Monday, May 28, 2007

Triathlon Woerden 2007

For the second time Kayakclub Wyrda was asked to safeguard the swimming part of the Woerden Triathlon. Last years plan to participate with a Wyrda-team in the triathlon is forgotten, but paddling amidst a group of swimming athletes is a nice substitute. Yelling spectators detracted a bit from the feeling, but with all the swimmers full swing it felt almost like paddling along a big group of sea-mammals.

After a warm period the water temperature was substantial higher then last year, only one swimmer had problems with the cold and was hyperventilating- and was taken out of the water, otherwise no real safety incidents occurred. The kayakers played mainly a role as traffic-regulators and as mental coaches for the laggards: escorting and talking the last finishers in.

It was a kind of therapeutic paddling for me today. I am suffering a bloody backache last days. Very annoying, I can hardly put on my socks… Sitting, laying, walking, nothing feels comfortable at the moment, so I decided kayaking couldn’t be worse and gave it a try. The basic forwards paddling stroke is a nice back-exercise, gently it was manageable. As a matter of fact turning the corpus isn’t the biggest problem: laying back and forward is painful. I didn’t even think of trying out a balance brace or layback-greenland roll, but the classic c-c/hipflick roll worked. Meanwhile I know my backache mostly doesn’t last long.

Janine did a new PR for the 1/8 triathlon. 3 Minutes faster than last year, but this time no Gold Medal (2006 she finished first in the D40 class). Not even Bronze or Silver: It’s a pity, I was so proud with the local Triathlon champion as my partner ;-) Never mind, well done Janine!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Spiekeroog - picture report

Pictures by Andreas Krueger, Hamburg.

I have uploaded a new selection of Andreas' pictures to the Photobucket Album. The slideshow gives an impression. I am still experimenting with the Photobucket slideshow-option and I am not completely satisfied with it yet. I like the moving aspect. It's an easy way to show more pictures at once (you don't have to scroll down a long post). But it also gives quit a "restless" impression (one slideshow in a post is enough!) and it doesn't fit completely in the Blogger-format. By clicking on the slideshow, you will be directed to the Spiekeroog Album - where you can see more pictures and each picture apart (also in bigger size). On Photobucket you also find a second Spiekeroog Album with the pictures I made. For the participants of the course: I am going to create a seperate non-public-album with all the pictures in high resolution. This may take some days. A written report of the course is also on its way.

Deutsche Post - II

A letter from Hamburg: Andreas Krügers' DVD with 403(!!) high quality pictures of the Salwasserunion-NKB-course came by post this morning. Thanks Andreas! I will make a selection for the public album of the Kajakwoerdenweblog. Nice stamps with Lighthouses!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

75 years Afsluitdijk

Zuiderzeewerken, painted by J.H. van Mastenbroek - temporary exposition in the Zuiderzee Museum - Enkhuizen from 19 January till 24 June 2007.

This month it's exactly 75 years ago that, by completing the Afsluitdijk ("the closure dike"), the Zuiderzee became the IJsselmeer. The "salt sea" changed, within a few decades, into a giant "sweet lake". New land was made.

The jubillee of the Afsluitdijk is accompanied by the usual festivities like todays' official happening with His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange (special interest in water management), lectures and expositions, special editions of daily papers.

I was struck by an article yesterday in the Volkskrant with the titel "Van werkzee tot speelmeer" ("from a working-sea to a playful-lake"). In 75 years the engineering project has changed a lot physical and ecological, but perhaps the social-cultural changes in our society are even more dramatically. Daydreaming about the perspectives of seakayaking in an open Zuiderzee is very 2007...

Bert Verhoeff and Rolf Bos travelled along the IJsselmeer and published their 2007 impressions in a photobook. A recommandation for Photo-adddicts... See the video-report with the making off.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kayak Fitness

How to stay in shape for kayaking long distances and under more challenging conditions? A lot of paddling sure is a good idea, but for a most of us not realistic. I suppose I am a bit beyond the average recreational paddler, and yet I can hardly manage to do more than two paddle sessions a week. So we all look for a alternative? Tanya does a really good suggestion with her Kayak-fitness video. An effective indoor-training for the TV? Alas, for me a video doesn't work. I am to weak: I need real people to motivate me! A good reason to join the local kayak-club. And I am also in the lucky circumstances that my employer offers a gym (with personal "High Five" trainers!) at the office. The training schedule in an average week:
  1. Monday (at lunchtime) - High Five "Total Body Workout" - a group program of 45 minutes Aerobics and power-exercises on the floor, with weights or with steps;
  2. Tuesday (at lunchtime) - High Five "Spinning"- a group training program 45 minutes cardio (my favourite, very intense!);
  3. Tuesday (evening) - 1,5-2 hours paddling on placid water with KV Wyrda;
  4. Wednesday (morning) - 1,5 -3 hours (mostly) cycling (MTB or race) or kayaking;
  5. Friday (at lunchtime) - High Five "Circuit-training" a mix program of 45 minutes cardio and power exercises.
  6. Weekend - time for a good paddle!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Kajakwoerden"- action pics

Consulting Marieke - I enjoyed working together with Marieke. She was a great help in coaching the Dutch-German Zeevaardigheid/Seebefähigung A - group.

Fighting the wind - a good breeze is a great joy!

All pictures by Andreas Krueger

First preview of Andreas' pictures

Andreas just mailed a "foretaste" of the pictures he made: very promising indeed! Good for my ego: finally I can also publish pictures of Kajakwoerden in action.

Pictures by Andreas Krueger

More pictures (low-res) on Photobucket

Slideshows of the Spiekeroog-course

The professional pictures of Andreas follow later this week. Here are two slideshows with a selection of my snapshots of the combined NKB-Zeevaarheidingheid/SAU-Seebefähigung A-course. The first slideshow starts with the departure in Neuharlingersiel at low tide. A big shower welcomed our group at the arrival in Spiekeroog.

The second half of the week there was more sunshine, but still a lot of wind. Some pictures are taken with the Sony telephone -> so quality of my pictures isn't always very good.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Deutsche Post

Dinner with Stefan in Spiekeroogs' smallest Dining Room

A few hours ago I returned from the Spiekeroog-treffen in Germany. I have just finished rinsing out most of the salt and sandy gear. I am tired but satisfied, had a real good time. Sun-burnt face, slight headache - I will take a shower and go to bed early! Here are my first pictures. I didn't take much photos this time: no need to do this with Andreas in the group - it's a unique luxury to have a personal professional outdoor-photographer in your team! Andreas' pictures will follow soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spiekeroog II

One more day and than it's a week off: Spiekeroog! It's the second time we organise a seakayak-course in cooperation between the Dutch NKB and the German Salzwasserunion. Last year one group of Dutch kayakers took part, this year there is a group on "Zeevaardigheid"-level and one on "Zeevaardigheid-Extra"-level. With three Dutch seakayak-coaches and two future Dutch coaches participating in Spiekeroog and the Salzwasserunion taking part in the NKB-Vlielandweek this year, the cooperation no longer is a solo-initiative but really starts to settle. Good!

I am looking forward to a week paddling and to meet Urs, Bernhard, Anke, Stephen, Peter and all the other German friends I met during the last year. There is no internet-connection on Zeltplatz-Spiekeroog so there will be next week no posts.

Yesterday I was busy preparing the nautical charts and the tidal atlas in my little private studio. With a simple scanner and laminator, it's easy to make laminated copies of the Charts. Very pratical. I don't use a waterproof mapcase since.

Palm verdient een pluim!

By exception you find a title in Dutch above this post. That's because the right English words fail me now. I don't how to express my feelings of thankfulness and appreciation towards the people of the custom care department of Palm Equipment International Ltd in Clevedon, Uk. Sometimes it's hard not to write in the native language, but let's give it a try.

What's up? About two weeks ago, suddenly some persistent leakage occurred in my beloved Palm Drysuit (exactly on a very intimate spot). The cause of the leakage proved to be delamination of a tape on the seam at the bottom end of the zipper. Very annoying, as this happened in the middle of my early season paddle activities, just before the Spiekeroog Course of NKB and Salzwasserunion (where I will be coaching, which often means standing in cold water). So I contacted Palm, explained the problem and sent the Drysuit to the UK. I was afraid it wouldn't be back in time, but Palm acted immediately: yesterday the postman delivered a huge parcel containing a brand new Sidewinder Drysuit. Within one week I received a replacement from the UK! This is really perfect custom care - thanks Julie and collegues at Palm, Clevedon!

The drysuit arrived exactly in time: Friday I will be leaving to Spiekeroog. After a warm and dry April Month, the weather has changed dramatically: it's going to be a windy, rainy and chilly week in Germany. And once you’ve got used to the comfort of a Drysuit, you really don't want to get back in wet and cold Neopreen stuff!

Monday, May 07, 2007

CO2 inflated lifejackets - a warning

Compass Lifejacket - can also be operated manually!

Han and Arie Kreuk sent a safety warning yesterday concerning the use of CO2 inflated lifejackets with seakayaking. Because it's of general interest, I republish it here. Han and Arie reported of an accident two weeks ago with a paddler wearing an inflatable lifejacket. As the paddler capsized, the lifejacket was immediately automatically inflated -> before the paddler was able to leave his cockpit. As a result of this, the buoyancy of the lifejacket pushed him (under water, upside down) against the rear deck of the kayak. He had a great struggle getting out. It was a narrow escape.
Han and Arie concluded that using an automatically inflatable lifejacket is potentially dangerous in kayaking.

Only a few Dutch seakayakers use an inflatable lifejacket. As a matter of fact: I never met a Dutch seakayaker using one (and I come along quit a lot in the Dutch seakayak-scene ;-). In Germany and Denmark I have seen some seakayakers using one, but still a minority. Inflatable lifejackets offer obvious pros though:
- a giant flotation capacity, it's a real lifejacket that keeps the wearer independently floating face out of the water, even if unconscious;
- comfortable and compact to wear;
- great free body movement;
- due to mass production really affordable.
(Though the CE-standards order an automatic release within 10 seconds after immersion, most inflatable Lifejackets can also be manually operated, or the automatic system can be disabled)

Yet I personally stick to my classic kayak-PFD. It's not only a flotation device but also:
- an always present body warmer (only on really hot days that's a minus);
- my personal crash zone: 3 cm of foam offers a lot of protection against the impact of seakayak-bows, paddle-tips and so on;
- the perfect place to stow away a lot of little gear (I like a lot of pockets on the PFD);
- a hydration device (with a camelback in the rear pocket);
- and it requires hardly any maintenance.

There are a lot of different kayak-PFD's on the market. But it's difficult to find one that matches all wishes (compact, not bulky ergonomic design, useable front-pockets, big rear, pocket, zipper in the front, etc.). The result is always a compromise.

Kotatat offers an interesting hybrid solution: a PFD with the extra safety of a inflatable lifejacket. Looks interesting, but lacks the minimal design of a standard inflatable lifejacket.

Kokatat Advertisement-text:
Kokatat introduces the SeaO2, the first UL approved, hybrid-inflatable life vest designed for paddlesports. The lightweight, comfortable design looks similar to many full foam life vests currently on the market; features include generous pocket capacity, 3M reflective highlights, multiple side adjustments, and an open back design accommodates the taller seat backs found in many kayaks. Unlike any other life vest, the SeaO2 incorporates a "hidden" flotation chamber within the body of the vest. In an emergency, the life vest's inherent 7.5 lbs. of flotation can be immediately boosted to 22.5 lbs. by releasing the contents of the CO2 cartridge. An oral inflate/deflate tube allows the user to adjust the amount of flotation on the fly, and the flotation chamber can be inflated, deflated and rearmed without removing the life vest. Swimming while the life vest is fully inflated is also possible. Three CO2 cylinders and three arming pins included.

Typical Dutch: I am miles behind again: Wenley reported already half a year ago about this Kokatat PFD. Btw: Lots of turtles in the kayak-blogs: Wenley, Michael, Hans.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I have been neglecting kayak-blogging a bit lately. There is enough inspiration though, but somehow it lacks time and motivation to write it down. I am just to tired in the evenings.
That has a bit to do with work, which costs a lot of energy lately, but perhaps even more with PC's and kayak's.

The PC-thing has cost me a lot of time last week. I have installed a new PC in the home network for my son. And IP-adresses and network-protocols are as much Abracadabra for me as the Jordan paper above (a souvenir from Jelle and Janine, who returned today from a week in Jordan). Nevertheless I fixed it and also did a huge clean-up of the other PC and laptop in the home-network. In my Windows-world however, resolving one problem mostly creates two different new problems. After every operation it costs days to get everything functioning back in normal order. Grrrrr... Perhaps it's time for a Mac? Apple advertises with:
"How much time have you spent troubleshooting your PC? Imagine a computer designed by people who hate to waste time as much as you do. Where all the hardware and software just works, and works well together. Get a Mac and get your life back." This sounds very tempting to me! Is it true or is it just advertisement speach? Is the Mac-world of Steve Jobs really better than Bill Gates' PC-world?

The kayak-related buzz is more productive and rewarding. Yet organising clinics, trips and an international seakayak week, in combination with having the care over the NKB- seakayak-committee sometimes begins to feel like work... Time to get out and paddle: one more week for Spiekeroog!