Friday, December 31, 2010

Is this winter and happy new year

The last day of the year and a great paddle. At last the weather changed and with it the sea. The forecast was for stormy weather and high seas but at 7am the sea was still flat and so as we went out we expected changes. A few of us [3] went to play in the rising surf while the rest of the group paddled away, when the group came back things got interesting.
As the sea had risen and the waves began breaking on the shore, landing became a bit of a challenge for the inexperienced . Also as our beach has changed since the last storm the landing site is now much smaller and so if you cant control your boat in surf it becomes more difficult.
As you can see in the movie, lots of swimming went on .
The moral of the story is.. get out there in rougher conditions and practice practice and then practrice some more.

Here is a short video that Zohar made showing us the winter of 2010.


Friday, December 24, 2010

now you see it you dont

The outer wall of cesearea harbout s it was for many years

After the last storm a large part of the wall has been lost, all the part on the left of the picture is now history

And as the year ends and 2011 begins, I wish everybody a happy Christmas and Great NewYear .
From what I see a lot of paddlers have nowhere to paddle as all the water is turning to ice, except here, our weather is still warm and pleasant for paddling. It seems like winter is just not coming this year

My new kayak is coming along very quickly, I have almost finished stripping the hull, it will take me a few more days and then its over to the deck. It sure is a long boat, 7.7m, takes me 10 paces to get from one end to the other,and each strip is made up of 3 strips joined together.

the first few strips after the sheerline

and then some more,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

essential equipment and a rescue at sea

The sea has been a good playground for the last few days. The effect of the huge storm that we had is still causing big surf and thus lots of excitement for us.Private kayaks only, no club outings just yet, this encourages members to acquire their own kayaks. They can then go out whenever they want, in any conditions and thus develope those rough water skills that you dont get if you only go out on flat water.

Two pieces of equipment should always be taken whenever you go out.The first is a towrope, probably one of the most useful pieces of equipment for helping a distressed kayaker or surfer for that matter.

 See the video below where we find a surfer out of energy and unable to get back to shore by himself.

The second piece of equipment is a camera for recording those rescues and other extraordinary events that you are likely to come across as you paddle.
And yes I agree with those who say that you should be selective with your pictures, a few good ones are much better than a lot .

Almost forgot, I wanted to write about rolling in the waves. When surfing you often get flipped over, when you are sidesurfing its very easy to roll if you use the momentum of the wave. As you go over begin your roll and use the wave energy to get up again. Watch the video and see how Zviki gets it. It needs good timing and lots of practice .

fun in the surf

Zviki surfing to shore

Thats me on a wave

Hadas doing backflips

yoni on his new Chaos surf ski

What can I say about this one

I was using my Greenland paddle in rough water, it works

Zohar punching out

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the BIG storm continued

It started on Friday, continued on Saturday and reached the peak on Sunday.

Brave paddlers on Friday afternoon in the wind and rain

Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Rain on Friday afternoon. Its nice to paddle in the rain

Meanwhile the news is full of incidents, trees falling on power lines, Turkish ships getting into trouble at sea, swimmers getting lost at sea,[ which idiots would go swimming in these conditions anyway?] and most of my patients not venturing out of their homes to keep their appointments, thus giving me an excuse to close shop, go check out the beach and then go home for an early afternoon.

View of the parking lot at the beach on saturday afternoon

When I got to the beach I met Zohar who was also attracted to the beach by the huge waves and fierce wind, here you can see her in the parking lot and check out all the rocks and stuff that the sea has thrown up .
Zohar in the parking lot on Sunday afternoon

 By the way Zohar is a great photographer and has just began to blog too so pay her a visit, its worth a few moments.
Visiting in the sandstorm
Yesterday we went to visit my daughter Michal who has just started her national service, here in Israel our girls also have to go the the army. The storm in the north was rain but down in the south it was all dust , sand that got into every crevice and crack and turned the daylight into an eerie yellow.We had a picnick in the car as the outside conditions were very unfriendly.

When we came home we went to see the sea, this was the beginning of the storm and then look at what the sea threw up, the power is unbelievable.
Leaning into the wind on Saturday afternoon
No kayaking for the next few days.
Sunday afternoon, the road to the beach is ruined

The parking lot on Sunday afternoon

Friday, December 10, 2010

storm coming

Winter has arrived at last, and with it the first of the winter storms . This weekend the seas will reach 5 to 7m so no kayaking for us. Today we had a small taster, 20kn winds in the afternoon made for an interesting outing. There were only 6 of us playing in the bay, hundreds of windsurfers were out too but as soon as the lightening began  they scattered and we were left on our own. A sudden squall of heavy rain hit us for a while and then the sea flattened out again and the wind dropped.
It was an exciting afternoon.
On wednesday we had some nice waves to play with so all in all it was  a great week on the water.
The video shows some of the action.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

mossad trains sharks

Egypt: Sinai shark attacks could be Israeli plot

Well now I know what that secret place is that we as kayakers are not allowed to enter. Its obviously the training ground for the Mossad`s newest agents, the special agent sharks, trained to sabotage the tourist industry in Egyptian Sinai
And it seems to be working, but then again the Egyptian authorities have begun a campain to get rid of all the Israeli agents, oops, I meant to say sharks in the Red Sea resorts.
I, for one would not go swimming in those waters for a while, at least not until we have a peace agreement in place and stop sending those agents. Oh I forgot, we do have a peace treaty with Egypt.
Maybe the sharks are being trained for another mission?
It`s been a terrible week with the huge fire up in the Carmel forest, and now in the aftermath all the squabbling by the politicians to put the blame on everyone else.
Better to go paddling.
 At least in your kayak its up to you, you can`t blame anybody if things dont go right.Talk about personal responsibility, you may be out there in a group, but your personal skills are what you rely on when things go wrong and the better you are the better your chances get.  Otherwise stay in calm water.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

surfing lessons and a new paddle

 I must admit its great to see all the new Greenland paddles out on the water. It does take some getting used to, changing from a Euro style paddle to a Greenland one. The feel is completely strange and it takes a good while to get proficient with the stick. So keep at it folks, and soon it will be as natural as pie.
Ant then we had a bit of surf the other day, nice smallish waves , just enough for a surfing lesson. This is another skill that takes a while to master.
Rolling is essential when surfing, otherwise you spend a lot of time out of your boat and  it gets kind of tiring.
Actually when you are surfing your kayak you find that you need all your accumulative skills, bracing is essential, both high and low, and if you use a high brace be sure not to raise your arm. Stern rudders and draw strokes are needed to stay in front of the wave and of course edging plays a huge part in direction control when you are going down the  face of that wave.
The one thing that stands our when surfing is the huge smile on everyones face.
Oh yes its a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

more from the misty day,

Still looking for the best way to capture the feeling of paddling in the mist.
All good until the flying fish attack

Sunday, November 21, 2010

optimists = opt in the mist

This is the season of misty weather in the morning. Winter is a bit late, the sea is still warm and the difference in water and land temperatures results in early morning mists.

When the airport is shut down due to reduced visibility things are not so good, but when it comes to our early morning paddle its another matter. In fact due to our lack of extreme weather we enjoy any challenge the elements throw at us. So a paddle in pea soup fog becomes an exciting adventure.
The sun is barely visible through the mist, kayaks drift in and out of vision, fishermen appear to be floating in the sea and everything takes on a surreal appearance.

As long as we stay close to shore we are safe, we think, that is if we can see the shore all the time. It can become very disorientating when you loose all your landmarks. Luckily for us its a rare occurance and we do not have it too often.
Everyone enjoyed the experience and we tried to capture it on film but the ideal picture is an ellusive thing.
How best to capture the feeling and the moment.
Of all my photos I like this one best.
All in all it was a great paddle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the last paddle carving day of 2010

Today we had the last paddle carving day of 2010, and believe it or not another 9 Greenland paddles were produced  and should be seen on the waters soon.
Well done to all who took part and thanks for making it a great day.
Greenland paddles are making it big time in Israel.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Avners stolen kayak. Have you seen this kayak

I received an email just now from Avner, very distressing news, his first strip built kayak has been stolen. here is his letter requesting help in locating it. If anybody has seen this kayak please will you call Avner as soon as possible 
 Hi Steve
My first strip kayak (Cape Ann) was stolen this week.
Could you please publish it in your blog and if possible in the blog of Optimist too.
It was stolen from the store house of the National parks Authority in Alexander river.
I guess if the bustards will use it it will be in your region.
Here are the photos. It has now black bungeeies and a black Feathercraft rudder which is not in the photos.
I think that any strip kayak that was not built by you or your friend, and seen lately arround Furadis, Dor or Keysaria might be this one.
If someone will see it in the water   please call me as soon as possible.
Actually I think maybe I did see it on Thursday evening coming home from Netanya. A car passed me with a kayak on his roof, it had a black rudder. I was interested to see it and turned round and chased it but to no avail, it disappeared and so I went on my way home not thinking about  it anymore.Maybe it was yours Avner. 
I am real sorry to hear this news and hope that you find it soon.
In the cause of decency I will not say what I think should be done to the ones who stole it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

learning to seal land and launch

We paddle past the reefs every day, the tidal waters rush over them and then back down again and I often wonder what it would be like to try landing on them.
Today I did just that, and luckily for me Hadas and Vered managed to film it from 2 different directions making a nice little video. I guess its like all aspects of seakayaking, practice makes perfect , or as Ben Lawry says, "perfect practice makes perfect"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

5 more Greenland paddles made in Israel today

Danny and Yossie working hard

success at the end of the day

Iris  managed despite her wounds

Anat and Itay 

Itay getting his blade right

anat with a vintage plane

get stuck in

Vered fixing her paddle

Ben getting ready for his paddle
we did it
Greenland style paddling in Israel  got another boost today  when 5 new paddles were made . Hopefully they will be seen on the water soon as their new owners take them out to sea.Most of the participants have had lessons with Helen Wilson and know more or less how to do a standard Greenland roll. Watch this space for more details.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

things you see at sea and a new winter project

I met this guy the other day, didn`t have much time to talk but found out that he was paddling his hasake,[ I dont know the English equivalent] from Rosh hanikra on the northern border , down to Hertzlia. Thats a long way to paddle standing up all the time.
This is my new project for the winter. Its a Guillemot fast double kayak, for advanced and intermediate paddlers. Hopefully I can get my better half to come paddling with me when its finished.

I have begun to cut out the forms .The cedar beams are for my next Greenland paddle carving day  

Here are some of the forms, ready to have the center holes cut out . I have to make a strongback of 23feet. thats 7.7m. and I don`t know how I`m going to transport it when its finished, maybe Ill have to hire a limo. Well I`ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

more of the same

Same place, different day, oh yes today was just as good as yesterday

today Racheli came to take pictures with her nikkon

the surf was dramatic, and just getting out was an adventure

The theory is clear, but when you are pounded by the waves and get washed back time and again you begin to wonder just what you are looking for

the answer is the ride back to shore

it`s exciting

and a lot of fun

everybody gets flipped sooner or later

so use nose plugs

and learn to roll

thats what makes it fun

after an hour or so I had to break for coffee

the petrel is a great surf kayak

the surf was so powerful that Israel broke his paddle in one of the large waves

Dror enjoyed himself too

mickey was out there too until his spray skirt got ripped as well