Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Park & Play

Only Dale, Levi and I are left to go paddling. The general concensus at breakfast was to rather go "Park & Play" than to go on a trip. The wind and tide is perfect for paddling out of Cemlyn Bay to the tide-race over Harry Furlough's rocks. Nigel urged us to leave soon...

When we hit the race it was better than I had ever experienced it here before. Very easy to catch the waves for long rides with easy manoeuvring; some bracing required. Later we were joined by Steve & ?. We were spoiled with the easy rides, so after an hour we already called it a day when it took more effort to catch the waves. Park & Play it was.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

T-Bay workout

With the forecast for increasing winds we chose to paddle out of Trearddur Bay. We got as far as Porth Diana and using that area to try to surf the open water waves. Getting enough speed to catch the waves and paddling back out into the wind was a great work-out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Anglesey business as unusual

Meetings in the morning. It is blowing and pouring rain. For two days now at lunch the skies clear and we had a great afternoon paddle.

Yesterday from Porth Dafarch to Holyhead harbour. I got unexpectedly looped near the rock channel behind the 'Chicken Run'. I used the surges near the rock islet to get up and turn into the channel when a bigger wave arrived. This was really exciting; rolling-up afterwards made it an enjoyable experience. Much later I learned that Rick had to do a precautionary capsize because I was in danger of surfing and looping on top of him. For me this all went in 'slow-motion'.

Today just out to Penrhyn Mawr. PM was very big, but forgiving. That means that the waves sometimes were intimidating high in the outer race but one was not being trashed by crashing waves.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Isle of Man Symposium

On the Isle of Man for the annual Adventurous Experiences symposium.

Because of the very strong winds we could not go too far out of Port Erin. But this area has lots of dynamic options. One is the confusing breaking seas over the reef just outside of it. Surf inside the bay. Wind shelters and wind fetch areas. And lots of wave action over and near rocks. The half-day sessions I ran were 'Adapting skills for wind', 'Waves & Rocks' and 'Rocks & Waves'.

For Isle of Man is an Island it has lots and lots of challenges for any level of paddler.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Calf of Man

A great trip with around the Calf of Man. It is my second time on the Isle of Man for annual Adventurous Experiences symposium.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Another time around

I was invited to join the 2Kayak4Batten team for the crossing of the Rotterdam Europoort Maas Entrance. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest Port in Europe and as such it's approaches are regulated.

In 2003 Nico and I crossed the harbour entrance with just a VHF call for our Around the Netherlands by Sea Kayak. The channel is 1 km wide and we had to stop halfway for the vessels were a bit faster (and bigger!) than we thought.

When I learned that the KNRM lifeboat would escort them for the crossing, it was an easy decision; I did not want to miss this. At 07:45 I met up with Feike, Fenna and Willem at 's-Gravezande and at 08:45 sharp, the KNRM Jeanine Parqui arrived at the Maasmond north pier accompanied with some very nice wave action on an otherwise flat sea. Just before that some big container ships and ferries in the channel, but on our crossing there was no shipping at all.

Thanking the KNRM for their escort we continued along the south breakwater and along the Maasvlakte land-reclaimed industrial area. At the corner I spotted an offshore patch with some waves. On this windless spring-tide day and otherwise flat seas...

Combining bus, metro, train and 4K walking got me back to my car and I could return to pick-up my kayak. Arriving back just in time at Rockanje to join the team for dinner at the campsite. Thank you Fenna, Feike and Willem for your great company and the KNRM for escorting us.

I captured the crossing (and VHF communication) in below edited video.