Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Head Winds

Last Saturday, a club trip was planned to the "Razende Bol" (translates as Raging knoll/bulb) off Den Helder. Unfortunately the wind was blowing a strong force 6. Therefore an alternative trip was found by Thierry on the nearby Amstelmeer lake. Not less windy, but a challenge nevertheless for everyone, without the risks that any sea trip would pose in these conditions. Some of us almost got more than we bargained for... Some had difficulty in keeping their kayaks pointing into the wind. I had to do a course tow for a higher volume kayak that was running 'bow-high'. Later, on the canal, some experimented with their tow-line, that, in these conditions, showed them some 'flaws'. Firstly getting ones tow-line ready only after maneuvering to make the link, sweeps the whole in-line tow down-wind with danger of entangling the whole tow, not to speak about the distance lost in the process. Secondly, one tow-line bag was trailing in the water, effectively creating a drogue that had the first tower overtake the front tower... Lastly I made the 'mistake' of hooking-up when I thought it would be only 10 minutes left to make it to the cars... Towing is very hard work against a force 6 headwind! I had a work-out. And yes, we made it to the "Razende Bol" after all, just look carefully at the pictures...

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