Saturday, August 9, 2014

Greenland continued

We were lucky to have good weather, in fact some days were too hot, causing us to shed our drysuits and paddle just in fleece tops. The water is cold and though the rule is dress for the water we just couldnt 

Someone asked me what distinguishes Greenland, mostly I think its the icebergs

They are hypnotic in their beauty and none are the same

The landscape changes all the time

sometimes its soft and grassy, and sometimes rock cliffs make stunning backdrops

more icebergs

camping is easy as there is plenty of space, and easily accessible landing spots 

Mosquitoes abound, you definitely need your net

Fully loaded kayaks are heavy and everybody was willing to assist when getting back into the water or landing and dragging them away from the waterline

The views were always fantastic, sometimes I just had to stop, listen to the silence and look around and remind myself that this was a magic trip

At the end of the fijord the icecap was always visible, it always looked closer that it really was, the super clean air made judging distance difficult

Impressive waterfalls

drinking water was always within easy reach

seagulls made their homes on the rocky cliffs

We always stopped for lunch in the middle of the day, mostly a cold meal, but now and again something hot was also served

We were never far from an iceberg

and we took thousands of photos of each other

Greenland is very clean, the water and the beaches are free of any debris, and we were very particular about not leaving any garbage behind

the kayaks were all good, we had 2 doubles and 13 singles, very stable and high volume, good enough to take all our equipment and food too. 

all of us except 2

we did have a bit of rain, it was not too hard and it was a relief from the heat

the shades of blue in the ice was astounding, form pale blue to real dark blue

chocolate spread on round bread was a favourite

hearing the ice breaking off the glacier face was like hearing thunder in a storm

these guys dont seem to feel the cold

and still more  icebergs

we found a great place for Assaf to go fishing, he managed to catch fresh trout for 2 great meals

menu...cerviche, fried trout and rice and fish soup, nothing went to waste

eventually we returned to Narsaq, the dream was ending

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Greenland,getting there and first impressions

The first glimpse of Greenland from the window of the plane is stunning, then the thought , how does anybody survive in that  jumps to mind. It looks like an ice desert. Beautiful, cold, stark and primitive, just the peaks of the mountains sticking up out of the ice, lakes and glaciers and a small band of brown round the shores. I`m going to be there for a weeks paddling sounds almost like a dream and a challenge

After landing in Narsarsuaq and bumping into Helen and Mark at the Blue Ice cafe, we took a sea taxi to Narsaq.Because we were a party of 15 we were split up into two, the first three went ahead with the mission of going to the local supermarket and getting all the food for our trip. That`s quite a shopping list, 3 meals a day for 15 people for 7 days. We spent quite some time dividing  all the food into meals, bagging them and distributing them among the paddlers so that everyone knew which meals they had with them .We went to a local restaurant for our first taste of Greenland food, the seal meat in a honey marinade as a first course was really good and delicious as was the snow crab, but the Reindeer or Caribou steak was not good, too dry and overcooked, maybe it can be better but for the first taste it was not inviting. the trout were also not well cooked, pale and bland. We decided that it would be better to do our own cooking in future
It always seems impossible that all that stuff can fit inside the kayaks
But after a while we managed and were ready to get going.

Getting all our equipment and supplies down to the beach was another challenge. The kayaks were on a beach and access was by clambering across and down the rocks, potentially dangerous with heavy bags and boxes. Here our team spirit and cooperation began to manifest. Because were a tight knit group who know each other pretty well, working together seemed to come naturally, everybody just getting down to it and helping each other. Ginady found some old unused drain pipes and made a ramp to slide the supplies down and in no time at all we had everything going into the kayaks
The water was crystal clear, cold and filled with icebergs

Huge fantastic structures floating around us, as you got closer to them you could hear the air that had been trapped inside for maybe thousand of years escaping  in a snap crackle and popping sound and see the melting water making rivers down the ice into the sea. In the bright sunshine they would sometimes break and crash into the water, almost in slow motion, then submerge and float up again rolling around until they found their equilibrium and then all would go quiet again. We knew we needed to keep a same distance from then .

We were filled with awe as we set off, each iceberg was a magic mountain that enticed us with its beauty ,  we were in for an amazing trip.

Monday, July 14, 2014

going to Greenland

One alternative route for our Greenland adventure starting next week.
On Monday we fly out to Copenhagen and then take a flight to Greenland.
Temperatures here in Israel are in the high 20`s, so we go from barefoot and tee shirts to full dry suites and thick woolen socks and booties. I`m sure it will be a shock to the system.
We will also be leaving a war zone, with rockets trying to kill us on a daily basis and our army defending us. The timing is not the best as everyone knows someone in the defense forces and the level of tension is pretty high at the moment. Considering that we will be out of communication range for the duration, this does put a bit of a damper on the whole trip. Hopefully it will be over by the time we leave, but that`s not for sure.
It just goes to show that however much we plan and prepare, there is always a lack of control that needs to be taken into account.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

small surf and a not natural rock garden for fun

How comfortable are you when going out against the surf?

Do the waves make you nervous or do you get a huge smile

Do you love the feeling of flying through the waves and bouncing over the other side? What size waves keep you on the beach?

The barnacle encrusted pylons can cause major bodily damage if you fall and rub against them, so its a no no for club members .

But if you are confident and prepared to take responsibility for your actions and have your own kayak 

Paddling slalom through the tunnel can be a lot of fun, depending on the state of the sea

I do it from time to time but dont tell my boss.

Meanwhile if you got out through the surf you probably have to land back through the same waves, can you do it without getting capsized?

She can,
 If you want to too, you can come to our skills lessons on Thursday evenings and brush up on your technique and who knows, soon you may reach a new level of enjoyment 

Friday, June 27, 2014

hone your kayaking skills

Thursday afternoons are skills lessons days at Optimist during the summer months. Making the most of the long warm summer days we meet at the club at 5pm for a learning session. Afterwards we sit around and celebrate the coming weekend with a drink and some snacks. Our TGIF is actually TGIT as our weekend is Friday and Saturday, Sunday is back to work, the first day of the week

The water is now about 26 C, thats pretty warm and friendly.

This time we practiced our rudder turns, stern and bow

Rescues  both self and assisted were also on the menu

The more you learn the better your experience and the more confidence you get

As well as having a lot of fun in the water

Some make it look so easy

Others need a lot more practice

Luckily for us these guys were having a meeting on the beach and invited us for a taste

David is a first rate surgeon and feels at home with sharp tools

Friday morning was shrouded in mist at first

Avital is getting ready to go to Greenland soon

And Izzy was trying his hand at rock hopping and seal landing 

Earning him his Rough Ryders tee shirt.
  So thats the plan for the summer, try to arrange your life so that work does not interfere with your kayaking and come and join us .