Saturday, December 31, 2011

out with the old and in with the new

Friday morning , pre paddle group instructions before setting out with a large group of about 30 paddlers.The plan was to paddle  to Habonim beach, about 17km north of Sdot Yam

With such a large group of paddlers its impossible to keep the group together , especially at the beginning . Waiting to go the group inches forwards while those late starters still on the beach are in danger of being left behind. We usually have one leader in front one at the back and another in the middle

We had the company of our surfskis as well, its not often that they get to paddle such long distances

Dor Beach was the first  stop for breakfast, this was after about 2 1/2 hours later  and the weather had turned quite cold. Paddling conditions were fair but there was an easterly wind blowing offshore making life a little tough for some .

From Dor to Habonim there is a nice reef and small caves which make for interesting paddling

Racheli brings a real camera with her, secured in a pelican box and only takes it out  for pictures in calm waters.

In flat conditions its easy to go into the caves eroded in the rocks along the coast.
After exploring  them for a while we made for home.
 All in all about 35 km round trip , nice for a change and a bit of a challenge . Its not everyday that we get a chance for such a long day trip and the fact that almost 30 of us were out there shows that there is  a demand for this type of trip. Hopefully we can organize more like it.

Saturday 31st Dec, last paddle  of the year and the day begins with rain. Its cold and the seas are getting wilder. Just the stuff for an interesting outing

We stayed in the bay and had some fun in the surf

The smile tells us that all is well

There were some waves to surf

The tent on the beach housed an all night party that was still raging with very loud trance music that could be heard out at sea

In cold weather its advisable to dress warmly ,hence the pink socks that Vered is wearing.
The year ended with 2 great outings  .
I wish everybody a happy new year and lots of fun out on the water.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

there`s no speed limit in a kayak

All these exercises have one aim,  they are designed to help you paddle FASTER
I sneaked into a lesson today, given by Roei Yelin, one of our olympic kayakers who was invited to give  some tips to our surfski paddlers. Actually I was invited and so didn`t have to sneak in. I figure if its good for the olympic paddlers then it should be good for us regular paddlers too.

The lesson was divided into two.First the basic 4 parts of the forward stroke, this is the same for all kayaking if you want to get maximum effect from your effort
I wont go over this again except to pay attention to the pushing hand and its importance in driving the paddle into the water, helping to plant the blade  and then turning the body while pulling the boat towards the paddle.Also the exit is vital as when the paddle passes vertical it drives the kayak downwards and so slows you down . These subtle  movements are more pronounced in the olympic  kayaks and surfskis as they are so light on the water and less so on the seakayaks. But the effect is there and if you paddle more perfectly you will benefit.

Shifting weight from one bum to the other is also part of the deal and this exercise helps to get those muscles in good shape. Sit on the floor in a kayaking position and then by wiggling your ass move forward as fast as you can, go ahead and try it, its not as easy as it looks.

Stretching the paddling muscles with rubber bands and sitting on an exercise ball all help to develop balance and  strength

All the stretches are combined with rotation
An then you need to get out on the water.  Thanks to Kid for organising the day and to Roei for the lesson and also to Racheli for the photos

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rough seas

Rough seas predicted for the weekend,so we went out to see if the surfing was any good

Out at the rock there were some nice rides

Zviki joined us in his surfski

The short kayaks had a lot of fun

The waves were a bit crowded

I was out there in my Night Heron, and had to dodge all those little things

Some waves were quite strong

Inon was on the beach teaching his kid to fly, but he couldn`t get him to come down

Thursday, December 22, 2011

choose a holiday

So its Hannuka, Christmas and New Year all at the same time. Some of us will be celebrating all 3, others will have to choose, but to all I`d like to wish
Happy Holiday , have a great year and lots of paddling.
Somehow all problems seem to melt away when we`re on the water, so spend as much time out there as possible.
Thanks to Ori Lahav for the picture , I havent had much chance to take the GFD out , but now there seems to be more oppertunities and so I will be getting out there more and more. One thing I have found is that it takes some time to learn to paddle with a partner and it matters who sits where. It`s fast and its fun and very long, maybe I will have to put a rudder on for better control.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

for the birds

This is the time of year when the birds are pretty active, we see them flying around and sitting on the water. As we close in on them with our kayaks they fly away. Its pretty intense seeing so many birds taking off all at the same time

Then there are the Herons scrambling on the reef looking for food

And here`s a picture to remind us of summer,  warm water and sunshine, it will come again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

so where would you rather be, home hanging curtains or facing a 3m wall of water?

Friday 7am, not many turned up to play in the waves. The sea was wild and angry and not conducive to good surfing
Beyond the reef the breakers were throwing up spray, so I stayed out of trouble.
Israel Yossie and I after a morning in the wild surf, not great for surfing but another day out on the water. That`s way better than staying home and hanging curtains.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

toffee apple at low tide

The low tide uncovers the reef allowing the algae to become bleached by the sun. Pools  formed keep the algae hydrated for the most part. From Rahelis explanation these pools have been formed by the algae themselves. Pretty clever if you ask me.
Our resident seaweed expert Racheli Einav, so here`s the question, what is this red thing in the next picture?
To my untrained eye it looks like a toffee apple that some kid has thrown into the sea and got stuck on a rock.
These reefs become a wonderful playground
I found this lure caught up in an old fishing net floating around the reef and thought its better to remove it before it snares some bird or turtle.Luckily I had a knife handy
Michal also had fun round the rocks
Then we saw Izi and Idit holding hands while paddling, whats that all about guys?

I did some support sculling and a few rolls 

Balance is a problem for some of us, Ive seen people doing headstands in a kayak, standing up in the cockpit and jumping from fore to rear deck. Its impressive but not too useful

I`m uprightly challenged

Maybe this is easier
A helping hand and a fast shutter speed makes it look good.
All in all its a lot of fun on the water these days.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

follow the leader

Today the wind had dropped and the low tide made all the reefs accessible.
While most of the group made a run for Jasser, the Arab village just north of Cesearea, 4 of us played follow the leader through the gaps in the  rocks
Some of the gaps were small
Others were a bit more complicated

Boat handling had to be precise
Some turns were pretty tight
Some gaps took a bit of paint off the boat
But we all got through
Some gaps were huge
Every gap was examined
The rising and falling water made some of the passages like a lift, or elevator for my American friends
Timing is vital when going through these gaps

The sun sparkled on the water
And even the Channel of Death was accessible today
We all had a lot of fun today , hope you did too.