Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Spring Clean-Up

One of my 'favourite' things to do this time of year is filling in my income tax form. This year gets more complicated because I started business in 2006. Despite the fact it was my local tax-unit that decided back in 2006 that I was definitively running a business, the national agency still sent me a personal tax-form. I ran into major bureaucracy to make sure that I do receive the right tax-form... Anyway, while I am waiting on a new 'invitation to process tax', I went to my storage-space to weed through old stuff that can be thrown away. I use(d) to be very, very organized. Everything in labelled folders in labelled boxes. Then some years ago our cellar flooded (global warming downpour). Out went my moulded childhood memorabilia. My 'law of collecting' states that one saves stuff as long as one has room for it (waiting for flood, fire or moving house). Out of mind, into a box... Today it was mostly 'post-flooding' old-jobs related documents. And I found two long-lost copies of drawings that intrigued me during my IT college days.
Spider web computer userThe one with the skeleton is from those Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11 (subtype eludes me now) college computer room days. The Unix machine ran on 256 Kb internal memory. It ran C and Pascal (my favourite English language dialect ;-)), time-sharing 16 terminals. It's 8-inch (yep, massive) floppy disks held 250 Kb of data; my two-years worth of projects... I save you those COBOL punch card stories.
Limited scopeThe other picture made it into my final-year project "User interface aspects when integrating computer information systems". At home I had my Apple //e, 128 Kb with a Z80 card, running Digital Research CP/M (that would become MS-DOS) and Pascal MT+. Found the receipt of it today; I save you the price I paid for it... Apple had introduced it's Lisa computer. The GUI idea not yet stolen by Microsoft (Windows). Today, looking at the widespread "common user interface mistakes" all over the web, nothing really has changed. Now we have fancy Windows Vista Aero. The picture of the skeleton is still relevant to the ever faster computers bogging down in 'design software' that overshadows any functionality. The skeleton is understating that the responsiveness of the computer system is not too bad... Folders thrown away, memories lost? Not quite. Some of it made it onto my blog...

Friday, February 23, 2007


With the 'lightning speed' of the internet, by e-mail, or just the old-fashioned way by talking on the phone or just chatting at a meeting one learns about things... Tonight I learned that shortly there will be parcels shipped all over the world. Furthermore, from another very reliable source, I heard that on the Saturday night of the biggest kajak/canoe show in the world, somewhere in the Midwest of the United States, there will be a NOT TO BE MISSED event. I just in-time replaced a two-word phrase with 'event' in order not to spill the beans. What a pity, I cannot be there to see it, but I know for sure that we will know all about it the day after... Spreading rumours? Me?
rumour UK, US rumor
an unofficial interesting story or piece of news that might be true or invented, which quickly spreads from person to person.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kick Start

All over Europe sports coaching is going through major changes towards a more unified approach across sports and countries. The changes induced by the International Olympic Committee filter through to each country's National Olympic Committee and finds it's way into recreational coaching all the way to the Dutch Canoe Union (NKB) kayaking disciplines and eventually to sea kayaking. If you are into the British Canoe Union (BCU) coaching scheme: same kind of changes! Over the last two years aspirant (sea) kayak coaches spent time suspended in the froth of the crashing waves of change. Many were swimming, some went missing for a while. Now the future is more clear, it is time for a renewed start. Re-enter and Roll! Thus Nico Middelkoop and I found ourselves confronted with very confused participants of our weekend: "How to start to become a kayak coach". Lots needed to be clarified. After each day I had a strange feeling that the participants left with renewed motivation while transferring their confusion to me. Removing the scaffolding of the whole new Dutch kayak coaching structure shows the inevitable signs of "still some work to be done". Hopefully the new coaching 'building' is strong enough to support all those enthusiastic aspirants. I have a feeling that I will be spending more time with more of them than I anticipated. All for a good cause. Thank you Nico for giving it a kick.
Above photo was made by Hans Heupink during a coach training workshop in December 2006; read about it on his blog.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Today I experimented with adding sitefeed to my web log. This proved to be a very frustrating activity because Blogger (in my case?) does NOT generate the correct code in the headers to make it work and information on the web about rss and atom is highly technical. Even almost too technical for me ;-) The help page on sitefeed on Blogger is 'not-found' ! The last issue to solve is that my sitefeed does not show a 'plus-sign' on Google custom search page to see the text of a post. Hopefully this post will activate that. Yesterday I experimented with AdSense. That's the advertising on my blog. Don't be affraid, I am only experimenting with what this is all about and how 'intelligent' Google is with matching AdSense advertising to my blog. I have no intention whatsoever to try to make any money with AdSense.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Feeling Lost

What to say? Following Derrick's vigil, his 'hour-by-hour' account of events on the other side of the world, news links and thoughts. Just Friday I received an e-mail from John Kirk-Anderson from New Zealand. I had met John in Anglesey many years ago and he was dropping a line while he had mutual friends visiting him. They must have been preparing a great welcome for Andrew McAuley. The dot on the map, Andrew's last known position, only 65 kilometers from land remains on my mind. My knowledge of the English language is failing to describe my feelings properly. Just cannot find the right words, would there ever be anyway?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Falls of Lora Memories

I finally updated my website with pictures from Falls of Lora and the 1st Storm Gathering symposium on Isle of Mull from October 2006. Today, Justine sent me below pictures that Alun Hughes took of me in Falls of Lora. After months of mental preparations I think I am now finally ready for the premiere of This is the Sea 3. In fact, today Justine put a preview on her website (, so I better be ready! At least Alun's photo's show that am 'right-side-up' at some point in Falls of Lora, and in control of my craft. In control? I can already hear Justine laughing... I cannot complain too much about the preview... This is the Sea 3 has it's Dutch Grand Premiere on 17 March, look on Zeekajak.NL for details.
On the front wave (Photo by Alun Hughes)200610060518
Getting stuck-in (Photo by Alun Hughes)
For more pictures of the Falls of Lora and the 1st Storm Gathering symposium, look at my 2006 Logbook entries. Memories... NOT Memoires! Embrace the elements, again and again and again...