Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Engelandvaarders update

On Monday 22 August the Engelandvaarders team will be present at a press meeting that the Katwijk city council organizes at 17:00 at the Zeepaviljoen, Strandweg 2, Katwijk, Netherlands.

Niels Peteri will bring the original folding kajak that the Peteri brothers used for their North Sea crossing on September 19th, 1941.

I got a bit more involved when Ben and Chiel, two young Dutch Marines, joined the UK team and inquired with me to borrow kayaks for the crossing as they did not think their training kayak was suitable. When I learned they used a Navy standard Klepper double kayak I knew that I should not even think of changing the kayak...

That is, apart from advising some air/float bags in bow/stern to increase the buoyancy of an upturned/flooded double. They graphically explained to me what happened on one of their training runs in 1.5 meter surf...

Their capsize in surf gave me a flashback memory of the account of Henri Peteri when their kayak capsized on first launching and half of their equipment was lost, but spares of critical equipment made the difference. The historic relevance of two of the team using the same type of craft as the Peteri brothers is striking.

The team is now planning to set off to cross the North Sea from Katwijk very early on Tuesday 23 August to finish 40+ hours later on Sizewell Beach in Suffolk, the location of the Engelandvaarders monument (see picture).

The latest news can be followed on their website news page.

During the crossing you can check Engelandvaarder 2011 on Facebook. You have to be logged-on to Facebook already for this Facebook link to work.

Update Aug 20: The national daily newspaper "De Telegraaf" ran a full page article on the Engelandvaarders in this Saturday edition's first section.

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