leaving Stortemelk 10.00 am, along Wad-side, arriving Robbenjager 13.00 pm.
Leaving Robbenjager 15.30 pm, crossing Eierlandse Gat, half an hour break at North Sea beach at 18.15, arriving Stortemelk 19.45 pm.

Monday: Shopping in West-Terschelling, 13 nm:
With the ZVE/5 Star-touring group: 3 participants.
Wind NE-SE 3-4 Bft. , decr. 2-3. High tide Harlingen 13.16 p.m.
Traversing the passage between Vlieland en Terschelling vv.
Leaving Stortemelk 11.00 am, arriving West-Terschelling 12.15 pm
Leaving West-Terschelling 13.30, arriving Stortemelk 14.45 pm
Resting day, buying food for the planned multiple day tour around Terschelling

Tuesday-Wednesday: Circumnavigating Terschelling, 46 nm:
With the ZVE/5 Star-touring group: 3 participants.
Tuesday: Wind E 3-4 Bft, decr. 2-3 Bft. High tide Harlingen 13.56 p.m.
Leaving Stortemelk 8.00 am, 1,5 hours break at Terschelling paal 5, arriving Terschelling paal 30, 15.00 pm.
Wednesday: Wind E 2-3 Bft?? High tide Harlingen 14.25 p.m.
Leaving bivouac at Terschelling 11.45 pm, along Wad-side, arriving Stortemelk 17.45 pm, non-stop paddling. Because of the realtive early depart paddling against current from the dead water until half-way the Noorder Balgen.
Circumnavigating Terschelling is quit a long tour. It mostly takes two days, just like we did. But the circumstances were exceptionally good this year: Axel made the circumnavigation of Terschelling with the 5 Star-training group in one day!

Thursday: Examining the Kayak Safety Test (KRT)
Together with Hans vd W: theoretical and practical examining on the beach, 3 participants.

Friday: Examining the 4 Star Test (ZV)
Coordinating the test with Hans K. and Piet B., 11 participants, 3 examiners.

Saturday: Crossing Vlieland-Harlingen, 17 nm.
High tide Harlingen 17.00 p.m.
Leaving Stortemelk 11.00 am, arriving Harlingen 15.45 pm.
Returning with 3 coaches and 8 participants. Because of the wind-forecast (SE 5 Bft, later decr. 3-4 Bft.) a tough paddle was expected: 4 hours fighting against the wind, wind against current – steep waves. A little group of strong paddlers was selected to do the crossing. Of course that’s a disappointment for some other participants who looked forward to paddle back. But even most coaches preferred the ferry above the expected struggle, after a week of paddling. However: wind decreased much earlier than expected: we started with 5 Bft against, after just one hour suddenly wind was gone…

Friday, September 15, 2006

Vlieland: Kajak Reddingstest (KRT)

Part of the program at Vlieland is the Kayak Safety Test (KRT): how to get Sien safe on the beach. Next time: head up first?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Vlieland: Culinary Paddling

First picture of the Vlieland Seakayak Camp by Michel, chef de Cuisine

The Vlieland Seakayakcamp Menu , day 1-3:

1. Saturday: Asia

Asian vegetable soup
Sri Lanka Chicken Curry/Ananas Curry
Vegetable fried Rice
Cucumber salad with fresh coreander
Greek Yoghurt with honey

2. Sunday: France

Onion Soup
Lamstew with pickled onions provencial style
Fried potatoes with rosemary
Rocket Salad with dryed figs and pinolli
Chocolate mousse freshly made

3. Monday: encore la France!

Spinage soup
Confit of Duck
Portobellomushrooms filled with wild mushrooms, dryed tomatoes, feta cheese, spring onions and minth
Mashed Potatoes
Tomato basil salad
Mango Icecream with passion fruit and ginger snaps

Paddling at Vlieland is good!

Live report from Vlieland

Internet has reached the campinggrounds of Vlieland. It's a pitty I didn't know that before; now I miss the USB cable to connect the digital camera to the PC. No pictures yet: just a few words about the first two days.
At Saturday half of the group - the advanced paddlers - made the crossing from Harlingen to Vlieland/Campsite Stortemelk by kayak. The other half of the group made the crossing by ferry. With springtide and a moderate easterly breeze (3-4 Bft) it was relaxed paddling, 17 nm in about 3 1/2 hours.
It is a pleasure to meet all the familiar faces (from previous seakayak camps) at Vlieland and to see a group of new enthousiast paddlers. About 45 participants. This year I am leading the 5 star tour group. Due to circumstances it's a very small group: Michel, Sien and Gerard. Gerard was delayed, so the first day we were just three. Sunday we made the circumnavigation of Vlieland in one day. That's quite a distance, but with the condition and mind-set of Michel and Sien no problem. Wind 4-5 Bft NE. We paddled from Stortemelk along the Wad-side to the Robbenjager in Texel in just 3 hours. Never done it that fast! Today Gerard joines us. I am looking forward to it: Gerard is known in the scene as a very good, sporty and fast paddler! Never met him before.
Today is a resting day. We are going to buy food in Terschelling, so only crossing the Vliestroom today. Back at Vlieland this evening for diner. Michel's meals are exquisite! Leaving in half a houre, so I should finish writing now.
We want to circumnavigate Terschelling on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a bivouac on Terschelling. Great, but we miss Michel's cooking adventures for two days!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Leaving for Vlieland

Picture of Vliehors, Vlieland, de Richel and Terschelling by Dutch Aerophoto-Schiphol

Coastal waters - The weatherforecast for Netherlands coastal waters and adjacent lakes and estuaries -Issued: 8 september 2006 15:19 UTC -A warning to shipping: There are no warnings.- Synopsis: high over the southern part of the North Sea is slowly moving east.

It's looking good, perfect conditions fo a great week at the NKB-Vlieland-Seakayakweek! I am just packing the last things and want to go to sleep early. I have to get up very early: tomorrow morning at 6.00 AM Axel comes by to pick me up with kayak and all the gear.
So next week I am paddling, not blogging!

Spiekeroog Report - weblinks

Today the edition 2006/3 of Kanosport has appeared. Kanosport is the paper-magazine of the Dutch Canoe Union - NKB. Edition 2006/3 contains a report of Maarten, one of the participants at the Seakayak-course at Spiekeroog in May. The report contains a reference that leads to this Blog. Because there is no index to this Kajakwoerden-blog (I didn't manage to create one yet) it's difficult to find the specific posts on Spiekeroog. As a service for the readers of Kanosport looking at this blog: here are the specific links:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Big, bigger, biggest: Silva 100p

Most modern British seakayaks come standard with a recess for the Silva 70p Compass. In combination with the preferred position for the compass on deck, being not to close to the cockpit, but in front of the kayak somewhere around the front hatch, some people however have difficulties reading the small digits on the Silva 70p.
A good alternative is the slightly bigger Silva 85p. With 85 mm’s diameter it’s only 15 mm’s wider than the 70p, but the digits are remarkable better readable. While the 70p is originally made to fit in a bulkhead of a sailing boat and needs a recess, the 85p is flush mounted with a flat bottom plate. So it’s easy to mount a Silva 85p on a flat deck or on a hatch-cover.
When even the 85p is to small, the next step is the Silva 100p. Just like the 70p it needs a recess, so it takes more work to adapt it to a kayak. Jörgen Cobber sent some pictures of his solution with the Silva 100p: a construction with an adapter that fits in the standard recess of the 70 p and holds the 100p. The adapter is made by a mould, filled with epoxy resin and “microballoons”: very light and tough. It has a tight fit on the kayak with shock-cords.
Jörgen's construction is still in the test-stage: when Jörgen is confident paint- and polishwork follows. Jörgen is a perfectionist. You have done a good job Jörgen!

Pictures from Jörgen Cobber van der Pol: thanks Jörgen, see you next week in the 5 star group. I am looking forward for coaching at Vlieland!

Monday, September 04, 2006

KV Wyrda’s 15th Anniversary

Sunday were the festivities to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the local kayakclub KV Wyrda. Janine and the kids are together with me members of Wyrda, so we joined with the whole family. In the afternoon we had big fun with dragon boat paddling. On a giant trailer the EHDC had brought two Dragon boats to Woerden. After an hour of instruction and some training we were racing with two groups of 18 paddlers on the Singel. It’s a strange experience paddling synchronic in a big group. With dragon boat racing not the individual, but the group performance counts. And though most Wyrda-paddlers are of the recreational type, after the starting shot for all just one thing counts: winning!

A (Dutch) report and pictures will be posted on the website of KV Wyrda.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Attack of the clones - black gear

Background from Star wars -Attack of the clones - Lucasfilm 2002
Black paddler in front - private picture

Some dark black fetish cult is going on in the kayak blogging scene. Dark pioneers like Freya and Dubside have driven Derrick and Wenley for a passionate quest for black gear. In their hunt for perfection even PFD’s, cags and kayaks must be black. Derrick has finally got his black PFD, Wenley leads the pack with his black kayak! Now that Derrick has revealed his aspirations of being a black kayak Ninja, and Wenley has written that he likes paddling like Sith swordsman, I can’t wait any longer: it’s time for my coming out!

I love black gear. Black is beautiful, stylish, fascinating, desirable….

The top in black gear is leather gear. Not for kayaking but for motorbiking: since 20 years I drive in a complete black leather motor-outfit, no shiny prints, no logo’s, just all black. It used to be the perfect combination with my black BMW’s, the last one being the limited edition 75th anniversary BMW-Roadster in “Nachtschwarz” with fine double white hand painted lines. Such a pitty the new Roadster wasn’t deliverable in black…

Despite the looks, for kayak gear I don’t want black any more. I don’t want dark blue either. The main reason for this is, I always have great difficulties in finding the piece of gear I want in my stuffed closet, and the same problems with kayak compartments, waterproof gearbags and so on. How often haven’t I be standing next to my kayak looking for the second (black) neoprene sock somewhere down under in a dark stuff bag, or packed in my black Reed trousers instead of the long sleeved top, just because they are all black?? I want shiny gear in all different colours! And that’s not easy, being most of the socks, gloves, tow-lines, thermal-shirts and other Neoprene and Reed gear only sold in black (over very dark blue). So in spite of my hesistations (when I can find my gear) I am often dressed in black. And the tight fitting Reed-wear is always good for a comment from my fellow paddlers. I am not sure if it is for envy or for admiration ;_)

Btw: I must give Reed (the manufacturer of the Chillcheater-gear) credits. Some of their Super-stretch Aquatherm outfit is also available in Yellow! I ordered the Reed baklava in High visible yellow. It’s great: I never have any difficulties finding it (and you can see me from miles, - when I am wearing it!). Also the tops and shirts of Reed are available in Yellow. That’s good. Why didn’t I order them? That's because of the big red “Lifeguard” text on front and back. I am to vain: I am no Baywatch hunk! (lacks some body work… ;-)

Friday, September 01, 2006

TV: "Going to extremes"

In the age of Broadband Internet/DSL one forgets looking television can be interesting too. This week I saw -by coincidence- an edition of the National Geographic Series “Going to Extremes”. Nick Middelton travels to the world's hottest, coldest, wettest and driest inhabited places to investigate how traditional communities adapt to life in harsh environments. In the edition called “Ice” Nick joins the Inuit in northern Greenland in hunting seals and narwals. In the town of Ilulisat he gets an introduction to Greenland kayaking by Rikke, a Greenlandic Kayak-coach. The program schedule of National Geographic is inimitable, they are broadcasting rehearsals of there series over years, so when you get the chance: “Going to extremes” is worth a look!

Another abslolute recommendation on National Geographic Television: “Atlantic Brittain”. This series was broadcasted in the Netherlands two years ago. Adam Nicholson sails along the wild western shore of the British Isles. A great report of a fascinating journey along seakayakers dream-spots, as well as an interesting reflection about humans' relationship to the sea. On the site of the WGBH is a video-report of a lecture of Adam about his voyage.

TV and Internet are nice, interesting and so on, but by far no substitute for real: it's getting time to go out kayaking at sea again! Lately to much dreaming and to less kayaking for this guy! But September will be better!