Sunday, February 24, 2008

My first salt water of the year

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Though I thought I have been paddling quit a lot lately, the last real salt water experience was the interrupted one in December last year on the German wad. So today's NKB trip to the Voordelta was in more aspects a premiere: it was also my first time with the Anas Acuta in tidal waters, and a test of a new Dutch carbon-composite paddle. I emphasize this wasn't the first NKB-trip on the sea - the honour of organising the first NKB-salt water event of the season belongs to Nico Middelkoop also this year! Last year I claimed this title dishonestly ;-) - Nico learnt me the better, blame on me, sorry!

Ten people subscribed for the trip to the Voordelta. Amongst the subscribers two other sea-kayak-coaches: the participants were in good hands! I had announced the trip as a harsh one (a serious distance, exposed to winterly conditions) and up to this morning I actually believed it would be: Friday and Saturday were quit windy with winds up to 6 Bft, and for this Sunday the forecasts predicted 4-5 Bft. I have done trips in this region without wind and yet serious surf due tot the swell coming in. But it turned out to be a relaxed paddle: the wind came today and the days before mainly from SW - so it hadn't enough striking length to built up a good swell. While in other parts of Holland it was almost spring (temperatures up to 17 degrees Celsius!), we enjoyed the sun but paddled with gloves and warm caps and I appreciated the comfort of the Drysuit. Some of us finished the day with rolling excersises - a refreshing experience, water temperature is 6 degrees Celsius (sounds warmer than it feels).

According tot the GPS the paddled distance is 25,8 km. Start at 10.40 hr, finish 15.45 in Stellendam -outer harbour, we paused on the beach of the Maasvlakte (Slufterdam from 11,45-13.15) - I want to try to extract the tracklog from the GPS, but before I manage so: we paddled roughly the same route as in this trip (a bit more direct to the Slufterdam and a bit less far west - therefore 9 km shorter). The route was partly along the contour of the future "Rustgebied/closed area" of the Hinderplaat. There is some confusion about the perspective for seakayaking in this region: a trip like this will also be possible when the new regulations (expected in April 2008) occur. More details about the new rules for recreational activities in the Voordelta-area: here.

Snapshots of the trip in the Picasa Album:

NKB Hinderplaat feb 08

Update 28-02-2008: Tracklog of the paddled route on Google Earth (thanks to Nico P.!)Click on the picture for a detailed view.

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