Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Penguins ?

When I asked around for pictures of yesterday I would never ever have thought Ray would be 'tricked' into this one. A select few Dutch sea kayakers know about Ray's Penguin warm-up one time at the annual Dutch Sea Kayak week; for many years organized by Elko (left) and Onno (right). And where do Penguins live?

Peddelpraat Ray Union

Yesterday was the annual Peddelpraat winter meeting.

For the past 20 (!) years Ray Goodwin guided the Scotland sea kayaking trips for Peddelpraat. Sea Kayaking? Isn't Ray that world renowned open canoe coach and guide? Yes he sure is. Ray, Lina and Maya were invited over to celebrate 20 years of Peddelpraat sea kayaking trips in Scotland.

What was his lecture about? Open Canoeing for sure. Anecdotes of his sea kayaking trips would fill the rest of the day with all the paddlers that so much enjoyed his guiding. I was impressed with his film about his Algonquin open canoe trip with two families with children. So Open Canoeing abroad with Ray is next? We have a signed copy of Ray Goodwin Open Canoeing so we better start practicing with one blade. Cunning plans... Another one of Ray's specialties.

Exactly a year ago I headed out to Ushuaia for my month long sea kayaking trip to Antarctica with a group guided by Justine Curgenven. Family health issues and other priorities had literally shelved the 7.000+ pictures and still unknown many hours of film footage of this expedition.

Yesterday was also the premiere of my Antarctica lecture. Condensing a 'life-time' experience into 45 minutes. Where I could probably talk an hour on every one of the 30 days there! Or just share one picture that says it all. Even all the trips with Ray. It is all in there (apart from the camp fires).

A little personal emotional moment at the start of my lecture when I realised that ALL of the paddlers that I learned sea kayaking from, my mentors, my coaches were present. Even the retired ones and paddling buddies that I have not seen for 10 years or more!

While Peddelpraat is 'just' one of the national kayak clubs, they invited every other national sea kayaking organisation. And ALL were there; the busiest winter meeting ever. The clubs' motto, since it's founding in 1975, has been [paddling] with each other not against each other. A national (sea) kayaking gathering it was.

P.S. I do not have pictures of yesterday, so hoping to share some of those later.