Saturday, March 13, 2010

Goeree: paddling around what used to be be an island

Sometimes I get a bit bored of paddling always the same routes in the Voordelta (the most nearby seakayak-destination). So René's invitation to explore a new route was very welcome. The idea was to circumnavigate "de Kop van Goeree". Paddling along de Kop van Goeree (from Stellendam to Springersdiep) is one of the standard seakayak-routes. It's not one of my favourites because it's a one-way trip: you paddle 20 km with a following tide and then have to return by car to the starting point (I don't like the hassle of parking and driving cars, picking up kayaks and paddlers etc.). René and I wanted to explore if it is possible to paddle back to the starting point. Of course you can wait till the tides turns and then paddle back, but that's a long time waiting and it means paddling twice the same track (boring!). We looked for an alternative: René had discovered on Google Maps inland canals crossing the island. Before paddling the route with members with his club Rene wanted to explore if it's manageable to do this inland crossing. There are some potential obstacles to overwin: varying from Delta-dykes, to dams, disabled locks, low bridges and unclear crossings with main-roads. A nice challenge!

This Saturday we proved: Goeree is an island, completely surrounded by water! We paddled all along the Goeree and had to get 5 times out of the water for a short portage. Mostly the water continued directly after the obstacle, but to cross the main road on the Brouwersdam and to avoid paddling in the nature reservate of the Schelphoek a longer walk with a kayaktrolley was needed.
In figures: the total circumnavigation was 35,8 km of which we paddled 21 km at the Northsea, 5 km at the Grevelingen (a former bay of the Northsea - that has become a saltwater-lake due to the Delta-works), 7 km at inland-canals and we walked 3 km with a kayak trolley.

The historical dimension to this circumnavigation: long ago Goeree was an island (this map dates from the year of 1581).

Wind 3-4 Bft. NW, temp. 5 degrees Celsius.

1 comment:

René said...

Hi Hans,

Well done! You wrote a very nice report about our little "expedition".

Especially I like the old map as a bridge between history and the trip: it gives the opportunity to look at history and nature from another perspective.