Tuesday, May 16, 2017
For the last two days I have been staying with Petr from Czech. He kindly offered me a place to sleep. A few years ago Petr built his own carbon/kevlar racing sea kayak in Prague. Put it in the water there and paddled all the way to Nordkapp and partly back; a 5000 km trip...
After dinner we drove the scenic coastal road back and took a small detour twards South Stack for this nice sunset picture.
Now it is packing-up and driving back to the Netherlands via Hull ferry. Hope to be back soon!
Friday, May 12, 2017
I should have known better because of earlier experiences. Too eager to have them have a good time at Penrhyn Mawr...
Penrhyn Mawr mid-flood at spring tide is very, very hard work. Ear deafening water rushing, boiling, swirling. Knife sharp eddylines. Burning-up our final reserves of this weeks energy very quickly. Getting to the gully to have a break was a real challenge.
The last hour of the flood gave us some nice and gentle waves to finish a great week in Anglesey.
Never again a 'big rush' to get to Penrhyn Mawr at mid-tide Springs.
Penrhyn Mawr 'Chicken Run' at mid-tide Springs
Posted at 19:28
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
With the weather forecast of light winds and a last day of full sunshine in the forecast it was too good of an opportunity to miss. The tide was not so perfect and I did not have the information with me for the exact timings of the ebb and flood in Bardsey Sound. How 'right' are some 'random' internet pages on Bardsey Sound?
The crossing to Bardsey was on a perfectly straight line on an increasing ebb tide; at least that part I had right. A nice long lunch and hike on Bardsey. Nagging at me when exactly the flood would start and/or when eddies would kick in... Around the top end of the Island and crossing back over to the mainland. Still ebbing, nice, but for how long?
The crossing back turned out super safe but has room for improvement. At least our route today shows a nice figure of eight on the GPS track. Adding some more information about how and where the eddies and countercurrents affected us both in direction and speed. A strong tide-race in an eddy in a smooth sea state is allways interesting to encounter and think about.
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
The cardinal buoys at Victoria Bank and Coal Rock are great for positional fixes on this classic navigation to the Skerries out of Cemlyn. We did not need to 'hit' them but they offer great photo opportunities and a bit of an extra challenge to get to them on a chosen compass course. No distant clouds today to do an easy transit on. The GPS track shows a nice curved route 'hitting' both of them and the Skerries.
Another great day. The sun allways shines on the Skerries.
Monday, May 08, 2017
Today we paddled from Porth Dafarch to Rhoscolyn. The wind was quite strong and chilly from the northeast. We kept close to the shore and paddled through every gully and over every pour-over we could find; hence the occasional scratch and shouting 'keel strip'!
We are getting into the habbit of having two lunch breaks a day. The first long break was out of the wind in the sun at Rhoscolyn Bay. Second lunch was at Porth Diana on our way back.
The next two days promise to be sunny with little wind, and the tide is right...
Sunday, May 07, 2017
Sunday, March 05, 2017
Arriving early at the Ushuaia airport to deal with my excess luggage I learn that my 16:10 flight to Buenos Aires AEP is delayed. It now leaves 15:15; an hour EARLIER !
Moreover a big confusion over if I need to collect my checked luggage at AEP for the planned bus ride to the other airport EZE. My flight now is directly to EZE. No need to change airports and luggage checked through to Amsterdam.
Finally I start digging up my credit card for the excess luggage charges. Only to be handed over my boarding pass and she wishes me a good flight...
Now I am left with 825 pesos, about 50 euros, not needing any of it as it looks. After final checking in at Buenos Aires I will be looking for a nice dinner. So far I think Argentinia deals very nicely with 'delays'.
Posted at 17:21
The month at sea is only slowly leaving my 'system'. This morning I tried to have the kitchen tap water run by tapping my left foot on the floor. The sink water on-board was foot-operated...
Yesterday I tried to 'organize' the various posts that Justine published on her blog, Facebook and the Spirits' blog and link to them on my Facebook. Glitches in the on-board satellite e-mail system made for sketchy publishing. Justine superbly wrote about our Antarctic adventure.
I continued on further weeding-out the 6600+ pictures I currently have on my computer; Donna's and Jay's still to come... I came across this zoomed picture that Justine took of me taking a picture of a Crabeater seal; as if it saying Hi!
At the start we took wide berths of all seals. Paddling through ever denser iceflows we inevitable passed closer-by. The Crabeater seals in particular are not disturbed whatsoever by our presence; only rarely looking up, do some scratching and lying their heads back on the ice, eyes closed. Never taking to the water.
Posted at 15:00
Saturday, March 04, 2017
The picture is of our overnight camping at Booth Island. More stories and pictures to follow at some time.
A big thank you to our Captain "Zeek" and Santi for crewing the incredible Spirit of Sydney and navigating her and us safely to Antarctica and back and all the support they gave to our kayaking logistics and the many nice meals they cooked for us.
Justine led the group 'Expedition Style' and no one was complaining that we sometimes had our first stop and lunch only at 3 PM. There are not too many landing spots on this continent that is crushed by heavy glaciation. Ice, ice, ice, everywhere. Thank you Gry, Donna, Jay, Lonan and David for the great company on board and on the water.
Justine is possibly planning another trip to Antarctica in 2019. Very highly recommended!
Posted at 08:00
Friday, February 10, 2017
It has been a week since we left Ushuaia. The crossing to Antarctica was 'uneventful' (as for sea state) for we experienced what is called "Drakes' Pond". A relative smooth passage brought us to the Melchior Islands. Along the way we saw hourglass Dolphins and breaching Humpback whales and Albatros. And first glimpses of all white coastlines, ice bergs and chinstrap penguins.
All the coastline is heavily glaciated; crushed by ice. There is only a few meters rocky 'beach' in front of vertical and sometimes overhanging ice cliffs. But those beaches would dissapear on high tide and would not be safe for landing for frequent cracking sounds and spectacular ice falls. Only the smaller islets have some opportunities for landings and safe lunch spots. But those sometimes are taken by fur seals. Very agile animals on land that sometimes rest on the patches of snow 20 meters up and far away from the water.
The floating ice looks all white and snow until one bumps into a foot size 'cube'. Hard, heavy and sharp as granite; floating rocks.
Monday, February 06, 2017
I was pleased that today I was early for my watch. For the last few day I 'enjoyed' a 'comatose' sleep whenever I lied down. Very possibly the side effect of taking the Stugeron motion sickness tablets. Not a moment I felt any 'queesyness' that I experienced a few times before in the past. The captain recommends to keep taking the pills every 12 hours, just in case.
The ocean turns from almost oily flat overnight to a bigger swell making movement below deck difficult again. I have bumped my head numerous times now creating a sore spot in one place, and 'bang' again, ouch!
After my shift I helped Justine prepare a potato based oven roast. Cutting the veggies and cleaning the dishes I realize I am quite lucky with seasickness this time. I actually enjoy doing this, despite the repeated head bumps and #39;bracing for support'.
Justine reckons another twenty minutes to go in the oven. Another nice meal breaking the surface.
Friday, February 03, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
OK, through-posting my Blog to Facebook is still working and I am enjoying a record number of comments and likes; Wow! very motivational, thanks! Now trying not to overdo it on posts.
Posted at 21:00
Arriving in Buenos Aires at 4 AM with 25° Celcius. All the other summer clothing I packed and paid for will be more appropriate after I arrive in Ushuaia later today.
Posted at 05:30
Sunday, January 29, 2017
I am packed and ready for traveling to Ushuaia to join a sea kayaking team led by Justine Curgenven on the Antarctic Peninsula for the whole of February. We will travel to and from the Peninsula on the sailing yacht Spirit of Sydney.
At the moment I have no way of keeping you updated while I am there. Best option at the moment is probably to follow Justine Curgenven and CackleTV on Facebook and some infrequent but very good reading on the Spirit of Sydney blog.
Posted at 05:55