Saturday, June 28, 2008

full house and more

Today there were more kayakers than kayaks, the club is positively bursting with new paddlers and there are not enough boats for everyone. If you don`t register early you have to hope that someone cancels so you can get their kayak More and more people are joining and the average seems to be getting younger too.It is fantastic to see so many people on the water. Now when we go out there are usually 2 instructors at work, one stays at the back to help and guide the newcomers, and the other is out in front with the more advanced paddlers. It seems like a good system and the level of skills is constantly improving especially with the Thursday skills sessions which attract a large number of paddlers.

Friday, June 27, 2008

driftwood kayaks

The other day while paddling along the coast we were talking about names for the kayaks that I build.Among others "Driftwood Kayaks" popped up and I immediately liked it. I sounds good and has connotations to original kayak building with materials found washed up on the shore. I began thinking of a picture to go with the name, and then again need to find the right font. Today I googled driftwood kayak and found a great website by Brian Schultz showing the building of a skin on frame using driftwood. Have a look, its an amazing site and worth a visit. If Oregon was closer to Israel I would pay him a visit ASAP.

Friday, June 20, 2008

homemade kayaks in Israel

I am making an album of all the homemade kayaks in Israel and appeal to all you kayak builders here who have built a kayak to send me a picture and some info about you and your boat. this is what I have got so far, I am sure that there are many more of us out there. please pass this message on if you know of any builders in Israel. Maybe the next step will be a meeting.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

optimist in alaska

About 10 of our Optimists went to kayak in Alaska, now thats about as far as you can get from Israel in any direction. The weather was wet and cold but that didn`t daunt them at all, after they learnt to manage in the cold and wet they had a great time as you can see by the photos that I have taken from Avi.Each one has his own way of looking at the great adventure, and listening to all the stories one can picture the trip. It makes those of us who stayed at home long for the next oppertunity to go kayaking in exotic lands.More later when I have interviewed them.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

the launch

11 am and no sign of Hadas, one kayak waiting to be unwrapped and the champagne in the fridge. Eventually she arrived and with great excitement began to unwrap her new boat inside the club.I must admit it was a beautiful moment, after working on the kayak for all these months to finally have it opened in such a way was a great feeling. And then down to the water and the first paddle. There is always a bit of uncertainty about how it will handle on the water, but the smile on her face told me that all was well.
Everything fit perfectly, for me the fit is a bit on the tight side, but then I am a bit bigger than Hadas, but even then the boat feels great, easy to handle and a terrific paddle. In time she will write a review of the boat and give us her honest opinion. Its a bit of a risk with a new kayak that you have no idea of how it will feel or behave in the water, and with no possibility of a test run you are taking a bit of a chance, but luckily Nick really knows how to design good boats.
Hadas , I wish you many hours of happy paddling and hope you love your new boat.

Here are some pictures of the launch, and just a word of thanks to all those who stayed and cheered us on . Thanks for you support guys, you made me feel great.

Friday, June 13, 2008

tomorrow is launch day

Today I finished building the Greenland style Night Heron, designed by Nick Shade of Guillemot kayaks. I started in Feb of this year , It took about 150hrs, I tried to keep a log of the building time but may have skipped a couple here and there so I would say give or take another 10%. The finished kayak weighs 18.6Kg with all the hardware but does not have a hatch yet nor deck lines. Hadas wants black lines but so far I have not been able to find that color. The hatch will be added later after some paddling , I need advice on just where to place it. Tomorrow is launch day at about 11 am at the beach at Sdot Yam.Champagne will be splashed on the vessel as is traditional for a new launch.

learning to brace in the surf

No doubt about it , when you learn to survive in the surf seakayaking takes on a different meaning. There is a great thrill to catching a wave, surfing it in to shore and staying in control of your boat, breaking out and going back for more. At last you feel that you are in charge and not at the mercy of the sea anymore, until you become overconfident, catch a bigger wave than you can handle and over you go. No matter, by now you can roll and so up you get and go back for more, every wave that you surf prepares you for the next one and so eventually you find yourself out in seas that you would never have considered going out in a while ago.
Go for it guys, its a great experience and full of the unexpected.
We love playing in the surf.

Monday, June 9, 2008

monday was a holiday

Monday was another holiday and so another day on the water, heres Lev doing a great roll with the Greenland throwing stick. It was a good day to go through the rocks just north of Cesarea, with a small swell to make it a bit interesting.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

rough seas at last

With a change in the weather expected, cooling mainly, the sea reacts first by becoming choppy and a bit rougher than usual. Yesterday and today we had about 1 m waves, not well organised for good surfing but good enough for some nice rough water play.
And a good time was had by all.