Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

She Just Does It

It is possibly a tricky thing for me to write, as a male, about female achievements, because we might have a totally different perspective.

We are very likely to remember EXACTLY when Freya Hoffmeister hit the kayaking scene in our part of the world and kayaking discipline.

Determined female paddles showed that they are just as capable to achieve long and committing expeditions. Possibly they generally less bragg (and write) about it. They just do it their way. While most of the 'high-profile' 'firsts-fastest-longest' had already been paddled, men could easily argue that it had been done (or written about) before; by men... On other occasions women were (at the time) even written out of history; i.e. female air force test pilots in WWII.

Freya Hoffmeister will complete her 3-year long epic circumnavigation of South America, that she started on August 30, 2011 in Buenos Aires on May 1st 2015. How fitting: on Labor Day. I am not sure if Freya now has set a 'standard' that CAN be achieved by others. Focus and determination is universal and that is inspirational!

Below is the (Google Translated) Press Release:

Hereby I have the pleasure to invite you to the ceremony on May 1 for Freya Hoffmeister, the best expedition kayaker in the world, coming to Puerto Madero finishing the first circumnavigation of South America. Freya paddled from Buenos Aires on August 30, 2011 and after 26,832 kilometers traveled back to the city where she was starting from with a new world record under her belt, being the first person to perform this feat. Freya, 50, will be escorted by dozens of kayakers, and she will be received with full military honors of the Argentine Navy at the Fragata Sarmiento, both by local authorities and members of European diplomats and media Argentines and international

All paddlers are very much welcome to be part of the arrival ceremony on the water. You will be paddling a short distance on sheltered waters inside Puerto Madero. The start will be from the new jetties at -34.62043, -58.36295. The kayakers will wait for Freya at the port entrance at -34.59508, -58.36479 while she is paddling in from her current arrival spot , and escort her to the Fregata Sarmiento at -34.60893, -58.36571.

Please contact Javier Perez to sign up on a list for the paddling escort and for possible access to the ceremony on the Fregata.

Every non-paddler is surely welcome to watch the event from any spot on the harbor!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blowing Dust Off

When Life gets in the way of kayaking... It has been about two months ago that I have been in a kayak. Saturday's club trip was cancelled, but Fred and I decided to go paddling today. With the wind (and my paddling shape) forecast, Grevelingen lake was a good choice.

This 'lake' has been dammed-off from the sea in the sixties but still is properly (even more) saline and has occasional seal presence. The feeling of paddling against a 5 Beaufort headwind told me that I am not as nearly in shape as I was in September 2014... Great surf rides on the way back to get the hang of surfing waves, for Anglesey is closing in for at the end of this month.