Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Fight

Sometimes I think I hear glas breaking,
thoughts that confuse me,
to a sound not even loud
sometimes sounding familiar,
but seldom directly recognizable.
Waking-up I rub my eyes and see
in a scene in-between Brueghel and Bosch
no one gives a damn about the siren
because giving an 'all-clear' takes less effort
it smells of 'Kristallnacht'.

Es kütt vüür, dat ich mein, dat jet klirrt,
dat sich irjendjet en mich verirrt,
e Jeräusch, nit ens laut
manchmol klirrt es vertraut
selden su, dat mer't direk durchschaut.
Mer weed wach, rief die Aure un sieht
en'nem Bild zweschen Breughel un Bosch
kei Minsch, dä öm Sirene jet jitt
weil Entwarnung nur half su vill koss
et'rüsch noh Kristallnaach

My very best effort of an English translation of "Kristallnaach", a true masterpiece by Wolfgang Niedeken & Bap that is in Kölsch (Cologne, Germany city dialect). Use CTRL-+ (Windows) to enlarge the text.

Today, Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, who's party helps the current Dutch minority coalition Government to a majority, who described Islam as "fascist", has been cleared by court of inciting hatred against Muslims (more on BBC news).

To put things in some perspective I collected some of these so-called "gross and denigrating" remarks (2004-2009) and I transposed references to Islam, it's followers and terminology to another religion. The few remarks that do not reference a religion are 'just' word-by-word translations. This (my) freedom of speech in no way should be considered to be inciting hatred against Jews. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Why do we not dare to say that Jews should adapt to us, because our values simply are higher, better, nicer and more civilized? Forget integration, assimilation! After that let the yarmulkes blow in the wind on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Ik eat them raw.

Should it ever come to racial rioting, which I really do not want to, it does not automatically work out negatively.

We should stop the immigration of Jews.

I want to burn (take) down synagogues... I will be the first to set them on fire (brick them shut).

Netherlands is 'fuller than full' with regard to non-Western immigrants, particularly Jews.

Article 23 of the Constitution remains, but Jewish schools may not be established.

In this country we suffer an equality syndrome. Different situations do not have to be treated the same. Judaism is such a different case. Therefore we treat Judaism differently. I will not give in to a culture that is alien to us. So no Jewish schools. That is the principle.

Dealing with Judaism and Jews in our country should be less free-and-easy. The analysis is clear, we have a big problem with Judaism in the Netherlands. Immigration of Jews should be prohibited. We must learn to be intolerant to the intolerant, on the street, in the synagogues and in court. We must respond to the hate and violence of the Jews with exclusion and intolerance to show who is the boss in the Netherlands.

We must stop the tsunami of the Jews. Of a tsunami of an alien culture that is becoming more and more dominant. This must be halted to a stop.

Dutch culture is a thousand times better than Judaism.

New Article 1 of the Constitution: Christian, <Jewish> and humanist culture should remain dominant in the Netherlands.

I came here to warn of another danger: Judaism. Judaism appears as a religion, but now it has another purpose; domination of Palestine. It is not a religion, it is a political ideology. It demands your respect but has no respect for you.

I Propose the withdrawal of all hate speech legislation in Europe.

The first Jewish invasion... in the forties was stopped by Adolf Hitler when fortunately 6 million of them were gotten rid off. The number of Jews in every European country is since growing to alarming proportions. The party, with all their might, will oppose this Jewish invasion attempt.

It is wholly undesirable that New York counts no less than 177 nationalities.

We want a lot. Close the borders, no more Jews in the Netherlands, deport many Jews from Netherlands, denaturalization of Jewish criminals...

If Jews want to stay here, they should tear out half of the Torah and burn that.

But I do not want any more Jews in the Netherlands, I would prefer that there be even fewer. So I want the borders closed to Jewish immigrants. I would also like to encourage Jews to leave the Netherlands voluntarily. The demographic development must be that there is only a minute chance that again two of them have seats in Parliament. There is now too much Judaism in the Netherlands.

I would not like to see a growing number of people, perhaps in the future a majority of the population or government to consist of Jews.

Israel should not be allowed to join the European Union.

We see that Judaism is a major threat to the freedom of others. When you see how Judaism wants to dominate and make the lives of others very difficult. They come not to adapt, but to dominate.

I've had enough of the Torah in the Netherlands: ban that fascist book.

And the Torah is the "Mein Kampf" of a religion that seeks to eliminate others...

The core of the problem is the fascist Zionism, the sick ideology of God and Jesus as embodied in the Hebrew "Mein Kampf": the Torah.

Those politicians do not care about the interests of Dutch citizens and contribute to the transformation of the Netherlands in the province of an Israeli Jewish super state Zion.

Judaism is an alien culture that is not allowed to be dominant anywhere.

I spread no hate, that is what the Jews are doing. Zionism is fascism. This is not what we want here.

The House urges the Government to introduce an immigration stop for immigrants of Jewish descent, not to allow any new synagogues, close all Jewish schools, to ban the yarmulke and to deport criminal Jews - if necessary after denaturalization.

A pogrom against Judaism. We are here today to voice our concern of the growing Judaism in the West. We do this in this city, the city of Berlin, the city that, together with Rome and Athens, symbolizes our ancient heritage. We all carry Germania in our blood, in our genes.

Our indigenous population is less rapidly reproducing than immigrants. Now there are immigrants, mostly Jews, mainly in big cities. In twenty years they are everywhere, from Orlando to Alaska, from San Diego to Boston. We sell our country to the devil called Judas, and nobody does anything about it.

I want a new Article 1, in which the "Leitkultur" (not translated German word) of the West is expressed. In my opinion there can be Christian schools in the Netherlands, but no Jewish schools.

Our culture is better than that of many immigrants.

I will burn down Jewish schools, because I believe they are dangerous, fascist institutions where young children are being grown up in an ideology of hate, intolerance and violence.

Deport the Jews who cause problems, with family and all.

Many fundamental problems in the Netherlands, such as infrastructure, traffic jams, housing problems and the welfare state are ultimately directly related to immigrants.

Migrants are a fact, and their hypothetical absence of the Dutch reality may well be my utopia, but it is not realistic.

Do you realize that by setting up polling stations in synagogues, in a sense people are forced to enter these buildings to vote, even if they do not want any involvement with this barbaric Jewish ideology. Don't you also agree that this it is a completely different situation when a polling station is located in a church, because a church is not a symbol of an evil totalitarian ideology but a religion that many hundreds of years has been part of our Western culture and thus forms the basis of it?

I do not believe that cultures are equal. Our culture is much better than the backward Jewish culture.

I do think there should be fewer Jews in the Netherlands.

I think the ideology of Judaism to be abject, fascist and wrong.

God is a scary devil we do not have to worship in the Netherlands. Not out of hatred but out of pride and self-preservation of our Dutch identity and our Western values, I defend an immigration stop of Jews.

Do you agree that when children of Jewish parents persistently spoil things and come into contact with the law, the family must be denaturalized and deported?

Jews need be to taught about the standards of care and values of our dominant Christian culture.

Judaism infiltrates the Netherlands, no, even the entire West. Not only the German Reich fights an existential struggle, also Europe.

Immediately stop all immigration of Jews. Close all Jewish schools, those schools where there is "Apartheid" (not translated Dutch word).

Article 23 of the Dutch constitution, which states that any group can establish their own schools in the Netherlands, should be abolished for the Jews. I am a strong advocate for freedom of education, but not for Jewish schools.

Therefore: time for spring cleaning of our streets. If our new Jews want to express their love for this seventh-century desert ideology, they better do that in Israel, but not here, not in our country.

This country has excise duties on petrol and diesel, parking and dogs, had a flight tax and has a packaging tax, why not a tax on yarmulkes? A head-rag-tax. So we finally get some payback for what has cost us so much. I would say that the polluter pays.

Everyone adapts to our dominant culture. Anyone who does not, won't be here in twenty years from now, will be deported.

Jews who currently live in Germany or Europe, could well be able to go to Israel. Greater Germany can rightly claim Lebensraum.

NOTE: Anyone offended in any way by above statements should take into account that these are political statements in the context of the political debate that, made by a politician, as such cannot form the basis of any prosecution by a Dutch court of law as of today.

Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution
"All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination because of religion, belief, political opinion, race, gender or any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted."

P.S. Wilders announces that he wants to remove the criminal law chapters that deal with (the prevention of) encouraging hate speech and discrimination, in favor of widening the freedom of speech.

In the calm before the storm, what is it?
Those that surreptitiously leave the city.
Dignitaries hurrying past incognito,
officially not wanting to be part of it,
when the masses always ready
Raging towards boiling point and shouting:
"Heil? Halali" and boundlessly aroused,
roars for retaliation, trembling for envy
during Kristallnacht.

En der Ruhe vür'm Sturm, wat ess dat?
Janz klammheimlich verlööß wer die Stadt.
Honoratioren inkognito hasten vorbei,
offiziell sinn die nit jähn dobei,
wenn die Volkssseele - allzeit bereit
Richtung Siedepunkt wütet un schreit
"Heil - Halali" un grenzenlos geil
noh Vergeltung brüllt, zitternd vor Neid
in der Kristallnaach

But those that resent who are different,
that go with the flow, as one should be,
for who gays are criminals,
foreigners scum,
needing someone to seduce them.
And then no cavalry comes to the rescue,
not even Zorro cares.
He pisses merely a "Z" in the snow
and falls over, babbling with negligence:
"So what? Kristallnacht!"

Doch die alles wat anders ess stührt,
die mem Strom schwemme, wie’t sich jehührt
für die Schwule Verbrecher sinn,
Ausländer Aussattz sinn
bruchen wer, der se verführt.
Un dann rettet kein Kavallerie,
keine Zorro kömmert sich dodrömm.
Dä piss höchstens e "Z" en der Schnie
un fällt lallend vüür Lässigkeit öm;
"Na un? - Kristallnaach!"

In the church with the Franz Kafka clock,
without hands, only lines,
a blind one reads to a deaf:
Struwwelpeter fairytale,
behind a triple-locked door,
The watchman with the keychain
in earnest thinks he is something like a genius,
because he pulverizes all the ways out
and sells against claustrophobia,
during Kristallnacht.

En der Kirch met dä Franz Kafka-Uhr,
ohne Zeiger, met Striche drop nur
ließ ne Blinde nem Taube
Strubbelpeter vüür
hinger dreifach verriejelter Düür
Un dä Wächter 'mem Schlüsselbund hällt
sich em Ähnz für jet wie e Jenie,
weil'er Auswege pulverisiert
un verkäuf jäjen Klaustrophobie
en der Kristallnaach.

Meanwhile, on the market-square maybe
unmasked, today with their real face,
collecting stones, sharpening knives,
on those that are already denounced,
the lynch mob rehearses in front of the most recent court.
Only loosely moored for loading,
- the galleys stand already under steam -
waiting for slaves in the harbour,
at the scrap from an unequal struggle,
of the Kristallnacht.

Währenddessen am Maatplatz vielleich,
unmaskiert, hück mem wohre Jeseech,
sammelt Stein, schlief et Mezz,
op die, die schon verpezz
probt dä Lynch-Mob für't jüngste Jereech.
Un zem Laade nur flüchtig vertäut
- die Galeeren stohn längs unger Dampf -
weet em Hafen op Sklaven jewaat,
op dä Schrott uss dämm ungleiche Kampf
us der Kristallnaach

Where Darwin can be used for everything,
whether for deporting or torturing people,
where behind power money is,
where to be strong the world is,
disfigured by obedience and stand to attention.
Where hymns even can be blowed on combs,
in a barbarous desire for profit,
"Hosanna" and "Crucify him!" yells,
whenever just any advantage is to be seen,
every day is Kristallnacht

Do, wo Darwin für alles herhällt,
ob mer Minsche verdriev oder quält
do, wo hinger Macht Jeld ess,
wo stark sinn die Welt ess,
vun Kusche un Strammstonn entstellt
Wo mer Hymnen om Kamm sujar blööß
en barbarischer Gier noh Profit
'Hosianna' un 'Kreuzigt ihn' rööf,
wemmer irjend ne Vorteil drin sieht
ess täglich Kristallnaach

Kristallnaach - Wolfgang Niedecken & Bap

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rock Solid Rolling with Helen Wilson

I just returned from a weekend Greenland rolling event with Helen Wilson. This event was organized by Greenland kayaking enthousiasts Freek and André. Generously sponsored by Tahe Marine and Arjen Bloem, a whole fleet of Greenland kayaks could be used for the classes. The question by a video news reporter "What makes (Greenland) rolling so difficult?" could not have been better answered by one of the participants with: "Well, in fact, it is not that difficult at all!"

Video courtesy of OmmenLeeft.NL

It is no secret that Greenland rolling is all about body movement. Seeing (and hearing!) participants arched backs wiggling themselves back on the back-deck show that even the arms (let alone a paddle) sometimes interfere with the understanding how rolling could be 'effortless'. Who to learn it better from than someone who thouroughly understands Greenland rolling? Helen introduces fresh and original ideas for Greenland rolling progressions.
I had not practiced Greenland rolling for a while. Just recently I hurt my back and the morning yoga session with Helen showed me how shockingly inflexible I am at the moment. The more surprise it was to me that all the rolls I ever managed to pull off in the past never felt more easy than this weekend. So for me there is still a lot of potential for improvement and it continuous to counter-act any 'aging factor'. So far my Greenland rolling gets easier and better year by year...

For the first time ever I managed a brick roll (and at the first go) and I was amazed how easy that went. The participants that did not own a Greenland paddle did a good deal at the event, so this is likely to spread in the Netherlands...

If Helen is near you, make sure you book your place! Check-out Helen's website for upcoming events. Currently she tours the world and she will be at this year's Storm Gathering in Anglesey this October.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Helen Ready !

I needed some (p)repa(i)ring for the Helen Wilson event that Freek with support from Arjen Bloem and Tahé Marine are organizing upcoming weekend.

I tore my latex neck gasket in my dry-suit. Amazingly this is my first gasket replacement ever. My dry-suit is now four years old. I have yet to replace any wrist seals. I have to add that I wear my Kokatat stuff thread-bare. This is a bit different from what I hear that many have to replace their neck gaskets (bi-)annually. Anyway, my guess is that being bald (no fatty hair) has some advantages after all. Furthermore taking very good care of the seals might also have helped!

The Helen Wilson event is generously sponsored by Arjen Bloem and Tahé Marine. I am only to bring my own Greenland paddle. That is, it is one of Freya's and made by Don Beale, and it is black. It goes well with my black dry-suit and a (probably) black Greenland-T kayak that I can try.

Although the Greenland rolling still remains a bit off main-stream sea kayaking, the rolling progressions (body awareness) of Greenland rolling are highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn (and coach !) rolling, regardless of kayaking discipline.

P.S. I opted to remove the complete gasket from the fabric, because the latex had started to go a tiny bit loose from the fabric. Now I understand the Kokatat recommendation not to completely remove the gasket when not needed... It is a lot of work. The gluing was easy with the custom-made wooden (and no-stick Trespa) rings.

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.