Wednesday, March 21, 2007

changing direction

Well it`s now official, I have joined the staff at my Kayak club "optimist" .
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

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
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

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