Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kayakwalk - World record attempt on Sept. 6th

Are you good in rolling a kayak? A lot of paddlers already signed in, more participants are welcome: Kayakclub Michiel de Ruyter (Uithoorn, NL) is still looking for extra paddlers who want to participate in the " kayakwalk" on September, the 6th.
More information on the website of Michiel de Ruyter.

Also when you don't sign in for the record-attempt, you're welcome to visit the festivities of Michiel de ruyter on the occasion of the 45th Birthday of the club. The club offers an varied program with kayak (and rowing) demonstrations.

It's a pity I can't take part myself: on September, 6th the NKB Vlieland seakayak-week starts...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kayakers cleaned up the sand

Press message in het Noordhollands Dagblad about the very sympathetic initiative of Hartger and his seakayaking friends in den Helder: A big clean-up of the Razende Bol (also known as Noorderhaaks - a sandbank along Dutch coast).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Father and son

Originally today the yearly "Grootwatertocht/seakayak-clinic" of kayakclub Wyrda was scheduled. Partly because it's still holiday-period, partly because there is only a limited number of seakayak-enthusiasts in the local kayakclub, we ended up with no more than 4 participants: Guus, Paul, Jelle (my son) and I.
Jelle only paddles a few times a year - there are too many other appealing activities for a 15 year-old boy... - it was a pleasure to do so today. Amazing to see him grow. The little kid of only a few years ago now easily picks up with frequent (adult) paddlers. Sprinting side to side he was faster than I was. Does this tells more about me than about him?

A musical intermezzo - a sentimental journey on this father and son issue;-)

Cat Steven (Yusuf Islam) - Father and son - Tea for the Tillerman, 1970

Statistics of today's trip:
Voordelta: Springersdiep - Platen bij Renesse vv
19 km, ZO later Z 4 Bft, golfhoogte 30 cm
Pictures taken by Paul L - thx Paul!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The knife of a "rambunctious hardworking sailor"

A knife is an essential piece of kit for a seakayaker. A decent Rescue knife is pricey. There are cheaper ones, but there is a lot of crap on the market. I can tell with experience - I owned lots of cheap knives: knives that fell apart, lost sharpness, rusted, ruined other gear because of sharp edges and cut in my fingers several times.... Finally I decided to invest in a solid, robust and reliable one. I went to the outdoor shop for advice and left the shop with the Syderco Rescue knife. It fits perfect in the hidden pocket of the Kokatat Msfit Pdf. Since a year I am very happy with it. It was worth the money. Should have done this before.

But I could have done even better: it's a pity that the guys at the outdoor shop didn't tell me that there is also a salt-water-version of the Spiderco Rescue knife. H1-steel will not rust. Most stainless steel does corrode in salty conditions. So I should not forget to rinse my (standard rescue-)knife in fresh water every time....

Spyderco promotion text:
It's been speculated the sheepfoot shaped blade originated with mariners who found the rounded tip especially beneficial when the knife was accidentally dropped (think working on a ship in pitching seas) as it couldn't stab the foot when hitting the deck. It's also been hypothesized that commanding officers on these ships preferred rambunctious hardworking sailors carry knives without pointed tips, especially while in port blowing off steam after months at sea.
Spyderco's Rescue knives are long favored by seafarers and the design has since been embraced by rescue workers, EMT's and ranchers-anyone cutting around flesh in an emergency. Now available in a rustproof version, the Atlantic Salt is a modified Rescue made with state of the art non-rusting H1 steel. H1 is a precipitation-hardened steel containing nitrogen instead of carbon, which cannot rust. The hollow-ground blade is available PlainEdged or SpyderEdged with both configurations offering remarkable cutting performance in and around fresh and saltwater. Textured with a Volcano Grip pattern, the molded fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle comes in black or visible marine yellow equipped with a reversible titanium pocket clip for right or left- handed use. We recommend threading a thong or lanyard cord through the lanyard hole for back-up retention around water, where once dropped, a knife is often irretrievable or lost.

Greetings from Norway

René and Tiny sent this postcard from their seakayak-adventure in Norway. Vest-Agder, the southernmost county of Norway, looks like a great place to paddle.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who is this i...?! - part 2

Fellow Dutch-seakayakers did research into the curious news-item concerning the "unteachable kayaker" who managed to keep the rescue services busy - day after day - last week. I received multiple e-mails about the incident - thanks!

It turned out not to be very difficult to find out what happened, because the kayaker made a sponsored trip and arranged quit some press attention in the local papers. Read it for yourself, and make up your own mind:
(A Google search on his name reveals more "fantastic" adventures of this person).

For the non-Dutch readers:
The 50 year old-man intended to make a non-stop trip along the Dutch Wadden-coast from Den Helder to Borkum. This is a distance of about 100 nautical miles in tidal waters. He planned to do the trip in 3 days, with an occasional break on a support vessel (the support vessel was a historical lifeboat from the National sea-rescue museum). The trip was plagued by incidents from the very first start: the kayaker capsized several times, lost contact with the support vessel, lost gear and got lost himself. Rescue services, coastguard, lifeboats and a helicopters came into action. The stubborn man kept on trying, neglecting advises and agreements. Finally the captain of the support vessel cancelled the happening.

Fortunately nobody got hurt. But a lot of people got involved, public costs are made just because of incompetence and miscommunication. That's sad. Incidents like this do no good for the reputation of us seakayakers...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Waterproof cameras group test on

Recently Imaging Resource has published a thorough test of 7 waterproof cameras. Tested cameras: Canon D10, Pentax W60, Olympus Tough 8000, Tough 6000, Stylus 550WP, Fuji Z33WP, Panasonic T1.
Sadly I must agree with IR's conclusion on my own wp-camera (the Olympus Tough 6000):
"...big complaint is its sluggish performance. Shutter lag and shot to shot times were very slow, making it poorly suited for any kind of action shooting. Given that a camera as rugged as the Olympus 6000 invites use in all sorts of active settings, we find it hard to recommend for the active life it seems designed for."

In figures: start up time is measured by IR 4.2 seconds, Autofocus lag time is 1.24 seconds. This makes it very difficult to capture any moving subject with this camera. For action pics on the water I still prefer my old Sony-camera.

Who is this i....?!

Telegraaf - August, 7th. 2009

This is the kind of attention in the press (Telegraaf - one of Netherland's most read daily papers) for the magnificent sport of seakayaking I am not too fond of...

Translated - summary:

A lot of work because of an “unteachable” kayaker

DEN HELDER – Since a few days a (50-year-old) man in a kayak provides the Dutch lifeboat organization (KNRM) a lot of work around the Frisian Isles.

According to a spokesman for the KNRM Tuesday the kayaker was reported for the first time between Den Helder and Texel. The lifeboat was unable to contact the man because, as it turned out, his portable radio was not working. The man finally managed to reach the Wadden-isle of Texel, where he was urgently advised by the lifeboat-crew not to head out at sea (all alone, without appropriate gear). Wednesday the same person had to picked out of the water between the isles of Terschelling and Vlieland because he was having problems again, been taken away by a strong tidal current. Astonishing: despite a second admonishing speech, the man was again spotted at open sea on Thursday, obviously paddling to Harlingen this time….

Who is this guy?

An alpine intermezzo: hiking, biking and climbing in Switzerland

No kayaking during the last weeks because of the family-holiday in Valais-Switzerland. The Alps are great! We have seen some impressive white water too, but I suppose I'd better stick to the safe environment of DWD for my own occasional white-waterexperience!