Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yellow made this rainy gray day bright

14-10-2007: Because of bloody "9 to 5 activities" and a little motivational dip, I neglected the kayakblog a bit. As a matter of fact I started some posts lately, but didn't finish them. A phone-call with René brought back the spirit (thanks René!). So the next few days I will publish some older posts. This is one of them, dated about 1,5 weeks ago. René showed me a blog from Nigel Foster about the effect of the color of the kayak to the mind - amazing to read that even a great kayaker like Nigel is influenced by the color of a boat...

October makes a dark start, summer is really over now, sun has left Holland. Woerden is hidden under a thick layer of clouds, making everything look gray while rain is drizzling all day. As days shorten, I am supposed to spent my time from 9 to 5 in an office, not the best condition for a sunny mood. About a year ago I wrote about SAD and the Ljuscafé in Stockholm. Woerdens' number of stylish cafés has increased remarkably since the renovation of the town center is finished, but it still lacks something bright and light like the Ljuscafé.
Don't mind, going out works far more better with me anyway. This morning I had a moment for a break and I went to the boathouse for a short paddle on my own. Though it was still gray and drizzling, out of the cockpit of my yellow Pintail-kayak the world suddenly looked much brighter. What colors do to your mind!

This suddenly upcoming happy feeling was even more surprising as the paddling itself took quit some effort. I got used to take the K1-racer to paddle on the shallow waters around Woerden. But the wind had blown a thick carpet of duckweed on the water before the boathouse and I didn't want to spent the scarse paddling time with constantly removing rests of waterplants of the rudder of the racer. So I decided took the seakayak. Used to the K1 it felt like I was moving a giant heavy vessel in the water and as if I didn't make any speed at all. On water with the surface like a mirror the resistance of the rockered Pintail is of course higher than that of the long stretched waterline of the K1 with its narrow beam - this is like comparing "appels met peren" ("comparing apples with pears" - a Dutch saying) - but the difference will only be a few km's an hour. I was curious about the exact difference and clocked my paddle: I did the 10 km with several low bridges and two portages in 1 hour 12 minutes. The fastest time I have done this in the K1-racer was exactly 1 hour, mostly it takes 1.03 in the K1. The overall average speed with the Pintail is 8 km/h, with the K1 10 km/h. Let's say each portage takes 3 minutes - that makes an average paddling speed 9 km/h for the Pintail, 11 km/h for the K1. That's 25 % plus for the racer - relatively a lot, but on a 10 km paddle only a few minutes difference.
Paddling till exhaustion and calculating all the time - perhaps it doesn't sound so - but it was a great and very relaxing break. The yellow bow of the Pintail blew the dark cloud in my mind away. I should do this every day...

About yellow, besides of what it does to your mind: it's also a very safe color for a kayak. I spoke to the crew of the lifeboat after the rescue of Peters' kayak - they told me they were surprised by the remarkable good visibility of his kayak (a Romany with white hull and yellow deck) between the white caps of the sea. They had no problem finding it.


René said...

Hi Hans,

I know the feeling.

So: keep paddling, keep smiling. ;-)

Looking at your paddling-figures, I am impressed.
As I also allways try to reach the highest speed possible, while paddling away the day-to-day-business, I think it is about time to do a fitness-paddle together. I´d love it.


Chalu Kim said...

Just like climbing in fowl weather...

Yellow tent keeps dreamy and in positive gear.