This is my interpretation of a great "Paasontbijt" (Easter breakfast de luxe) on location. I was a bit frustrated being so busy lately with work that kayaking (and kayak blogging ;-) got a bit neglected. I desperately needed to go out. So - in good agreement with the family - I got up early for an extensive paddle instead of the traditional luxury breakfast and egg-search-quest of the first Easter-day.
Guus is always in for actions like this. Easter comes very early this year (next time this early is said to be in sixty years - this must be the earliest of a lifetime..) - but snow? It's springtime!
The route we paddled: Woerden - Woerdense Verlaat - Slikkendam - Meesloot - Noorderplas - Nieuwkoop - Zuiderplas - Meije - Hollandsche Boerderij - Fort Wierickerschans - Oude Rijn - Nieuwerbrug- Woerden. 36 km through the fantastic scenery of the Groene Hart. 5 portages and some nasty low bridges to pass...
The Kokatat Goretex Expedition Drysuit and a seakayak might be a bit overkill for the placid canals and lakes of the Groene Hart - but they are very comfortable and nice warm in these freezing/chilly conditions ;-)
The wing paddle was today's experiment. I normally use this wing in combination with the K1 racer for short training sessions up to 10 km. I wanted to try out how it performs (or better say: if I can handle it) on a longer distance in a seakayak. The Brasca I is a large size wing - I won't recommend it for long distance touring, unless you are a very powerful and athletic paddler. I am not...
What I am so busy with at work? Coordinating an expert-group on water and soil strategies for the future of the "Groene hart". Local groups are very concerned! Farmers worry about strategies against settlement of the soil and fear that agricultural ground is transformed in wet-nature("moeras"= moor).
One of the portages along the route. The watersystem of the Groene Hart is very complex and regulated by numerous pumping stations. Living below sea level means pumping day and night, all year long... And due to this pumping (peat) soil is sinking up to 2 cm's a year. Put this in a perspective of climate change - it's quit a challenge to keep this complicated watersystem sustainable and affordable!