Saturday, December 29, 2007

Time goes too quickly

video
Well the weekend has come and gone , in a flash, tomorrow back to work, but with a good feeling from our time on the water. The sea was flat but on Friday there was a strong wind , Saturday the wind had died down in the early morning, but later on began to pick up again. Some brave souls still continue with rolling practice in the 20C water, its a lot warmer near the Electric Co., and the currents there make it more of a challenge.
Next weekend we`re off to circumnavigate the Sea of Gallilee.
See you on the water.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Strong wind and currents

video
This morning the pre paddling instructions were brilliantly delivered by Arele, all payed attention as the conditions were a bit out of the ordinary, with a strong easterly wind which can take a careless paddler out to sea, except for one of us who chose that exact moment to relieve himself. Hugging the shoreline we made our way south and ended up in the turbulence caused by the Israel Electric Co., here we played in the currents for a while, rested on the sparkling sandy beach and then headed home , fighting the wind all the way.Next time it would be better if we brought some refreshments and light snacks for refueling. From what I could see, all made it home and we didn`t loose anyone ...................

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

learning to video

video
Heres the video we have all been waiting for, Rami Tzadok brought a waterproof video camera, the sea provided great waves and we had a lot of fun surfing. A few drops of water on the lens creates an artistic image at some point. I am sure with time and practice our technique will get better. Thanks to Avi for copying the casette to cd .

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tides way out today


7am, time to go paddling, flat sea and very low tide exposing a lot of the beach.
Intrepid paddlers braving the cold to get on the water , someone {Eyal} said he saw a dolfin today, sorry no picture, so its unconfirmed.
Rami, thanks for the cake.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

more surfing from friday

video
Both Hadass and I had cameras on friday, the format on her camera is different and I could not make it into a movie so here is a link to the videos

Friday, December 21, 2007

friday morning surfing

video
Mild to moderate surf today, ideal conditions for playing in the surf. Equipped with helmets for safe surfing, we spent some time at "The Rock".The video on my Olympus is not fantastic but gives a pretty good idea of whats going on. I think as time goes by and I get more familiar with the camera I can get better shots, today the power save function was on and the camera kept switching itself off, confusing me with all the clicking that I had to do to wake it up, and thus missing a lot of good shots. I also had some trouble finding the video clips that Hadass took with the Pentax, so if I manage to get them I will include them in the film. Meanwhile for a beginning its not too bad

Thursday, December 20, 2007

cold water rolling

video
Learning to roll can be a daunting experience for some, others take to it like a duck to water.The thing is that once you get it, life on the water becomes a whole lot more fun.Gone is the fear of capsising, surfing becomes more exciting and your confidence shoots sky high. It is definitely a turning point in the learning curve and one well worth investing in. At first in still water and as you get better you can progress to real life situations like surf and big waves. In fact I recently read somewhere that as your rolling ability increases, your need to roll will decrease as you become more stable on the water and your range of support strokes will also increase.
And its a lot of fun being able to roll whenever you like, plus the fact that there are innumerable new types of rolls to learn, so you are always looking for new challenges. So for those who are still learning, keep on rolling and for those who have a good roll Keep on rolling too. Here`s a video of Avital and a few other pictures.

Friday, December 14, 2007

not a kayak to be seen


Due to The Storm, and the wild surf conditions at our beach, there is no paddling today and tomorrow.This is serious news as last weekend we had the same conditions and had to cancel paddling as well. Now I for one am suffering from withdrawl symptoms, checking the pictures from the webcams every few minutes to make sure that there is no possibility of going out, even going to the beach to see for myself. Actually today the sea was really wild and the wind was gusting up to 25knots, perfect conditions for kite surfing. If you can handle it. I just received a new camera,Olympus mu 790sw , to replace my old 770 which corroded after less than 2 months. So it was a good day to try it out. I think that it is a much improved model, easier to use and hopefully more waterproof. Now what can I do tomorrow.............

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

short car long kayak


The other day I found this picture of a short car and a long kayak, just shows how much thought one can put into kayak transport. Never say it cant be done, just go out and do it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

jan 1 2008

Today we had the first paddle of 2008, so I`d like to wish all a happy, prosoerous and healthy new year and to Avital a happy birthday, remember Paddling keeps you young.
We had interesting cloud formations and active bird life and at the end a couple of rolling addicts who don`t mind cold water put on a show.

Jan 1 2008

First day on the water in the new year, also a birthday for Avital. So wishing all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year and many happy hours on the water, and a happy birthday for Avital, remember paddling keeps you young.
Today we had interesting cloud formations and active bird life and at the end a rolling show with a couple of addicted kayakers who dont mind cold water.

Jan 1 2008

First day on the water in the new year, also a birthday for Avital. So wishing all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year and many happy hours on the water, and a happy birthday for Avital, remember paddling keeps you young.
Today we had interesting cloud formations and active bird life and at the end a rolling show with a couple of addicted kayakers who dont mind cold water.

new web cam on the beach

How do you feel about being watched all the time?
Do you behave differently when you think no one can see you?
How do you know that you are not being filmed at any given moment?
With all the webcams and digital cameras around these days, one never knows wether one is being watched or not at any given time. There are even TV programs where they send people to film you in secret .
And now we have a new webcam on our favourite beach. I have just seen a new website and there is a live cam filming video of our beach at Sdot Yam. So if you tell your significant other that you have gone to the beach, they can easily check up on you at the click of a keyboard. The camera is mounted on one of the houses overlooking our launch site on the beach. The best time to see us is in the morning with the sun comming up from the east , later on in the day the sun is shining directly into the lens and so recognition may be a bit difficult.
If you want to see it go to Ziv~s website
www.ocean-nation.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Avital`s homemade kayak


It takes a lot of courage and confidence to decide to build a kayak when you have no experience at all.So when Avital decided to go for it I thought FANTASTIC , soon there will be another wooden kayak in the club. Well, soon may have been a bit optimistic, as I know that it takes quite a while to get from thinking about it to launch day, but slowly slowly the day arrives and the Champagne flows. After much deliberation and discussion with all kinds of experts she decided on the "Guillemot S" from www.guillemot-kayaks.com
This model should be a good fit for her body size.
When building a Skin On Frame kayak the actual size is determined by the body of the person who is going to paddle. The length is about 3 times her height, the beam is the size of the hips plus a fist or 2, depending on the skill of the kayaker, narrower or wider depending on the type of paddling and stability needed. So actually the kayak is tailor made to fit , and so when Avital chose her kayak she looked at all these details and chose the one that fit her best.
Next came the time to order the plans and get a workshop ready. She is now well on the way, the frame is ready and the woodstripping can begin.
Building your first kayak is an enlightening experience. You learn about woodwork, about working with tools, power and hand tools and most importantly you learn about yourself. The final product is a statement about you, how you see the world, how you deal with difficulties and how far you are prepared to go to follow your dreams.
I think its a wonderful experience and wish you all the best.
See You on the water in your Homemadekayak!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

post symposium blues


Back to work after 4 intensive days , what can I say, bummer. I`d rather be kayaking Now we can just look at the photos over and over again and remember how good it was. There was something for everyone, on all levels and those who didn`t make it this time should try next year. It takes us to a new level an gives an added dimention to the whole sport of sea kayaking. The emphasis is on safety, personal and group safety,and once your eyes are opened to the real dangers things look different. For example the simple fact that we are going into winter and colder weather, brings with it the dangers of hypothermia, and we need to be aware of this when we go out even though our temp only goes to about 16C [water temp. that is].
So go safely and see you on the water.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

first day at the end


On Wednesday, the day before the symposium, we took our guests down to paddle on the Dead Sea, 417M below sea level. It is a remarkable place with a very special atmosphere and not really a friendly place to go kayaking.The day was stormy with wind and rain and the sea was rougher than we would have liked, but nevertheless we went out and had a good time , kayaking, floating and then smearing ourselves with the mineral rich mud, a long soak in the hot spring bath and then off to Jerusalem and supper at Abu Gosh.The pictures are from Hadas, and Justine also has some on her blog.If we had known that the seas were going to calm down we could have done our 4 star training here.

the last day


Today we had the last day of our symposium, 4 star assesments. There were 12 of us taking part and going for the test.The conditions were not exactely rough enough water, but due to the fact that the first days kayaking was in really high seas, Jeff used this to check out our rough water skills. Everyone gets a private chat and asessment at the end of the day, and advice or direction as to what he needs to work on.This is a very nice and un Israeli way of doing things, and we can all learn a lot from the way Jeff handles and relates to us.I was very impressed with the people skills demonstrated by Jeff and Justine and consider myself priveliged to have undergone this 4 day symposium with them. Not to mention my increased admiration for Hadas as well who did a great job of organising the whole show. Also a great thank you to Ehud, Avigail and Yossele[ Dror ] for their unending work in making sure that all went right. All in all it was a FANTASTIC symposium and I am sure that everyone will agree with me.
And so as they say in Hollywood, Thats all folks, till the next time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

4 star training with jeff





Today we had 4 star training with Jeff and Justine, lots to learn and practice and practice and practice. Jeff is very innovative and can create rough sea conditions with little more than a few rocks and a helpful motor boat. Also having ones kayak filled with water makes handling a bit more difficult. Tomorrow is the test, so we will see how well we listen and adopt new techniques. Here are some of the pictures.

Friday, November 23, 2007

symposium second day


Today we had three star training in the morning and assesment in the afternoon, probably not the best thing to do straight after a kibbutz lunch , but thats how it worked out. The weather was good, slightly on the cool side and the water about 25C, nice and warm according to Jeff who spent the day standing in the water and on the rocks giving help and doing the assesing. we all had a great day and our kayaking skills took a great leap forwards. The pictures tell the story better than I can so have a look.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

our prayers are answered


Well the weather we asked for arrived in good time, after a few stormy days when the sea was off limits, today , the first day of our annual symposium was a fantastic day. Due to high seas we moved to Dor beach as they have a more protected bay, here it was easier for us to go out past the breakers. Jeff and Justine gave us a great insight into the ways of British instruction and we all had a great time in the surf.More thoughts later meanwhile here are some of the first days photos.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

countdown to symposium


Next week is the big event , hopefully the weather will help, we need a calm sea on Thursday and Friday and then we need some waves and swells for the next few days. Just who do I need to speak to to get my order in??? If only it were that simple, but the fact is that sea kayaking is totally dependent on the weather, and therefore we need to be able to go out in all kinds of weather and all kinds of surf conditions. Here`s where our skill levels come into play, if we only go out in calm seas we are totally limited, I guess thats what the star ratings are all about, giving us the needed skill for all kinds of seas. I am calling on all our kayakers to support this symposium, lets make it a great success and the beginning of a new tradition in our club.
My camera is still out of action and so I have chosen a few of my favorites from my archives. Hopefully Olympus will admit that their camera was to blame for the leak and not something that I did, and then replace it. I feel naked every time I go out on the water without a camera.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Optimist Club Symposium


Hadas has returned after a trip to the USA to attend the Sea Kayak Georgia Symposium. Now she is busy organising our very own Optimist Kayak Club Symposium, due to take place on Nov 22 to 25 at our beach on the shores of the Mediterranean at Sdot Yam and Cesarea.We are lucky to have Jeff Allen http://www.seakayakingcornwall.com/ and Justine Curgenven http://www.cackletv.com/as our guests and coaches .This will be a first time event for us and hopefully will be the beginning of a new tradition . We have been very busy getting all our kayakers up to scratch and everyone has made great progress over the last few weeks. I`m sure that it will be a great success.There is always an element of fear when doing something new for the first time, we all want to succeed and sometimes the fear of failure stops us from doing the things that we really want to do. So heres to Hadas and the organisers of the event, Ehud and Avigail, go for it, we all support your efforts and will be happy whatever the outcome. Dont let fear stop you from chasing your dreams.
This last week the sea has been more exciting than usual, large swells, big waves and wind, going out through the breaking surf, practicing what we have learned on flat water in rough seas shows that its not enough to stay in the calm, you have to go out into the real world and see if you can make it there too.
I still dont have a camera and will have to borrow Baraks pictures again from Friday and Saturday
http://picasaweb.google.com/barakayak/91107

Saturday, November 3, 2007

fish attack


Friday morning, the sea is as calm as can be , no wind , no waves, for some a perfect day to paddle. Suddenly the water is churning and numerous flying fish are attacking us from every direction. The little monsters move very fast, and have a sharp needle like sword for a nose, which if it hits you can cause a nasty wound. We see them often but not in such numbers , and today if I had a baseball bat I could have hit some home runs. Sometimes they land on your sprayskirt leaving you with a fishy smell and a slimy goo . They are not good eating fish and not worth catching, but great fun to see jumping out of the water with such gusto. My camera , the waterproof Olympus, has been sent to a Lab in Europe, to see what I did to it rendering it less waterproof, and so todays pictures were loaned from Barak. At this moment in time his Olympus is still dry.
As Hadas is still at the Symposium in South Georgia, todays lesson was in white water kayaks with Yossele, they behave very differently to long touring seakayaks and its nice to have a go on something completely different for a change.
A note of thanks to Barak for his pictures

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

To Michmoret on Saturday


On Saturday there was a memorial regatta at Michmoret for Yossi Korakin from the Naval Commando. Our kayak club paddled the 10 km or so from Sdot Yam to Michmoret accompanied by Kayakers from Maagan Michal to participate in the memorial service. During the morning many other sailing vessles began to arrive filling the water with a myriad of colors, sails and boats. here are a few pictures from the morning. The coast from Sdot Yam to Michmoret is interesting in that there are coves, bays and cliffs all the way making the shoreline a great place to play and explore.Its always exciting to get to new beaches and play in different locations, and then there is the challenge of a longer , harder trip with more weather to contend with. We all had a great time and managed well. See you on the water.

Friday, October 26, 2007

paddling in reverse and the great BBQ


Todays lesson with Hadas was all about going backwards, how to paddle, turn and maintain course while going in the wrong direction, probably the best thing to do today after all the alcohol that was consumed last night, as I`m sure going forwards in a straight line was not so easy for some of us. Then playing backwards in the surf was the highlight of the morning, look at some of the photos and videos. The surf was just the right size for beginning to master boat control in these conditions and most of us had a great time.The power in the waves is just amazing, if it catches you at the wrong time and in the wrong place you are helpless and just have to brace and pray. I guess the skill of wave play is learning to stay out of the wrong places, that takes experience which comes from lots of play. About last night....... great food , great people, fantastic time, David was good on the grill , thanks to all those who organised it , especially Gill, a man of hidden talents.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

learning to stand

Why stand up in a kayak, you will only fall into the water sooner or later. Actually in the pictures the one standing is demonstrating the successful stabilising of the kayak by his rescuer.By leaning on the paddles and holding the coming of the second kayak you can stabilise it so well that if one needs to stand up , for example to see over the horizon, it can be easily done. Here are some pictures of todays outing in moderatly mild surf conditions.There is also a picture of Arele`s new kayak trolley, for anyione who has his own kayak and needs transport I am sure that Arele will be happy to make another one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

rolling practice

Friday comes around surprisingly fast these days, our week starts on sunday and before you know whats going on its friday again, is it just me or is time really speeding up.Anyway today we had rolling practice with Hadas, for those of us who are just learning to roll and those who want to polish their rolls and maybe learn a new roll. The weather is still friendly and the water is not yet too cold, actually its never too cold, even in winter it only gets to 16C so with the right equipment you can still roll in winter.
Here is a link to some of the Greenland rolls if you are interested
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6008563334140599496
and heres our photos from today.
I should also mention that tuesday was a fantastic day in the waves, everyone who was there had a great time. The excitement of catching and surfing giant waves is contagious and most of our new kayakers had a taste and now want more. Go for it guys, there`s nothing like it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

lesson of the week


Today we met a new kayak on the water, congratulations to Danny on the launching of his newly finished[almost] Night Heron, great to see another wood kayak in our area.Wish you many hours of happy paddling. Now I mentioned some time ago that I bought a new camera, the miu770 by Olympus. It seemed the answer to a kayakers dream, waterproof to 10m, shockproof and non crushable, if you believe all the hype that they tell you.Sadly to say that after only a month of use water got into the battery compartment and caused a malfunction. I immediately returned it to the shop that I bought it from as it is under guarantee????? with the nai
eve expectation that they would say "no problem we will replace it for you in no time at all" The reality of it all is that they tried to lower my expectations immediately and told me that it would be sent to a lab to see what really happened and only then would they decide what to do. so now its a waiting game and in the meantime I have no camera. Thankfully Limor has a similar camera which is still functioning and thats what I have been using .
And so to todays lesson, support strokes, high and low braces, sculling and rescue when the paddler gets separated from his equipment.Hadas is a great coach and we all get something valuable from the lessons. These Friday lessons are taking us all to new levels and increasing our skills tremendously.
Have a look at the photos.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rosh Hanikra to Sdot Yam by kayak


Thursday morning 5am, leaving Optimist club by taxi, 13 brave souls head off for a kayak adventure.Some new kayakers others have done it before, but all feel the excitement of a new venture beginning. What will the weather do , how will the sea behave and how will I manage are some of the things that go through you head at the start of a journey. Well we all managed very well, old hands and newcomers alike,the group worked well together, people fell into their roles with ease, for example, whenever we stopped for a break, Ohad had a cup of hot coffee ready at the drop of a hat, Yos and Hadas were always on the lookout for stragglers and someone in need of help and, Avital and Limor were great in the food department and the rest of us gave a hand whenever and wherever it was needed. Good teamwork was evident at all times.
The conditions were great , the sea was calm as well as challenging at times and as they say in the song even the bad times were good. I will let the pictures talk and tell the story, thanks to all who took part, it was a great trip, and thanks to Ehud from Optimis.co.il for allowing it to happen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

annual triathelon


Today our kayaks were on duty during the annual triathelon at Sdot Yam, we were patrolling the water during the swimming part of the race, guiding the swimmers and helping anyone who needed assistance in the water. A great experience for those taking part and lots of fun too. It is inspirational to see the athletes , the never give up attitude when the going gets tough and the determination to complete the mission when the body wants to give up. Well done to all the participants and thanks to all the kayakes who helped.

Friday, September 28, 2007

the great rescue


The wind was a moderate northerly, the sea a bit choppy , not too bad and we were having a lesson with Hadas . In the distance we noticed a sailing boat upside down in the water and it looked like the sailors were not managing to upright her. So off we went , kayakers to the rescue. There were 3 of them, at one stage they managed to upright the boat only to go over straight away again. Soon we were all giving a hand and in no time had the craft upright, then fetched the drifting sailors and helped them into the boat.By this time the waves were building and they got home just in time.
You never know what you will find in the sea on our outings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

waves waves and more waves


Tuesday and Wednesday the sea was a little rougher than normal, this makes life a lot more interesting for kayakers, and separates them into those that like the waves and challenges that they throw up at you, and those who prefer flat water outings.I love it when the sea is rough, when there are waves to surf and when we can play in the soup.So the last 2 days were like a gift from heaven. Here`s some photos of all those brave souls who ventured out into the wild sea.

Friday, September 21, 2007

rudders and turning stuff


Todays lesson was on turning, boat control and rudders, bow and stern rudders, forward sweeps and boat lean. I`m sure all who were there today found out that the learning process is never ending and a lot of fun. The amazing thing is that with just a little twist of the paddle blade you can change direction completely, like in life if you just change your angle of view a little you can change your direction a lot.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

wednesday in the waves


No storm warning, wave height 90cm according to Karels blog, http://www.kayakweather.blogspot.com/ in fact this morning the sea looked nice and placid, but out at the rock the waves were monsters. Every now and then a huge one would rear up and toss us about, Hadas, Arik and I were the only ones left after the morning outing so we went to play in the surf.The videos are not too good but you can still get a feel of the sea. I have to work on my video technique and maybe invest in some better equipment.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

outbrain rating system

See the rating stars under the blog, thanks to Ori now You can rate this blog if you want. Actually I don`t know if anyone looks at it or reads it at all, so the rating system will help .Ori is a kayaker too, he has a sit on top and sometimes joins us for outings, now that I think about it I don`t have any pictures of him, yet.
His company makes the widget for rating blogs or websites, so if you are interested look him up at http://www.outbrain.com/
Today there are some videos of rolling by Gaby and Kid, just to show what you can do by practice.
Also I happened to see Limor landing her Laser on friday afternoon, nice little capsize at the end just like in a kayak...............

Friday, August 31, 2007

Kayak lesson on friday


Today we had a lesson with Hadas, the 9am outing has been changed to a skills lesson and the turnout was impressive. It seems as though the desire to learn and improve is still strong among our kayakers.today the emphasis was on direction control, leaning turning and sweeping, all important elements of kayak control. Paddlers of all levels can always improve, and today was the beginning of our learning experience.Hadas is a great kayaker and a good teacher, we all got something out of the session, now its time to go and practice, practice practice

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

greenland kayak day



Well the check from Dixons came through rather quickly, they said it would take 28 days but in fact I got it within a week. Well done Dixons, your international guarantee really paid off.
My new camera is an Olympus mju 770 SW, waterproof to 10 m shockproof and uncrushable too. Hope it lasts longer than the old Sony. Now I need to write to Sony and let them know that their waterproof housing is not reliable.
Today I took my skin on frame kayak for change, on flat water there is no problem with water getting in around the coaming and it was a good day, Hadas and Rami had a go too but as the kayak is built for the kayaker and is not adjustable it was not so easy for them to use as it did not fit them well enough. I guess they will have to just make their own kayaks...........

Friday, August 24, 2007

heres to you hadas

Well even tho my camera has corrosion inside and sometimes does what it wants to do without my knowledge, I still get some nice shots now and then. Luckily I took out international insurance and will soon get a check to buy a new one. Meanwhile here are a few shots of our wed am outing with Hadas and Rami.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

time for change



Well changes happen all the time, wether we are ready for them or not. You cant fight them so better to accept and go with them. The big change in our club is that the world famous Hadass Feldman has joined us as one of our guides and trainers.I am sure that this will make a big difference to the quality of our club and our paddlers will get the benefit of her exerience and knoweledge. So a big wellcome to Hadas. Unfortunately yesterday I did not ahve my camera with me for her first day with us and so we will have to wait for another photo op. Today we went on our regular trip and a few of us carried on tho the Island at Maagan Michael. here are the photos.
another regular saturday on the sea

Saturday, August 11, 2007

saturday august 11


Learning to roll takes a long time , or not.I`ve seen how it works and it takes quite a long time, then suddenly it comes and the smiles never stop.At least in the summer the water is warm and the learning process is not at all painful. It usually starts with a few sessions of guidance with an instructor standing alongside and progresses very quickly to eskimo rescue when the roll fails in deep water.But quickly most of our paddlers seem to manage and then you see rolls at all rest preiods during our outings.Here are a couple of pics of Kid rolling and Gaby getting some tips from Yos, both of them have learnt to roll this summer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

random pictures and rescues


Since returning from our trip to turkey there has been a rush of new kayakers taking lessons and joining our club. It is great to see so many newcomers to the world of seakayaking and its a lot of fun teaching kayaking skills too.Now when we go out for our routine trips there is always something or someone new to take care of and help along.Kid got her new kayak, what a fantastic green , congratulations Kid and happy paddling, now you can really show us what yo can do. Here are some pics from a few outings
random waves and rescues

Friday, June 1, 2007

turkish delight


A five day trip to Turkey has just ended and all that remains is a photo journal and lots of great memories.We flew to Antalya, bussed to Kas and then had 3 fantastic days of sea kayaking.The first day was from Kalkan, 30 km west of Kas , went there by bus and them paddled back to Kas along the southern coast, great weather and fantastic coastline, bays coves and caves all make an interesting trip.That night we slept in our Pension and the next day did a 30 km trip to Kekova, again wonderful scenery and great kayaking, seas were a bit challenging at times and exit points few and far between. The night was spent in a pension in Kekova and the next day we took it easy for 14 km to Demre. Words cant describe the pictures so go to the photo album to see what I am talking about.
a taste of turkey

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the electric company


The Israel Electric Company has a power plant in Hadera on the beach. They use seawater to cool their turbines and return the heated water to the sea in a rushing swirling mass of white water.This makes a nice change for kayakers who want a little action on the water and today we went to play a bit in the electric hot tub.The temperature is a bit too warm and the water is a bit suspicious but nevertheless its a lot of fun being tossed about by the currents .Have a look at the pictures from today.
wednesday at the electric company

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

paddling in the mist


Saturday morning, 7 am , regular day on the water, nice large group of kayakers heading out to Jisser, slight mist on the way out, but after a stop for tea the mist just got denser until visibility was severly limitid. the main danger is getting run over by one of the local fishing boats and so the best strategy is to stay together and stick close to the shore and reefs.What an erie experience, never happened to me before, distances are hard to judge and everything looks different.It was a great morning outing . Here are some photos
http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/ADayInTheMistthicker

a day in the mist

Thursday, April 26, 2007

independence day 2007


http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/IndependenceDayAtTheBeach
On Tuesday we celebrated Israels independence day, lots of traditional outdoor BBQ`s but first we had a kayak race of 10 km at the Terra Santa kayak club in Herzlia.If you want to read about it , go to their website http://seakayak.co.il/ After going all out for 10 km you feel that you have earned the right to EAT MEAT straight off the grill and drink as much wine as you want. Just a few of us got together at our Optimist kayak club for a BBQ, see the pictures in the top link to picasa. We all had a great time together and the food was fantastic. Thanks too all who participated.
independence day at the beach

Monday, April 23, 2007

a day in the dead sea waters


400 M below sea level the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, something happens to the suns rays down there and they become therapeutic for a large number of skin problems. People come from all over the world to spend time here and heal themselves.Part of the healing process must be the enforced peace and quiet that occurs when you spend time here reducing stress levels and promoting well being.Last Saturday we spent a day at the Lot Hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea enjoying the bouancy of the very salty water and basking in the sun, just lazing around and relaxing, good for the soul and the body enjoys it too.
Posted by Picasa


http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/ADayAtTheDeadSeaLotHotel go here for photos

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

after the holidays


Back to the normal routine after the pesach holidays, what a week it was , great to be on vacation. The weather was not very helpful and the sea was a bit untidy over the holidays , but we did manage to go out a few times.Mostly it was very windy making paddling difficult and also the seas were very high for a few days.Actually I love the action of large waves and the challenge of the sea when conditions are more like the real seas, our med can be like a big flat lake, good for a quiet paddle but much more fun when there are waves to surf. Today we went out to the coal ship waiting to unload at the Hadera Power station, its about 3 km out to sea, sometimes the distance can be decieving.Look here for the photos
http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/ToTheShipAndBack

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

changing direction


Well it`s now official, I have joined the staff at my Kayak club "optimist"
www.optimist.co.il .
Today was my first time out with the group, conditions were just about as easy as can be for a first timer, flat seas, minimum wind and a smallish group.Now instead of carefree paddling the emphasis is different,there is a certain responsiblity , making sure that everyone gets out and back safely and in one piece. Now decisions have to be made, to forge ahead and wait for the others to catch up or lag behind to keep an eye on the slower paddlers, always checking that everyone is visible and not in any trouble, changes your perspective.
I guess that my main aim is to share my love of kayaking with anyone who is interested and to offer help and support to all who ask.
Keep paddling.
By the way, last Saturday was the tail end of a storm that left us with some very nice rough seas to play in. We had a great time in the waves . Here is a link to pictures from today and saturday
http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/TuesdayAndSaturday21March07

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

stormy tuesday


Actually tuesday was just a prelude to wednesdays high seas, with forecasted waves of two to five m. The wind was southerly and the sea was choppy making going out a nice bumpy ride, but comming back in with the wind behind us causing some interesting navigational challenges.This is where experience counts, how to go where you want, not where the sea takes you.The biggest challenge to a sea kayaker is the wind which affects your handeling and steering in many ways. Here all your skills come into play,and are the keys to staying on track. Steering with all the strokes that you know and boat lean are the ways to keep your direction, but they need to be practiced in mild conditions first, otherwise its easy to capsize and then your rescue techniques are tested.
Playing in the waves after comming back was a lot of fun and should also be seen as a learning experience. See pictures here
http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/StormyWeather
Keep paddling.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

paddeling the dead sea



Friday morning a group of us went down[400m below sea level] to the Dead Sea.This is the lowest place on earth created during the Great Rift of Africa. The water has such a high mineral content that its impossible to sink, you just float around on the surface of the water. So who actually needs a kayak there?? Well we started out in perfect weather, went north for about 10 Km, entered one of the channels that lead to the sinkholes, but due to the strong current didnt make it to the end, and then came back. The weather stayed calm all day and it was like kayaking on a glass mirror, flat shiny water reflecting the yellow kayaks perfectly. No rolls or braces, the water tastes terrible and has a very oily feel on your skin. It is supposed to have medicinal properties though, so we all feel a lot better now. Here is a link to some photos

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

big tuesday


Tuesday morning, up at 6 look at phone for sms from Ehud to see if we are going out, so far no message so all systems go.Load the kayak on the car and set out for the beach, just before arrival my phone bleeps, oops, theres Ehuds message, no kayaking today the sea is too rough. Well seeing as though i`m almost there I may as well just go and take a look myself. Right , the sea does look a bit high but not too daunting, I think that we can go out, and then Mickey arrives, he didnt get the message. So the three of us went out, Yossele Mickey and me, there were largish waves, a northern wind and large swells, but nothing that we couldnt handle. After going to Cesearea and back we went to play in the waves for a while. Yes, not a day for beginners, , but then we`ve been there for a couple of years already. Here are some pictures and a video too http://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/BigTuesday/photo#5039188434264104962

Friday, March 2, 2007

getting better all the time


Well just over a week since launch and a few improvements have been made. First I added some deck lines as instructed in the book. I must admit that drilling holes through the canvass cover was a bit traumatic, especially after reading a blog about leaking through the deck line holes, but so far so good, I think my cockpit is the source of water getting in. Also I improved my backrest, now its much more comfortable and easier to stay the distance. Today we went out in really wild disorganised surf, what fun, playing in the waves in the soup zone is a great learning experience and tons of fun, recomended to all kayakers. photos from wed and fri look here http://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/stevegor/greenland%20kayak%20in%20the%20waves/

Wednesday, February 21, 2007





Today was launch day, luckily the sea was nice and flat even though there was a moderate easterly wind. With some help getting in [ I have to be careful not to scrape the hull on the shore, so entering and exiting the kayak should be done while afloat], I took the first strokes. At first the stability was a bit wobbly, but once I got used to that it was no problem, it trims well and tracks straight too, only problem was with the backrest. Leaning against the wooden back beam was not comfortable and the small support that I had made did not work, maybe it was not attached to the beam tightly enough or it was too small, but after a while my back was very uncomfortable. This made paddeling a bit difficult. Nevertheless we went out for about an hour and a half and the boat performed very well. It was a very exciting launch with a group of Wednesday paddlers all present to cheer me on. Lynn and Eli came as well to help and witness the great moment. Thank you all for your encouragement and good wishes.


Now I need to finish the deck lines and improve the backrest and then practice. I managed a roll and it felt extremely easy.


I am sure that after a couple of modifications it will be a great kayak, and maybe a name will come to mind too.


More pictures can be seen herehttp://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/stevegor/greenland%20kayak%20launch/

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tomorrow I plan to launch my new Greenland Kayak, I still have to put on the deck lines, but want to see how it handles on the water. I guess i`m a little impatient after the whole building process. I built with the help of Building the Greenland Kayak by Christopher Cunningham, and for additional insights and inspiration I also used the books Building Skin on Frame Boats by Robert Morris and The Aleutian Kayak by Wolfgang Brink. The whole process was a learning curve, lots of fun and interesting, and surprisingly more simple than I would have imagined. The real test will be tomorrow when it goes out on the water
Champagne anyone??

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Avital gets back in the surf


What a grin, she just couldnt stop smiling, thats what happens when you begin to master the surf. Good for you Avital, heres a few pictures from t0 day , small surf but lots of fun http://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/stevegor/mistress%20of%20the%20waves%20returns/.

Friday, February 16, 2007

more brown water




The Yarkon river joins the sea at the Reading power plant, thats our starting point today, the water is brown and its not advisable to go swimming, who knows what lurks in the depths..., but a few brave souls are not afraid to go paddeling up and down the river. There is a lot of boating activity, olympic kayaks and rowing boats, sculling and some sea kayaks too. Rami has his boathouse there www.gilkayaking.com {not really his . but thats where the action is} So we set out to explore the waters in Tel Aviv, lots of bird life, ducks and stuff, we went up as far as we could to the 7 mills and then took the right fork to the beginning of the ayalon, then home again for that hot shower. I guess the river has its attraction but give me the sea anyday.


Im planning to launch my new Greenland kayak on Wednesday, just hope that it does not sink.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



This morning we had a quickie, in and out on the run, tuesday morning is usually a short paddle, but today I felt really rushed as I had to go to work early. Now I know that its not a good thing to let work intefere with kayaking, and as a rule I am very good about that but today was an exception. We sprinted out to the ship at the end of the loading zone, went round it and down under the bridge and then back to shore, not even taking advantage of some of the waves forming for surfing. Roded appeared out of the blue from France, nice to have you back again, there is even a nice picture of him too. Even the photos didnt come out too good, so I tried to play with some of the filter effects in picassa and call them ART.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 10, 2007

saturday 7 am




Just a couple of pics today, cloudy grey sky, almost rain, and then the sun came out to warm us up after rolling practice. Quote of the day comes from Dr Arye Avni remembering a schoolteacher who told him, 'there are no grey days, only grey people'.........

Friday, February 9, 2007







What a difference, today the sea was as calm as a lake, hardly a ripple on the surface when we set out. We went north from Sdot Yam past ancient Casearea until JasserAl Zarka, a small fishing village just next door to exclusive modern Casearea. It takes about 45 min of moderate paddeling to get there depending on the weather and wind, today it was an easy trip, hardly any wind at all, just had to be aware of the fishing boats crowwing our path. We all gathered for a short stop and a drink of water and then some of us decided to continue on to the Island just off the shore of Kibbuts Maagan Michael. This is about 15 to 20 minutes further north. 5 of us went on, Limor, Lev Ohad Oren and myself, as we got closer to the Island we saw lots of cormorants just sitting on the rocks getting a bit of sun on their wings, Ohad went in for a closer look and scared them off for a while, but they wer`nt in the mood for flying and just settled back in the water on the other side of the rocks. Suddenly more kayaks appeared on the water round the Island, it was the paddlers from Thomas`s club at Hof dor. Its always nice to meet fellow kayakers on the water . They were on their way down to Caserea, but I dont think that they made it all the way. Limor managed to get us some coffee from the sailing school at the fish ponds of Maagan michael before we set out for home. The wind had picked up a bit, the sea was a little choppy from the southerly wind, but not enough to bother us, and we made good time back to Sdot Yam. Another perfect paddle completed with a few eskimo rolls before a hot shower and breakfast. The pictures can be seen herehttp://picasaweb.google.com/nseligster/ToTheIslandFriday9Feb/photo#5029541776103124962

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

brown water


Today the sea was wild, the usual outing was cancelled, we usually go out on Wednesdays at 8.30 for about 2 hours paddeling along the shores of the Med, either north past ancient Caserea or south towards The Hadera power station. Nevertheless Rami Gil and I decided to take my kayaks out and play in the rough stuff. The water was brown due to the heavy storms that just finished, the waves were about 2 to 3 m and the sea was a mess of white water soup. We punched through the waves and enjoyed the large swells while we went south for about half an hour, then decided to go and play in the waves. We both surfed fairly large waves almost to the shore and then the fun really began, trying to get back out was not as easy as comming in, the waves were neverending, and just when you thought that you had got through another one loomed and tossed you over backwards, tumbling underwater you loose all sence of direction and the poor visibility doesnt help much, but eventually the roll rights you and you just manage to take a well needed breath of air when another wave tests your ability again. What fun....