Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The way forward...

I never would have thought that my first course on a river would be in a canoe! Phil Hadley, Jennifer Kleck, Karl Anderson, Ginni Callahan and I headed of for the Clackamas River in Oregon for two days of 4-star canoe leader training.
Click on below picture for a slide-show.200908241600480379_AS.JPG
I definitely had some thoughts if my skills would be good enough to join them. I came prepared for lots of swimming practice...

It has been a long time when I actually felt the sensation of adrenaline rush: heading down a rapid into the unknown. It felt really good to feel the pressure on the blade and be 'in control', an amazing feeling. Having before only been on flat water with a canoe and appreciating the blade awareness bit. This is so much more, this is FUN!!

Only the poling (against and with the current) was very hard work. In the end determination overcame frustration. Phil tried to motivate me by saying that the poling bit was definitely 5*. In the end it just comes down to skill, I learned a lot...

We don't have swift running rivers in the Netherlands. I am looking forward to new opportunities to paddle rivers in a canoe. Blade awareness, boat control and feel of the water are so much more intense and fun in a canoe.

Whenever you go canoeing with Jen though, be very aware when she wants to change boats. It might be that she trades her very maneuverable and most-wanted canoe for a more straight tracking, but faster one. But only at a time when the rapids are over and it becomes flat water... On the positive side, I got to practice a lot on my J-stroke efficiency and speed...

Thanks Judy, Sue and Ken for insisting that Ginni and I should not be around for symposium clean-up! And that we should join Phil.

Click on below picture to follow Phil through a rapid.200908241405000367_AS.JPG
I leave you with a phrase by Phil that could be misinterpreted for all those that have NOT been at LoCo.: "There is only one way..."

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