Sunday, April 01, 2007

Circumnavigating Marken

From the World 66- Travelguide:

Marken is a small island community in the IJsselmeer. It is easy to get there from Amsterdam (via Volendam) and is a nice daytrip if you want to see a traditional Dutch fishing village. If you visit Marken as a daytrip from Amsterdam you will feel you are in a different world and century.
Marken is most interesting for its green painted houses on the Dyke, its traditional religious isolationism, its strong football team and its expensive tourist shops.
When on a sailing trip at the IJsselmeer, Marken is definitely worth a stop.

The "Rondje Marken" is one of my favourite "grootwater"-kayak classics. It's a nice kayak trip in picturesque scenery and a perfect introduction for beginners in seakayaking. You can make the trip as long as you want, from 20 till 35 km's, depending how far you like to paddle out on the Markermeer. I have done this trip dozens of times but never made a stop in the village Marken itself. I am not attracted by expensive tourist shops, old ladies in traditional costume nor by busloads of Japanese tourists... The only stop I usually make at Marken is at the old lighthouse ("het Paard van Marken").

This morning I paddled around Marken with Joris. There was a stiff breeze blowing good 5 Bft, NE. Perfect conditions for our plan. Joris wanted to try-out the behaviour of his new Point65 XP-kayak under windy conditions. Joris paddled almost 20 years a P&H Orion, quit another cup of tea! I wanted to paddle the Svalbard once again. We did the circumnavigation in a fast pace: I didn't clock it exactly, but I believe we paddled it in about 2,5 hours. From the lighthouse back to the starting point we had the wind full in the back. I hoped for some good surfs on the windwaves. Though I did pick up some good surfs, I had expected more surfable waves under these conditions... The VKN Svalbard I paddled is known as a kayak that surfs good. But that's nothing compared to the Point65 XP: Joris was launched ahead of me like a Rocket! He was delirious about his new kayak. I paddled it shortly and immediately understood that bloody smile ;-) -> it really is a fast boat! With some powerful strokes it accerates incredible fast up to a high top speed: a result of the long narrow waterline. A delight to paddle! (And to roll: despite the loose fit in the cockpit I could handroll it easily... ).

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