Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Weather Bound

Because of a high wind warning and flash floods in New York my flight to JFK got canceled. The flight already had an hour delayed arrival. After boarding the plane and waiting in it for more than an hour we had to leave the aircraft; deplane.

Lots of flights got canceled and lots of people are stranded. I am now booked on an extra flight early tomorrow morning. At least my connecting flight to Amsterdam is still valid. The only thing is that I now cannot spend a day in New York city, something that I was looking forward to.

I never before had the luxury to be offered a 'bed' right at the airport. Logistically probably the most conveniant solution. That and the rocking chair and the power outlet.

Earlier today...
I am not sure if I understand Starbucks anymore, if ever I understood them. The only coffee joint that was open. Apart from a 'Latte' there is no recognizable other coffees on the menu. I asked for a Cappucino and got the question: "What flavor?". Huhhh? I replied: "Regular". Not really sure if the cashier understood me I added: "Medium size". A minute later I got a 'Frappucino', not what I ordered. But they still do Cappucino, but I probably have to 'SPELL IT OUT: A HOT CAPPUCINO". I got my Cappucino instead and it actually tasted like Cappucino. A regular hot coffee might be even harder to get.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Hands


Today I saw a remarkable example and result of using a metaphore. Dubside is running rolling classes at the Ocean Gathering Symposium.

I first met Dubside in 2004 at the Delmarva Retreat, a Greenland symposium where I first got truly immersed in Greenland kayaking skills. That was a humbling experience then. I met Dubside again on a few other occasions but never had the opportunity since then to see him coach.

One of the students wanted some tips to improve her off-side roll. After some observation Dubside asked her if she knew about Micky Mouses' Happy Hands. She came-up on her off-side with the same open hand position as she went over; with the paddle between her thumbs and index fingers; perfect. Even better than on her 'on-side'. Impressive observation and use of metaphores; Happy Hands!

Just before lunch, Dubside had the group race to the beach. I think I could keep up with him with my euro paddle: faster, faster, faster; for a short while... And only with most extreme exertion. Humbling experience again... I consolidated on all my Greenland rolls I ever could do before.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rocky Landing at Little Tybee


Tybee Island has lots of sandy beaches, offshore sandbars, current, tide-rips, waves and surf. The Savannah River has a big shipping lane, buoyage and a very long stone breakwater (at low tide). However rocky landings and rescues near rocks, that is in the British Canoeing Moderate Water Sea Kayak Leader syllabus, requires sometimes some improvising.

The same probably goes for dealing with 10+ second ocean swells in some other parts of the world. Or areas with lots of rocks but no tides. Or areas in the UK that have only sandy beaches? What is the definition of 'Moderate Water' ?