Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

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.