Sunday, June 17, 2012

A picture report of a short visit to 2 German Wadden islands

It was a good example of a last minute decision: looking on our nautical charts Govert and I decided on Wednesday evening to go sea kayaking to the most western German Wadden islands Borkum and Juist. The downside of this nice plan was that we had to leave Woerden at 5.00 AM to embark in time at high water Noordpolderzijl (at 8.00 AM). Timing is critical at Noordpolderzijl (the smallest "sea harbour" of the Netherlands), when you are to late you get stuck in the mud. I am a morning person, but I prefer more than 4 hours sleep...
The advantage of being that early on the water is you have the whole day to paddle. At the end of a beautiful sunny day we had paddled almost 60 kms.  I haven't been paddling that much lately, but it went fine. The next day we paddled 40 kms to Burkana Hafen on Borkum. This was a completely different day: the wind had turned from North to South-East and it was clouded and rainy. Our luck was that the heaviest showers unloaded when we were having a meal in a restaurant at the boulevard of Borkum, waiting for the tide to change. Because the Marine weather-forecast announced strong winds for Sunday, we decided to return to Noordpolderzijl already on Saturday. Being 23 km, the trip on Saturday was the shortest of the 3. But also by far the hardest: 4 hours constantly paddling against the wind was exhausting - I had to go deep to keep up with Govert!

A note about the black Tahe Greenland Kayak on the pictures. I am very happy with this kayak. The Greenland is a more versatile kayak than its sleek appearance suggests. But it's definitely not an expedition kayak or a long-distance tourer. A multiple day trip with camping gear is doable when you are "packing light". But you then have to deal with its limitations: not only is the loading capacity limited, the speed and stability of this kayak also suffer from the load. Depending on your personal weight,  freeboard  is reduced to zero.  Sure you can deal with it, but you might be pushing the kayak (or the paddler?) to it's limit in advanced conditions.

Noordpolderzijl-Borkum-Juist weergeven op een grotere kaart