Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Gimme Shelter, Gimme Wind

During the Ascension day weekend, I went on a three-day ramble with the NKB. Starting from Kornwerderzand to Vlieland is a seldom paddled (longer distance) route. Originally just as a participant. Because 16 paddlers signed-up and not to disappoint half of them, I agreed to head-up one of the pods. Beautiful sunshine on a mostly windless day on this five hour paddle.

The forecast for the next day was a bit more wind... With a force 5-6 Beaufort tailwind we made it to Texel. Finally I had a chance to try out my sail in strong winds. The GPS logged a max-speed of 9.5 knots for combined sailing and surfing. That is not a good speed to stay with a group, without continuous breaking strokes. So I reluctantly put down the sail, to try it again for a bit at different wind angles. The picture above is of part of the group take wind shelter behind a beached ship on the Vliehors sand flat during a short break.

How to get back to our cars with a north-easterly strong wind warning (6 Beaufort) in effect? With the group experience of the previous day it was an easy decision to go (mostly) downwind to Den Helder. There a group taxi was arranged to get the drivers back to their cars at Kornwerderzand.

It is not often that we can paddle in these conditions with a capable group, to have a group build upon their comfort zone on a (no landing) trip. And to have aspirant trip leaders and an aspirant sea kayak coach take the lead at the upper end of the award and remit.

If you want to open the GPS track directly into Google Earth, you can open or download it from here.

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