Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Engelandvaarders Ahoy

At 22:15 tonight Alec, Ben, Chiel, Ed, Harry & Olly pushed off the Beach at Katwijk. It is anyone's' guess how long it will take them to cross the North Sea to Sizewell in Suffolk. Their own estimates range between 40 and 50 hours.

The press meeting in the afternoon, opened by the Mayor of Katwijk, was impressive. In an informal setup the history of the Engelandvaarders and the achievement of the Peteri brothers was narrated by Niels Peteri, the son of Henri Peteri. For a comprehensive history on the Engelandvaarders and the Peteri brothers, see the team's website:

For all of us it must have felt like pieces (both big and small) of a puzzle fitting together. I think none of the involved could have foreseen what an widespread impact the monument at Sizewell had.

It must have been tough for the guys to be available for all the questions from press and by-standers while they want to get going. The final preparations and departure was filmed by the regional TV station RTV West.

Leaving the beach in the dark, punching through surf, they head into the darkness, much like it must have been 70 years ago, that is without the retro-reflecting tape on the paddles.

Their progress can be followed on their website:

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