Tuesday, March 30, 2010

kayak building progress report

Well its been a while but now I am coming to the end of the building process.

First I had to transfer the plans onto the plywood, then cut on the dotted line, then stitch together with copper wire and then glue the seams with epoxy.

Once thats done its time to fiberglass the top and bottom which is where I am at right now and then I need to join the two halves together

It seems like a straightforward job, and it is too if you buy a kit and all the pieces are cut for you, but I had trouble cutting the jigsaw joints accurately with my saw and the seams could have been a bit more precise. On the whole I think its coming along pretty nicely and hope to finish it by the end of the Passover holidays

Monday, March 29, 2010

happy birthday vered and happy pesach to everybody

First we went for a morning paddle, nice bumpy seas and slight swells made for an interesting outing.There were about 20 kayaks , not too bad for a Monday morning. And then when we got back we had a double celebration
Firstly HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO VERED, and remember that birthdays are good for you, the more you have the longer you live.
And secondly tonight is the first night of Pesach, or passover, so we had a combined celebration breakfast

All over the world we will sit with our families and friends and celebrate our freedom from slavery . So I take this opportunity to wish everyone a

Saturday, March 27, 2010

round the sea of gallilee in one day

First the good news, the level of water has risen, compare the first 2 photos, taken at the same place where we begin the trip. This is the put in at Kibbutz Ginnosar, first picture 2008 second picture yesterday

We set off at about 7am, the clocks had been set forward for dst so it was actually 6am, the weather was favourable, flat water nice clouds and no wind.

There were 14 of us and we planned to circumnavigate the Sea of Gallilee in one day. Total distance about 50 km. We stopped for a rest on the water about every hour,for a snack and drink and every couple of hours made a short landing to stretch and eliminate excess fluids.

The first half was a breeze, and we made good progress even managing to get in a few sprints. Later we had a bit of a headwind down the southern end but as we rounded the bottom half this became a following wind and together with the waves made the first part of the northern leg lots of fun. We flew along surfing the swells and with the wind behind us it was great fun.

We found a Cormorant with a fishing hook in his mouth and the line tangled round his wing and foot. He couldnt fly and was doomed if we couldnt help him. It took a bit of manouvering to eventually get hold of him but then Inon managed to grab him by the wing. After a bit of a struggle and a peck or two the bird was set free to fly again. We had done our good deed of the day.

After that the wind turned to a strong NW and made the final leg one long hard slog. We battled the waves coming from the side and the gusts which may have been 20kn for about another hour and a half before finally reaching the beach at Ginnosar again. The whole trip took about 9 to 10 hours.
My conclusion after this trip, paddling technique is extremely important, having an efficient and energy saving forward stroke is more important than relying on strength, It pays to take the time to develope this technique, as we spend most of our time paddling forwards.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

signs and omens

Sometimes when driving to work if I get all the lights on green I tell myself that its going to be a good day.It doesn`t happen that often, lights on green, I mean. But the thing is its nice to get a sign from above that Im on the right track , at least for a day.
So the other day, while hiking up in the Golan Heights, when I found a cap with an Alaskan symbol on the badge, I just had to read it as a sign that my trip to Alaska this June is the right thing to do.
What are the odds of finding this particular cap in this remote out of the way place.
I looked around, no one was in sight and so I figured its my lucky day and put it in my bag. About 10 minutes later I came across a very unhappy kid who asked me if I had seen a cap on the way.
What would you have done?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

too crowded to surf

Well the surf was good but when we got to our favourite spot we found that it had been overtaken by all these stand up artists. This made surfing more dangerous than usual and not as pleasant, but we still had a good time. Unfortunately I didnt manage to get any good surfing photos, maybe next time will be better.
Also pay attention to the bird pole, rough seas and no birds in sight.

I was away for a while, had my sister who lives in the USA and her husband visiting for a week, so no kayaking for me for a weekend. We went for a trip to the north of the country, and I became a tour guide for a few days. Theres nothing like having to take guests around to reopen your eyes to the many attractions and beauty of the country. We were at the caves of Rosh hanikra, this time from inside, watching the surging water coming in, and all I could think of was how fantastic it would be to go through in a kayak again.

Later on we were on the Golan Heights looking down on the Sea of Gallilee. There is one spot where you can see the entire sea in its entireity, and guess what, before the Six day War, this spot was the site of a Syrian army bunker and from here they could and would lob shells down onto the Israeli villages , kibbutzim and fishermen.
Next challenge comes on Friday when a bunch of us are going to paddle round the Sea of Gallilee , all 55km in one marathon day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

up the pole

At the northern end of our bay there is an old Roman column standing on the reef. We pass it each time we go out between the rocks on our way north.

Most days there`s some bird sitting on the pole looking at us or for fish in the water or just sunning itself up there on its perch. I have been trying to photograph these birds whenever I see them. The trouble is that they don`t let me get close enough for a great photo, in fact when they hear my kayak, quietly as I paddle, they take flight.

Sometimes its lola swimming out to meet Rami who chases them away.

Today it was a Kingfishers chance to sit there, as I approached he flew away, hovered high up in the air but didn`t dive for any fish.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

down down down to the dead sea again

Every year we have a trip to paddle on the Dead Sea. In fact the Hebrew name is the Sea of Salt, and not the Dead Sea. This year was no exception, yesterday we made our way down below sea level, about 400m below, to Mineral beach, and set off for an easy paddle on the salty oily water.

The salt crystals on the shores are reminiscent of snow and ice and the mud shores have very interesting patterns.

The mud is supposed to have health benefits and many people smear it all over their bodies. We didn`t, just paddled north for a while, tried to enter one or two of the small channels that connect the sea to the small water filled sinkholes,

had a great gourmet picnic

and then paddled back to our starting point and home again. This year the group was made up almost entirely of new paddlers. Great stuff guys. Hadas made a video of the trip.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

when was the last time you did something for the first time

Tuesday morning is usually a paddling day but today was different. My partner and I took our entire dental clinic staff on a fun day out.This time I arranged for an action packed day including rapelling down a 25m cliff face. One of our newer paddlers has a company that organises and arranges this kind of activity. Avi runs the adventure company Shvilim and so I hired him for the day and he gave us a wonderful time. None of us had ever tried rapelling before and so it was an entirely new and exciting adventure. I know that a lot of kayakers are outdoors people and many have climbing experience, but for a non climber and one who suffers from a fear of heights I can tell you it was something to overcome this fear and go down the cliff face. It was also a great experience to overcome a fear which many of us had. For me and my staff it was a first timer and felt great. Tomorrow its back to kayaking. Thanks to Avi for giving us a great day and to all my staff who were game to try something completely out of the box for us.