Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Wadden Sea in Winter

Slideshow of today's visit to a favourite Dutch paddling destination: the Wadden Sea. On one of the last days of 2009 with friends and family from a different perspective: not sitting in a seakayak but travelling with a Wieringer fishing vessel.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Welkom "Bón Biní!" op Curaçao!

There is a Dutch isle with sunshine and 32 degrees Celsius in December.
Today Ryan de Jongh finished a kayak trip of 1600 km in the Dutch Caribbean. He looks quit relaxed on this picture..

My "plopping" Greenland-style paddle

It's more than 2 years ago that I carved my own Greenland-style paddle (GP) during the workshop of Tom and Dick from A day woodworking was too short to finish the paddle completely: the GP still needed a final touch: the blades being a bit too rough and especially the tips too thick. Today I finally started to finish this job...

Despite not being ready, in the meantime the GP is used quit intense, so it can use an overhaul-session anyway. For Greenland-style rolling my GP did a good job. But to be honest; almost any piece of timber would have done. Using it for paddling was not the success I hoped for. Initially I found paddling with the GP quit tiring, and later when my muscles had got used to the different style of paddling, I still had a hard job keeping up pace with other paddlers (using Euro-blade-paddles). Very annoying was the plopping noise the paddle makes every time it enters the water. I always blamed my technique. However, how much I tried and experimented with tips and instructions from experienced GP-paddlers to improve my technique (working on 'the canted Greenland-style stroke"), the plopping noise stayed.
The revelation came earlier this year when I swapped GP's with Marc and Bernhard during a paddle after the Llanca-seakayak symposium: I was flabbergasted by the grip of the GP-paddles of Marc and Bernhard! Paddling with their GP's was a delight: effortless, fast and very quiet. Comparing their GP's with mine: their GP's are more slender. Which was no surprise of course, my paddle was unfinished. So action is overdue - it takes some time before this guy acts ;-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Paddler feeling like a frozen ducky at X-mas...

The fate of this paddler of Woerden during the Christmas-days is just like the duckies he spotted: stuck in ice, open water not far away, but no way to get there.

Well, for some duckies Christmas ends even worse ;-)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Greenland style rolling classes with Peter

Video courtesy Hotwiredbrain

Freek from organises, in cooperation with Peter Renkema, classes in Greenland-style rolling. The classes take place in the (warm!) swimmingpool of the Stoetenslagh resort in Rheezerveen. The first session is scheduled Saturday, January 9th, 2010. Details about location, costs etcetera:
There are only a few places left - when you're interested contact Freek soon.
Highly recommended!

The classes are given in Tahe Marine Greenland kayaks. Kayak Centrum Arend Bloem kindly provides the classes with the new T (touring) version of the Tahe Greenland for larger paddlers.

Update December, 23th: The first session (January, 9th.) is fully booked out, the next occasion is Saturday, January, 23th.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Icebreakers - winter paddling in the Biesbosch

Winter paddling in the Biesbosch National Park. Temperature at 11.00 AM: minus 10 degrees Celsius... The first issue was how to get on the water - the takeoff points mostly used to paddle in the Biesbosch were blocked by ice. Finally we found a good spot to start next to the river in Geertruidenberg. The next challenge was to find a way through open water in the Biesbosch. We expected the small creeks to be impassable, but (despite the tidal hub in the Biesbosch) also some wide stretches of water were already covered by a layer of ice. Anyway, we managed to make a nice trip around the Biesbosch - after exploring some creeks leading to the centre of the nature reservate, we paddled the "outer ring". A total distance of 30 km through one the few remaining fresh water tidal-areas in Europe. We enjoyed the abolute quietness, no other humans around, just two paddlers enjoying in silence the amazing landscape and wildlife. Enormous numbers of birds are resting and foraging in this wetland - caution (keep distance!) is needed to prevent disturbance.

Some notes about "paddling minus ten":
- clothing: a drysuit with a good fleece isolation layer under it is great - not to say a must!
- warm hands: a combination of simple nylon paddle mitts/poggies (without lining!) and a pair of neoprene gloves keeps the hands warm;
- frozen wet neoprene gets stiff - normally the neoprene sprayskirt is my favourite, but for winter paddling a sturdy PVC-sprayskirt is better - once frozen refitting a neoprene sprayskirt gets very awkward;
- deck mounted towing lines, split paddles (and any other spare gear) on the deck: forget it - it's useless when covered with a centimetre of ice...

Friday, December 18, 2009

42,195 km in 2 hours, 15 minutes...

Skating on the track of Flevonice with Jan and Alex this morning.

Running a marathon in 2.15 hrs is very impressive. Skating this distance on ice in the same time is nothing special... Anyway, I am quite pleased with this achievement this morning, untrained and for the first time on ice since almost a year, skating an average speed of 19 kmh...

Serious fast: this evening the first Dutch ice skating marathon-race on "natuurijs (=non artificial ice)" was held in Haaksbergen. Kurt Wubben and Elma de Vries finished first.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congratulations Freya!

Yesterday Freya Hoffmeister finished the solo-circumnavigation of Australia by seakayak: an impressive, almost unbelievable achievement. Anyone who knows Freya, will agree that if there is one person in this world able to accomplish an expedition like this: it must be Freya. And Freya showed us she really is. Compliments to Freya!

While normally Dutch press hardly pays attention to kayaksport, the succesfull completion of Freya's expedition was covered by the Dutch National Press Agency ANP, and by a quality newspaper like NRC-Handelsblad.

The journalist of ANP has problems in making the difference between paddling and rowing (a common mistake) and added a video-clip of Justine Curgenven to the news-item. The video starts with the familiar face of another Dutch seakayaker...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Canal paddling - the "Grecht"

Click on the picture for a detailed view

The "Grecht" is a canal near Woerden. How the Grecht follows the lines of the landscape looks quit "natural", but in fact, like most waterways in the Netherlands it's artificial: man-made, excavated by hand in the 14th century. Due to the ever going on "downwards shift" of the surrounding peat-soil terrain, the water-level of the Grecht is one or two meters higher than the land alongside, which makes paddling attractive because of the wide view.

The lock of Woerdense Verlaat today - different conditions earlier this year...

Around noon I paddled with Guus on the Grecht, just to break out off the dark, rainy, clouded and short December-days. With the Southerly wind starting around 4 Bft, but soon increasing up to force 5/6, it was a swift paddle from Woerden to the sluice in Woerdense Verlaat. Paddling back was a more a struggle, fully exposed to the wind. Over all we paddled an an average speed of 7,9 kmh on this 21,6 km paddle.


Yesterday the birthday of Sinterklaas was celebrated in the Netherlands. Family members present each-other little gifts on the evening of December, 5th. These gifts are to be creatively disguised (for which the Dutch use the French word "surprise"), and are usually accompanied by a humorous poem which often teases the recipient for well-known bad habits or other character deficiencies. In my case it wasn't too difficult to find inspiration for an appropriate "surprise": Lieke built a very realistic copy of my broken kayak.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"New" Dutch regulation on transporting loads on car roof

Good news for Dutch (sea)kayakers driving a compact car: Dutch traffic-rules on transporting large loads on a vehicle have changed. Before May 1st, 2009 it wasn't allowed to drive with a long load that sticks out of the front of the car. For an owner of a compact car this made it difficult to transport a 5 meter-plus seakayak on the roof (safe and) legally. According to the new rules long indivisible loads are allowed to protrude the car on front and back side both up to 1 meter. Also the (for kayaks non-realistic) obligation to attach a large red/white sign on the end of the portruding load has vanished.

The new rules have been largely unnoticed. On last weeks' episode of the Dutch TV-program "Blik op de weg" an item was dedicated to this issue. The item starts in the 15th minute of this
streaming video.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

River paddling - Valley Nordkapp LV

Early this morning I went to Culemborg to join the local hard core winter-paddlers on their weekly training paddle on the river de Lek. On the Lek I met Ad, Anneke and Peter. Culemborg is located in the middle of one of the most beautiful stretches of the traditional Dutch river-landscape. How fascinating it is to experience this landscape from the riverwater-level is a well kept secret amongst the paddlers of Culemborg.

Ad invited me to paddle in his Valley Nordkapp-LV kayak. The Nordkapp-LV is totally different from the classic Nordkapps types HS and HM I paddled before. First impression: I liked the confidence giving, responsive and comfortable kayak. The ocean-cockpit with thigh braces integrates a kayaker of my size (1.82 m, 73 kg) perfect in the kayak. It offers good control with the knees spread under the tigh braces, and is also pleasant to paddle with the knees held together. It's easy to paddle the kayak on an edge, it reacts lively on edging and I found it very manoeuvrable, but also paddling good on the straight line. Rolling the Nordkapp LV is fun (though the water of the river Lek is getting cold: 9 degrees Celsius) with good control and quick respons. I can't say anything serious about the speed of the kayak, GPS indicated a cruising speed up to 12 kmh, but that's downstream on a floating river. I had to work to keep up with the rest of the group (paddling in North Shore Mariner) but that probably says more about my condition or the decent pace the guys of Culemborg are used to paddle!
What I didn't like about the kayak was the location of the cockpit-rim on the backside of the kayak. Despite the relative low back-deck of the kayak, the cockpit-rim hinders comfortable laying backwards on the deck. I suppose it's too close located to the position of the seat. The cockpit-rim didn't hinder backwards rolling because I compensated the freedom of movement by lifting my bottom form the seat, but it would be more comfortable when the cockpit rim would have been lower or a bit further away.
I did paddle the Nordkapp-LV only this morning on the river, but it made a convincing first impression. It's no replacement for my broken Anas Acuta, but it would be a very versatile alternative for the Pintail? ;-)
Keep on dreaming - I am still in the mourning process of my good old kayak...

Ad inspecting the riverbed (kayak = North Shore Mariner).

Paddled distance: 14.8 km.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video Motion Analysis - Update training for NKB Sea Kayak Coaches

Uithoorn, November, 21th.: the yearly meeting of the Dutch seakayak-coaches. Axel Schoevers and Nicole Bulk gave a Workshop on using video analysis in coaching seakayakers. Axel learned us how to integrate video-techniques effectively in the coaching progress. With simple means it's possible to get great results, but for optimal effect some attention to technique, organisation and execution is required.

A very helpful tool for analysing the video shots is the freeware program: Kinovea. Nicole Bulk (successful Dutch kayak racer: multiple medallist in K1-K4 flat water racing, former coach of the Dutch Women selection, etc.) joined our meeting and gave advise on coaching paddlers with the forward stroke. Nicole helped us a with the interpretation of the filmed kayaktechniques and learned us how to translate this to effective coaching.
The interaction between kayak-disciplines is increasing steadily: Piet - flatwater-racing kayaktrainer - also attended the update training of the seakayak-coaches.

And finally: the update training is also a meeting: a social event where Dutch seakayak-coaches meet their colleagues in a relaxed context.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Saturday Morning Wave

Picture by Anoushka Hulst

The guys (and girls) from kayakclub Uitgeest are teasing me with invititations for surf-paddling almost every week. I regret I haven't got the opportunity to join more often, but do intend to go to Castricum beach whenever possible. So guys, please keep sending these invitations! This weekend my kayaking activities were limited to giving classes in a swimming pool at Sunday afternoon.
Anoushka reported: "Castricum beach: Saturday surf was fine again. Steep waves in the morning. Not suited for seakayaks, good for ww-kayaks."
I have a yearning: Woerden at the sea.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A muddy affair

Alex and I got very dirty today. We biked along the MTB-trails of the National Park "Utrechtse Heuvelrug". The scenery was beautiful, with the wood still in a colourful autumn-dress. The track was very muddy after some rainy days. By linking the bike-trails of Leersum and the Amerongse Berg you can bike 35 km non-stop off-road, mainly singletrack, good for an intensive tour of 2 hours.

Information on all Dutch official (permanent) MTB-routes on
A map of the routes on the Heuvelrug can be downloaded from the website of de Utrechtse Recreatieschappen.

The video-clips are the result of an experiment with the High-Speed mode of the Olympus Tough 6000 and edited with film-modus of Picasa - I am discovering new options of Picasa every day.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Voordelta with off-shore wind

On the calender of NKB-seakayak-committee a surf clinic was announced for this Sunday. It's always a bit tricky to promise surf-activities - especially with a calender that's made a year in advance. And though it looks as if I am quit close with Aeolus (=the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology) lately (since months I enjoy strong wind every time I paddle at sea), today Aeolus was angry with me. The weatherforecast for coastal waters said for today: 5-6 Bft SE, increasing to 7-8 Bft SE, later veering West and decreasing to 5-6 Bft. No shortage of wind, but there are very few locations in our region where easterly winds create surf conditions on the beaches... And I've learnt last week to be careful to I invite people with seakayaks for a surf-session. Anyway: 5-8 Bft. is definitely to much!

So, no surf today - which of course was a bit of a disappointment for the 10 people that subscribed for the clinic. I had to look for an alternative. In general you can argue if it's wise to paddle at sea with a gale warning for 7-8 Bft. The great thing about the Voordelta however is that it offers some relatively sheltered areas. And I had also the extra support of Axel and Govert, 2 experienced NKB-seakayakcoaches, for guiding this trip.
On the water the wind turned out to be less fierce as predicted ("only"5-6 Bft in the end in an occasional squall perhaps tipping 7 Bft.), but the wind stayed quit easterly all the time - which means it was an off shore wind. Although it was tempting to paddle with a following wind - we only did this for about 20 minutes (of the 4 hours we were out on the water). With the coastguard warning for 7-8 Bft. SE on the radio every hour, I didn't dare to paddle too far away from the shoreline. It could have got a real tough struggle to reach land again...

Pictures of the day in the Picasa-album.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The "kayak-in-swimming-pool-season" has started

Together with Axel I visited the first poolsession of the season by kayakclub "de Kromme Aar (Alphen a.d. Rijn)" this evening . We had fun rolling and playing in crystal-clear, warm water.
Thanks to Axel for filming me rolling his NDK Romany seakayak.

Geheimtip/inside-tip: the Romany is a great seakayak to roll. Also for greenland-style-rolling and trick-rolling - in my honest opinion there are few kayaks (even dedicated greenland-style) that beat the Romany in this respect!

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Geen beter vermaak dan leedvermaak"? Some reflections after last weeks' crash.

The weblog "Kajaksport op groot water" never had as many visitors as this week, after the post about my crash with the Anas Acuta seakayak. In Dutch language there is this expression: "Geen beter vermaak dan leedvermaak" which means something like "the best joy is on the misfortune of others". In this case that's far too negative and definitely not deserved - on the contrary: comments and e-mails showed sincere commitment and sympathy. Thanks to all of you for this heartwarming support!

It took some days before I started to realize how lucky I was last Sunday. Well, my kayak is broken, but I am not injured myself. It could have ended much worse. This was really a big smash...
And I am glad to notice my conclusion of this fantastic kayak being a total loss, was premature. I received multiple comments about the chances of repairing the kayak. The damage looks dramatic, but there is good chance it can be fixed. I don't think I have time and space (and doubt if I really have the skills) to do this myself, but I've also received some good addresses. I will contact them and inquire about the possibilities. Sorry for the people who showed interest in the remains of the Anas Acuta - I'll first investigate if I can have it fixed myself. You'll hear from me later.

What did I learn from this incident? Could I have prevented the damage?
- First of all my respect for the power of the sea has grown. I lightheartedly thought I could deal with the "wall of water" that suddenly rose before my eyes. And dived into it with confidence...
- Tom suggested to capsize deliberately before the wave gets you. And to roll up after it has passed by. I suppose this is a good strategy - your upper body will work like a kind of anchor and prevent the kayak from gliding backwards. Perfect. Alas: last Sunday my mindset was different: I wanted to play with the waves and didn't want to hide for them.
- A seakayak is less robust than a white-water-kayak: I should have taken this into account and should have adapted my strategy: paddling more on the save side not taken every challenge. Though I still find the Anas Acuta to be the one of the most playful rough-water kayaks: my Anas Acuta is a lightweight full-Kevlar-Carbon kayak which makes it more vulnerable.

Said all this I still find the way the kayak was broken with a sharp cut in two pieces curious. Bow and stern are completely intact - at the moment I was flipped over backwards I didn't notice any impact with the bottom of the beach. (I am sure that would have hurt my back). It looks like the kayak collapsed at the moment it landed upside down (with the deck first) on the water. Very strange.

This weekend I'll paddle my "good old" Pintail with the NKB-seakayakclinic at Sunday - wind is said to increase, but for rough water and surf it would be good if it would be veering a bit more Westerly...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The sad end of a fantastic seakayak ;-(

This afternoon I went to Castricum to paddle in surf conditions again. Two weeks ago I had a hard struggle to break through the dumping surf with the ww-kayak, but today wind was less powerfull and I decided to take the Anas Acuta seakayak. I love surfing with this kayak. It really was much easier to break out through the surf zone and to reach the bigger stuff a bit further away from the beach. Paddling (=surfing) back to the beach I enjoyed nice surf-rides, steering and bracing with the paddle left and right, flipped over and rolled up. After this warming up, and even more confident I turned around and paddled out again for a second ride. But then a giant monster-wave rose in front of me. It was too late to let it break or to step aside, so I decided to enter it with power. Alas: my power was nothing compared with the power of this wave. The wave set 5 meters of kayak vertical and flipped me over backwards. It felt as if I was thrown through the air and then I was smashed in the water again (upside down). As I tried to roll up, the stern of the kayak didn't follow the rest of the kayak. A second wave came over me and, as I noticed I had no control over the kayak any-more, I did a wet-exit. The kayak was broken in the middle, just behind the cockpit, only the deck-lines kept the two pieces together.
Anoushka had seen what happened and soon came to rescue me. With one hand on the stern of her kayak and the other hand on the stern of my broken kayak I swam and Anoushka paddled me back to the beach.

Well, the cartwheel (NL: radslag) looked spectacular according to my friends, but that is only a weak consolation at the broken Anas Acuta. I was so happy with this kayak. I am afraid this is a total-loss ;-(

Nevertheless: it was a fantastic paddling afternoon, with perfect surf-conditions and in good company! We had a lot of fun.

I am looking forward for the next time (but I'll think twice before I do this with a kevlar-carbon seakayak-again - duur leergeld...).

More pictures in the Picasa-webalbum.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

There is more than kayaking: cycling...

Regular visitors of "Kajaksport op groot water" may have noticed I am a rather passionated cyclist. So I was pleasantly surprised with the weekend-supplement of the Volkskrant-paper this morning: a special dedicated to Cycling in winter. The special is supported by a website with nice slideshows and video's.

Cycling is a perfect completion to paddling - and (in a limited time) cycling is the more effective workout to keep fit...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Memories: Sundays surf

Hans and René

Anoushka, Annet and Rob were so kind to share their pictures of last Sunday. Axel also published his report of the surf session on the web. And René has written a post about his impressions of the Cetus-seakayak in surf in his Kajakblog.


Pictures in this post by Annet Duin, Rob Goezinne and Anoushka Hulst

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the dark...

Paddling with Guus on the Grecht

Night temperature is decreasing rapidly, water is relatively warm - little bits of fog create a mysterious atmosphere during the weekly paddle with KV Wyrda.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Picture of the (Vlieland)week

Well, it wasn't a photo-contest, but the winner is...
The Webalbum of the NKB-Vlielandweek is still growing: now 782 pictures are uploaded in 13 albums.

I remember paddling next to Gisella at the moment she made this picture of Gerard in his kayak in front of the sailing ship. Gisella was lyrical about the light and the composition - well deserved: she perfectly captured the atmosphere of paddling on a lazy afternoon along the Vliestroom on the Waddensea. Nice picture!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finally: Surf!

René, Anoushka and Annet (hard to find...)

First Anoushka sent me pictures of the surf session I missed last week. A few days later she sent a mail with this quote:
"It won't be like last Sunday. But like next Sunday it will never be again too! Meet you Sunday at 3PM at the beach of Castricum aan Zee."

I couldn't resist this invitation and joint a select group paddlers of KV Uitgeest this afternoon. Axel was also present with the new Mega Neutron surfkayak. René came with the Cetus seakayak to test in surf conditions. I paddled the Perception SPARC and had a hard job getting this low volume ww-kayak through dumping surf - impressive waves, up to 6 feet... And Anoushka showed all of us what surf-paddling is up. Thanks for this great workout!

Wieger. What's missing in this picture?

More pictures in the Picasa Webalbum. All pictures are taken with the Olympus Tough 6000 WP-camera, just returned from Olympus Service Center. I must say Olympus Netherlands' aftersales service works perfect, fast and adequate. It's only a pity it's that often needed with this camera...

KNMI Weerbericht voor zondag, 11-10-09:
..“De zuidwest- tot westenwind trekt aan en wordt boven land matig tot vrij krachtig, 4 a 5 en aan de kust en op het IJsselmeer krachtig tot hard, kracht 6 a 7.Tegen de avond draait de wind naar noordwest.”..

Monday, October 05, 2009

A surf session to the limits... this amazing video clip of the "foam boaters":

The Wet Dream Result Trailer
This is the trailer for the full video, "Wet Dream Result," a film of vast importance to all humanity, and a tribute to those who push the limits so hard that the limits are like, "Ow! Stop pushing...


Compliments Tom (tgrencer1)!

What we missed: yesterdays' surf

Pictures by Anoushka H

Anoushka sent me a set of jealous-making pictures. While our group cancelled the plan to go paddling along the North Sea coast, Anoushka and her friends from KV Uitgeest enjoyed a surf session at the beach near Castricum. They say it was "gaaf en heftig" ("awesome and violent"?) - I do believe!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

(Wind)surfing on the Westeinderplas

It has been a time ago since the last time this weblog was updated. Main reason is I am suffering a little "kanodip" lately. A "kanodip" is a periodical lack of motivation concerning kayak-related activities ("in een dip zitten" is a Dutch expression meaning: "to go through a bad patch"). Don't worry: it's not dramatic - it's temporary by definition. This particular kanodip concerns more the fuzz around kayaking, than the activity in itself. As I discovered earlier, the best therapy to recover from a kanodip is to go out paddling and to enjoy the outdoors. So Hester did a good thing for me when she invited me for a day kayaking with the Wageningse Kanovereniging WKV ;-)

Kaat and Theo were in charge for organising todays' activity of the WKV. Planned was to play in the surf at the beach near Langevelderslag (Dutch North Sea coast). But after a stormy Saturday (wind 7-8 Bft., waves up to 6 meters high on the Northsea...) Kaat and Theo wisely decided to change plans and to paddle on an inland-location: the Westeinderplassen. The wind created nice waves to surf with a following wind over this stretch of 6 km open water. Perfect conditions for experimenting with stern rudders and edging the kayak.
I was really pampered today, my friends from Wageningen even came to Woerden to collect me with my kayak at the doorstep of my home. Thanks guys, I enjoyed a perfect paddling-day in great company!

Paddled distance 21 km, max speed 15 km/h.

More pictures in the Picasa webalbum. The Olympus Waterproof camera is in repair (again...) - today's pictures are made with the much more responsive and robust old Sony Waterproof camera. Downside of the Sony camera is that it lacks a lens cover - quit a lot of todays' pictures are blurred because of water-drops on the lens. I can't blame the camera for that - I shouldn't be rolling when I want to make pictures...

Met WKV op de Westeinder Plas

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vlieland 2009 Picture-album

Merel has created a new Picasa-webalbum for the participants of the Vlielandweek to up- and download pictures of the sea kayak week. This NKBVlieland2009-webalbum can be opened by clicking here. Collections of Harmen, Merel and myself are already uploaded. More to come!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

NKB Vlielandkamp 2009 - day by day

Despite good intentions, I didn't manage to write daily "life-reports" of the NKB-Vlielandkamp on the kayak-blog. Too busy: being in charge for the overall-organisation of the week in combination with being "last-minute stand-in" for an injured sea-kayak-instructor, there was little time left to rest (and to blog)... Beside this the netbook crashed during the week ;-) No complaints: it was a very rewarding job - I enjoyed every moment of the week.

Vlieland 2009: 45 participants, 2 ZV-groups, 2 ZVE-groups, 1 Tourgroup. The weather was excellent: warm, sunny with a moderate wind. For the first time since many years al tests could be done.

A brief impression with "a picture of the day":

Sunday, September 6 th. W 4-5 Bft.
The crossing from Harlingen to Vlieland was a bit weary: headwind over 30 km's.
Monday, September 7th. SW 4-5 Bft.
Monday the last visitors of the Into the Great Wide Open-Festival left the isle of Vlieland. After a restless night, silence returned. The kayakers had the campsite for themselves again.
Tuesday, September 8th. SW 4-5 Bft.
Circumnavigating the sandbank "de Richel" with the Zeevaardigheids(=Sea-Proficiency/BCU 3 star-sea)-group. During a break on the water the telephone rang and the coastguard was on the line - every single movement in the Waddensea-region is monitored.
Wednesday, September 9th. N 4-5
On special request the patrol vessel RV 180 of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Military force guarding national boarders) creates waves for the kayakers.
Posted by Picasa
Thursday, September 10th. N-NO 4-5 Bft.
Perfect conditions for surf-training in the second part of the week.
Friday, September 11th. N 4-5 Bft.
Kitchen work: under the inspiring leadership of star-cook Hans vd W. a dish for the çlosing party is prepared.
Saturday, September, 12th. N4-5, later 3-4 Bft.
Ready for returning home: 21 kayakers paddled back to Harlingen, this time with a following wind. A week ago the crossing took 5 hours, now they did it in 3,5 hours.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bericht voor deelnemers NKB Vlielandkamp

Message for the Dutch participants of the NKB-Vlielandweek:
Voor de deelnemers die aangegeven hebben morgen de oversteek Harlingen-Vlieland per kajak te willen maken:

Ik heb vanavond geen gelegenheid deze website bij te werken. Daarom een bericht op basis van de informatie zaterdagmiddag 14.30 uur. Er is nog steeds een waarschuwing W-NW 6 van kracht voor de regio Harlingen-Texel-Vlieland. Verwachting voor 6 september van 02:00 tot 04:00 uur:

Texel Harlingen

west 5-6, afnemend west tot zuidwest 4-5, kans op een bui,zicht goed, in neerslag matig

Vooralsnog ga ik er van uit dat we de oversteek Harlingen-Vlieland per kajak maken. Morgenochtend om 11.00 uur in de Harlingen valt echter pas de definitieve beslissing. Staat er dan toch nog te veel wind/golven, dan nemen we alsnog de veerboot (samen met de rest van de groep).

Verzameltijd voor de kajak-oversteek: 11.00 uur bij de trailerhelling (zie infobrief);
Verzameltijd voor de veerboot-gangers: ca.12.15 uur bij de Veerhaven.

Vanavond na 21.00 uur/morgenochtend vanaf 7.30 uur ben ik mobiel bereikbaar.
Tot morgen!


When there is internet-access on the campsite, I'll update this blog during the Seakayakweek - otherwise: back next week!
An impression of last years' edition of Zeekamp Vlieland in the Picasa-Album.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Countdown for Vlieland

2 more nights... Sunday the NKB Seakayakweek starts. With 50 people participating the seakayakweek is more intimate than last years' version (over 70 participants in 2008). More people were interested but the number of available coaches is limited this time. Despite being a smaller happening - the organisation wasn't less complicated. Well, now it's done, the Vlielandweek can start...

I have been packing most of my gear today, because I am on the road tomorrow. Saturday-evening I will post an message on this weblog with latest information for the about the crossing from Harlingen to Vlieland. (Most participants do the crossing by ferry, a limited number of advanced paddlers (about 20 miles, 4 hours paddling) by kayak (when the weather is fine...).

The weather-forecast for Sunday looks OK, but there are no guarantees (at this very moment there is a warning issued for Harlingen W 8 Bft, Saturday in the morning the predicted wind is still W-NW 6-7 Bft, but in the afternoon the wind is said to be decreasing rapidly...), so please check up tomorrow for the final update!

A Scandinavian cousin for the Anas Acuta

British Anas Acuta (from Valley Sea Kayaks) on Terschelling

Björn Thomassen (Swedish designer of the fantastic Black Pearl) has designed a modern "Illorsuit" inspired seakayak for the Norwegian kayak-builder Seabird-Designs. The greenland-kayak built in 1959 by Emmanuelle Korniliussen in Illorsuit for British kayaker and geologist Kenneth Taylor was the base of the classic Anas Acuta kayak, still produced by Valley Seakayaks.

Björn takes the Illorsuit design to a higher level: still based upon the traditional Greenland design with the beauty and harmony of the traditional lines, but with a modern hull shape and hydrodynamics, using the latest knowledge of 21th. century-kayak design.