Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Crisis? What Crisis?

Sadly, 2012 saw the passing away of two Dutch sea kayak coaches, way, way too early. And just very recently a sea kayaking friend was diagnosed to be seriously ill and now is undergoing medical treatments with a very uncertain future.

More upbeat: in this year five Dutch sea kayak coaches passed their coach assessment. Some of them almost got lost in and 'crushed' by the 'new' coaching scheme (system). So very glad that they are still with us.

On a personal level I have been struggling to find the right priorities. Sometimes choosing one thing prevents choosing (or having time for) something else. The luxury of having a choice does not make it easy to choose the 'right' thing to do. Sometimes we have to let go because (we think) it is the healthy thing to do.

Mister, you better get a move on
You better get a fix on,
Mmm-you better walk straight.
(Lady - Supertramp)

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Oliebollentocht would translate to 'donuts trip' and is generally referred to as the last (organised) kayaking trip of the year. I joined the Haarlem canoe club (HKV) 'oliebollentocht' through the Amsterdam canals. Starting out grey it turned into a beautiful sunny day.

With no leaves on the trees, Winter is the ideal time to paddle through the canals and see this old city with it's countless historic buildings and landmarks. That is if the canals are not frozen solid. Thanks Nico and Arnold for organizing it and keeping an eye out for the 35+ participants.

These typical Dutch seasonal 'donuts' look (and should look) more like a 'comet from space' and if baked badly would feel just that way when they impact your stomach. However these ones were more than OK and would pass the annual national Dutch donut test.

Would you fancy a trip through the Amsterdam canals then check-out Ailien's new company website for scheduled trips. Yep, she 'stole' the untaken .com domain name, but for good purpose, however with me and my blog totally unrelated. In so far that you might meet me on her trips through the Amsterdam canals.

Ailien offers exciting paddling destinations worldwide for experienced paddlers (kayak and canoe) with quality quiding and coaching and first-class equipment:

Friday, December 28, 2012

The River

With the water levels in the IJssel river at a high 5,90 meters above NAP, Joris, Jos, Grietje and I paddled from Deventer to Zwolle.

I had paddled on this river a couple of times before, but never over the winter floodplains. Things to particularly look out for was not to get entangled in the trees, running in and over barb-wire fences and getting stranded on the occasional shallows. No ferries to look out for because they are all out of service with these levels because the roads leading to them are flooded.

We had lunch in Veessen and could paddle into the restaurant porch. The restaurant was happy to open up two hours early for us to have a relaxed coffee break with Tzech honey cake.

On we went to Zwolle for our take-out and return car shuttle to Deventer.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sand in the Pea Soup

It has been a bit quiet on my blogging. All to be explained by mountainous work for the Dutch sea kayaking committee. The NKB has 'merged' with the Watersports Council and the sea kayaking committee is still a bit in 'limbo' of how we fit in the new organizational structure. But lots of work could be done and has been done. A good moment to review with all the sea kayaking instructors what we are all about and also 'clean-up' our internet presence and website.

The last trip of the season with PeddelPraat, the other 'club' I am a member of, was traditionally the 'Sand in the Pea Soup' trip to Noorderhaaks, weather depending. The 11th of the 11th was a gorgeous day.

At Huisduinen we were waved off by Ron, the original instigator of this 'season's end' trip. Being nearby for a family visit he could not resist checking-up on his 'baby'. Ron is the onlooker in the far right in the above picture.

Paddling all around the Noorderhaaks sand-spit to find a good spot for cooking the Pea Soup proved a bit difficult with seals all over the place. At least that built up some appetite.

Tragic news was that of the stranding of a female Humpback whale on Noorderhaaks earlier this month. A Humpback was frequently sighted along the Dutch coast for weeks before, but it is not clear if this was the same one. Humpbacks are extremely rare sightings in our waters. It was sad to follow the news of the five day struggle. It died very near the spot where we had our soup.

Finally: lots of 'secrecy' about exciting developments for PeddelPraat for 2013 for which Paul and I were keen on 'not to spill the beans', or should I say 'spill the peas' as not to be ending up with sand in our pea soup.

More soon...

Update: Shawna Franklin and Leon Sommé of Body Boat Blade International will be attending the Annual PeddelPraat Sea Kayak Week end of July 2013. So now revealing a bit more of things to come; the BBB logo.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Derek Hutchinson †

I Just learned that Derek Hutchinson passed away yesterday.

I have never met Derek. However my first reading about sea kayaking (in 1994) was his book. Before even having sat in a sea kayak.

Dunno how many editions and prints are out there, but it must be the most sold, borrowed-out and read book on sea kayaking. It even had a Dutch translation.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Today I enjoyed a wonderful morning surfing at a beach near Rhosneigr. Phil, James and Garreth were there on surfboards, Justine and I in kayaks.
Barry kindly lent me his kayak; he had work to do. My own spray-deck was not the best fit so when the surf got chunkier later on, every once in a while I got submarined after the spray-deck popped.
The waves were so clean (11-second wave period) that I had long rides to experiment with and thus improve my surfing skills. Maneuvering on the wave where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. This day ends my stay in Anglesey, on my way home tomorrow.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Training Session

This evening I joined a training session on the Menai Straits with John Willacy (Taran), Justine (Rapier), Aled (Pace18) and Pascalle (Taran-S). They regularly do these training racing sessions. I could borrow John's Taran and quickly found out that this is a very fast kayak; surprise?. But also that the others are faster than me; surprise? The Taran glides through the water where all the paddle power (blade pressue) transfers to speed. With my normal paddling cadence it is already fast 'effortless'.

For developing my forward paddling skills up to racing I definitively would benefit from more training, and/or a heart-rate monitor like the others are using, to better build-up a training session. Justine has one of those and the results of our Skerries trip can be found here.

Now I am in a big dilemma. How would a very traditional sea kayaker like me justify buying a Taran? A heart-rate monitor? Let me think about it... This training session felt very good indeed.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Refueling on the Skerries

Barry had a group out to the Skerries. Justine wanted first to play at Penrhyn Mawr and maybe continue to the Skerries for lunch. At Port Dafarch we were joined by Marcus, who finally had a day off and expected at least some paddlers showing up here today. Marcus is inviting everyone to see his new house, but make sure you at least pick-up a bag of sand from the roadside pile to carry to his house...
Around noon we decided to continue to the Skerries. I had burned a lot of energy already. With no lunch break and only a snack it felt a bit of a slog for me although we made good speed and time. It has been a long time that I have seen Langdon Ridge buoy up close. 15 minutes out of the Skerries I was running on empty. On the Skerries we joined Barry's group for lunch.
The return trip to Porth Dafarch went much more easy for me. Refueled I had found my good rhythm again. Off North Stack we had to wait for the Jonathan Swift fast ferry, which passed much closer to the coast than we expected.

Friday, October 05, 2012


I bought Justine's Tiger Romany. Why buy a second hand kayak where I am in the business of selling (new) sea kayaks? I could have easily ordered a similar design brand new, but it would never be the same as the original. It just felt the right thing to do as I also know the builder of this special Romany. Also it left the factory the exact same day as my current yellow over white "Tweety" Explorer. Just before they both went into the Falls of Lora.

Today Tiger returned from a check-up at the 'vet's' and a 'scrub and polish' session. Apart from the scratch marks that Justine left behind, and some 'trailer-rash', she is in tip-top shape.

I always wanted a custom design sea kayak for personal use, but the design I have in mind is just way to elaborate to manufacture. This Tiger is the closest 'fit' at the moment.

John Willacy took these great shots in the Swellies.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Looking Glass

Somewhere in the Pacific drifts Gulliver, Sarah Outen's rowing boat across the Pacific. The rowing boat had to be abandoned, and Sarah picked-up, after a tropical storm made it unsafe to continue. In Gulliver, one of my map cases. The boat's tracking device was inadvertently taken off the boat by the Coast Guard. Where will it end up?

Sarah gave me "A dip in the Ocean", her book of her previous solo crossing of the Indian Ocean by rowing boat. Maybe hinting towards another map case for her to be continued London2London via the World (under human power)? With a new rowing boat for the Pacific.

Justine gave me a wonderful present that she collected from a Sachalin beach when she kayaked with Sarah across to Japan. A Japanese Glass Fishing Float.

So what's in the looking glass?

For one, Justine is currently editing the upcoming This is the Sea 5 DVD, expected to be released in March 2013. In it her sea kayaking with Sarah and an impressive account of a troubled circumnavigation of Tierra del Fuego and lots more.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Swellies Wave

After my working day I met up with Justine and Barry at the Menai Bridge slipway to paddle under Britannia Bridge to play in the Swellies. Apparently the best time for the Swellies wave is at springs, which invariable means that low water is in the evening and at this time of year paddling at dusk into full darkness.

When I could still see the 'wave train' it was easy to keep on the front wave. With less and less visibility I found myself more frequently drifting in the mess behind it, with 'holes', boils and swift eddy lines. I am not familiar paddling rough (white) water in the dark; an interesting experience.
Not much light for pictures, so this is what it was. My night vision and that of my camera is not that one of a Tiger.
UPDATE: John Willacy has posted some very nice pictures of us Surf Bunnies on his website.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Two of a kind

Justine surfing in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, 2012
Today Summit To Sea, the kayak shop on Anglesey, had a Valley sea kayaks demo day in Trearddur Bay. I joined Justine and Barry and we frequently switched kayaks to take them 'for a spin' in the nice surf of TB. I had never paddled the brand new Valley designs of the Gemini ST and SP. Both shorter length sea kayaks proved to be very playful indeed.
Barry surfing in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, 2012
With most brands of sea kayaks now more and more tailoring kayak designs for specific purposes it would be harder to choose 'one kayak'. I hope it won't get to the point that there will be new models every season as with white-water kayaks. At least not when I am in the business of selling sea kayaks (Nigel Dennis and Rockpool).

In the evening we went to the Summit to Sea shop where John Willacy gave a lecture on his record circumnavigation of the UK. With the (bad) weather he had it is even more amazing he could break the previous record, only to be broken by Joe Leach shortly after that (also in a Rockpool Taran).
Clair, Lacey and Sarah on Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, 2012
I am Staying with Justine and Barry and it is a 'happy full house' with also Sarah Outen and Claire and her dog Lacey dropping by. In the morning we went paddling near Llanberis, them in a canoe and Justine and I in Rapiers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Romany PM

This week I am in Anglesey for the annual Sea Kayaking UK dealers meeting. In the morning we learn about new developments for the sea kayaks and most importantly, Lendal paddles. Great to learn that these excellent paddles and the versatile PaddLok system are back in strength and improved! In the afternoon we go paddling.
Wednesday and Thursday we went paddling in Penrhyn Mawr. Phil kindly lent me his Romany. The wind changed 180 degrees, so on Thursday there was wind against tide with a full swell running. There were some moments of 'vertigo' as I was surfing off the crest of tidal waves into the 'abyss'. No loopings because the race was not that 'fast' running. The easiest way to start a run was to wait until a wave broke over my back so that it 'catapulted' me into surfing.
For the so many times I paddled in PM it again was a different experience; PM provides unlimited variations.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

11 cities 200km non-stop 10th edition

Writing about my experiences at the start of my paddling 'career' all through my first years of coaching resulted in an article in Sea Kayaker Magazine "Carrying the red lantern". Most of us start out as the slowest paddler and with learning forward paddling skills and lots of paddling we all hope one day to be able to keep up with the 'top guys', or at least never again be in the position of the 'slowest paddler'.

In 2004 I did my first 11-cities 200 km 'non-stop' sea kayak paddling event on inland waterways, finishing in 33 1/2 hours (time-limit 36 hours). For the whole time I found myself again to be the slowest paddler, my team mates (using wing paddles for this occasion) looking over their shoulders that I was still with them... Psychologically it was a horrendous experience. Physically I found it much easier then expected.

In 2011 I did it in 32 hours. This time paddling at my own speed and only linking-up with a team after about 100 km (teams are required to continue through the night), by which time groups of similar speeds have formed. This time the night bit was grueling because of sleep deprivation effects on motivation that left much room for improvement. Again, not so the physical part, but again how the mind, or at least my mind, deals with it.

This year then my third entry: 33 hours. For months ahead I was telling all that I only entered to improve the night bit and paddle the first 100 km to get there and the last 50 km to get back to my car. The night bit went excellent. The only thing I changed this time was not to eat a full hot meal in the evening but regularly eating small bits of food throughout. So not to put my body in sleep mode after a full meal.

I entered the event with Gerard as team member, his first 11-cities. Marian joined, or in hindsight I should say we joined Marian. She had just returned from her Iceland expedition with partner Paul and she felt in the best shape possible to join the event for her first time. I had another interesting learning experience and lots of time to think about it looking at Marian's back...

Paddling in the rear degrades my paddling to 'plowing'. Shorter stokes like it is that I want to be sprinting. No problems at any time in the 200K to close a gap, but never finding my steady lower cadence cruising speed when I am in the rear. That de-motivating 'voice in my head' telling me I am the slowest paddler...

For the sea kayaking I mostly do (dynamic water, coaching and guiding) I am using a 215cm paddle that feels right for me on the sea. For this flat water paddling I adjusted my paddle length to 218 cm lowering my cadence where there is less resistance from interfering effects (wind, waves, maneuvering). Paddling alongside Marian quickly put us ahead of the rest. With no other paddler on my horizon my paddling felt less effort and going faster. That part I already knew, for many, many years. Discussing this 'phenomena' with Gerard and Ad resulted in them independently advising me to paddle in the back for the rest of the 200K to sort it out... To achieve a relaxed cadence even when paddling in the rear. It is all in the mind.

While I arrived in high spirits at the Stavoren check point, having completed the night bit in good shape, Ad arrived to declare that he would stop his 3rd 11-cities there. A self-made decision to stop is as much an achievement as completing the event. Of the 36 that signed-up, 34? started and 30? completed the event.

The overall time is not so much impacted by ones paddling speed, but the more so how long and frequent the (short) breaks are. I can further improve on the breaks with less fiddling with clothing, equipment, lighting, GPS and other unnecessary 'clutter' to leave more time for always welcome short power naps. And a small (night) team reduces overall waiting-on-each-other times. Our achievements are only possible because of our shore support teams and the organizing committee and the volunteers at the check points. Thank you all!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Scheduling a trip

Crossing the IJsselmeer from Oude Zeug to Stavoren and from there crossing again but then to Enkhuizen.

A big thanks to Kees for allowing me to still be there only on day one, while originally I had promised to be there both days.

Tomorrow the group paddles back to Oude Zeug via "de Kreupel" bird island. This is undoubtedly the best open inland water trip in the Netherlands, if one enjoys open water crossings, that is... With zero tide assistance.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Breeze

Another visit to the VC that requires some paddling. Today my long time paddling buddy Nico (not to be confused with my business partner Nico) joined again. He and Jan have paddled this trip numerous times but Nico had not been paddling last year and I had feared that he was lost to paddling.

With a forecast of Southeast 4-5 winds this would not be an easy one. Headwinds and side winds most of the time. Temperatures excellent.

We ran into a group of paddling friends that escorted the "Spieren voor Spieren" fundraise swimming across the Marsdiep.

It is rather frustrating to (again) experience that from force 4 winds and up, one is not going with a 1-3 knot current, but is blown downwind. Floating breaks are not that handy. And time and location of tidal current changes are greatly affected. At the same time this knowledge opens up very interesting tidal navigations in the Waddenzee that are otherwise (seemingly) not possible.

At 19:45 we landed again at Land's End, had a good meal there.

Today I used my new Lendal KineticTouring VariPaddLok 4-piece paddle. Not that I needed a new one, but this one is made by Celtic Paddles / Lendal UK, the (new) owners of the Lendal brand. Lendal very generously sponsored my 2003 Around the Netherlands trip and I am very thankful for their continued support.

The only thing I had to get used to (and could change on-the-fly) was the now generally mainstream 60 degrees feathering. My old (Scottish) Lendal 2003 paddle still had 80 (!) degrees feather. From 80 to 60 I found a too big change for this work-out trip and I soon adjusted the SwitchLok from 60 to 70 degrees for a more gradual transition. And for the headwind part I adjusted the length from 216 cm to 214 cm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Backlight Inversion

People who know me will recognize that I take pride in using my equipment a (very) long time. Not that I could not afford to buy something new every once in a while, but I like using good stuff that really lasts while retaining it's usefulness. So it is a matter of choice.

Inevitably equipment breaks. In this case I already was looking out for a new notebook computer and even considering a notepad. My November 2006 Dell Dimension 6400 notebook's LCD screen was fading away to now being illegible.

Finding out that this is a rather common problem with LCD screens I took the chance of buying a replacement LCD Backlight Inverter. For a mere (or pricy) 40 euro for a narrow strip of electronics, this would be 10% of the cost of a new notebook. Being somewhat lucky I guess this indeed solved the issue.

My laptop has been to places, not in the least it survived a 2 times 250 km washboard dusty rattling dirt road drive in the back of a truck... I guess I can wait a bit more before buying a new laptop computer and visit more places with it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Got Waves

Looking out over the area from Huisduinen made it very clear that crossing over to Noorderhaaks would be a very, very bad idea in these conditions of a southwesterly 5 Beaufort wind blowing against the ebb with an already built sea state from the days before. It reminded me of Anglesey, looking down towards South Stack with a tide running through breaking swell...

While this was to be a training day for (breaking) waves what to do that is still possible here without taking on unwanted risks?

Discussing and analyzing the chart, the tides and the wind and most of all looking how the sea looked at specific areas and why and how that would be expected to develop over the day made us decide to hug the shore paddling with the wind against the ebb towards T3 and from there attempt a crossing to the T2 on the Texel side.

The 'erratic' GPS track of Walter shows that it was not the most straightforward approach as we frequently had to adjust our course to keep us out of patches of bigger (spilling) breaking waves. Avoidance is better than cure... The Marsdiep is notorious for kicking-up a big sea state.
Once on the Texel side how do we get back to Huisduinen with the by now flooding tide? So now not only against the tide, but also against the wind. First inform the traffic centre by VHF of our planned crossing so that also the ferry knows what we are doing. Murphy's law proved itself again. One of my VHF's ran out of battery. The other could not receive the traffic centre, so it appeared. Fred's VHF got a reply that another VHF (not us, turned out a few minutes later) had it's send button locked, so they could not very well understand our transmission; not good. By mobile phone then informed the traffic centre of our plans and that we would time our crossing so that we would minimize the chances of us coming anywhere near the ferry on our ferry glide across.

Once on the mainland side again we hugged the coast to as far as Kaap Hoofd, from where we could not hug the basalt dike anymore because of a by now developed surf zone close inshore. Outside the surf in the full current we were only inching our way forward, so we landed on the basalt dike 1 km north of our starting point and trolley our way back.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rolling On

Freek hosted another very successful Greenland rolling event with Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer. Generously sponsored by Tahé Marine and Arjan Bloem it was also the first ever "Dutch Greenland Competition".
All of the 30+ participants had (over the two day event) time with Helen and Mark to learn new Greenland rolling skills and improve on their existing ones.
The rolling competition was very exciting as both Peter and Gerard managed quite a few of the very difficult rolls.
In the end it was Gerard that won the Rolling competition with Peter coming in second. The harpoon throwing competition was decisively won by Roel. He made a big impression on the judges (Helen and Mark) to enter the rolling competition and to show one roll 'only', the Greenland roll he learned that day. After a bit of insisting, Jolien entered the ropes competition and came in second after Gerard. Leaving me way behind in the dust (sand) in 4th place with lots of purple bruises (the next day).
Because the number of points for the Rolling the overall competition winners were also Gerard and Peter with me coming in third on rolling and overall.
The prize winners next to Helen are Roel, Jolien, Axel, Gerard and Peter with Yort and Steyn in the front row.
We all took pity on "Poor Willy". While the throwers took great care to only have the blunt back of the harpoon drift to and 'hit' him, Willy took a serious hit by Gerard (out of competition) that deflated our enthusiasm a bit on the harpoon throwing part of the event. Roel took care of Willy to have him recover from his injury in his bathtub at home.
A big thanks to Freek for organizing this (annual?) event and Tahé Marine and Ajan Bloem for generously supporting this event with Greenland kayaks and paddles and bringing over Helen and Mark for inspirational Greenland-style Coaching.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Yesterday, Jan, Gerard, Brechtus, Fred and I paddled around the Island of Texel in one day.

This 35 nautical mile route is generally done as an overnight trip, but it is Jan's favorite day trip, that he now annually puts on the Peddelpraat calendar for 'long-distance' paddlers. The weather was perfect! Sunny, not too much but cooling headwind on the first half, increasing wind and waves in the afternoon to surf us back to Den Helder.

And we finally found the VC Cardinal marker (again). It is one of those elusive 'watermarks' that we discussed that it might even be a 'ghostly' encounter once in ones sea kayaking career. Fred had never heard of "The VC" before, but this was his first paddle around Texel ever so he is excused and he could count himself very lucky indeed. We could write a series of stories about it titled: "My VC". I have only seen it once before and it is also Jan's second encounter.

The reason why sea kayakers seldom get to see the VC is not so dramatic as we generally take a shortcut over the tidal flats that most of the times we get to heavily regret as it then turns out to be paddling for miles in very shallow water; a real drag.

Helped by GPS and a strongly suppressed urge to take the shortcut got us to the VC 'spot-on' with mostly deep water to cruise us along. Arriving back at Den Helder another 'elusive' and rare experience awaited us. What it is? You will have to join next time and be lucky...

Back home, crashing on my bed, I turn on the TV and drop into a "Pirates of the Caribbean", Romanticizing about the VC as a gold-laden "Black Pearl".

P.S. 4 out of 5 paddled with a GPS and I hope to put the other tracks also on-line soon, as it probably shows an interesting insight into this Peddelpraat trip :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

This is the Roll

Euro rolling Greenland-style? Or is it Greenland rolling Euro-style? I am confused. Definitively not only Greenland rolling Greenland-style. The cover does not help either: "This is the Roll: Greenland rolling with expert instructors Cherri Perry and Turner Wilson" with a cranked euro paddle prominently on the cover...

This new DVD from Justine is sure to create some smooth ripples in the rolling community. Smooth? Yep, proper rolling (Greenland stick, euro paddle, whatever) hardly ever creates splashes :-)

My first close encounter with Greenland rolling was during my attendance of the DelMarVa Paddler's retreat in 2004 where I met Cheri, Turner and Dubside for the first time.

From that moment onwards as a sea kayaking coach I had my mind on how to 'introduce' Greenland rolling mindset into the Euro-style community without being alienated from either of them. This DVD bridges that 'gap' that I could never achieve other than in my personal approach to coaching rolling and still learning...

A rolling 'revolution' that for once won't have a chance of turning into a war.

As a coach my one and only 'worry' with this DVD is that viewers might by-pass the Greenland paddle altogether and then the main culprit of rolling (relying on the blade) won't be unlearned. The DVD stresses the 'body mantra' time and time again, however is the viewer who has never been (coached) rolling with a Greenland paddle (or even no paddle at all) ever able to feel where the 'secret' lies?

Back in 2004 my mouth fell open when I saw for the first time the straightjacket roll as performed by Pavia Lumholt. In this DVD there is a small bit of footage where that mouth fell open again; a brief glimpse from just the right camera angle; unveiling for me the secret of how the straightjacket roll can exist and 'physically' possible relying on body motion only.

P.S. The DVD does not cover the straightjacket roll, however that 'lay-back' roll's physics which IS covered, is exactly the same when one only scratches the surface with whatever is in hand.

Simon Willis wrote a comprehensive review of This is the Roll.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good friends from careers past

Yesterday evening I enjoyed a wonderful reunion of former IT colleages of Westland-Utrecht Bank, my last employer. And with great joy I met Tineke again, my last 'boss'.

Looking at all, I could easily think that I left just yesterday and not in late 2002. The overall view was that the WU until around 2000 was just about the perfect size company. Small enough to really be creative and be productive, while big enough to be able to move around in jobs and varied projects. Now 'split-up' and 'ripped apart' beyond recognition with all scattered around ING Bank and beyond and some enjoying (early) retirement or even emigrated. No enjoyment in working in big corporate structures...

It's a small world as I learned that Tineke recently moved to Culemborg where her partner has just joined the local kayaking club where sea kayaking committee colleage Ad is also a member. I think I have an appointment to go paddling in Culemborg soon.

Thank you Harry for organising the reunion again and I am glad that this time I was in the country and able to join.