Thursday, November 29, 2007


Wonen aan het water. Iedereen zijn bootje, kinderen die, zodra het weer het toelaat, zo vanuit hun slaapkamer de sloot in springen, hengelende bejaarden, zonnebadende huisvrouwen langs de waterkant, kantoorpikken met een kapiteinspet op in een mahoniehouten sloep, ja, wij zijn een maritiem volk. Als het maar klotst en golft en waait, dan zijn wij gelukkig.
Een stukje nautisch shoppen erbij en klaar is Kees. Je moet toch ergens je bootschoenen en Helly-Hansen-jacks kopen.
Quote from Martin Bril, "Almelo" - de Volkskrant 29 nov. 2007.

Yesterday Dr. Orange repaired my Sony Ericson K 750i "Cameraphone". The picture of the River Wood advertisement is a snapshot I made in front of the Orange-store in Rotterdam to test the camera function. I was really angry with myself as I dropped the phone at the concrete railway platform of Woerden station in September. Stupid me: the LCD-screen was broken. A pity because I really liked the Phone with it's built in radio, MP3-player, organizer and kalender-functions and especially the built in 2 MP-camera! I have other and better camera's, but the Sony-phone is always at hand and the picture quality is more than sufficient for web-use. As I informed about the cost of repair at the Phone shops in Woerden, the indicated cost was at least 160 Euro, and the Phone had to be sent in for more than two weeks. Needing a soon replacement, I decided to forget it and bought a cheap basic GSM-Phone for 30 Euro. However I wasn't really happy with this, so as I was in Rotterdam yesterday I informed about a repair at the Flagship store of Orange (the provider of my GSM). They repaired the within 20 minutes, for 50 euro... Leaves me with two phones...

A wooden canoe on a vintage car (is it a 70's Jeep?) as decoration in a advertisement of a clothing company. It's all about the looks and the image. I must say it looks far more stylish than the mixed colours of my polyester kayaks on a ordinary green Astra...
The casual outfit of the models in the advertisement matches with the rest of the picture. I checked the website of River Woods: the models didn't change their outfit for paddling out on the lake. Nothing wrong with a jeans, but in my opinion not the most appropriate sportswear for canoeing or kayaking. It reminds me of myself almost 30 years ago: biking around Europe in blue jeans, cotton T-shirt and sweater on a dark green BSA ("British Small Arms")-bicycle with a Sturmey Archer geared hub. It would make a very vintage picture now. The 15 year old Hans wasn't aware of it. He just didn't know about the advantages a more appropriate bicycle-outfit. And if he would have known - he probably wouldn't have had the money. In the years afterwards my outfit became more adequate, I learned to appreciate the benefits of high tech materials, but the adventure of the first years was never beaten..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bow Roll Rescue - to be continued...

The swimming pool season has started. This weekend I took two seakayaks to the swimming pool in Alphen aan de Rijn to exersice the bow roll rescue with René. I must admit that I found the bow roll rescue more difficult to perform than expected. It's important to have a good grip (or better say "close hug") on the bow of the kayak of the victim. To find the right position requires practice. Gravity should do the work and not sheer muscle power. Sometimes it worked and rolling the kayak (even with a non cooperative Rene in it) was easy. But other times my starting position wasn't good and I ended up struggling with a down turned kayak. I am not quit aware what was the difference with the good and bad times (grip, position, timing) - I am going to work it out - more poolsessions to come.
René has written a more extensive report (with pictures) of our experiences in his blog: you can find there also additional information and weblinks about the bowroll-rescue.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Seakayaking magazines - a big boy with a little sister...

Amongst the daily post on the doormat were today two envelopes I have been waiting for in anticipation: the 5th issue of Ocean Paddler Magazine and this years second edition of the NKB Mededelingen Zeekajakvaren. Surely it's a bit arrogant to compare the black and white, A5, 16 pages counting edition of the NKB with the professional made full color art-work of Graham Beckram (Ocean paddler Issue 5 is a A4-glossy of 82 pages). But there is one big similarity: de Mededelingen Zeekajakvaren and Ocean Paddlers Magazine are both a product of enthusiast seakayakers that are passionately driven to publish articles that will inform, enthuse and excite today’s sea paddler.

For the content of Ocean Paddler nr 5 see the preview. In the Mededelingen you find the obligatory editorial by the President of the Dutch seakakayak Committee (I am sorry guys ;-), and a collection of awesome kayak related articles: some impressions from last summers' seakayak-meetings, a description of a map case**, a report of a kayak incident near Vlieland, a technical article about LAT, MSL and LLWS on Dutch nautical charts, the new rules in the Voordelta, a summery of next years NKB-seakayak activities and more. Editor Ad has done a great job, getting all this together in a 16 pages booklet!

**Reinout has written a do-it-yourself guide to make a personalized map case. This is a refinement of the description of a map case in Elko Knobbe's book "Kanovaren op ruim water". Reinouts' design competes with Axel Schoevers' map case for the title of "the best Map Case of the World". (Elko's book is the Dutch classic about seakayaking. The book is published about 20 years ago, and as far as I know still the only ever Dutch seakayak-handbook published in a serious number sold in bookshops and kayak stores ;-( ).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Doughnut with 2 paddlers

A doughnut, or donut, is a sweet, deep-fried piece of dough or batter. The two most common types are the torus-shaped ring doughnut and the filled doughnut, a flattened sphere injected with jam/jelly, cream, custard, or another sweet filling. A small spherical piece of dough, originally made from the middle of a ring doughnut, may be cooked as a doughnut hole. - Wikipedia

Spotted this afternoon at Dutch Water Dreams.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Steamboat from Spain arrived this afternoon in the harbour of Woerden. Sinterklaas reported in this interview in the Volkskrant about a stormy passage of the Northsea. Asked about sea-sickness, Sinterklaas told he isn't familiar with the feeling. But he saw many of his helpers (de Zwarte Pieten) hanging over the gunwale of the steamboat. "Poseurs" he thought. Not a very nice word of the Goedheiligman.

Friday, November 16, 2007

An invitation to New Zealand...

Today we got this e-mail from Stephen Law, with a very seductive invitation:

New Zealand Sea Kayakers Symposium - March 2008



My name is Stephen and I’m one of the six committee members planning and organizing the up and coming above mentioned event. Please visit to obtain a full insight into our organization and event.
Given the Dutch Canoe Federation has a large following and knowing how much many of your fellow country persons enjoy NZ or perhaps want an excuse to visit we would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your members.
Please communicate this event to your members as we would be delighted to have you guys along.
Please contact me via reply e-mail if you have any questions or require additional information.
Many thanks



...and I sure want an excuse to visit New Zealand! This is the second "excuse" in a week time. The first excuse to visit New Zealand is my dear friend AJ: last week I had the pleasure of inaugurating him as NKB Sea Kayak Instructor. As official member of the Dutch Seakayak Committee I am very happy with a new coach to organize kayak-activities, but this lucky guy is leaving the Netherlands next month to built up a new existence in NZ... Pity for our Dutch activities over here, but on the long term it might even be a better idea to have a outpost over there!

It's really getting busy with European paddlers in NZ:
Freya is down under right now;
Swedish Barbro Lindman is going in December;
and Justine and Barry are following in January.

Note: all are planning to circumnavigate the South Island, the Sea Kayakers Symposium of Coastbusters takes place on the North Island. This place looks very good too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bow Roll Rescue demonstration

Last Saturday Bernhard and Stephan demonstrated the Bow Roll Rescue at the meeting of the Dutch seakayak instructors at Uithoorn. The Bow Roll Rescue is a technique for righting a capsized kayaker who hasn’t been able to perform a wet exit and needs help getting upright for air. The technique has been developed by John Martin, a sea kayak coach living in the US. John has written an extensive article on the Bow Roll Rescue in the October Issue of Seakayaker magazine. You can also find the text on the website of Seakayaker Mag (with links to video's of this technique). René has written a comment on the Bow Roll Rescue in his weblog (part1, part 2).

In mine opinion, the Bow Roll rescue is a valuable addition to the known rescue techniques. The demonstration showed that (just like the other techniques!) it requires good practice before you can successfully upright a non-cooperative victim. I am not sure how effective the Bow Roll works in rougher conditions. Like René said, you end up in not quit the most stable position. And before that wind and waves might bring the kayak of the rescuer out of the 90 degrees position into a more or less parallel position to the kayak of the victim - thus bringing the rescuer in an awkward position in which it is difficult to apply any torque to the bow of the capsized kayak. A paddle leash is also very useful in the Bow Roll Rescue.

And now I would love to practice the Bow Roll Rescue. But I am afraid I won't find many volunteers in Woerden to join me now in November. Water temperature is about 7 degrees, air temperature 3-5 degrees Celsius... No problem in a drysuit...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

German seakayak coach stuck in Dutch moor...

Sorry my fault! I had planned to paddle at sea with Bernhard and Stephan today. The storms on the North-sea (see Wenleys blog for an impression of what was going on out there...) this weekend hindered. After a copious Chinese meal, a good glass of beer yesterday-evening, we soon agreed on a relaxed inland alternative: a paddle in the Nieuwkoopse Plassen (a peat-soil moor with a lot of water near Woerden).
I added some extra adventure by navigating through the smallest canals. It's in my backyard, so I should know the way out, but this local guide succeeded to get lost twice ;-) Bloody dead-ends...

We made a tour of 27 km's in the "Nieuwkoopse Plassen" and the "Meije". A very Dutch countryside.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NKB Zeekajak-instructeursdag 2007

On the occasion of the yearly meeting of the Dutch Seakayak Coaches, we had a lot of fun working on rescue skills - in water of 7 degrees Celsius. I love my drysuit! More pictures of both the dry and the wet part of the meeting in the Picasa-album. Thank you Martin for taking pictures!
nkb Instructeursdag 07
click on the small picture to open the Picasa Webalbum

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tracklog Voordelta - Google Earth

Thanks to Paul and Guus: hereby the tracklog of the Voordelta trip on November, 4th. (Click on the pictures for more detailed views). Paul converted the tracklogs to Google Earth's standard, which is great: I love Google Earth! It offers many features to analyze a track and some great gimmicks: the "flight mode" is awesome, especially with the superb detailed images of this region.
The red balloons (A-I) indicate the buoys of the test-site. The yellow track is of Govert's group, the blue is of my group, we started 15 minutes later. As you can see we paddled closer to the buoys (on special request of our guest from the Department of Traffic and Watermanagement). Because we tried to avoid bigger waves with the double kayak, our course was less straight on: you won't say it when you look on the image, but the blue track is actually longer (26,5 km) than the yellow one (24,6 km) - probably due to all the little corrections.

The track on the nautical Chart is a trip in this region last year. It's interesting to compare the impression of the sands on the nautical charts with the satellite picture of Google Earth. Google Earth is far more detailed.

The location of the new closed zone ("rustgebied") of the Hinderplaat. Our route passed along the buoys that roughly indicate the seaside border of the future "rustgebied" - the new rules for the Voordelta will be introduced next year.

A Google Earth view in 2050? This idea of a giant land reclamation project is presented last week by the Innovation Centre of Dutch Government. It's inspirered by projects Dutch Contractors are realizing in Dubai. The tulip will sure offer some amazing new kayak-routes.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Respect for the sea...

"Respect for the sea" is perhaps a fierce title for a post about a nice entry-level paddle tour. Nevertheless it's the first thing that comes into my mind evaluating yesterday's NKB Voordelta paddle-trip. No wind and yet two participants who (wisely) preferred to stay on the beach, after capsizing in the surf directly at the beginning of the trip...

Purpose of this trip was to inspect (from the view of a kayaker) a test site for buoys of the Department of Transport and water Management. For this occasion a representative of the Department joined us - someone who had never been seakayaking before... The location of the test-site is on the seaside of the sandbank the Hinderplaat in the Voordelta. Because of the rather exposed location - in combination with an unexperienced participant -very calm conditions were absolute condition for me to organize this trip. Under windy conditions I would have had canceled it and moved to a more sheltered location.

We were lucky: Sunday was an extraordinary calm day. Wind was no more than 1-2 Bft. var. The windmills on the Maasvlakte were standing still. And the days before had also been quit moderate (NW winds up to 3-4 Bft.). But do take the sea serious: even under these calm conditions there was serious surf at the spot where we started: the Slufterdam. It's an exposed spot with a very steep sandy beach: no wonder it's a very popular spot for wave surfers!
Read René's impression of the paddle trip and realize what this place looks like with just a bit more wind!

Double fun: René has written an impression of the trip out of the cockpit of this double-kayak on his blog.

The visibility of the new buoys proved to be limited out of the cockpit of a kayak. Due to the low design just a little swell makes them invisible from a few hundreds of meters distance (for a kayaker).

More pictures of the trip are here. Alas most of the "on the water action-pictures" are ruined by a nasty water-drop on the lens..

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NKB Voordelta trip

A message for the participants of the NKB Voordelta Paddle, Sunday, Nov. 4th. The Nasa Satelite picture shows the Dutch mainport Rotterdam, the site where we start tomorrow.

De weerberichten zijn in de details nog een beetje wisselend. De verwachting is overwegend rustig: morgen een matige Noordelijke wind (windkracht 3-4 Bft. en waarschijnlijk minder). Eerst trekt er echter nog een kleine storing voorbij, vandaar enkele berichten waarin gesproken wordt over windkracht 4-5 Bft. Om 19.00 uur verschijnt het volgende marifoonweerbericht. We verzamelen morgenochtend op de afgesproken tijd, op de afgesproken plaats (zie het mailbericht van donderdagavond). Ik heb een paar berichten gehad van deelnemers die niet/cq toch komen. Vanavond check ik rond 23.00 uur de mail nog een keer en morgenochtend ben ik vanaf 6.30 uur bereikbaar op het mobiele telefoonnummer.
Tot morgen!

And now I am going to cook for Dinner fast, because this evening I am going with the kids to the first kayak-poolsession of the season from Kayakclub KV de Kromme Aar. See you!