Monday, October 20, 2014

3 days at sea, again

Our annual trip from Rosh Hanikra down to Sdot Yam got off to a good start with a rainbow as a good omen

once the kayaks were loaded we set off

28 kayakers to look after, luckily the sea was calm and the weather good for paddling, Did you ever try to count all your paddlers, when the group is so big it gets difficult to keep track of everybody. We have one guide  leading one in the middle and one guide at the back, sometimes two of us at the back helping keep the group together , but from time to time the group stretches for about one kilometer. This would not be good in rough water but here its ok and we manage to keep tabs on everyone. Sometimes you have to count the group a few times just to get the right numbers.

Rain clouds in the distance but not on us

First stop for a coffee break 

Happiness is a wet paddle

Acco is an interesting town to pass from the sea

should I take a break now?

the wall round Acco

and then the crossing of Haifa bay, about two and a half hours across

as you get closer to the port you have to watch out for larger vessels, they don`t see kayaks. We landed after a hard days paddling and about 30km all in all

Camping here is a luxury experience, the manager of the beach lets us in after the official closing time, he leaves the showers and toilets open for us, brings us firewood for a fire and chairs and tables for our comfort. He gets a gold star from us.

Noam makes us coffee whenever we stop

Next morning we pack up and leave before the beach opens to swimmers again, and we leave no trace of ever having been there

Packing a kayak is an art and it takes a while to remember where everything goes , so one of our paddlers has a map to remind him

Leaving the beach

we pass fishermen 

always put on sunscreen

We stop for breakfast  after about one and a half hours and get ready for the next leg

We pass a navy base and have to go 3 miles out to sea to avoid the firing zone, they send out a patrol boat to check on us

It takes about 4 to 5 hours and we need to stop for frequent breaks, the water is still nice and warm so its easy to jump in for a pee when you need to and no dry-suites to worry about

there is some boat traffic out there too

Food is an important part of the trip.We make all our meals into one big picnic. This time Avigail delegated everybody a specific meal and asked them to bring the necessary  ingredients.Good planning made meals easy and fun and very tasty

The forecast for Saturday was worrying, strong Southerly winds were predicted and the sea was going to get rough, so we decided to push on as far as we could on Friday evening

We found a great beach just north of Nachsholim

and spent the night here, another 30km day, well done to all

Saturday morning the wind was up and against us, and the sea was more active

We left the beach and began to paddle 

But then Yiftach decided that it was too dangerous to take such a large and mixed group out in such conditions and we aborted , landing on Nachsholim beach and called for transport home.

A few brave souls decided to paddle home anyway and left us 

The menu for Saturday breakfast called for pancakes, and as we didn`t have time before leaving the beach we decided to have a late meal when we got back to the club.All in all it was a great trip, not easy to do such distances when the usual trip is only about 2 hours. It puts a great strain on the body and takes a lot of determination and will power to paddle for a whole day so I think its a good achievement to all who did it. See you again next year and thank you all for being such a great group

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