Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Location:
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Friday, February 28, 2014

Journey's End

This morning, the last day of February, the final issue of Sea Kayaker Magazine arrived on my doorstep. My subscription started in 1998. Vividly remembering missing the August 1997 issue from the newsstand that was also sold-out as back-issue... No more issues to be missed, up until from now on.

As a reader, I learned lots about sea kayak safety and awareness. I got my copy of 'Sea Kayaker Deep Trouble' from my role-model sea kayak instructor. He passed his copy on to me with the remark: 'stupid people doing stupid things'. I learned lots from it, did a few embarrassingly stupid things myself, learned from it and shared it so others could learn from it.

My 1999 Southeast Alaska adventure was inspired by reading articles about paddling the inside passage of this state that I became to love while backpacking the Pacific Northwest & Alaska. Never touching my back-pack again ever since I started using my 'float-pack'.

As a writer, I felt very privileged to have two (technical) articles published in SK. A third article, my journey in the Faeroes, went through various edits with Christopher Cunningham but never made it in print. It just did not make the mark. I learned lots about writing in that process, thank you Chris! It is not easy to be published in a quality magazine. With the ending of Sea Kayaker Magazine I think that quality is lost.

Christopher writes in the final issue that reader surveys showed less interest in longer outings and more interest in day trips. Maybe 'sea kayaking' has become so popular that the relative interest has shifted towards 'recreational day trips'. Sea kayak touring is a mere niche compared to SOT, kayak fishing, SUP, kayak fitness, etc.

With the internet there is too much competing 'content'. Quality is rarely the norm anymore, just the speed to 'blurb' it out. It takes me about one hour to write a post for my blog. Not that I pretend quality, I just cannot find the motivation to post anything 'lasting only a day' on Facebook or tweet my moods. Too much time wasted on computers anyway.

I found myself reading Sea Kayaker Magazine only when I am away from my computer, which is less and less. The luxury of relaxed reading without interference of 'nagging' e-mails on the ferry to and from Britain on my way to Anglesey... It won't be too long before we can access free internet from the remotenest of places and never be without. I just returned from a wonderful trip in Baja with Ginni Callahan and found out that phone and internet access are creeping down the coast from Loreto...

Three boxes of paper copies remain. Thank you Sea Kayaker for the journey!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Time Stood Still

Looking at the hands of time on the "Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó" in Loreto in Baja California Sur, time must have stood still since I was here last time in March 2011. The picture was taken at 5:30 PM... Or did I arrive before touching-down?

I am here (again) with a Dutch group of paddlers for a trip with Ginni Callahan of Sea Kayak Baja Mexico. Thursday we start our sea kayaking trip to La Paz.

Baja & Loreto are magic places.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Weed & Reed

Wieden, Netherlands, 2014
Today was the first day in my kayak after my eye laser treatment, paddling with Saskia, Paul & Marc. A new experience paddling without glasses.

A little gray and windy day. The area is a nature reserve and it's environment meticulously 'preserved' by the annual cutting of the reed fields. Apart from expensive thatched roofs for the rich (high labour cost), reeds are less and less used. Without cutting the reeds, the environment would change, probably to forests.

A great area to paddle through this time of year. Not only because of the reed cutting and open views, but also because it is not crowded with other recreational water users and tour boats that congest the channels in Summer. Nearby Giethoorn is particularly popular for visitors.