Paddling Planet

March 01, 2015

IKDM Channel (video)

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Corse is an immersion in the wild and uncontaminated, real food for the soul, a journey that can open up strong emotions in everyone. Corse is the look that gets lost in a sea full of shades ranging from dark blue and cobalt, then veering toward the azure, turquoise and aliceblue, and finally stained with darkseagreen and emerald. Music: Hans Zimmer - Thelma & Louise theme. Corsica è un immersione nella natura selvaggia e incontaminata, vero e proprio cibo dell'anima, un viaggio capace di schiudere grandi emozioni in ciascuno di noi. Corsica è lo sguardo che si perde in un mare carico di sfumature che oscillano tra il blu scuro e il cobalto, poi virano verso l'azzurro, il turchese e il celeste, e infine si macchiano di verde bottiglia e smeraldo.

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

U Piscadori

Il gallurese è una lingua romanza parlata in Gallura e derivante dal corso oltramontano sotto l'influenza del sardo logudorese, più altre influenze minori. La sua più antica documentazione letteraria risale ai primi decenni del settecento, ma vari documenti bassomedievali inducono a datarne la formazione ai primi decenni del quattrocento. La sua origine è controversa ma e' stata ricercata nelle migrazioni dalla Corsica alla Sardegna attraverso le Bocche di Bonifacio avvenute nel corso dei secoli. Ed e' proprio qui, tra le Bocche di Bonifacio, che abbiamo incontrato Duiliu, ex pastore che oggi vive di pesca e parla questo idioma nella sua versione piu' pura e incontaminata. Musica: Zirichiltaggia - Fabrizio De Andrè

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

Paddling Happy People

Yes Captain, I often see them, those guys a bit strange, now kids no more, with that spark of life in the eyes, spending their time to handle all those pretty colored kayaks, then they go in the sea to play as children and finally find themselves with a glass in a hand in the usual tavern in the port ..... Location: Elba Island - Italy Music: The Mainstream - Birds Sì Capitano, li vedo spesso quei tipi un pò strani, ormai non più ragazzini, con quella scintilla di vita negli occhi, che passano il tempo a maneggiare quelle belle canoe tutte colorate, poi vanno in mare a giocare come dei bambini e si ritrovano con il bicchiere in mano a raccontarsela nella solita bettola del porto .....

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

O zZ0Íêè

Two below zero. Leaves in the water, wind in the sky, stormy sea at the horizon, air filled of wet: Camogli is more than ever deserted. All the sea is just for us. Due sotto zero. Foglie in acqua, vento nel cielo, mare agitato all'orizzonte, aria piena di umido: Camogli è più deserta che mai. Tutto il mare è solo per noi.

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

Winter time....is kayak time!

December. 4 friends in kayak at Bergeggi. "Only on the sea you are really free" Eugene O' Neill Dicembre. 4 amici in kayak a Bergeggi. "Solo sul mare si è davvero liberi." Eugene O' Neill

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

Kayak Argentario!

Due indimenticabili giorni di kayak (e merende) all'Argentario Two unforgetable days of kayaking (and big snacks) around Monte Argentario atc9k

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

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Greenland 515 CS Canoe 48 cm x 5,15 m e 195 litri Peso 12 kg Greenland kayak in Karbon/kevlar East Greenland, hard chine

by IKDMCHANNEL at March 01, 2015 03:11 pm

Sea kayaking with seakayakphoto.com
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

Return to the Sound of Arisaig.

On the 6th of February, Alison and I drove north to meet Ian and Alan at the Glenuig Inn. We stopped for a break in some late afternoon winter sunshine on the shore of Loch Linnhe at Fort William. There was not a breath of wind and FV Holly Rose OB158 was lying at her mooring perfectly motionless. We arrived at the excellent Glenuig Inn just before dark but by the time we walked the dogs

by Douglas Wilcox (noreply@blogger.com) at March 01, 2015 03:01 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Final arrival plans and dates for Buenos Aires

I gave it a lot of thoughts, checked the maps and possibilities.

The fix and final plan is:
I will arrive on a fix date on Saturday, 2nd of May back in Buenos Aires at the Puerto Madero Yacht Club (-34.602 -58.3649) where I started. This will be around noon to have time for celebrations. And at night may the celebrations continue…:-)

I will paddle from Uruguay crossing the Rio de la Plata from the Colonia del Sacramento to the Yacht Club in Quilmes (-34.7060 -58.2331) where I had spent the first night at the beginning of the trip. This can be best any time and day earlier than Friday the 1st of May, as I can have some good rest and prepare the last plans for the final 20 km leg for the final arrival with my Argentine friends.

I will not be able to arrive much earlier than May 2nd (I think…), but will do my utmost to not be later. If weather or destiny likes to prevent me from arriving on May 2nd, I will have to skip some distance, as plans will be set and I urgently need to be back in Germany/ Augsburg to attend the celebrations for the “World Paddle Awards” on May 9th where I am invited as a Top 3 finalist…

All of my “not only Argentine” and not only “paddling” friends are invited to attend the celebrations! Please mobilize all kayaks, boats and floating devices around Buenos Aires for a gigantic escort into the Yacht club (or such…)! Maybe some of my friends I met on any other place of this gigantic continent may make it also to be there?

I am so much looking forward to be back! This night I had a night mare – I was back and nothing happened :-)

by Freya at March 01, 2015 10:27 am

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

A Smirisary smirr

In early February I met up with Allan, Douglas and Alison for a few days on and around the Sound of Arisaig. We based ourselves at the very comfortable Glenuig Inn - a favourite location of ours. After a good meal and a comfortable night, Allan, Douglas and I made the very short drive to Samalaman Bay to launch.





The morning was grey and damp but almost windless - a smirr of rain misting us and the camera as we sorted out or boats on the shandy beach.  Just as the Inuit peoples have many different words to describe different kinds of snow, in Scotland there are many different words to describe different kinds of rain; and "smirr" must be one of the most descriptive!



The fine, almost invisible misting of rain (the Scots word is occasionally used to indicate "smoke" too) continued as we paddled west along the rocky arm of Glenuig Bay, but with mild temperatures and a great paddle in prospect we were just happy to be out on the water on another winter trip.





We passed inside a couple of rocky skerries and around a small headland to paddle along the shore below Smirisary. The previous afternoon I'd arrived early at Glenuig and decided to take a walk over to this interesting crofting township.  The public road from glenuig ends at the large Samalaman House, which was once a Catholic seminary.  From here there is no road to Smirisary, nor would it be possible to even get a wheelbarrow across the rough path to Smirisary - everything which can't walk must go by sea or on the back of a human or pony.  The track starts at a gate in the fence......





           It's said that there is only one chance to make a first impression.  Welcome to Smirisary?







The track climbs gently over the crest of a crag which then drops steeply to ground with obvious signs of previous crofting use.  The first buildings come into view, hard up against the crags.






No crops appear to be grown here now but there is evidence of field systems and a network of drystone dykes separating the crofts.  It's known that the township was in full occupation in the 19th century and that at least one of the families who lived here were called McIsaac.  By the mid 1940's the last of the houses was empty and the township fell into disuse.

What marks out Smirisary is that unlike other former crofting townships in this area (there are good examples of deserted townships at Peanmeanach and on the Ardnish peninsula) it has been partially reocccupied.  Sheep now graze the ground where cattle would have been the crofters main livestock and the permanent residents gone. Instead of the unremitting year-round labour of crofting, the occupants and visitors (some of the houses are now holiday rental properties) of Smirisary come here for recreation and an "away from it all" experience - seeking that very remoteness which precipitated the abandonment of crofting townships pushed to the edge of the land.






There are still ruined croft houses and buildings at Smirisary, evidence ofhow many families once forced an existence in this place.





As we continued our paddle past Smirisary the smirr cleared through and the visibility improved dramatically.  Out to the west the islands of Eigg and Rum dominate the view, bringing memories of a superb winter adventure to the Small Isles.





Our route today took us south and then east to enter the north channel of Loch Moidart with the mainland on our left and Eilean Shona on our right.  Ahead we could see water to the limit of visibility in the channel - a good thing as below half tide this passage partially dries revealing a kilometre of sticky mud and sand. 

by Ian Johnston (noreply@blogger.com) at March 01, 2015 09:36 am

SimonWillis.net
Cycling, sea kayaking and life in the Scottish highlands

Podcast - First to Kayak All Scotland's Islands

Take a look at that photo.  Only a handful of kayakers have been in the position in which you can see Donald Thomson, about to land on the island of Rona, often called North Rona.  

Fewer paddlers have reached this island than some of the world's 'big' expedition destinations, and yet this lies off Scotland.  In reaching this island, Donald became the first person to kayak to every Scottish island as defined in Hamish Haswell-Smith's excellent book.  

Donald tells the story of this adventure in the the podcast at SeaKayakPodcasts.com.

by Simon Willis (noreply@blogger.com) at March 01, 2015 06:00 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Sat 28/02-2015 Day 795

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Alan and Nina, my friendly hosts in Sao Francisco do Sul

 

Highlights: Good current
Lowlights: Headwind
Launch: River beach
Landing: River beach
Pos: here
Loc: Sao Francisco do Sul
Acc: Alan and Ninas house
Dist: 30,7 km
Start: 6:50 End: 13:20

The night was dead calm after the very light thunderstorm in the evening. Nothing strong as fore casted. The morning was also calm, a light headwind around 10 knots was not bothering me too much. Especially not, as there was a good current carrying me right into the bay where Sao Francisco do Sul was located. So overall a much better day than expected. And I was already thinking to stay put on my beach…
On the short crossing over to the big island of Sao Francisco do Sul the sky was dark and rainy with stronger headwind. But there is really nothing exciting to tell on paddling!

I met my host Alan about 4 km before his home beach on the water,he was paddling an “Artic” sea kayak made by Christian Fuchs. Nina and Alan provided me a nice guest room in their house and cooked great food, that I decided to have a rest day tomorrow and to do some online work. All good!

 

by Freya at March 01, 2015 12:47 am

Sea Kayak Podcasts .com
Interviews with interesting sea kayakers

Every Scottish Island

Interviews with the world's most interesting sea kayakers. More than seventy free mp3 interviews online at SeaKayakPodcasts.com

by Simon Willis (simon@sunartmedia.com) at March 01, 2015 12:30 am

February 28, 2015

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield.

Daily Picture - 58

Headed to La Pulente to watch the Wales - France match and on the way home came across a few of these little creatures as I came around the headland at Petit Port.  Normally I only see them in the autumn so it was a treat to see a few on the eve of the start of the meteorological spring.
Looking forward to kayaking tomorrow but the forecast looks more like winter than spring.

by noreply@blogger.com (Kevin Mansell) at February 28, 2015 09:24 pm

josebelloseakayaking

Las gomas de cubierta y la pala


Una cosa tan simple como las gomas de cubierta de nuestra embarcación, nos hacen un importante servicio. Podemos llevar las cosas que necesitamos a mano.
  
Yo no soy amante de usarlas en exceso, sobre todo con mar movida y especialmente si entramos o salimos de playas con olas. Momentos en los que lo normal es, que si llevamos objetos sobre cubierta, vayan al agua si tenemos algún revolcón. 

Sin embargo, la pala de respeto debe acompañarnos siempre en las travesías, por lo que hay que asegurarse que queden aquí bien sujetas.

Cada uno tiene sus manías, una de las mías es forrar determinadas zonas de las gomas de cubierta de tubo de PVC flexible, de manera que se protejan del roce continuo con la pala y además aporten una mejor sujección.


Una buena idea es disponer de una bola que levante el cabo elástico de la cubierta para facilitar la colocación de la pala , si es de goma y del tamaño adecuado, también aportará sujección.


Es conveniente poner el cabo doble para aumentar la tensión aquí. A mi me gusta llevar la pala de repuesto en la cubierta de popa.


Hay otros palistas que prefieren la cubierta de proa, en estos casos viene bien el uso de una funda, porque de otra manera hay muchas posibilidades de que se mueva con las olas que rompen sobre nosotros.

 
Yo necesito disponer de la proa libre para usar el cabo elástico instalado allí, ampliándolo con otro tubo, para permitir la colocación de la pala que estamos usando en aquellas ocasiones que necesitamos tener las manos libres.


Tengamos la pala de repuesto donde la tengamos...... aseguraos de que está accesible para "lo que sea necesario"

by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at February 28, 2015 08:23 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

South Sound Sustainability Expo

2015_PowerPoint Graphic

One week from today, the 8th Annual South Sound Sustainability Expo is set to get underway at the Tacoma Convention Center. It looks like a great mix of businesses and non-profits, a whole lot of people who are thinking innovatively about sustainability issues, and who are putting their energies into making Puget Sound a more livable place. Sounds like it’s the place to be. Admission is free; see you there!

by Ken Campbell at February 28, 2015 07:24 pm

Kelly Blades
Your Source to find Pinecrest Homes for sale

Booking Affordable Florida Golf Trips

golf-vacations-florida

Any golf enthusiast wants to be spoiled from time to time and a perfectly planned golf trip is just what can do the trick. It is important that you not only have a memorable trip, but also one that is going to be well thought out and worry free so that you can simply enjoy the game of golf. For some, it is as simple as looking around for the best possible packages to help you get out and enjoy a memorable golf trip that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed upon your return.

Whether you are looking to book with Tee Times USA Florida golf packages just for yourself or even a group golf outing for up to 6 people or more, there are all sorts of plans and packages that you can choose from. You just have to pick the destination that you are interested in and then choose the pricing that is going to fit in with whatever type of budget that you have put in place. This could be a trip to Nevada to hit one of the many resorts or even to make your way to a destination vacation in an area such as Europe or the Caribbean.

florida golf packagesTaking a look online will give you a wealth of information not only on the different destinations that you can pick from but also on the various resorts that are available. This is a great way to find out more about golf courses, resort amenities, golfing packages, area attractions, group rates, dining and much more. When you take the time to look into a golfer’s paradise trip, you are going to be in for memorable florida golf vacations that will end up being one of the best golf adventures that you have ever set out on. When all is said and done, you are going to see that there is something to be said about spoiling your inner golfer.

The post Booking Affordable Florida Golf Trips appeared first on The Best of Pinecrest Real Estate.

by admin at February 28, 2015 06:36 pm

Mike Jackson's Paddling Journal
A journal of my sea kayak trips.

February 28th - Discovery Island (#20)

For the third time in a week, I went to Discovery! Dan Paulo and I went for an over-lunch paddle around Discovery. We started a bit later since there had been strong winds in the forecast, but they were not really happening.We ran into Lanny at Cadboro Point and then Rowan, Costain and Martin at Rudlin Bay.The trip back was a bit of a slog as there was just enough NW wind to make it hard work! As you can see from the track we made a detour in Baynes to catch some waves. I had three or four  really nice rides.
click to enlarge
16 km, YTD 195 km

by Mike J (noreply@blogger.com) at February 28, 2015 02:41 pm

Tatiyak

Una giornata di riposo...

E' già passato un mese!
Sono arrivata in Galles il 21 gennaio e non sono ancora morta di freddo! Forse però morirò di fatica...
Sto uscendo in kayak quasi tutti i giorni e per le prossime quattro settimane non avrò neanche una giornata di riposo. E poi volerò direttamente in Spagna per il Symposium Pagaia, "fully booked" già da diverso tempo! Insomma, fino a dopo Pasqua sarà tutta una tarantella di pagaiate...

Questo è il "mio" Galles!
In previsione di tali fatiche, per un giorno sono rimasta a casa, in estatica contemplazione del temporale che si avvicina dal mare e che presto avvolge il cottage con una pioggia battente e rumorosa. Poco dopo, come spesso, il sole torna a fare capolino tra le nuvole e penetra dalle finestre, illuminando la tastiera su cui sto scrivendo queste righe. Questo posto è davvero speciale! E ci sono un sacco di cose da fare/vedere/scoprire...
Quando non sono in kayak, mi piace dedicarmi ad esplorare i dintorni, da sola, seguendo il filo dei miei pensieri, intricati come le strade che scendono nelle vallate dello Snowdonia...

Una delle più grandi centrali idroelettriche d'Europa, scavata sotto le vecchie cave di pietra di Dinorwig.
La mia giornata tipo, quando vado in kayak, è all'incirca questa: sveglia alle 7, quando spesso fuori il vento sbatacchia i rami spogli del mio albero preferito; un po' di pratica yoga, doccia e colazione (mi accontento dei corn-flakes perchè il porridge richiederebbe troppo tempo!); riordino l'attrezzatura (ho comprato un nuovo casco!) e sistemo tutto in macchina; parto intorno alle 8, programma il navigatore in attesa che si sbrini il parabrezza e guido come una lumaca verso la meta del giorno. L'appuntamento è di solito fissato per le 9 del mattino da qualche parte intorno all'isola di Anglesey e dopo alcune ore in mare, inclusa la sosta per il pranzo (il momento talvolta più freddo della giornata, ma anche più breve!), rientriamo alla base intorno alle 17, prima che faccia buio.

Cioccolata calda con marshallow (!) in un cafè di Llanberis.
Una volta caricato il kayak sulle barre gonfiabili mi rimetto in macchina e spesso scelgo deliberatamente di perdermi per i sentieri che corrono sinuosi tra i campi coltivati ed i pascoli di pecore (non mi è mai piaciuto guidare un'auto, lo trovo quasi noioso, specie se confrontato con le lunghe scorribande in motocicletta della mia gioventù... ma qui è tutta un'altra cosa, persino piacevole!). Faccio grandi scorpacciate di paesaggi gallesi, tanto ho il riscaldamento a palla e la radio sintonizzata sul canale della musica classica.

Porthmadog, all'estremità meridionale della penisola Llyn.
Dopo circa un'ora di guida mi arrampico su per lo sterrato e parcheggio davanti al "mio" cottage (davvero uno dei più belli e caratteristici della zona!). Lavo e stendo tutta l'attrezzatura da kayak: Debbie ha sistemato sotto la grondaia una grande tinozza per la raccolta dell'acqua piovana, in giardino un lungo filo per i panni e nel garage una serie di ganci per appendere i vari pezzi.
Mi serve una lunga doccia calda per recuperare un po' di energie ed una temperatura corporea decente. Sistemo la spesa, cucino qualcosa al volo (adesso capisco perché qui tutti cenano alle 19!), faccio andare la lavatrice, scarico le foto per aggiornare il blog e faccio una bella chiacchierata con l'uomo di Ferro (che grande invenzione Skype!).

Beddgelert, ai piedi dello Snowdonia.
Poi preparo i panini imbottiti per il giorno dopo (il pane qui non è granché ma l'hummus si sposa a meraviglia con le verdure crude, peperoni, sedano e pomodorini!), stendo i panni e se non sono ancora crollata dal sonno guardo la televisione insieme alla padrona di casa, con cui parlo sempre molto volentieri (anche perché mi corregge tutti gli errori di pronuncia e grammatica senza farmi cadere nello sconforto dell'eterna scolara somara!).
Capita spesso che Debbie cucini anche per me, piatti fumanti dal profumo invitante, minestre di verdure o zuppe di funghi... oppure qualche manicaretto come il pancakes del Pancake Day (il nostro martedì grasso) o anche una strepitosa torta alle noci che ha resistito per pochi giorni ai nostri continui assalti...

I curiosi disegni di sabbia sulla spiaggia di Portmeirion.
Quando invece vado in piscina o al cinema, oppure mi trattengo fuori casa per una presentazione in zona di viaggi in kayak, allora rientro a notte fonda e sbrigo tutte le faccende con tempi accelerati. Una sera sono rimasta per oltre un'ora a fissare la prima falce di luna dalla vetrina di un gommista miracolosamente aperto: avevo bucato, e pure scoperto di aver comprato un'auto usata senza ruota di scorta e con pneumatici vecchi come il cucco! Un'altra volta (prima di forare) mi ero persa (letteralmente, non figuratamente!) tra i sentieri sempre più stretti della costa orientale di Anglesey, quelli segnati dal cartello "one track road" dove a malapena passa un'auto senza strusciare tra le siepi intrecciate nei muretti a secco di ardesia... che mi sono fermata a lungo a guardare e riguardare!

Chissà perché finisco sempre per tornare al mare...
Insomma, mi sembrano giornate di 48 ore, come le ho sempre sognate, sin da piccola!
Comincio però ad accusare i primi segni di stanchezza (ho dimenticato la pagaia nella base di Phil e forse ho anche perso il mi cappello preferito... fortuna che il te inglese tiene ben svegli!).
Soffro anche un po' di nostalgia (nell'ordine esatto di Mauro, della mia pagaia groenlandese e del mio cuscino di piume!), ma ho iniziato ad apprezzare questa strana sensazione di essere la sola, indiscussa, assoluta padrona del mio tempo!
Prima di addormentarmi, come sempre leggo un po', ora rigorosamente in inglese.
La stanza nel sottotetto è calda ed accogliente e anche quando il vento sembra voler strappar via le tegole di ardesia, io crollo in un sonno profondo e rigenerante.
Non ho mai dormito così bene in un letto non mio!

by Tatiana (noreply@blogger.com) at February 28, 2015 01:45 am

Clogwynn Lodge, a cozy Wales cottage...

This is my second week here in Wales.
A lot of things happened since I've arrived and one of the most interesting is that I've got a second hand car. I called the mobile number written on the paper glued on the windscreen, sent a couple of messages to the old owner and planned a meeting with him for the Sunday night. I've already taken out an on-line insurance so just a signature and a handshake was necessary. After that, I was able to drive my new car into the night, under a first soft snowfall.
I've slowly driven along no name roads for almost one hour in the dark night to reach the little village of Pen-y-Groes, located to the south fo Caernarfon, often looking at the map because the sat-nav was unable to find the place. After a telephone box, I've taken the first little road on the right hand side and I've immediately found an unmistakable signal, a pair of kayak bars on the roof of a car.
Debbie is a sea kayaker and she lives in a cozy cottage with a cincilla, an ostrich and a lots of birds all around the garden. My room is at the second floor, the bed is provided with a warm duvet and the window is facing directly to the sea. Everywhere into the house there are sea kayak books, maps and charts, and also stones, shells and little pieces of wood... I'm pretty sure that Debbie and I will hit it off!
There is one more reason to appreciate Clogwyn Lodge, the old disused slate querries on the other side of the hill, in a really spectacular valley at the bourder of the Snowdonian National Park. It's a very interesting old industrial area, full of hiking trails, creeks and waterfalls... I've spent there one entire sunny day and I've came back home with too many little pieces of slate into my pockets!
The second hand car and the NDK Romany on the inflatable roof bars: ready!
First view from the window of my spare room
Debbie's cottage in Clogwyn Melyn up to Pen-y-Groes
Long walk along the North Wales Pilgrim's Way
Disused slate quarries at Dyffryn Nantlle... such an amazing place!
E' la seconda settimana che trascorro in Galles.
Mi sembra di essere partita ieri ed invece sono successe già un sacco di cose interessanti...
Tra le altre, ho comprato un'auto usata. Le modalità meritano una breve diversione: ho chiamato il numero di telefono riportato sul cartello vendesi, scambiato qualche sms di conferma con il vecchio proprietario, attivato un'assicurazione on-line, prelevato le sterline necessarie, fissato un incontro di domenica sera... ed è bastata una firma ed una stretta di mano.
Comincia a nevicare appena infilo la chiave nel cruscotto. Ho guidato lentissimamente per quasi un'ora lungo sentieri senza nome, di notte, alla ricerca della mia nuova casa. Debbie Hughes mi aveva inviato una foto con la mappa di Pen-y-Groes, un villaggio di 1.800 persone 15 miglia a sud di Bangor... è tutto un intricato sistema di stradine tortuose costeggiate da muretti a secco... dopo una cabina telefonica giro a destra su per una strada sterrata e spero di aver indovinato perchè fare inversione è impossibile e scendere in retro sarebbe un vero incubo... C'è un'auto parcheggiata davanti all'ingresso, ha un segnale per me inequivocabile: le culle per il kayak sul tetto! Posteggio, scendo e busso... yes, è la casa giusta! Debbie è una kayaker, l'avevo detto?!?
Il cottage è bellissimo, accogliente e caldo, la mia camera nel sottotetto affaccia sul cortile e dalla finestre vedo sia il mare che le montagne. In casa trovo dappertutto legni lavorati dal tempo, pietre levigate e conchiglie... e un sacco di libri di kayak, carte nautiche e racconti di viaggio... credo proprio che Debbie ed io andremo più che d'accordo!
In giardino razzola uno struzzo, nel sottoscale dorme un cincillà e l'albero davanti casa accoglie corvi, gazze, merli, tordi, picchi, pettirossi, passeri e tanti altri piccoli uccellini dal piumaggio variopinto che non so riconoscere ma che rendono oltremodo piacevole la mia pratica yoga del mattino.
Oltre le colline dietro casa, poi, si susseguono una serie di cave abbandonate che sono andata a perlustrare appena è uscito il sole. Le pietre di scisto dalle inconfondibili sfumature amaranto e grigio/verde formano un'infinita serie di montagnole molto suggestive che nascondono sentieri, ruscelli e laghetti artificiali. Lo scenario è reso ancor più spettacolare dalla collana di montagne innevate che circondano l'intera vallata e da una cascata che gorgoglia poco distante... Sono tornata indietro con qualche chilo di troppo, temo, troppi sassi nelle tasche!

by Tatiana (noreply@blogger.com) at February 28, 2015 01:41 am

February 27, 2015

NORCAL YAK
Northern California kayaking adventures

Get ready kayakers, bouquets are on the way

No lupine just yet, but a beautiful day to paddle the American River North Fork How to improve a kayaking trip on a gorgeous spring day? Throw in a football-field-sized bouquet of wildflowers....

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by Glenn Brank (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2015 10:38 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Fri 27/02-2015 Day 794

IMG_1535.JPG

A bamboo bush with a new sprout

 

Highlights: Good distance, calm campsite
Lowlights: Still ugly heat rash allover
Launch: Calm beach
Landing: River beach
Pos: here
Loc: Rio Sai-guaco
Acc: tent
Dist: 54,2 km
Start: 6:40 End: 17:30

It felt a bit strange after three days sleeping in safe villages to be back to a wide open public, yet remote beach again. The feeling of overall safety on sleeping is one of a basic needs. All good, besides screen lightning and thunder and lightning all night again. Few rain, no wind. It is really strange weather.

The sea was dead calm, the surf nothing until the wide bay of Garatuba. After the bay, it was a bit more “surfy”,but actually nothing at all also. Many fishermen until Guaratuba. But basically nothing to really tell besides having friendly following wind, easy conditions and a calm landing in some slightly confused waters of the river mouth. Thunder and lightning and light rain on landing and making camp, it is some strong stuff fore casted for the night. We’ll see…we’ll also see the fore casted moderate to strong headwind tomorrow, if I’ll go or not.30 km still. But first having a good calm sleep!

by Freya at February 27, 2015 10:15 pm

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

Kayak Spock

Leonard Nimoy, who played Star Trek's Mr. Spock, passed away today at the age of 83. He lived long, and he prospered.

Ever wondered what you would get if you typed "kayak spock" into Google? Turns out, you get this:

by noreply@blogger.com (John Herbert) at February 27, 2015 09:08 pm

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield.

Daily Picture - 57

It was fairly rare day with some bright sunshine and relatively light winds although there was a significant westerly swell.  A lovely day for walking along the south west cliffs with views across to Corbiere.

by noreply@blogger.com (Kevin Mansell) at February 27, 2015 08:29 pm

josebelloseakayaking

Cámara nueva

Ya tocaba ..... tras mirar lo que hay en el mercado y consultar con los que saben al final ha caído la Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3.


Antes ........ me preocupaba de la calidad de las fotos que hacía. Con mi Nikon FM2 totalmente manual y mecánica, realmente disfrutaba trabajándome el resultado. Era la época de la fotografía química, en la que cada foto costaba una pasta, especialmente si tirabas diapositivas. Antes ......... me dedicaba intensamente a la montaña, las cámaras reflex tenían el volumen y peso correspondientes. En altitud, con unos cuantos grados bajo cero, tenía su cosa colgarte de los piolets y quitarte los guantes para sacarle la foto a tu compañero de cordada, mientras calculabas la apertura y velocidad adecuada a la luz que te marcaba el fotómetro. Y por supuesto, era un aficionado del montón. 

 
Pero las cosas cambian. Personalmente ahora ....... valoro sobre todo el momento y lo que te transmite una fotografía. No tiene que ser perfecta técnicamente, pero hay que tomarla haciendo las cosas que te gustan. Y ahora ....... me dedico de lleno al kayak de mar, por lo que la cámara debe ser compacta, sumergible, y fácil de manejar. Además es bonita ¿no?

No voy a entrar en los detalles técnicos, en la red hay un montón de análisis pormenorizados, pero me gusta especialmente su luminosidad, alta para una compacta deportiva, que soporta 15 metros bajo el agua, y es antigolpes. Además incorpora GPS y WIFI, con una calidad aceptable de video.  No es demasiado trasto, pesa un cuarto de kilo y aunque es un poco más grande que una compacta de acción tamaño mini, la puedo sacar con una mano del bolsillo, encenderla y disparar sin soltar la otra mano de la pala.....eso está bien.

Hoy mismo se ha venido al agua, ya ha encontrado su sitio en un bolsillo del chaleco. Las primeras fotos no han sido en alta calidad ..... pero me gustan....

by Jose Bello (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2015 03:59 pm

mark tozer's blog
embracing the elements on the water and in the mountains

Sea kayaking with seakayakphoto.com
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

Good news for Saturn.

This time last year, three and a half months after my last knee operation, my first paddle took me to the Gareloch. At the Rosneath breakers yard we came across MV Saturn which had been laid up since 2011. It looked like she was doomed. Saturn was the last of three Streaker class CalMac ferries that ran on the Clyde. She was launched at Ailsa Shipyard in Troon in 1977. Her sister ships Juno

by Douglas Wilcox (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2015 11:33 am

OCEANPAX Paddle / Run / Be
Reflections on life, self-propelled outdoor pursuits, and all manner of things that may come to mind while sea kayaking on the waters, and minimalist running along the trails, of south Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

Return to the North Sea...journey through the earth, the sea casting its spell.


It's an extraordinary planet we share, and how wonderful to get to know it better.

For several years now, we've walked above the Arbroath cliffs, on the east coast of Scotland, and marvelled at the sculptured red sandstone that built the abbeys, churches, and homes in Angus. It sparks the imagination to realise that during the Devonian period, some 400 million years ago, this part of Scotland was located below the equator. It was during that time and in that place, the warm waters of ancient rivers flowed across the landscape, depositing the sands that are now preserved as rock.

Unimaginable time passed, and through movement in the crust, the land was transported north. Glacial ice covered modern day Scotland, numerous times, the weight of thousands of feet of heavy ice pressing the country into the the molten rock below the crust. The last of these glaciers melted only 10,000 years ago and the earth is still rebounding in places, rising back up again through a process known as isostatic rebound. What was once sand, carried by rivers in the distant past, are now the cliffs we walk along.

These same cliffs are now subject to the immense energy of the North Sea's storm-created waves.


On this day, from the kayak cockpits, we watched the sea continue to shape and form this ancient rock. It's possible to see, almost in real time, what is happening. It is not mysterious at all.

One of the caves we entered presented a startling surprise. There was "light at  the end of the tunnel", but more than that...it was a passageway to a quiet and hidden world - hidden from both land and sea.


We had entered into cavernous darkness from the sea, and found a brightly lit exit...into a deep crater. It was as if we had been transported through time to another place altogether.  

There was an eerie silence as the bow of my kayak glided towards the pebbles of a tiny, secret, "underground" beach. I wondered if I should quit this exploration while still free to paddle back to the safety of the sea behind...but curiosity, and the bright sun, warming the sides of this massive hole in the earth, were like a siren song, a temptress. 

Would I be lured on by these beautiful "voices" that called out? Joan was still in the darkness of the cavern, but not far away. Unable to resist, I succumbed to the call. Releasing the sprayskirt, I exited the kayak, and stepped tentatively onto the beach.


The air was still, and very warm, much warmer than "outside", on the sea. Imagination running wild, I felt separated from all reality. Would prehistoric, flying pterosaurs descend from these lonely skies, and carry me away to a nest, tucked somewhere into the sandstone crevices? Would I ever see Joan again? Surely, she was still nearby, in the darkness.


It's possible for the imagination to run wild in such places! It felt good to be a child again. :)

The coastal landscape that we were so enjoying is sculpted and shaped by the forces of the sea and weathering. The place where we entered the double-ended cave in our kayaks was once the face of a sandstone cliff. Waves battered that rock cliff, day and night for thousands of years. The water would have discovered a zone of weakness in the sandstone. Perhaps it first entered a tiny crack, creating a larger cavity by the hydraulic forces of the persistent waves. The water continued to push back, into the rock, creating a deeper and deeper cavity, and then a cave by mechanical erosion. 

At some point, on its inland journey, the water may have been forced upwards through a vertical shaft, creating a blow hole, and weakening the roof of the cave. Over untold centuries, or even in a single moment of time, the roof collapsed, leaving a massive crater and a view of the sea rushing up and onto a newly created shore, far from the "sea" shore...and under what one day would be a farmer's field of brussels sprouts.

We had found the Gaylet Pot, a "gloup", a collapsed cave, just a few kilometres from Auchmithie. Several days later, we would return, by land, and traverse the farmer's field to look into it from the top.


It was on this little beach, way down below, that my sea kayak rested, while I explored. On this day, there was significant swell that would have prevented entry.


There was only another hour until sunset, but sufficient time to return to the launch site. 

A sandstone face, carved by the elements, stared beyond the Deil's Heid, and out to the vast sea.


We paddled homewards, still spellbound, by it all. Jacques is correct...


The sea, once it casts its spell, 
holds one in its net of wonder forever.
- Jacques Yves Cousteau


by Duncan and Joan (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2015 09:53 am

Sarah's Soggy Scenarios
A light hearted insight into my paddling trips in and around Scotland - and beyond!

How to unpack a new house my way!

We've just moved house very recently and still living out of boxes.
To me it seemed a bit of a shame when the Saturday was a lovely, sunny fresh day to be unpacking paddling kit and "putting it away".
So we did what any other normal paddler unpacking masses of boxes would do - we stepped carefully over various boxes, loaded the car with our kit and made our way to the water.



We put in at Dysart, in front of St Serf's tower and the wee white cottages of Pan Ha', then made our way out past the harbour and along the front of Ravenscraig park, our now local park.
It was quite breezy, so we stopped for a breather in at Kirkcaldy harbour, where I learnt to swim many years ago before we got a heated indoor pool. That was so long ago, the town has since replaced that pool!!!

A bit further on and we stopped for lunch on the sands at Seafield Tower before making our way home with the wind on our backs and a bit of surf to help us along whilst being accompanied by lots of lovely Long-tailed ducks.

Back home, we found that the "house moving fairies" had obviously been busy elsewhere, as the boxes were still full and scattered everywhere, but hey ho! we'd had a lovely paddle!

by Sarah's Soggy Scenarios (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2015 09:04 am

Frogma
Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

USVI 2015 Day 8 - Vieques to Culebra, more snorkeling, we almost get in a bar brawl, and a very good dinner

1/23 - I did a pretty good job on the journal for Day 8, so I'm just going to copy that to move things along a bit. There will be lots of pictures, too, this was a photogenic kinda day. 

Up at dawn, underway by 7:30. We are motorsailing back to the eastern tip of Vieques to save time, today we are going to Culebra, a 27 mile trip, so we're skipping the upwind leg to save tacking time. 

Under sail at 9:40, heading 20 degrees, not much wind. Tonight's destination is another Ensenada Honda, there is a restaurant there, Mamacita's, that is a particular favorite of Kat's.

Arrived around 12:30, happily picked up a DRLN mooring ball just inside the harbor (we'd pretty much given up on the anchor and you're supposed use the mooring balls whenever you can anyways, better for the sea floor), we'd gotten there in plenty of time for more snorkeling. I'd finally gotten going on Unfamiliar Fishes  (the book I'd picked up for the trip, been meaning to read this for ages, ever since I posted about it in March 2011), and while everybody else floated around the boat with pool noodles and refreshing beverages, I decided to stay in the shade of the bimini reading until 1:30 to give my skin a break from the midday sun after being out in it for a while as we were coming into the mooring field and picking up the mooring ball. 
After that I jumped in - snorkelling time again! There wasn't much to see immediately around our boat, but I found the deep channel that lead out to the reef that encloses thae harbor, and that was nice. What was really interesting was working over towards the mangroves that edge the land side of the harbor; we'd heard their roots described as fish nurseries, and sure enough, just off the mangroves, first there was a sort of miniature reef populated by miniature versions of the fish we've seen in deeper water, then eelgrass with even smaller fish -- tiny shiny things, I couldn't tell what kind. 

click for a bigger view if you can't see the little fish 


My turn to get followed by fish - it was totally unfair, our most novice snorkeller got bugged by a barracuda. What scary beastie decided to come after me? A bunch of mullet. Oooh scary (not). I'd gone from the reef back to the boat before heading over to the mangroves, and on the way back I passed a huge school of mullet and a group of about a dozen were apparently completely enamored of the yellow fins I was wearing, broke off from the school, and followed me back to the boat. Funny. They liked the shade of the dinghy and decided to stay there while I went to the mangroves, stayed there for quite some time.

Snack and showers back on the boat, and then we jumped in the dinghy and headed into town a bit before 4.

First stop seemed nice at first, Kat had heard that the Dinghy Dock Restaurant was a fun place to have a drink, so we stopped there. Everything started out fine, we got drinks and sat down at a table, all well and good.
Things turned unpleasant fairly quickly, though. It started when Capt. Kat got to talking to a cruising couple - started out just wanting to say hi to their adorable little dog, but they were very friendly and seemed to know their way around and it occurred to Kat to ask them if they knew where we could get rid of our trash (we'd brought a bunch from the boat). The lady told us to just take it up the short flight of stairs that led from the bar to the street and we'd find some bins about a block away. Kat and I went and got the bags out of the dinghy and started heading towards the stairs, as suggested - but then this guy (who I thought was the owner because of his officious manner, but he wasn't, just somebody who's very comfortable being bossy with total strangers) got all huffy about it, and then as Capt. Kat tried to smooth things over with him, a couple more of the regulars started to get belligerent too - not much of a way to treat visitors. They shouted us back to our dinghy, which we took over to the town dock, as the first guy told us we had to do to get rid of our garbage, and then we went for a quick spin down the little canal that runs through the town to check out the restaurant (there, open, friendly owner brought a menu over to us to peruse and it looked very nice) and shopping opportunities (check).

We then headed back to the bar, where we found out that the belligerent regulars had continued to verbally abuse the rest of our group (who tried to explain that we'd just been given bad advice, but the cranks were unwilling to be appeased). Our friends had looked to the staff for some assistance and not gotten any (they were setting up for a band so I guess they were kind of busy, but still...), and so the decision had been made that no more money was being spent there. The guy who'd started the nastiness had told Kat (who tried to settle him down by asking him for advice) that Mamacita's had at one time been owned by the Dinghy Dock owners, but they'd sold it to someone else and it wasn't the same - well, at this point, "not the same" sounded awesome, so we split and headed back to the canal. We went shopping first, we were running low on beer and (we thought) a few other odds and ends, so we took care of that; we even found Pringles here, hooray (this had been a running gag, Jenn and Kat and I all consider Pringles to be a most important salty boat snack and we'd been dismayed to find no Pringles at the grocery store in Red Hook)! We also met the prettiest kitty, a long-haired calico with one blue eye and one gold eye, she was so sweet, Jenn wanted to take her back to Brooklyn but settled for buying her a can of Fancy Feast at the grocery store (she was healthy and there was a gentleman at the store who did look out for her, but she was a bit on the thin side and she absolutely inhaled the food, I think it was a real treat for her).

Groceries laded, we headed back to Mamacita's, where we had another scrumptious Caribbean meal and drinks (now in peaceful, friendly surroundings, ahhh). The canal is lit with blue underwater lights and besides the huge tarpon that are all over the place here in the town, we also saw large bats making regular passes over the lights, and when Jenn thought to look in the water under the patio where we were dining, she found a whole rookery of young spiny lobsters, plus a beautiful red and white striped shrimp. Great meal!

One more odd encounter on the way back. We got pulled over by the Policia. They came up on us in a large and fast-looking speedboat with no running lights at all, which was a bit creepy, but when we told them we were just heading back to our boat out in the mooring field, they just asked us to add a light aft to the forward light we already had to make ourselves visible all the way around.

Back at the boat, we had a couple more drinks with the rum cake Lenore had ordered at Bili's the day before for Dave's birthday today. Delicious!

Early start to head to Culebrita tomorrow. Plans there are to hike to a lighthouse, go swimming, and try to eat some some of the excess food we're discovering we may have bought (we were definitely running out of beer but I think the odds and ends we'd thought we were short on just turned out to be stashed someplace other than where we'd thought they were).

To bed now - is that a flock of oystercatchers flying around out in the dark out there? Sort of sounds like it! 

More pictures from the day - no more writing, click on the first one for slideshow view.  


































by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at February 27, 2015 05:05 am

February 26, 2015

René Seindal
Living, working, kayaking, rowing in Venice, Italy

Kayaking ban in Venice – legal challenge

Venice has issued a ban on kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and more, which will be effective from Sunday, March 1st.

This ban will harm the activities of several groups.

header-colorful1

The local kayaking association Arcobaleno has initiated a legal challenge to the new regulation banning kayaks and canoes in Venice.

Arcobaleno is one of the oldest kayaking clubs in the wider Venice area, and they have been active for many many years.

A Paypal account ricorso@arcocanoa.org has been set up to collect funds for the legal battle ahead. The needs aren’t huge, all in all around €3000 will be needed, but it is more than the club and its supporters have.

Even contributions of €5, €10 or €20 will be a help in the fight to keep Venice open for paddlers.

by René Seindal at February 26, 2015 09:14 pm

Kayaking ban in Venice – where and how to help

Venice has issued a ban on kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and more, which will be effective from Sunday, March 1st.

This ban will harm the activities of several groups.

All of these groups, together with the Italian Federation for Canoe and Kayak (FICK) and other organisations are trying in various ways to counter this blanket bans of most paddle crafts in Venice.

Salviamo Venezia andando a remi e pagaie

A lot of discussion is going on the Facebook group called Salviamo Venezia andando a remi e pagaie.

Most of the discussion is in Italian, but it is open for all interested parties. I try to put in something in English every once in a while, but I’m neither the creator nor an administrator of the group.

Screenshot from 2015-02-26 21:39:34

There’s a petition on change.org asking for the new regulations to be recalled.

At the time of writing it is approaching 2000 signatures, and you can all give us a hand by heading over there to sign.

header-colorful1

The local kayaking association Arcobaleno has initiated a legal challenge to the new regulation banning kayaks and canoes in Venice.

Arcobaleno is one of the oldest kayaking clubs in the wider Venice area, and they have been active for many many years.

A Paypal account ricorso@arcocanoa.org has been set up to collect funds for the legal battle ahead. The needs aren’t huge, all in all around €3000 will be needed, but it is more than the club and its supporters have.

Even contributions of €5, €10 or €20 will be a help in the fight to keep Venice open for paddlers.

by René Seindal at February 26, 2015 09:11 pm

Sea kayaking with seakayakphoto.com
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

Heavy industry and some calcareous considerations on Lismore, Loch Linnhe.

From Eilean nan Caorach we paddled to the NE point of Lismore at Rubh' Aird Ghainimh and entered the sheltered waters....  ...of Port Ramsay as... ...the "Lady Fiona" (fast ferry for the workforce of Glensanda superquarry) slowed down to pass us then sped off across Loch Linnhe. Lismore means "big garden" and it is a very fertile island due to the prescence of limestone. At the NE

by Douglas Wilcox (noreply@blogger.com) at February 26, 2015 06:41 pm

Pouls kajakblog
Jeg hedder Poul, og jeg er kajakoholiker! Denne blog - der mest er min egen dagbog over mit "kajakliv" - handler om mine kajakture og det udstyr jeg benytter mig af.

En weekend i kajakkens tegn

Tur til Avnø

Weekenden stod på en del kajakkeri. Lørdag søndag havde jeg en aftale med Tomas og Jan om en overnatningstur til Avnø, og søndag eftermiddag skulle vi i svømmehal. Jeg har meldt mig til et EPP3 kursus og må se at få et rul på plads.
Lørdag lidt før middag mødtes jeg med Tomas i NKC. Vi pakkede kajakkerne på taget og kørte til Svinø. Her mødtes vi med Jan, der var roet fra Enø. Oppakning til overnatningsturen kom hurtigt i kajakkerne - det er tankevækkende at kajakken er lige så fyldt til en enkelt overnatningstur om vinteren, som til en 10 dages ferietur om sommeren - nå, en god brænde var der dog også taget med.
Vi havde snakket om at ro en tur over til Knudeshoved Odde lørdag eftermiddag, men med en frisk blæst fra øst ville en rotur skulle afsluttes med en ordentlig omgang modvind uden mulighed for læ.
Det var derfor ikke svært at blive enige om at ro lige ned til shelterne i Nokkeskoven. Det var ret højvandet, og der var ikke mange sæler at se på stenene ud for Naturcenteret, men alligevel gik der ikke længe før de nysgerrige dyr stak hovederne op af vandet rundt om os.
Kulde og vind eller ej. Det er altid hyggeligt at hilse på de plettede sæler i Avnø Fjord. Og denne gang var der en sæl der lavede en lille opvisning - flere gange sprang den op af vandet og landede med store pjask. Den slags har jeg kun set to gange tidligere - når en flok sæler har jaget en stime fisk
Efter mødet med sælerne satte vi kursen mod shelterne. Der var nu ikke så meget læ ved dem. Vinden stod lige ind på den lille lysning hvor de står, men vi havde ikke telt med og indrettede os i det ene shelter. Tomas bror Sven dukke op med en kæmpe rygsæk toppet med en skummdras og sluttede sig til os.
Sven hev mange godter op af oppakningen. Specielt pandekager med marcipanroulade og flødeskum faldt Tomas for.

Kort efter kom 3 vandringsmænd og en hund og slog sig ned i det andet shelter. Godt at se at vi ikke var de eneste tossede mennesker på Sydsjælland!

Der var et par timer til spisetid, så vi gik en tur op til Naturcenteret. Det er et hyggeligt sted der absolut kan anbefales at besøge. Der er udstillet en masse udstoppede fugle og er en lille udstilling om den gamle flyvebases historie. Ved centeret dukkede Thomas og hans hund Uffe op. Thomas havde ikke tid til at ro med, men ville gerne have naturoplevelsen med.
Det blæste ubarmhjertigt koldt ved shelterne, så vi krøb i ly bag det ene og riggede et bord og et lille bål til. Det var blevet tid til en kop kaffe. Der var stor efterspørgsel på den varme drik, så min kaffemaskine var flittigt i brug.

Da det ikke er nogen termokande, var der også stor efterspørgsel på den. Den var genial god at varme luffer med indhold af kolde fingre på.
Kort efter ankom Linda. Hun havde medbragt spagetti og kødsovs i termoboks, så pludselig stod den på varm mad. Lækkert.
Maden blev nydt med en kold øl - og så stod den ellers på varm kaffe igen. Nogle toppede den op med whiskey og flødeskum. De så ud til at nyde det.
Jeg kan ikke længere lide whiskey, så jeg holdt mig til kaffen.
Ved 10-tiden gik Linda tilbage til sin bil, og vi andre krøb i poserne. Der står 0 grader på min pose, så jeg beholdt uldundertøj og fleece-fedtmule på, inden jeg iklædt pelshue kravlede ned i den. Og det blev en kold og stormfuld nat. Undervejs tog jeg en fleecejakke på, men det kneb stadig med at holde varmen. Jeg sov dårligt og vågnede flere gange - det var kulsort og vinden buldrede i træerne - meget ubehageligt.
Endelig blev det lyst og vi kunne stå op. Det blev det ikke mindre koldt af, men bål, tøj, tæpper, lidt aktivitet og varm kaffe gjorde dog det hele lidt mere behageligt. Men det er godt nok første gang at jeg har spist morgenmad med luffer på.
Efter morgenmaden pakkede vi kajakkerne, og det var med lidt gru vi så frem til at skulle tage meget af det varme tøj og og kravle i tørdragterne. Det var nu slet ikke så slemt - tørdragter er ikke kun tørre, de er også vindtætte :-). Og efter et farvelbillede taget af Sven, satte vi i vandet og roede godt hjulpet af en heftig medvind tilbage til Svinø, hvor Tomas og jeg sagde farvel til Jan, der roede hjem.

Det blev 15 km fin roning, hyggeligt lejrophold og en p....kold nat i shelter.

I svømmehal

Da vi kom tilbage til NKC var trailerpakning af kajakker til svømmehallen godt i gang, så vi fik hurtigt vasket vores kajakker og kørte til svømmehallen.
Her stod den på tøndeslagning og andet spas i vandet, inden den seriøse del gik i gang - kagespisning.
Så var det tid at rulle. Jeg har tidligere rullet i min Tiderace, men kroppen kunne ikke lige huske hvordan, og da hjernen lukker ned, når jeg ligge med hovedet nedad, var det lidt "op ad bakke" at træne. Men Tomas var meget tålmodig og jeg nåede da så langt at kun en hånd under pagajen var nok til at jeg kom op. Da Tomas skulle hjælpe andre gik jeg i gang med at træne bevægelsen med paddlefloat. Med den kunne jeg stille og roligt fokusere på de forskellige bevægelser i rullet, og jeg har da håb om at kunne lære det inden EPP3 til efteråret.

by Pouls kajakblog (noreply@blogger.com) at February 26, 2015 06:28 pm

Kayak Yak
kayaking the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia

The Kayaking Calm Before the Storm

From British Pathé comes this 1938 kayaking clip from Germany. Breslau High School apparently won a championship on River Wiese. How disconcerting it is to see swastika pennants on some of the kayaks. And I'd swear they cut away from the children on the riverbank just as they raise their arms in a Hitler salute around the 35 second mark. But I digress. There is some nice scenery in this short clip. Check it out embedded below:

by noreply@blogger.com (John Herbert) at February 26, 2015 05:25 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Thu 26/02-2015 Day 793

IMG_1536.JPG

Back to the sea across Ilha do Mel

 

Highlights: A half day off on the beach with good breeze and internet!
Lowlights: Paddled only a half day…
Launch: River beach
Landing: Calm beach
Pos: here
Loc: Pontal do Sul
Acc: tent
Dist: 25,4 km
Start: 6:40 End: 11:50

A good sleep, despite four blood filled mosquitoes had found their way inside my tent when I closed the outer door at night on some fresh wind. All squeezed dead now…never guess there aren’t any left at night!

I only planned to paddle back out to the sea again, so I was really looking forward to have a half day off and hopefully a nice remote campsite on a sea-smelling beach. As much as I enjoy the break and change paddling inland and as much as I hate the surf, but my element is the salt water and not rivers or lakes. But it is all about the changes!

The outgoing current was ok, despite some lower headwinds. Noting special to remark, I was just happy to land eventually on a still calm quite remote beach, to have a nice breeze and good internet on my cell phone hot spot. Not that I just lay down and read…working! But all ok. I will have a longer day tomorrow to a small river, then probably a friendly host in San Francisco do Sul where I can again paddle a day inland. Florianapolis will come also soon with a longer break. Next city then – Buenos Aires? Almost…less than 1500 km as the bird flies…

 

by Freya at February 26, 2015 04:31 pm

Frogma
Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

Whale talk tonight, 2/26/15, National Lighthouse Museum

Paul L Sieswerda is giving a talk about whales tonight at the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island. Sorry for the late notice! I'd hoped to go but can't make it because of work, but I thought I would share here.

Special bonus activity if you go by public transportation - riding the Staten Island Ferry through the harbor ice to get there! Cool!

NLM Lighthouse Lecture Series

Thursday 26 February – WHALES, Now and Then - Join us at the museum site on Feb. 26th when Paul Sieswerda, former curator of the New England and New York Aquariums and founder and director of Gotham Whale, will discuss current preservation efforts and whales in the New York Harbor area. Captain Joe Ahlstrom will discuss whales and how they are connected to lighthouses. This lecture will be held in Building 11 from 6-8 PM.

Click here for info on this and other events at the National Lighthouse Museum: lighthousemuseum.org/learn/teacher-workshop

Click here to read about the amazing whalewatching adventure my friend Patricia and I had with Gotham Whale last summer, yes, right here in NYC: Whale Break! 

by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at February 26, 2015 03:54 pm

Essex Explorations
Our membership is small…but that’s by design. Each of our explorers is a recognized leader in their respective field and brings a unique set of skills to the group. Whether a certified instructor, commercial guide, or in the case of our latest member, a professional photographer, each is passionate about explorations, pushing their boundaries, and then sharing that experience with others.

Kanotisten.com
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

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by Bengt Larsson at February 26, 2015 01:47 pm

Paddle California
Thoughts from the world of kayaking centered in California. Ocean, whitewater, flatwater, wherever the paddling takes me. Trip reports, gear reviews, teaching and leadership, with pictures and video.

American Canoe Association - California Council

I've been talking about the American Canoe Association (ACA) a fair bit on the blog recently, and partly that's because I've started a new role within the organization. I'm the Clubs Director for the ACA's new California state Executive Council, part of a program with councils for every state. It's a volunteer position, as are all positions on the council, and we're all in the process of defining what it really means. Here's what we've come up with so far.

The Executive Councils are a way for the ACA to have a local focal point in each state. We're here to help spread the word - actually, lots of words - as well as listen to the what the community has to say. We want to let the world know what the ACA is and what it does, but also we want to help paddlers connect with one another. To accomplish this, we've set up a Facebook page that we will use to communicate.

What will we communicate? First, information about the ACA and it's many great programs, like instructor certification, Paddle America Clubs, insurance offerings, public safety education, and paddler advocacy. The ACA has been around for one hundred and thirty-five years, always a non-profit devoted to paddle sports. It's main goal has been one of safety, with the motto of education not regulation. It offers a lot of great resources and we hope to highlight them through the Facebook page, especially the things most pertinent to our great state.

We also want to help paddlers connect with each other. We want to let the paddlers know about cool things like the Cal100, or how SUP paddlers are welcomed at the Santa Cruz Paddlefest. And maybe some sea kayakers would be interested in learning about river slalom races, like the Moke Races, or rafters wanting to get involved with adaptive kayaking programs like Team River Runner in San Diego. We want to help new paddlers find out about their local clubs, like the Los Angeles Kayak Club, so they'll find more people to paddle with. This is a large state, and while paddlers make great communities, it's often hard to connect with those communities if you don't know they exist, and it's hard for the communities to connect to each other when they're far apart.

In that vein, we want to hear from the paddlers out there. What would you like the ACA to do for you? How can we contribute to the kayaking/rafting/SUPing/rescue world? What does California paddling need? One of the goals of the state council initiative is to have a local face on the ACA so conversations are a little more immediate and personal. Once again, it's all about communication.

As the Clubs Director for the council, my goal is to help the clubs that already exist in a variety of ways. I want to make sure they know about the insurance options that the ACA provides, which can be invaluable for putting on events where a certificate of insurance is needed. I want to make sure they're aware of the CFS grants which offer money to organizations doing public service, like cleaning up a beach or river bank. But mostly I want to help clubs reach out to new paddlers, to help them find each other and get more people into our great big paddling community. The ACA has a lot of history and a long reach already established, and we're happy to use it to help out the many little (and not so little) clubs out there. Let's make this an even bigger party.

So if you're a paddler in California, we want to have something for you. If you're not seeing it, let us know what you want and we will try to get it. If you're not from Cali, you're welcome to stop by too - we know that you all plan to come visit at some point since we have some of the best paddling in the world no matter what type of paddling you're talking about. So go like our Facebook page and say hi when you're there - I'm one of the administrators. Happy paddling!


by Bryant Burkhardt (noreply@blogger.com) at February 26, 2015 01:00 pm

Sea kayaking with seakayakphoto.com
Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.

All aglow in the Lynn of Lorn.

Our winter adventure was now nearing its end. The sun was well down as we continued our exploration of the sheltered waters of Port Ramsay at the NE end of Lismore.  We went round the south end of Eilean Ramsay before...  ...paddling through the skerries on its west coast on our way back to the NE point of Lismore. Then we were in for a treat. The flood tide was  now running up the

by Douglas Wilcox (noreply@blogger.com) at February 26, 2015 08:42 am

February 25, 2015

Sea Kayaking in the Channel Islands
Sea kayaking in the Channel Islands and further afield.

Daily Picture - 56

Had a very pleasant evening working on an Open Water Navigation course.  Classroom based today but it won't be long before we are able to put into practice on the water what has been learned today.  Navigation is one of those things which always fascinates me, with a set of tide tables it is possible to look into the future and plan accordingly.

by noreply@blogger.com (Kevin Mansell) at February 25, 2015 11:25 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Eye of the Storm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s been a crazy past few months, finishing a book and a film (and a Master’s degree), all the while juggling the other things that seem to occupy the thinnest slivers of time in each and every day. It’s no different for any of us, I suppose.

At the moment, I am in that short, eerie calm between the storm just past and what I know will be a tempestuous stagger to the finish line in April. I am about to send the rough cut down to John Baumann in Eugene… he’s going to be putting the score together and we’ll be recording in Oregon at the end of March. So I don’t have anything much to do with the film at the moment.

Likewise, the book has been out to the readers for a few weeks now, but I don’t expect to hear from any of them until after the first of March. I could start doing my own edit… it does have to happen at some point. But it doesn’t need to be now. I am just smiling a little here in the calm in-between.

Message in a Plastic Bottle – Trailer #3

by Ken Campbell at February 25, 2015 11:02 pm

Tatiyak

Inflatable roof bars...

I was looking for a pair of inflatable roof bars before coming to Wales because I didn't know which second hand car I would have bought once arrived. So in January I accepted the suggestion from Beth Wilkinson, I ordered on-line the HandyRack inflatable roof bars and I sent them to the Nigel Dennis Kayaks factory in Holyhead directly.
The system works quite well but it's essential to follow the instructions properly: first clean and dry the car's roof than put the straps on and finally inflate the bars (they comes with a little pump and a couple of straps too).
The only problem (quite serious here in Wales, where the weather is usually "four season in one day"!) is the rain. Where it's raining, every single drop of rain pass trough the straps and trickle into the car! I solved the disadvantage with a good serie of absorbent dish towels... but I'm always struggling with the rainy days... that means almost every day here in Wales!




Ho cercato le barre porta-tutto gonfiabili prima di partire per il Galles perché non avevo idea dell'auto usata che avrei trovato una volta arrivata. Così ho seguito volentieri il consiglio di Beth Wilkinson ed in gennaio ho comprato on-line le barre gonfiabili HandyRack e le ho spedite direttamente alla fabbrica dei kayak Nigel Dennis ad Holyhead.
Il sistema funziona abbastanza bene, a patto di seguire alla lettera le istruzioni allegate: pulire ed asciugare il tetto dell'auto, poi legare le barre ed infine gonfiarle (il pacco arriva corredate di una coppia di stringhe e di una piccola pompa adatta allo scopo).
L'unico problema (alquanto importante qui in Galles dove il tempo classico è quello da "quattro stagioni in un giorno"!) è la pioggia. Quando piove, ogni singola goccia di pioggia filtra attraverso le barre e inzuppa i sedili dell'auto! Ho tamponato l'emergenza con una buona scorta di stracci assorbenti... ma vado in ansia ogni volta che piove... cioè quasi sempre, qui in Galles!

by Tatiana (noreply@blogger.com) at February 25, 2015 10:05 pm

Swimming pool sessions at Plas Menai!

Every Monday night the Swodonia Canoe Club meets at Plas Menai swimming pool for rolling session.
Last week I joined my flatmate Debbie during and after the pool session and I had the chance to meet more passionate people. There is a big group of women paddlers in the culb and they are all interested in improving their skills. Durin the 45 minutes session, I worked together with a guy really interested in learning some new Greenland rolls.
I also knew Roger Pyves who run an interesting session about Greenland paddle. He was so kind to say me at the end: "I don't know why they asked me to come when you're so good!
Last Monday I came back to the Plas Menai center on my own to practise my usual rolls (someone also with my "new" Celtic paddle... I'm very happy with that euro blade!) and I met Sid Sinfield. He confirmed me with the date of my Level 3 Coach assessment, next May, Saturday 9th... just after the Anglesey Symposium: dita incrociate!

A brilliant group of ladies!
Roger Pyves and the Greenland paddle group...
Jan, Kay and Debbie hearing for more top tips...
My new little friend at Plas Menai National Outdoor Center
Interesting after pool lecture about "Kayak and environment"!
Tutti i lunedì sera lo Snowdonia Canoe Club si incontra nella piscina del centro nazionale di Plas Menai sul Menai Strait.
La scorsa settimana ci sono andata con Debbie, la mia padrona di casa, e ho così avuto l'occasione di conoscere altre simpatiche persone del club, soprattutto un folto gruppo di amiche canoiste, tutte interessate a migliorare i loro rolling. Durante i 45 minuti di esercizi David mi ha chiesto di imparare nuovi rolling groenlandesi.
Ho parlato un po' anche con Roger Pyves, invitato a tenere una lezione introduttiva sulla tecnica di pagaiata groenlandese che ho molto apprezzato. Al bar è stato così cortese da salutarmi con queste parole: "Non capisco proprio perché hanno chiamato me, visto che tu sei così brava!"
Lo scorso lunedì sono tornata al centro di Plas Menai da sola per allenarmi sui miei soliti rolling (e per testare la mia "nuova" pagaia Celtic... devo confessare di essere molto soddisfatta della sua pala europea anche per il rolling!) e ho incontrato Sid Sinfield: mi ha confermato che l'esame per il Level 3 Coach è stato fissato per il 9 maggio prossimo... subito dopo il symposium di Anglesey: finger crossed!

by Tatiana (noreply@blogger.com) at February 25, 2015 09:58 pm

Open water navigation and tidal planning with Trys Morris!

Last Monday I joined Trys Morris at Surf-Lines to refresh the Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning course. It's a theory-based course usually needed prior the 5* sea leader assessment but the two people booked in that course  were more interested in planning long unsupported crossings rather than in the assessment.
We spent all the day studying tidal streams and the three different methods for allowing for tidal streams on an open crossing (timing the crossing to allow for tide, tidal movement hourly plots and tidal vector plots). I spent some more time trying to remember lot of English techincal words (as crocodile model, for example!).
Was very interesting for me planning a 10 hours crossing between the French Islands on the English Channel (using with 10 vectors and calculating big amount of numbers) and discover at the end that we all planned the same route, with a difference of just 1° on our heading :-)

Trys at the whie board explaining one of three methods for allowing for tidal streams on an open crossing...
I put one of this tricky mini plotter on my whish list :-)
Training hard, assessing easily!
Lo scorso lunedì ho seguito il corso di Trys Morris sulla Navigazione d'altura e la pianificazione delle maree. E' un corso necessario per accedere all'esame da 5* leader ma i due iscritti sembravano ben più interessati (e giustamente!) a programmare lunghe traversate non assistite.
Abbiamo trascorso l'intera giornata a studiare le correnti di marea e i tre diversi metodi per calcolare la corrente nelle lunghe traversate in mare aperto. Io ho dovuto recuperare un serie di vocaboli tecnici inglesi che avevo bellamente dimenticato (tipo "modello coccodrillo, per esempio!).
E' stato per me davvero molto interessante rinfrescare vecchi concetti e studiare un traversata di 10 ore tra le isole francesi del Canale della Manica (con 10 vettori e un sacco di numeri per calcolare la velocità della marea in un dato giorno d'estate!). E' stato soprattutto molto divertente scoprire alla fine che avevamo scelto tutti la stessa rotta, con uno scarto di appena un grado!

by Tatiana (noreply@blogger.com) at February 25, 2015 09:58 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Home of Freya Hoffmeister

Wed 25/02-2015 Day 792

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Boats and church at Vila Fatima on the rivers

 

Highlights: Beautiful small river paddle
Lowlights: Went a wrong channel for a while
Launch: River beach
Landing: River beach
Pos: here
Loc: Guapicu
Acc: tent
Dist: 49,5 km
Start: 6:45 End: 16:40

This night had a real thunderstorm with all components- rain, wind, thunder and lightnings. Besides the small fruits falling on my tent and boat I was fine and cozy inside.

The surf noise was threatening on the first kilometers of paddling, I think the small narrow next exit would be the worst. Glad I have one more and much wider option. I was passing the real cute village of Ariri, just a pity I can’t stop everywhere to explore. One single motorboat was overtaking me on the next way through a smaller river, later I was wondering if and how it was passing the many shallows in the wide bay after the next village? The river in between was real beautiful, changing in it’s banks all the time.At some point it was even a small narrow canyon, probably having only relatively recently broken through here. I was occasionally wondering if I was still on the right way, as my chart didn’t show any connection here. But all was ok.

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The mirror images are best in the early morning

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Dead calm river paddling

 

I passed another just charming river village with no road access, I am wondering once more what people are living on here. The wide bay following was so shallow I occasionally got stuck here and there, but before it happened fully, I could push myself out and away. Scary, two hours before low tide! I really didn’t like to sit here and wait for the water rising again for hours in the wind still heat. One more village to pass, then I made a mistake to follow a fishing boat into a wrong entry. I can’t expect they are always going from one village to the next, rather doing their business in a remote channel…? I soon noticed my error, after I had some hope fora while to hit a large channel again!

The next try was correct, I spotted the last village of the day where I got a spot to put up my tent near by a house.

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Camp in Guapicu

 

by Freya at February 25, 2015 09:46 pm

Torso Rotation
An Oregon Coast Blog and Kayaking Journal

Ecce Ego

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Summer, 2011 I had just turned 50 and I was looking for a pastime, something that would get me out in the wilds, something with a touch of the extreme; more importantly, something that would connect me to the transcendent . . .

by Paul Steinberg at February 25, 2015 04:51 pm

Torso Rotation
An Oregon Coast Blog and Kayaking Journal

Things I like

Oregon Ocean Paddling Society (OOPS)  - Thanks  for everything! Cape Falcon Kayak - Elegant kayaks and a deep blog. Portland Kayak - Want to learn to roll? Call Mike. Alder Creek Kayak - The...

by Paul Steinberg at February 25, 2015 04:47 pm

Frogma
Being the Continuing Adventures of a Woman and her Trusty Kayak in New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and Beyond. (with occasional political rants just to keep things lively!)

USVI 2015 Day 7, Part 3 - We Visit Vieques' World-Famous Bioluminescent Bay And It Is Amazing


Glorious, glorious, glorious. There were a lot of high points and very few low points on this trip, but our 1/22 evening visit to Mosquito Bay with the very nice and very knowledgeable folks at the Blue Waters Caribbean Adventures was definitely among the highs.

It was sort of funny the way this got planned.  I think I had first heard about these bioluminescent bays from my old friend Diane (Motherhood is Painless); she and her husband Dave (also an old friend, I met both of them in my early days of kayaking, which is getting to be a rather surprisingly long time ago) went to Puerto Rico in 2007 when she was pregnant with their first baby, Claire. They'd quite sensibly decided it would be a good idea to go have one last nice quiet vacation as a couple before becoming parents (eek), they chose Puerto Rico, and they came back with some good stories, including going out in this amazing bioluminescent bay. I don't really do the bucket list thing as in "Oh I must do this before I die or my life will not have been complete", but there is definitely a list of things that I think would be neat to do if the opportunity arose (that's actually how I ended up doing my solo paddle down the Hudson last summer, I'd had that in mind as something I'd like to do for years and all the sudden things just fell into place for it to happen last summer, so I did it) and after hearing Diane talk about this beautiful lagoon in Puerto Rico, seeing one of those for myself was definitely on that list. So there we were planning our trip in the back end of 2014. Capt. Kat was the one who was putting together our itinerary, and when she mentioned that one of our stops was going to be Vieques, not far from Puerto Rico, I went to google bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, and I think I'd typed about as far as "Biolumines..." when "Bioluminescent bay Vieques" popped up as one of the suggestions. Holy cow. Here was the funny part - here I'd discovered that one of the world's best bioluminescent bays was right there on the island we were going to anyways, you would think that the next thing I would do would be to run squealing to my fellow travelers about this, right? Nah, wrong, I sort of froze up - Kat was doing such a wonderful job of planning the trip, you can't really just park a sailboat anywhere you want to, I didn't know if the bay would be anywhere NEAR a decent anchorage, and I didn't want to complicate things for her, even though it sounded really, really neat. Well, I think I would have suggested it eventually, but fortunately Kat beat me to the punch with a email to the whole gang saying "Hey, look, kayak trips on a bioluminescent bay, doesn't that sound really, really neat?"

Well now that you mention it - WHY, YES IT DOES! WOOHOO! yippee yippee yippee!

Anyways - it worked out great. My concerns about asking to do something that wasn't convenient were totally unfounded - here was the layout:



Less than 2 miles from our boat to the bay, as the crow flies. A bit longer as the van drives, because that ended up being how we got there - the bay is a prime tourist attraction, there are several companies offering trips there and they'll all pick you up in a van right on the main drag in Esperanza or at a park closer to the bay. You don't really want to drive in yourself, the road to the put-in is rough, and I'm not sure you'd be allowed to if you wanted to, access to the bay is pretty controlled as they want to keep it healthy and glowing. Our guides told us they had a pretty bad scare a couple of years ago when the bay went dark for a couple of months during a particularly cold winter, and you are also no longer allowed to just jump in and go swimming as research has shown that suntan lotion, bug repellent, and even just the natural oils and sweat on human skin can all be bad for the tiny creatures that create the glow. 

Seeing it by kayak was THOROUGHLY satisfying, though.

We ended up with Blue Waters after a bit of hunting around on smartphones - someone (was it Chase, or someone earlier in the trip? I have to speed up these trip reports, details are already getting fuzzy) had told us that one of the outfitters used clear kayaks and that is was worth the extra money; we'd found them but they were already booked up for the evening. This actually worked out well because Blue Waters was really good - their guides knew a lot about the ecology and history of the bay, and in addition, they gave a nice overview of the local constellations and planets (which had been dazzling us every night of the trip).

We signed up for the earlier of their two evening trips. After our afternoon snorkel, we went back to the boat to get ready (for me, that was mostly putting on my sunshirt and packing up a jacket in a drybag in case it got cool), then we all hopped in the dinghy to head to shore to meet our van. They'd asked us to be there at 6, which was a nice time to be going in - I know, I shared this picture yesterday, it was just so pretty!



There were a bunch of people hanging out on the town dock, and there were also some lovely creatures hanging out under the dock - I was so excited to see this spotted eagle ray, they are such handsome animals and I'd never seen one outside of an aquarium. Lenore and Dave had spotted one while we were snorkeling that afternoon, but I'd missed it, so I was just so happy to see this one! Also, can you spot the green moray? I didn't realize I'd gotten him in this photo as well until I was looking at it back in Brooklyn. Click on the picture for a better view, as usual. Lower left-hand corner. Hint: He's green. 

The Blue Waters van met us right on time. We made one more stop to pick up more paddlers at Sun Bay, and then we went on the very bumpy ride to the put-in at Mosquito Bay. 

We got to the bay at twilight, so not too many more pictures. They got us into our lifejackets and handed out paddles right away, and then after a quick instructional session and review of what we were going to be doing (I thought they did a very nice job on their group management, it's hard keeping people together in the dark, especially when there's something really exciting and fascinating and wonderful to look at, plus a lot of other groups out there doing a lot of different things, and talking us through what we were going to do and where we were going to go before we got into the boats was helpful), 

they popped us all into Ocean Kayak Malibu 2's and off we went! 

Our first stop was at a monitoring station a little ways out in the bay. Being lit, this was a nice clear destination, and also a good spot for our guides to start talking about the ecology of the bay. The station is there to measure pH and other water quality factors that are crucial to the health of the dinoflagellates that create the glow; the existence of a bioluminescent bay only happens when a certain set of requirements are met, and if those requirements stop being met, so does the beautiful glow. The dinoflagellates glow when the water around them is disturbed -- they don't know why, but they do, and it's amazing. 

It was still twilight as we paddled out to the monitoring station, but I was already beginning to see an odd shimmer around my paddle blades as we paddled. At first I thought it was just bubbles, but as it got darker, the glow got more pronounced. Sorry, I did try to take pictures, but it just wasn't something my little Optio could capture, you'd have to have a much more sensitive camera. The picture below was my last photo of the evening - our group's tail-lights as we paddled on out towards the narrow inlet to the bay. The guides' lights were blue, so you could see them easily, and they struck a good balance between letting the group relax a bit when we were on our own and tightening us up when we were passing other groups (would have been the easiest thing in the world for somebody to get mixed up and go off with another group but our guides were on top of things at all time). They were always calm and comfortable with their instructions, made for totally pleasant paddling. Good guiding! 

I knew, from Diane's stories, that this was going to be beautiful, but it was more spectacular than I ever imagined. As twilight faded into night, the blue shimmers became more and more pronounced. Early on in the tour, they had us raft up to explain what was going on here. They had some great history. Two I can recall off the top of my head:

1. The bay is called Mosquito Bay not after mosquitoes - we were afraid we were going to get eaten alive when we saw the name but I don't think I got a single bite - but after the boat belonging to a pirate who used to use the bay as a hiding place. 

2. When the Spaniards came to Vieques, they thought the bay was haunted by an evil spirit; they tried to choke the spirit by filling in the already narrow inlet, not realizing that a narrow inlet is one of the things that makes a bioluminescent bay possible. Their efforts just made the bay shine brighter.

What else - the dinoflagellates flash in response to water pressure changes, but scientists still have no idea why. The mangroves that line the shore of the bay also play a big role in creating the conditions in which the dinoflagellates thrive - clear those out to put in a resort and you'd kill the bay. Other bays have gone dark after their inlets were widened, and our guides mentioned that there'd been one that was ruined after a bar was built on the shore. Fragile things! There was more but I have to admit that I got sort of distracted playing with the water.

Our guides started it, though!

While we were rafted up, they told us to scoop up a handful of water, put the hand up in the air, and let the water run down your arm - your whole arm just glittered. The water bouncing in the scupper holes as your boat bobbed in the the water glowed as it splashed. I amused myself to a ridiculous degree by pretending to be a magician, closing my fingers in a loose fist underwater and then springing them open to create puffs of blue light - Alakazam! Sculling strokes became things of fiery glory (TQ and I were thinking what a wonderful way this would be to teach strokes - every motion of the paddle was traced in light!) and when I stuck my whole paddle underwater and stirred, it was a blue torch. As we began to to paddle towards the inlet, paddle strokes were punctuated with phosphorescent swirls, and when TQ briefly raced our head guide at a point when we were well away from other groups and could relax a little bit, our bow waves and wakes were an absolute fireworks show. Even better were the fish living there in the lagoon - when they would dart away ahead of us they would flash like streaks of lightning. Some of our group saw a small shark that put on a particularly good light show (I was sorry to miss that), and the ballyhoo were spectacular when they skipped themselves across the surface of the water (and in fact it was our guides who told us what the skipping fish were, we had thought they were flying fish when we'd seen then in Coral Bay).

We paddled out to where the glow began to fade in the inlet, and then headed back, with a quick stop for the promised constellation review, which was also very good - got all the basics, plus several I either hadn't known or hadn't been sure about.

After that, they took us back to the put-in, took our picture, and drove us back to Esperanza, with snacks and water in the van on the way back.

What a great, great, GREAT way to spend an evening!

We toasted the day back on the boat with rum (that's right, the rum turns out to NOT always be gone) and ginger ale and wine.

And just to repeat - to follow David's totally correct suggestion for how my journal for this day should start -

A pretty damned good day!




by noreply@blogger.com (bonnie) at February 25, 2015 03:22 pm

mark tozer's blog
embracing the elements on the water and in the mountains