Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Alaska, once again

Waiting for the bus to take us and all our food and equipment  to Whittier . We bought food for 14 people for a week, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, bread and cheese and of course Tahini from Israel and Turkish coffee, We can survive in the wilderness without cell phones internet and tv but not without Tahini

Once we got kitted out with drysuites, kayaks and gumboots , we loaded up the sea taxi and set out for our drop off point

The 2 hour trip took us away from civilization and further out into the Great Outdoors of Alaska. the scenery gets better and better the further out you go and we saw a whale on the way too.

Soon we were unloading on Dual Head, our home for the next 2 nights.

We set up camp quickly and then went for a short paddle in  Whale bay. No whales were seen and we came back to a rainy campsit

The long days and  almost no night makes one loose track of time 

Dual head has a perfect beach for a large group, we had our kitchen at one end and the sleeping quarter at the other , just to be safe from bears

Paddling in Alaska is like being in a postcard, the scenery is amazing wherever you look

Impenetrable forests  and steep cliffs, make finding camp sights a difficult mission

Rae caught an amazing large salmon which we gutted and cleaned  and then fried in tons of butter. How delicious

When we found glacial waterfalls we felt comfortable drinking the water, surface streams needed to be boiled or purified

Double kayaks fully loaded are very heavy and so its all hands needed to move then to and from the water

Chenega glacier is close by and easy to get to, you can sit for a long time just looking at the ice 

The rock formations are equally inspiring

One whale in the distance got us all excited

After living in the rain for days on end I learned how to get in and out of my tent and keep it more or less dry

After a few drinks it became the easiest way to measure the tide

Breakfast in the rain

Fruit salad

Off we go again, still raining

Beautiful blue icebergs along  the way

Rain for 6 days, we got used to it pretty fast and became expert in putting up tarps for eating under

Paddling through the ice sculptures you see all kinds of animals, heres a whales tail

near the glacier the sea is full of ice, making paddling a bit more challenging

Tiger glacier in the distance  while going down Icy Bay, no words needed here

On the last day the sun came out for a couple of hours while we were having lunch. This caused a lot of us to instantly lie down and have a good nap. At the same time all the mosquitoes came out too,
We had a wonderful trip, even the overcast rainy days didn`t dampen our spirits, in fact if the sun had shone it would have been too hot and the insects would become unbearable.
Alaska by kayak is an unforgettable experience, so far away from our daily paddling lives, so different
and so much more challenging. Teamwork in the group made this a successful  fantastic trip.

Friday, March 11, 2016

who`s building kayaks now

Right now there are 5 people building kayaks that I know of in Israel.
Itai is building a Laughing Loon Shooting Star,  a lovely looking baidarka style sea kayak. its looks like a challenging build but the end result is well worth the effort.
Izzy has just started his Petrel Play and Zohar and Rani are building a pair of Petrels. Zohar is making hers 5% smaller than normal because she is a smaller paddler and feels lost in a full size kayak.

Ari has been working on his hybrid Shearwater for a while now.

Last summer we had a wooden kayak day on the beach and this became the inspiration for a sudden burst of kayak building.  Hopefully we will have some new kayaks for the next meeting.
Oh and before I forget , there`s Yoram building a new double kayak too.. 
So that makes it 6 that I know of at present.
I will keep posting pictures as soon as I get them

Friday, January 29, 2016

December 2015 to January 2016, how time flies when you`re having fun

On a family visit to the USA, I was lucky to get a paddle on the Potomac river

My brother  (not a kayaker) has good connections and so I found myself going out with Rita and Dubside on a cold December morning

While Stuart was getting the feel of the kayak Dubside was already rolling around in the cold water

We had a great paddle with DC in the background

I also found out that the Potomac has some pretty wild whitewater

and a walk in the forest was also on the cards

back home in Israel we had lots of winter storms

when we couldn`t paddle we sat around the kayaks drinking coffee and chatting 

there were some days of fine waves for surfing

and some days of just looking at the raging sea

Sometimes  it was just for the birds

We went looking for sharks in the warm water near the electric company

On sunny days there were almost too many of us on the waves

Hugs are always welcome

and we celebrated birthdays in style

we had lots of rainbow days

and some days there were only 2 kayaks going out

Misty mornings were magical

Whenever there`s a wave we get out and surf

Nice sunny days  everybody comes out

Cold wintery days and we have fewer  kayaks

It`s always great to go out in the guillemot fast double

and a demo of how to relieve yourself without getting wet

It`s the season of the birds

You need to be quite flexible in a double.
And so January  comes to an end, How lucky we are to be able to paddle all year round, to have such a beautiful environment and to enjoy the ever changing conditions. Now that`s a good way to  start the new year.