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..

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