Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Greenland paddle,or how many paddles does one guy need?

Once you start making your own paddles its hard to stop. They take up less space than a kayak so it doesent upset the wife too much, and if you make a nice rack to show them off it can even become a piece of artwork.

My latest is a  2 piece made for my upcoming kayak trip to the greek island of Kefalonia.
I strengthened the ends with fibreglass and epoxy and finished the paddle with a water based matt varnish. Lynn made me a nice little paddle bag for easy transport.
I actually prefer a one piece paddle as the joint usually developes a bit of play after extensive use, and so this will only be used for travelling
Now we will see if the airline company will let me take it on as hand luggage or will they make me put it in the hold.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

experimenting on humans

Last weekend I managed to get my daughter Michal, aged 20 out in a kayak along with 2 of her friends. I have offered to take her and friends out many times but only now has it happend

It was a prefect day for new paddlers and they all enjoyed the outing. Wanting more we agreed to go out again this Saturday. The weather was not great for first timers, with a strongish north wind. As there were about 8 of them this time I decided to take them out in couples because of the wind. I also decided to try and start them off with Greenland paddles as an experiment. Usually the default paddle is a feathered Euro paddle, and  I have to explain about the assymetrical blade, feathering , changing angles and all that stuff. Also there are power faces and back sides to the Euro paddles. I figured that for a novice who has never paddled it would not make any difference what paddle they used for the  first time. So I got them all started on Greenland paddles. There is no back and front, no power face,no feathering and the paddle is symmetrical so cant be used in the wrong way. How easy is that to explain to a new paddler

I gave each one a Greenland paddle and off we went and everybody did great, into the wind was easy and even  with the wind at our backs they all managed to keep on track

I dont understand why more Israeli paddlers dont use the Greenland paddle

But if I have anything to do with it I will make sure that more are seen on the water.
I know you are not supposed to experiment with humans, but today I took a chance and it paid off, everybody managed great and there were no complaints. Who knows, maybe some of them will turn into kayakers

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The land of 1000 holidays

Another holiday has arrived, we get 2 days off in the middle of the week, just perfect to go paddling. The more I paddle the more I would like to stop working and just spend my days paddling. Exploring new places, teaching new paddlers the basics and getting them hooked on a new sport.
This holiday, Shavout commemorates the receiving of the Ten Commandments while the children of Israel were in the desert.
Not being the religious type, I just enjoy the time off and the way it brings families together  for a celebratory meal and a get together.
But back to the sea, today we had strong westerly winds  making the outbound trip exciting , fighting the wind and the waves, but the home leg was a wonderful run, catching the waves and playing in the following seas. Of course there was a capsize and a rescue, but that's par for the course in conditions like this.
and tomorrow the sea is expected to be even higher.....great.
That's the signal...come to me

In rough water the group is more disciplined and stays together

Time to turn around

sisters, can you see the resemblance?

Homeward bound with a following sea

rescue, remember how to do it

Almost there and then the sailboats getting ready for the competition later on

Saturday, May 4, 2013

magical misty morning

Yesterday my new paddler asked me if it doesnt get boring, paddling the same route every day. True, we dont have a huge variety of places to paddle and mostly we stay at our home ground. What does make the difference though is the different conditions of the sea. One day it  may be like a glassy mirror, then we get a stormy wavey day and for the last 2 days we have had magical morning mists

The mist changes everything, visibility is limited and you could be anywhere at all. Padders appear and dissappear , landmarks on the shore take on strange shapes and sounds are muted

The sun tries to break through and burn off the mist

Its like a struggle to see who will win, the sun or the mist

Keeping the group together is more important, its easy to loose paddlers if you are not careful and so towing the slower ones is a great help

Familiar sights take on a new look, making it a great outing.It all depends on where you are and how long you have  to paddle. On a long expedition mist can make your life miserable, spoiling the landscapes and making navigation a challenge. For us here on our short outings its a blessing and a taste of the possibilities that we could encounter on faraway expeditions.
What a great sport we are addicted to.