Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Been there Done that and Doing it again

The Sea of Galilee, steeped in biblical history and visited by thousands of pilgrims  is the largest fresh water body of water in Israel, and as is well known where there is water we will paddle 

Every year we take our  optimists on a 2 day trip round the Sea, starting at Kibbutz Ginnosar on the eastern shore and paddling northward. 

Mornings are usually quiet and windless and the water merges with the sky creating a grey background to paddle in

The water level varies from year to year depending on the winter rains, and the shoreline changes as well, sometimes its mudflats and at others there are reeds and submerged trees, all making interesting paddling conditions

Many churches along the way are remains from the time  of  Jesus

and they attract large numbers of Christian pilgrims

We also become part of the scenery 

the priests also have their favourite benches for meditation

A spring with a small waterfall is always an attraction 

When there is good rain in winter we can paddle up the Jordan river as it enters the Sea on the northern edge

the locals watch us with caution

In the afternoon it usually gets windy and the character of the water can change quite dramatically

What was flat and calm suddenly became choppy with a strong side wind

The group spread out in the wind and we battled on for the last couple of hours till our half way mark

landing was also a bit of an adventure in the choppy water

Camping for the evening after 30km was a welcome rest

toasted cheese for breakfast

and way too much food  got us ready for the second leg

before setting out we tried to get a group photo of 24 kayaks, an almost impossible feat but we sort of succeeded

The second day we paddled about 32km slight headwind but mostly good conditions.
 So there you have it , we did it again, some for the first time and others have done it too many times to count. For the first timers its a real challenge, to go from paddling at most for 2 hours at a time to a full day and 30km is quite an achievement, and then to do it again the next day , well I for one  say good work guys and well done.