Paddling Planet

March 21, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Drifting along on Pressendye

The easterly wind was roaring across the upper ridge of Pressendye, louring clouds alternating with shafts of sunlight in a stroboscopic effect.

A deer fence is a useful guide towards the summit in poor visibility.  Today it was decorated with frost feathers and buried to half its height in wind-packed snow.

There was real exhilaration in being up here in such wild weather; the wind was absolutely freezing and driving along spicules of snow in whirling drifts.  Underfoot there was no more of the deep powder of lower down the hill - here the ground was either packed snow or iron-hard ice, grey with a dull sheen and requiring crampons for safe movement.  Full winter conditions and I wasn't yet above 2000ft!

At the corner of the deer fence a large drift had enveloped the 2 meter fence completely.  Packed hard by the wind, it offered no obstacle to deer or anything else.  Conditions like this are just one small example of why Paul Lister's plan to fence 50,000 acres of the highlands to create a "game reserve" in order to make money is so robustly opposed.  Anything inside a fence would, eventually, simply walk over the top in a bad winter.

Where the snow had been scoured away the heather was encased in ice; each clump resembling a coral reef or a glass sculpture.  This winter has, after a run of mild years, brought "proper" conditions and a reminder of the capability of the weather to create beauty from savagery.

The 619m/2031ft summit was touched with weak sunshine, the light all the more remarkable against a graphite grey sky - I was so glad that I'd pressed on through the heavy snow to reach the top.  I was absolutely the only person on Pressendye on this day, and it was no worse for that.

To the west the broad ridge undulates across Broom Hill, Green Hill and (appropriately) Frosty Hill and White Hill.  It would have been good to follow the ridge, but it would have made for a long day in these conditions.

Heading back to the angle of the fence, the view over Cromar was very wintry and it looked that there was more snow inbound.

A change in the light brought out the striations on the top of a frozen wave of snow - it looked delicate but was really unyielding

Descent to the top of the forest was quick, and in comparison to the climb, effortless.  Crampons bit into the surface and provided all the traction required until the snow became a little deeper.

A very grand sky overhead, a snow covered landscape all around; it was a really fine afternoon to be out and about on the hill.

I took a different line down through the forest than the one I'd used on the climb - partly to make a bit of a circular route and partly because it just seemed better to walk through undisturbed snow.  Across the Dee valley Mount Keen was prominent in sunlight; a useful headmark on the drop to the B9119 road a kilometer or so from the car, ending a great short walk.  The contrast between conditions on this wee hill in late Spring and in "early Spring" just a couple of days short of the vernal equinox had been very marked!

by Ian Johnston ( at March 21, 2018 08:39 pm

Pressing on to Pressendye

On Saturday 17th March whilst driving into the village of Tarland, we remarked on how good the hills to the north looked.  This broad and undulating ridge separates the Howe of Cromar from upper Donside and is a fine viewpoint, particularly the "Graham" of Pressendye - the highest point in this image.

I decided that if the weather held on the following day, I'd climb Pressendye - normally a couple of hours walk with a modest amount of ascent.

Overnight into Sunday 18th March there was another dump of snow, the latest in a run of weather systems borne on a cold easterly airstream.  An additional 10cm fell, turning the whole landscape back to winter.  Nevertheless, it was a bright and breezy day and I drove the short distance to the start of a route I've used before.

The route goes initially up a farm access road, past the farm of Pett.  I stopped to chat with the farmer who was loading sheep feed pellets for his animals.  This latest blast of winter could scarcely have come at a worse time for him as his ewes are just starting to lamb - getting them in safely and keeping them sheltered will be a constant worry for the next few weeks.

Above the farm the track enters a pine forest and the snow lay a little deeper.

The higher up the forest I went, the deeper the snow became.  At about 400m height it was above my knees and progress began to be really laborious.  I emerged through a particularly deep drift onto the broad forest road which takes a curving line west then north towards the higher ground.  The prints of Roe deer crossed the track at various points - and, thrillingly, the tracks of a Wildcat; one of the rarest and most elusive of Scotland's mammals.

The track continued to climb, the snow continued to get deeper.....

...and in parts was thigh deep.  Progress slowed to less than a kilometer an hour as each step sank deep into the unconsolidated snow.  On this flank of the hill I was sheltered from the strong easterly wind, which was in part why the snow was lying to such a depth.  I estimated that there would be much less above the treeline where the wind would have been getting at it.

The scene was outstandingly beautiful though, and taking photographs every couple of hundred meters at least gave an excuse to pause from what was becoming really hard going.

On the final rise out of the forest the snow was at its deepest and I was more wading than walking, each uphill step a real effort.  I pressed on, hoping that my theory about the wind having removed most of the snow from the higher ridge would prove accurate - any kind of distance in this depth of snow would be a real battle.  Another gasping stop - purely to admire the beauty of snow covered trees against a blue sky of course!

At last I got above the treeline and onto more open ground - almost immediately there was a change underfoot.  Less depth of snow and what was left was packed into a consolidated, squeaky consistency like polystyrene.  On steeper and more exposed ground I'd have been concerned about the formation of windslab, a layer of such snow that can shear away from the layers of snow underneath and avalanche.  There was no risk of that here fortunately, and I made better progress though still with an occasional jarring when the surface layer broke and my leg plunged through to the thigh.

At about this point I changed hat and gloves to the warmest I had with me and battened down.  The wind was about 40mph from the ENE and absolutely frigid, the still-air temperature at this height of about 500m was minus 5 Celsius.

The steady direction and strength of the wind over a couple of weeks has created some great snow sculptures.  In the lee of each dwarf pine (this one bent to the ground by weight of ice) graceful waves and fins of snow extended downwind.  They looked fragile but were surprisingly well bonded.

Above, a white banner against the gunmetal grey of a passing snow shower showed the effect of the wind as it whirled a groundstorm across the flank of the slope.  The contrast between the conditions I was experiencing today and the gentle nature of a summer walk on this hill could scarcely be more pronounced.  In winter, every Scottish hillwalk can be a mountaineering outing; even those on the smaller hills.

by Ian Johnston ( at March 21, 2018 07:44 pm


Sea kayak leader training in Greece with Odysea!

Every time I come back to Greece my heart is overflowing with joy!
It is already spring time over there, with yellow, white and violet little flowers all around the sea side: birds start twitter early in the morning, warm temperature envelops you since the breakfast time and a gentle breeze tries to push away the white soft clouds that make the blue skye melancholic just for few moments...
The group of students was a pretty special one, with a girl coming from Germany, a guy flying on purpose from Lithuania and another one living in Athens but nearly to move to Santorini island to work as a sea kayak guide during the long summer season. The international group made a great team work all the four days long and there always was a nice atmosphere in between them and the coaches.
I have also had the unique pleasure to work again with a fantastic coach, George Gazetas, owner of Odysea sea kayak school: he is an enthusiastic, competent and inspirational coach and we have had one more opportunity to exchange impressions and suggestions about different coaching styles. This was for me a priceless chance to improve my knowledge watching another coach in action, a singular event on my coaching log-book... It was a honour for me to work again with you George!
It was also the first time I run a Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course on my own, the first one as newest CNTP Provider: something similar happened last year in May when George invited me in Lefkada Island for my first Sea Kayak Leader training as I've just became Moderate Water Leader Provider. It seems that any time I'm able to run new courses I must come back to Greece, my second sea kayaking home! 
Thank you again and again for inviting me, George, and for spending so many time with me, both on water and on land, talking so much about our common passion in sea kayaking activities: it was a privilege for me! I'm really looking forward for the next meeting, George!

Nice perspective!
Ready to go!
The puppy is supervising everything!
Practical tidal exercises during the first CNTP day...
Introduction to more practical top-deck navigation exercises...
How to use a tow-line...
How to practise towing system! 
Rescue and towing...
Exploring the little wonderful Arsida island...
Lunch break in a very confortable position...
Ready to start again...
More practise in rough water condition...
More assisted rescues!
Bit of rain as well... but only for half an hour!
Monika, Vadim and Christos paddling toward the lighthouse at Perachora Cape, near the Vouliagmeni lake!

Ogni volta che ritorno in Grecia il mio cuore tracima di nuove emozioni!
E' già primavera nella terra delle mille isole, con piccoli fiorellini gialli, bianchi e violetti che ricoprono i campi tra le colline ed il mare: gli uccellini iniziano a cinguettare di prima mattina, l'aria calda ti avvolge sin dall'ora di colazione e una brezza leggera fa scivolare le nuvole paffute su un cielo turchese che solo a tratti diventa cinerino...
Il gruppo di allievi è stato alquanto speciale, composto da una giovane ragazza tedesca, un atletico ragazzo giunto apposta dalla Lituania e da un ragazzo greco che sta per spostarsi da Atene a Santorini per lavorare sull'isola come guida di kayak durante la lunga stagione estiva. La squadra internazionale ha svolo un ottimo lavoro di gruppo durante tutti e quattro i giorni di corso e si è sin da subito instaurata una bellissima atmosfera tra loro e noi, due insegnanti pure ben affiatati.
Ho infatti avuto il piacere unico di tornare a lavorare con un insegnante fantastico, George Gazetas titolare della scuola greca di kayak da mare Odysea: George è un insegnante competente, entusiasta e stimolante ed abbiamo avuto molte occasioni per scambiarci impressioni e per darci suggerimenti. E' stata per me un'esperienza impagabile, un modo molto raro di imparare guardando un altro insegnante in azione, un evento singolare nella mia esperienza professionale... E' stato davvero un grande piacere per tornare condividere questi ultimi cinque-sei giorni con George!
E' stata anche la prima occasione per me di svolgere un corso di navigazione costiera in totale autonomia, dopo essere finalmente diventata CNTP Provider: qualcosa di analogo era già successo lo scorso anno durante il mese di maggio, quando George mi aveva invitata a tenere il mio primo corso Sea kayak Leader proprio a Lefkada, durante il nostro giro del Peloponneso. Si vede che ogni volta che posso offrire un nuovo tipo di corso devo tornare in Grecia, la mia seconda casa del kayak!
Ringrazio ancora di cuore George per avermi invitata e per aver trascorso con me così tanto tempo, parlando fitto fitto della nostra comune passione per il kayak da mare, sia in acqua che a terra: è stato un grande privilegio per me! Aspetto adesso la prossima occasione per rivederci, George!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at March 21, 2018 07:00 pm

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!)

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Tue 20/03-2018 Day 163

Pos: 43.1256,-124.4175
Loc: Coquille River
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 31,2 km
Start: 09:10 End: 15:15

I forgot to mention yesterday’s evenings outstanding friendly reception by state park ranger RJ – he was informed by his boss (no idea where the boss got the information from..) that I’d be arriving at his state park these days – and he just came down to welcome me and to exceptionally allow me (and Josh) to camp in the “day use area”…thanks so much for this generosity! We behaved nicely…

I checked on Jos’s gear already yesterday evening, but as it was late, and I was tired from 55 km paddling, I didn’t get through everything. John agreed to meet us at 8 am to paddle ot with us at least to South Cove at Cape Arago, which I appreciated. Josh brought many drybags, but rather of the stiff sort which were hard to fit into the hatches. We had to leave a few in John’s van, and also some of the two week’s supplies to make it fit.
When Josh was happily afloat in his (my spare…) kayak in the shallow calm water of the bay, we noticed the rudder was not fully responding, and it was a lose screw which screwed the whole thing up…maybe this has already been the issue when José was launching somewhat unluckily in Cape Kiwanda? Can’t believe it, but maybe it was me not having tightened those screws fully? The heck, I have taken this rudder apart already hundreds of times…but who knows. We tightened everything nicely, and Josh went for a few test rolls, braces and scullings, and paddled in circles with his new kayak and my spare wing paddle. All looked fine, and with his solid white water background, I felt all right to take this strong 28-year old out on the today’s somewhat calm open ocean.

John was guiding us nicely in sunny weather through the wide reef at Capa Arago, sea lions and seals all around in a wonderful cliff area. We briefly landed on South Cove to check if everyone felt well, and John turned back to his van. Josh and I kept on paddling, all good! The swell was low, but one could feel it! Halfway between South Cove and Coquille River, just at Fivemile Point, Josh decided he felt the swell way too much and couldn’t fight his sea sickness any more…but as I have experienced puking on the open ocean dozens of times myself before, he was just fine after emptying his stomach. Bright sunshine, heat in his new dry suit, a too tight neck gasket, a new kayak with for now also a bit too short footrests, and having been off the ocean for a while were the bits to play together. We didn’t need to land at Fivemile Point which looked well doable in today’s sea conditions, but kept on pushing to Coquille Rivermouth in a decent pace. Josh even started to enjoy surfing the low swell waves a bit! All good.

Getting inside the river mouth was no big deal, we filled out water bags in the small harbor in anticipation of maybe having three weather days around Cape Blanco on the beach off. But checking the fore cast, it rather looks like the wind turns south already at 10 am, and breezing up pretty quick pretty nasty. This wouldn’t get us anywhere to land safely on tomorrow’s 1,60 m we decided even Wednesday is already off…four days in a row…but that’s like it is!

We made camp already before, and called after this decision for John’s help, who agreed to host us the next weather days off. Wonderful to have so many friends along the way! Four days on the beach would be nasty anywhere, and especially here, as we had a visit from a park manager Schoeppner, who was so friendly to allow us to stay this night in also an official “day use area” (which we didn’t know of in this case), but he couldn’t agree on any more nights to stay. All good, thanks! John will pick us up tomorrow before noon. Thanks, John! I will take my time to do a lot of office work to prepare upcoming stretches.

by Freya at March 21, 2018 04:05 am

March 20, 2018

Merci pour le kayak !
Blog du kayak de mer

La Ciotat – la Calanque d’en Vau

Nous poursuivons notre itinéraire vers l’ouest. Après l’archipel des Embiez, puis la calanque du port d’Alon, nous voici prêts à embarquer à La Ciotat. Lors de ce 3ème jour d’un weekend de janvier 2018, notre parcours nous conduit de La Ciotat à la Calanque d’en Vau, pour enfin débarquer à Cassis. Itinéraire de La Ciotat […]

by Arzhela at March 20, 2018 11:10 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Mon 19/03-2018 Day 162

Pos: 43.3350,-124.3731
Loc: Sunset Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 56,1 km
Start: 07:30 End: 17:50

I couldn’t say this morning’s surf was as low as I was expecting it…but it still looked doable an hour before low tide. But as it goes, when you are sitting inside about ten breaking lines, the last ones are never in the right timing and appear HUGE when you are there…or I was drifted off my easier looking channel. At least five or six monster waves in the last line had to break just in front of me – I shouted at them to do so, and only one did not listen and pinned me to my back deck. Good I am so flexible…the other ones trashed their foam more or less heavy into my face, but at some point I saw flat water behind the last foam and I rushed out into freedom…without any capsize…thank goodness.

When I checked the bar report of Umpqua River this morning, it was RED, but when I was there, it must have been green as t was as flat as it could be. Two Coastguard boats were out there, doing some practice. The smaller one came up to me to ask friendly for my whereabouts. No ticket today, guys, all is fine here! They were amazed to hear my story, and I passed a card over. Good to know they are there, just in case!

But even when the wind breezed up to quite strong 15-20 knots following from North, the sea state stayed low. Just some wind waves were breaking here and there, and I enjoyed surfing a bit with a moderate heavy loaded boat. I also had some distance of 55 km to cover to reach my destination for tonight, Sunset Bay. Across Coos Bay River mouth, a fishing boat felt like checking on my well being, not believing what I was doing…all good, guys! I didn’t want to follow them into the river…!

I had to turn in a wide berth around Gregory Point, a long jutting out reef spit, into magnificent Sunset Bay. The rock and reef formations around the spit are really stunning! John Schlesinger, a nice fellow paddler who has covered most of the West Coast, was waiting there to greet me. Josh Aranow, my co-paddler for the next two weeks, also made it down to meet me. We’ll see how it goes in the next two easy-weather days…

by Freya at March 20, 2018 04:12 am

March 19, 2018

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean


What is this ‘ethics’ of which you speak?

I’m in the process of putting together the Spring Social, scheduled for May 6th, 2018. It’s going to be good and you will not want to be anywhere else, I think. The big things are coming together, but there are a whole lot of other moving parts that have to get situated if this is going to work. No worries, just work.

Raffle items are being put together – that’s one thing I’m working on. And it’s making me think about what kinds of items I’d like to see on the table, who I should approach for a donation. See, I’m noticing some other nonprofits lately, with their fundraisers and auctions and raffles, offering items that seem to me to be entirely in opposition to what these organizations claim to be about. This line of thought  isn’t meant as a rebuke or a purity test for others, and it’s hard to talk about it too much without getting into specifics…

I guess it’s enough to say that if the Ikkatsu Project is supposed to be about promoting the health of the ocean it would make sense that the organizations that are looked to as supporters feel the same way, or are, at a minimum, not operating in opposition to what the Ikkatsu Project is about. If, for example, a major oil company offered to donate, or if the American Chemistry Council threw down a check, I really don’t think there is any way it could be accepted, as tempting as those extra zeros would be. Looking around, it seems there are nonprofits that don’t think about this enough.

That said, the raffle will be filled with solid stuff, the Spring Social will be awesome and a major time will be had. Lots more info to come… May 6, 2018, save the date!

by Ken Campbell at March 19, 2018 09:27 pm

Jersey Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayaking Tours & Courses in Jersey

British Canoeing Sea Kayak Guide Courses

Sea Kayak Guide Endorsement Success for Jersey Kayak Adventures Adventure Tourism is rapidly evolving as visitors seek experiences which connect with the environment, history and culture of the area. Increasingly, a tourism product is what you buy; an experience is what you remember. To meet these changes, Derek Hairon at Jersey Kayak Adventures has added […]

by derek at March 19, 2018 07:53 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sun 18/03-2018 Day 161

Pos: 43.7869,-124.1731
Loc: behind small river mouth
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 30,2 km
Start: 07:05 End: 14:30

I woke to the feeling everything outside my bag was soaking wet…and quite cold. my down bag urgently needs a dry out this evening! I love my fleece liner inside the sleeping bag…still a warm feeling.

I packed in darkness, to be ready to go at 7 am when I agreed yesterday to call the Coastguard to receive the early morning bar update. I was impatient to call already at 6.45 am when I was ready to go, but the lady at the other end said it is just in the updating proces…please call again…

I had to run around to stay warm those 15 min…ok, I could also already have jumped into my kayak to start paddling…but at 7 am, I got the ok the bar conditions changed from fully red to fully green – just what I liked to hear what I was sensing anyway…I quickly got going, and got flooded out with the last ebb tide to the bar. Not much going on here, as forecasted…I could turn left pretty soon, and sensed today’s swell with 1,50 m was really a different game to yesterday! At lowest tide and some further hours, I estimated I could quite safely land on the open beach. It was just too early!

It was low headwinds all morning, I saw a few whales like the other days, always a pleasure! At noon, it breezed up quite a bit. The sea state got rougher, the surf looked a tad bit larger, but still doable to my estimation. I felt I got quite quickly sick of punching into an almost twenty knots headwind and quite some white caps, though I reckoned I just have to hold on until the tide turns, which was at 2pm. But in this speed, I would arrive at the Umpqua River mouth, now only 13,5 km short, at 5.30 pm. It would be the strongest ebb-current, and who knows what the “official” bar state would be at that time…and I didn’t feel neither like dealing with the authorities once more, nor working my way up a strong-flowing river mouth…I decided it’s not worth the effort to punch on – I’ll go in on the open beach – freedom! Ok, I knew it would be firs very low wind, and then following tomorrow, and the swell would also be even lower…so getting out next morning should be fine.

Just past a small river mouth, I sensed there was a bit of a gap in the surf as always, and I took my chance, knowing that going in on almost high tide would be a bit of a gamble. But I think I needed this gamble…to see if my estimation was right, and my surf-landing skills would still be there on these relatively easy conditions. I waited out the larger sets, punched in, but when my stern got lifted violently, I had to balance out a pirouette-turn on top of a crest (whatever that means…), It eventually got me sideways, and the next lower one caught me in a bad position – and I went under for the second time on this trip. But I came u with a perfect roll, and landed upright on my keel. Well…it was still quite some surf…as always, it looks smaller from outside 🙂

But I am confident tomorrow morning it will be low surf on low tide and low wind to get out easy – just like now at 7 pm. I have a date in Sunset Bay Park tomorrow…still about 55 km to go!

After landing, I pulled up my skeg rudder, and I realized the last time I took it apart, I must have done the knot in the uphauling string not tight enough…I pulled, and had a very long uphauling string in my hand! Yauuu…but first, I spread out all my gear in the sunny afternoon beach, which was just what the doctor ordered. I remembered I had a piece of wire in my repair kit, managed after a few tries to get it through with a slightly bent end, and to attach the new line at the hook with some additional stitches to eventaully be able to pull the line on the wire safely through the channel without losing connection. I should have remembered that special piece of wire last time in Warrenton…glad I am so organized and well-prepared 🙂

by Freya at March 19, 2018 01:58 am

March 18, 2018

En blogg om padling og annet friluftsliv i (hovedsakelig) Vesterålen

Vinterpadletreffet 2018 - del 2

Klart for en ny dag på Vinterpadletreffet på Offersøy. I dag står det ulykkeshåndtering og straumpadling 2 på programmet for min del. I forrige innlegg glemte jeg å nevne hva annet som sto på programmet. Vi tar litt mer om det nå.

Fredag var det foruten navigering som jeg selv var med på, mulighet til å få personlig trener, Alf og Tove hadde rigging av kajakk og vedlikehold og reparasjon av tørrdrakt. Det var også tauesirkus og straumpadling nivå 1 og 2.

Første workshop på formiddagen lørdag var ulykkeshåndtering. Yogaen var psykotidlig så den ble ikke vurdert en gang, andre ting jeg kunne valgt var padletur, matkurs med fjæras 3-retters meny, lek og læring i brott og padlesirkus.

Ulykkeshåndteringa var bare teori denne bolken, pluss praktisk øving på hjerte- lungeredning. Det er like nyttig hver gang å få oppfrisket det. Ikke minst er det jo forebyggende, da får man forhåpentligvis ikke bruk for det - akkurat som det sjelden regner om man har husket å ta med paraply... Det kan man jo i hvert fall innbille seg.
Bildet over er for øvrig en huskelapp. Surre termos inn i liggeunderlag er jo egentlig helt opplagt, likevel har jeg ikke gjort det på permanent basis. Det skal gjøres. Trekkspillunderlaget bak der var også lurt, sånn vil jeg ha.

Turgruppa kom seint i land, men hadde hatt det kjempefint med både oter og hval som innslag på turen.

Ikke så rart man gir blaffen i klokka da, og drøyer det med å gå i land.

Men sjauing av kajakk kommer man ikke unna, det må til uansett.

Etter at alle hadde fått i seg lunsj, var det tid for straumpadling. Det var nemlig så mange deltakere på ulykkeshåndteringa at den praktiske biten måtte deles i to. Det er jo supert at så mange vil lære mer om det, men det medførte at jeg måtte vente til søndag med den praktiske biten. Så her gjør vi oss klare til en runde straumpadling i Heststraumen - skulle være nivå 2 men det er nok å ta hardt i. Vi var uheldig med månefasene eller noe i år, tydeligvis.

Værmessig var det jo ikke noe å si på forholdene.

Noen tok sin egen vri på utsetting.

Men det var omtrent straumstille da vi kom. Padle opp gikk uten å svi av en halv kalori, egentlig.

Brian hadde fått seg flunke ny åre i ekspressfart fra Celtic. Han var fornøyd med den ja.

Mens vi venter på at straumen skal ta seg opp. Det gjør den heldigvis.

Padling er jo artig nesten uansett.

Litt straum etter hvert, men ikke akkurat stri som de foregående årene. Men nok til at man fikk testet forskjellig. Jeg tror omsider (for såvidt, igjen) jeg fant et vesentlig clue med straumpadling. Hvis jeg nå får ting til neste gang, så har jeg knekt koden. (Men det pleier jo være litt annenhver gang, hvorvidt jeg skjønner bæret eller ikke.)

Straumpadler i solnedgang.

Sånn holdt vi nå på. Litt oppstraums, litt medstraums, kryssing over, att og fram.

Ikke helt enkelt å peile seg inn der man skulle når man ikke helt visste hvor man skulle var hen, men det var lite kollisjoner til å være så pass mye folk som padlet alle mulige veier samtidig.

Her fant jeg meg et hjørne for snikfotografering.


Fotograf dukket opp på land etter hvert.

Omsider hadde det tatt seg opp så pass at det ble utdelt oppgaver. Krysse her, krysse der...

og her.

Men hva er det der? En sjåfør på broa? Tid for retur allerede?

Under bro-bilder er alltid kule, det blir liksom en form for innramming.

Nå var det rett og slett begynt å bli nødvendig å ta litt i for å komme seg opp, men det var fortsatt fullt mulig. Ikke på grensen til ikke å klare det en gang. Tror vi må ta oss en tur hit senere med mer fres.

I år var Runhild også med, hun sto for grytidligyoga og matkurset.

Nei, det var nok på tide å komme seg i retur nå, merkbart kjøligere når sola har gått bak fjell også.

Bare en ting gjensto nå - marsrulla. Runhild tok heldigvis på seg å dokumentere. Kjekt å ha den i boks, særlig med tanke på at helgen etter skulle vise seg å bli padleløs grunnet småsyke.

Om kvelden var det havets festbord, buffet med både varm og kald mat. Her var det mye gode greier, det er helt sikkert. Artig å kikke på andres tallerken på sånne buffeter, ulike kombinasjoner fra samme matbord.

God stemning var det også.

Nærmere 70 deltakere i år inkludert crew, det betydde nokså fullt lokale. Det er jo kjempestas at så mange vil være med på treffet, selv om det dessverre innebærer at jeg ikke rekker å hilse på alle.

Denne tallerkenen tok visst kaka. Bokstavelig talt, som noen kanskje ser. Ut fra reaksjonene å dømme så er det visst ikke helt vanlig å forsyne seg med brownie samtidig som torsketunger, hvalkjøtt og reker... Nuvel, godt kan jeg forsikre om at det var.

Men best av alt var egentlig lotteriet - for jeg vant meg en tørrdrakt! Ikke helt til å tro, men joda. Virkelig. Hurra!

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at March 18, 2018 10:08 pm

March 17, 2018

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sat 17/03-2018 Day 160

Pos: 44.0103,-124.1327
Loc: Siuslaw River
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 17,1 km
Start: 08:15 End: 12:30

It was raining early morning, not really inviting to leave, jumping into a soaking wet dry suit and damp underwear…but as I am a tough lady 🙂 and the forecast was good to paddle with about 1,80 m swell, low winds. I donned my gear, stuffed the soaking wet tent into the dry bag, and dragged my kayak quite far down to the waterline on lowest tide.

By the time I got the rest of my gear down, the water was rising again quite quickly, and once a larger swell wave found it’s way over the inner sandbar, my kayak flooded up. That must have been the bar where yesterday evening the waves jumped up so stupidly that it threw me…I dragged my kayak higher up again, started to pack, and another swell wave unfortunately lifted it and shifted it so much to the side I couldn’t hold it any more – with the open stern hatch…but there are worse things than to sponge chilly water out a lightly flooded stern hatch early morning, and to wipe dry a few dry bags…like almost forgetting my tent pole bag on the campsite, which must have fallen out of the gear bag without me noticing…but I noticed it was missing when packing! And I was missing once more a paddling buddy, not only to help on the tough low-tide morning routine…

When I was all set and ready to go, the exit line close to the big rock to the right got a slight bit rougher on the rising tide, but it still looked all right for me. A nice couple on the beach volunteered to watch me, just in case…I got afloat, pulled my rudder, and started to paddle out, slowly but surely, waiting out each of the breakers to not break on me, but just before me. All worked fine, I got only slightly wet in my face, and out I was! This is how it should be…

(I’m writing the next passages now honestly as it was, even if I’d be risking now another Coastguard ticket…)

I had changed my mind this morning about not paddling the 52 km to Umpqua, but only the short distance of 17 km to Siuslaw, as yesterday’s paddle was long with 60 km, and ended up late and wet. This morning’s conditions with light rain and not great visibility were not inviting to do another long paddle. Also, I’d arrive at Siuslaw just briefly before high slack tide, which would truly give the best bar conditions.

I had no possibility to check on the bar restrictions this morning, as cell phone connection at Hecata Head was none, and my sat phone didn’t want to work either…so I took my chance and my good own judgment…what else could I have done? Also, the morning situation would not reflect the situation once I would be there in my muscle-propelled kayak after 4 hours, committed to land where I expected with all good judgment I could land safely without any problem. Sure, we are not in South America where bending the rules is daily business, and I do respect the US rules after I had to learn them in the “hard” way in Newport 🙂 Thanks once more, Newport Coastguard, to have treated me so well and respectful!

The paddle was easy, the swell felt a tad bit lower this morning, all good. I saw a few whale spouts, and the rain was continuous and chilly. Glad I had to paddle only 17 km!

When I neared the breakwaters of Siuslaw, I paddled up to the line between the outer howling buoy and the heads, also easy to spot on my GPS. The swell right upfront the river entrance was low due to the in-going tide, and there was not a single breaker…perfect timing! If it would have been different, I’d have kept on going…but to my expecting pre-judgment and to my experience, it was exactly like it must be. It was an hour before high tide, but I could go in easy on the narrow entrance line, on a bit confused, but quite flat water, which I could perfectly see and feel. The exit and especially the re-entry into Newport have been way more challenging!

When I was well inside the river, and safe and sound, I noticed in the distance two signs…one larger bright red, and one smaller green one…no…this can’t be? This easy bar could not have been restricted right now??? I felt guilty…but what could I have done better, sitting out there exposed in my kayak, yearning to land safely? My main goal was to get in safely, and as quick as possible to stay safe without getting more chilly, and surplus risky bobbing around in the swell…it seemed to be doable right NOW!

Sure, I could maybe have tried to call the Coastguard via cell phone or VHF, to ask for permission to enter the river despite the red sign (if I’d have seen it…) while I would be bobbing around outside in the swell, trying to fumble with my electronics, explaining the situation longish with maybe bad connection and language barrier, getting more chilly and drifted away…this seemed not to have been the better option at all.

I paddled already quite a distance in, on swift in-going current with 10 km/h quite close to the southern breakwater, when I heard engine noise…and not only one, but *two* Coastguard ships where nearing…no, please, not again!!! I can explain!!! I don’t want to o into jail! 🙂 I kept on paddling, trying to be “invisible”, and soon noticed, the two Coastguard ships didn’t take any notice of me…thanks goodness! I was just close to reach out for my honorable Coastguard hat 🙂

I could explain this only with three options: Either the ships didn’t *see* me close to the breakwater rocks…or they saw me, and didn’t think I might have come through the bar…or they let me go, to later drive up to my campsite…

The ships were actually on their frequent bar-checking trip out, as when I soon landed on a safe beach and could pull out my cell phone to check on the bar restrictions it was really at that point bright RED…but not long after the ships came back, it changed to yellow with restricted to boats under 20 feet length…I could go for that with my close to 19 feet kayak! So it was a close shave, but I hope all will understand…

To avoid maybe the same situation tomorrow morning, I decided to give the local Coastguard at 3.30 pm a call, to ask about the to be expected bar situation tomorrow morning. I introduced myself to a very friendly Coastguard lady on the phone, explained what I was doing and what I have been done.
According to the to be expected 1,50 m swell tomorrow morning, in combination with the low slack tide at 7.30 am and low winds, the Coastguard lady said, bar conditions should be, if at all, probably only restricted to boats under 16 feet…but to be on the safe side, she asked me to call again at 7 am tomorrow morning…and if conditions might be marginal, I was asking her if the Coastguard might be happy to escort me out? She agreed – thanks, guys! This would be best! I’m happy to co-operate where I can!

I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, dried a few gear pieces out, and am looking forward to ans easy paddle tomorrow!

by Freya at March 17, 2018 11:51 pm

Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

Pitt Rivers Museum: Woodlands Canoe Paddle circa 1858

Item number 1886.1.866 in the collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum is a "Woodlands" paddle dated to at least 1858.  The paddle is described as having a leaf-shaped blade and decoratively carved band on handle. 

Place details: N AMERICA. Canada. 
Cultural Group: NE ?Subarctic ?Woodlands E Algonquian
Dimensions: Max L = 1945 mm Max W of blade = 164 mm
When Collected: On or before 1858 Acquired: Transferred 17 February 1886
Source Link
 © Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

Both the blade shape and the slender, elongated handle with its indented grip face seem very similar to the circa 1849 Passamaquoddy paddle recently on display at the Peabody Museum (previous post here)

Grip of c1849 Passamaquoddy Paddle
Peabody Museum
Photo Courtesy of John Fitzgerald

I've begun to carve a similar paddle (out of yellow poplar stock) to replicate this design.

by Murat ( at March 17, 2018 04:16 pm

Qajaq Rolls
Dedicated to the Art of Greenland Style Kayak Rolling

Yoga for rolling – Folding flat

Getting your nose or chin to touch the foredeck of your kayak should be a goal of anyone serious about developing a great Greenland kayak roll. It is not by chance, that the literal translations of many of the Greenland kayak rolls refer to being "at the masik". In case you didn't know, the masik is the deck beam that supports the front of the cockpit. Thus, being "at the masik" means being on the deck, forward. Whether you are starting a Standard Greenland roll low, or finishing a Storm roll forward, your ability to get close to the foredeck will affect the effort and grace of your rolls.

by Christopher Crowhurst at March 17, 2018 02:19 pm

Nautilus Kayaks
Construccion Artesanal de Kayaks de Madera y Palas Groenlandesas

Alineación de cuadernas con láser.

Cuando montamos nuestra estructura de trabajo (sobre todo cuando se trata con el sistema de viga o strong back) donde la proa y popa quedan lanzadas en el aire, es muy importante la alineación de las cuadernas entre sí.

Por un lado por la estética de nuestro acabado, pero sobre todo para que nuestro casco no quede deformado y/o desviado lo cual tendría incidencia en su comportamiento. Pienso que es algo que merece la pena y cuesta muy poco trabajo.

Podemos emplear varias técnicas para este fin como alinear las cuadernas mediante un cabo tenso que es un sistema perfectamente válido, aunque es mucho mejor emplear un láser.

Antes los niveles láser eran muy caros, pero ahora los hay muy baratos que funcionan perfectamente.

Empleando un láser instalado sobre un trípode conseguiremos una alineación perfecta con muy poco trabajo.

Un cabo tenso hace su trabajo, pero chocamos con la curvatura del casco. Si Levantamos el cabo nos costará tener claro que las zonas de proa y popa están bien alineadas ya que el cabo se despega de ellas. Si pegamos el cabo a la curva del casco corremos el riesgo que en algún punto se “enganche” el cabo y nos termine engañando. Por  eso el sistema láser es más eficaz y rápido.

Para trabajar con el láser es interesante trabajar con muy poca luz para que el haz de luz láser se vea mejor. Una vez hechas las correcciones de las cuadernas entre sí, que suelen ser de muy pocos milímetros y cuando la punta de proa coincida con la de popa pasando por la línea central de todas las cuadernas, ya tendremos la estructura perfecta para iniciar nuestro trabajo con la certeza que todo está correcto.

by Roberto Yañez vargas at March 17, 2018 12:54 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Fri 16/03-2018 Day 159

Pos: 44.1356,-124.1260
Loc: Heceta Head
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 61,7 km
Start: 08:00 End: 19:40

First longer day…calm winds, swell 2 meters…felt quite big at times. It was whale show day…about five or six humpbacks were around in the morning, one was diving down with fluke show only 50 m from me!
I stayed away from the coast with the swell breaking nasty, also around the two seal rocks. How would the landing at Heceta Head be? The GPS says at least I’ll just about make it in day light…Adam, we should have left an hour earlier, thanks for driving anyway! Paddling the west coast in general is challenging, with the sun in the morning from land, during the day it’s right in our face, and in the evenings you can’t really watch the swell…

It was quite lumpy off the cliffs prior to Heceta Head, but I saw and found a relatively clean line in. Thank goodness! If it wouldn’t hve been for the las set of smaller quite violent breakers…which threw me! But I was so close to the waterline, and on my rolling attempt I just touched the ground, so I bailed out to get soaked fully and my cockpit swamped…well, it could have been worse!
It was lowish tide, and the water was pressing into the bay quite heavily. I found my campspot on higher ground in the light of my torch, and I need to sleep now! Tomorrow is an equal longish day!

by Freya at March 17, 2018 05:25 am

March 16, 2018

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.

Et lille smut på vandet

Egentlig vidste jeg godt at det ville blive en kold tur, for det blæste en del og temperaturen lå i nærheden af frysepunktet.

Inden jeg kom på vandet fik jeg lige hilst på serviceholdet for de mange besøgende kaproere der trænede på den isfri kanal. Jeg fik også et glimt af en flok farvestrålende kajakker der piskede forbi på kanalen.

For ikke at ligge i vejen for feltet, sneg jeg mig mod fjorden langs kanten af kanalen. Det kom dog først susende da jeg krydsede kanalen for at ro mod vinden ude på fjorden. Heldigvis kom jeg ikke i vejen for dem, da de kort før fjordens tværgående bølger vendte om og returnerede mod klubhuset.

Det var meget koldt da jeg kom ud i vinden, og den helt anden vindretning på fjorden end på kanalen betød at den stod på modvind hjemad, hvis jeg begav mig ud på fjorden. Jeg nøjedes derfor med at slå et par slag uden for Ydernæs. På vej mod åen eller Gavnø var fjorden dækket af ret tyk is.

Jeg formåede på intet tidspunkt at få varmen i fingrene, så jeg valgte at ro tilbage og spare på rolysten til en lidt mere indbydende dag - kom nu med noget sol!

Ved klubben var alle kaproerne gået til frokost, så hele plænen var fyldt med kajakker. Da omklædningsrum og værksted var fyldt med tøj, hoppede jeg bare ud af tøtdragten og kørtr hjem og tog et bad.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at March 16, 2018 11:00 pm

En blogg om padling og annet friluftsliv i (hovedsakelig) Vesterålen

Vinterpadletreffet 2018 - del 1

Vinterpadletreffet 2018 - plutselig var helgen her. Det skjer like brått hvert eneste år. I år skulle egentlig Nigel Dennis og Eila Wilkinson komme, men det skar seg. Lokalsamfunnet deres ble rammet av skikkelig uvær som herpa det meste, så de hadde helt andre ting å tenke på. Det var bare å sende dem all verdens gode tanker og håpe de fikk berget mest mulig, og prøve å løse programfloken vår som ble veldig liten i forhold. Treff ble det uansett – og værvarslet var i hvert fall høvelig bra for helgen. Intet uvær her.

Jeg dro torsdag kveld, siden de første aktivitetene startet allerede klokka ni, og stabsmøte allerede klokka åtte. Da vi sto opp så det sånn her ut – hurra! Kanonvær! Men det var ISkaldt. Minusgrader, og en hel del vind.

Målt på nærmeste målestasjon... *Hutre*

Sekretariatet var bemannet med Harstad og Vesterålen Padleklubb, strålende opplagt allerede. (Nesten på grensen til uforskammet opplagte, egentlig. Det var ganske tidlig!)

Første post på programmet var navigasjonsteori. Jeg hadde lett fram kart og kompass, det er bare å benytte enhver anledning til å friske opp. En presentasjonsrunde avslørte at jeg ikke var alene om å trenge oppfriskning – det er visst populært å "lene seg på andre" når det gjelder navigering. Jeg er jo som regel kjent der jeg padler, så det er i grunnen lenge siden jeg i det hele tatt har giddet å ta med meg kart på turen selv om jeg relativt ofte må lene meg på meg selv. Fy.

Bernt skulle jo opprinnelig være med på denne workshopen for å høre på Nigel, men endte opp med å måtte holde den sjøl. Dette kan han, nemlig. Det kom han godt ut av, synes jeg. Han hadde til og med Flo og fjære-boka med seg, plusspoeng. En påminnelse til meg dessuten, om at jeg må lese den igjen. Bra bok, anbefales for folk som er interessert. Navigasjon var forresten veldig populært, så det er tydeligvis mange som vil bli flinkere på det. Bra! Omsider fikk jeg også avklart om det som sto om Sortlandsundet i boka stemmer - det gjør det.

Etter lunsj var det tid for workshop på havet. Kajakken så ikke ut. Den var jo frosset full av slush sist, så har slushen tydeligvis smeltet og saltet lå igjen. Jaja, ut på havet så blir den vel renere.

Uff, hvordan skal man holde ut i dette knallværet... He he.

Vi var delt i to grupper, og de på hver gruppe skulle bytte litt på å navigere. På forhånd hadde vi lagt opp ruta inne, ved hjelp av kart og kompass. Nå skulle dette altså testes ut i praksis.

Alle e med ja, da padler vi. Kursen gikk østover, vi skulle til Kjeøya. Aller først skulle vi for å se om det gikk an å padle gjennom et sted som så litt suspekt ut på kartet. Jeg husket rett og slett ikke, men mener jeg har padlet gjennom der som oftest.

Folk var generelt ganske innpakket, grunnet tidligere nevnte minusgrader og noe vind. Men da var det i grunnen fint på havet. Selv hadde jeg ganske så mange lag ull, angret ikke på noen av dem.

Første punkt nådd, neste kurs tas ut. Kjeøya neste!

Egentlig ble det kulest bilder av å snu seg bakover...

Som vanlig bygget det seg mest bølger opp på det neste strekket, men det var helt overkommelig. Vi hadde dessuten satt en kurs sånn at vi fikk dem omtrent forfra. Men kjølig ble det.

Her går det an å komme over med kajakk, ja. Men de som hadde ror tok det opp, så det var ikke allverdens om å gjøre. Mye sandbunn her. Da har vi fått sjekket det.

Her dukket også Eilif opp med motorbåt og kamera.

Null bølger, litt vind - ikke allverdens fart, men gøy likevel.

Vi fulgte land bortover mot bebyggelsen på Kjeøya.

Utrolig flott på havet i dag. Glad det er padling på fredag også, selv om turen ikke blir så lang på tre timer inkludert tema.

Den gamle lofotferga Biltrafikk 3 ligger her ennå, og blir vel liggende.

Noen syntes det var skøy å padle under brygga. Jeg har vært der før så jeg tok enkleste vei i dag.

10 på skjæret-posten må dokumenteres! Smilet blir "litt" stivt når det er så iskaldt ute. Det ble ikke tatt mange bilder i dag sett mot normalt, man ble raskt iskald på fingrene.

Ganske fint hus som står her borte. Rolig vik, som jeg tidligere stort sett har padlet forbi. Det er som oftest folk her.

Det var det for såvidt i dag også, den andre navigasjonsgruppen hadde kommet hit før oss og lå her og ventet.

Nydelig vær, men det fristet ikke å gå i land. Da blir det veldig kaldt med en gang. Her gjorde jeg forresten en fullstendig idiotisk tabbe mens jeg ventet. Jeg hadde nemlig open mitts (votter med åpning i håndflaten) på meg, og oppdaget at jeg hadde trukket dem i meste laget tilbake. Det hadde kommet sjøvann på - som var frosset til slush. "Det var nå ikke lurt å ha is her, hvis jeg får bruk for å ta dem på meg" tenkte jeg.

Det hadde jeg vel sikkert rett i. Men så tok jeg begge hendene rett ned i havet for å smelte isen, for havet er jo plussgrader... IDIOTISK! Jeg skjønte jo med en gang at det ikke var lurt, men da var det for sent. Det tok litt tid å få varmen i hendene igjen, kan man si. Noe som egentlig var like idiotisk, for etter turen (lenge etter) om jeg på at jeg jo hadde TO termoser med varmtvann på.

Etter hvert ble det lagt plan for returen, da tok vi korteste vei.

Føret hjemover var fint, medvind er jo kjekt bestandig. Motvind bort og medvind hjem, klassisk suksess.

Flott ettermiddag, hadde egentlig lyst til å padle mer, men det var veldig kjølig. Ser mye varmere ut på bildene i grunnen.

Jeg synes fjellene på andre siden av Vestfjorden var kommet så nærme denne helgen. Pussig.

Ruta vår, synes de var ganske så flinke til å beregne avdriften på turbortover, det er da ganske rett strek. Kartet derimot er elendig, jeg får ikke til å legge inn det ordentlige kartet på den nye maskinen. Buhu.

Kvelden avsluttet med herlig nordlys da jeg skulle gå til rorbua etter middag.

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at March 16, 2018 04:47 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

Moving Day

The glue I used to actually assemble the foam chunks into a boat is pretty stout glue. Even though the temperature in the workshop was icy cold for most of the construction process, it still set up great, and I’m happy with the way it’s come together.

The glue I’ll be using to get the skin on and stuck is simple wood glue and it doesn’t like cold weather. The temperature needs to be a minimum of 55 degrees for application (higher temps preferred), and we haven’t had that in the garage for several months now. I’m still shooting for sea trials in April, so the clock is ticking and I need to get it finished up.

So I moved it yesterday, indoors, somewhere warm. (Thanks to Ryan Spence for the work space.) There are a few rough spots that still need to be completed but that won’t take long and then it’s wrapping time. I mean, I think it is. There are no instructions for this job so I’m making it up as it happens.

I don’t know exactly what happens next but I think it’s going to be sticky.

by Ken Campbell at March 16, 2018 12:11 pm

Woman on Water
A woman's perspective on kayaking and outdoor adventures.

Drying Out

Even water people need to dry out from time to time.  Jeff and I had a few days free and decided to meet up with some friends in the Sonoran Desert for some mountain biking and camping.

On our journey to the Sonoran Desert, we stopped in the Mojave Desert.  I am always fascinated by the desert landscape and geology.  Someday, I am going to delve back into studying geology - especially geomorphology. 

We stopped at a place called Hole in the Wall.  The holes in the wall are formed by air pockets in volcanic ash.  When the ash cooled, these holes were left in the rocks.

The area where we were camping and mountain biking had lots of interesting geology and scenery.  It also had interesting plant and wildlife and fun mountain biking. 

We camped among the gigantic Saguaro cactus.  In one of the cactus, we found a great horned owl nest.

A place called Jackass Junction we met an interesting fellow. 

Jackass Junction is not an oasis but a shady spot for good times.

I am continuing to shop for a new mountain bike.  I of course was eyeing what everyone else was riding and stopped in a couple of shops on our journey.  Some of the bike shops were helpful and some were not.  I would like to give a shout-out to McDowell Mountain Cycles in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Jeff stopped in to buy brake pads.  The owner was extremely helpful.  We stopped in a second time with some friends who wanted to check out the shop.  The woman who answered our questions was very knowledgeable and helpful.  She is a shorter rider and her insight into what might be a good bike for me was invaluable.

We are now back home, and it is raining.  We are going to have great flows for our Precision River Running Class this weekend.  Next week's forecast looks wet too so it is time to hang up the mountain bike and get wet!

by Cate Hawthorne ( at March 16, 2018 07:41 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 145/03-2018 Day 1587

Pos: 44.6295,-124.0421
Loc: Newport
Acc: Maribeth and Rachael’s house

no paddling, weather day

Despite the bar was not restricted today, I decided to not leave. Headwinds up to 20 knots, and bad tide times to land into the natural Alsea River mouth made me developing Plan B:
I’ll have a longer day on Friday, launching early and paddle up to Heceta Head, to have a tide-independent landing (and launching on Saturday morning). Friday and Saturday are easy low winds, seas 2 meters, and landing Saturday evening in Umpqua Rivermouth should be just fine. Sunday then landing at Sunset Bay State Park past Cos Bay.

Today, I did mostly online work, e-mailing and preparing. A wonderful dinner out with Rachael, Adam and Maribeth finalized my stay in Newport. Such wonderful hosts! Thanks you again for looking after me!

by Freya at March 16, 2018 06:57 am


Carabelas portuguesas!

No es normal encontrarlas por aquí, son frecuentes en los océanos Indico, Pacífico, y en las zonas cálidas del Atlántico. En situaciones como la que estamos viviendo, de fuertes vientos mantenidos, pueden llegar a nuestra costa atlántica.

No es una medusa sino una colonia de seres vivos que viven en simbiosis, su nombre científico es la Physalia physalis. Del grupo de hidroides que lo componen, interesa saber que los dactilozoides, que conforman los tentáculos, con longitudes a veces de decenas de metros tienen cientos de miles de nematocistos, que albergan una decena de tipos de venenos. Es con estos venenos como atacan a sus presas, pues son seres carnívoros (normalmente pequeños peces).  En el ser humano, el veneno de la carabela portuguesa tiene consecuencias neurotóxicas, citotóxicas y cardiotóxicas, produciendo un dolor muy intenso, así que hay que tener cuidado. Son peligrosas incluso fuera del agua.

Si hay contacto con ellas lo mejor es acudir a un servicio sanitario, para tratar los síntomas. Como actuaciones de primera instancia:
  • Aplicar agua salada en la zona afectada.
  • Aumentar la temperatura de la zona posteriormente con agua caliente, durante unos 15´.
  • Si hay afectación ocular, lavar durante bastante tiempo a chorro. 

    Foto: Wili Hopupu

    by Jose Bello ( at March 16, 2018 12:35 am

    March 15, 2018

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Wed 14/03-2018 Day 157

    Pos: 44.6295,-124.0421
    Loc: Newport
    Acc: Maribeth house
    Dist: 12,3 km, in a loop
    Start: 11:42 End: 15:00

    My second coast guard encounter on this trip…

    I slowly got ready this morning, as it made no sense to go over the bar anytime other than on slack current on high tide, which was right at 12.09 pm. In the middle of the river, the current took me already out with 7-8 km/h, so slack must have been earlier…. Swell height at that time might have been 2.80 meters, so it was still slightly big on the out running tide. I slowly approached the exit, fully geared up, watching the bar from my perspective. It was lumpy, but no big breakers, rather toppling here and there. With the wind in my face at 10-12 knots, this exit over the river bar would be one to watch a bit. It felt not really scary or intimidating (well, at least for me…)

    I paddled over the bar successfully and with no big deal, and headed to the left, carefully watching the swell. All felt safe here also, very rarely I saw a boomer on the horizon. The seas were supposed to get lower by the hour, down to 2 meters around 6 pm, when I estimated to land in the natural Alsea River mouth.

    I was already about 750 meters off the southern breakwater head, when I heard an engine.

    A medium size coast guard ship was behind me! I gave them thumbs up, signaling I was feeling fully ok out here. But it seemed like they needed to have a word with me, and I tried to get my kayak in a position where we could talk. Not an easy task neither for them nor for me! I was quite used to being close to such sized ships from my South American Navy and Coastguard-co-operations, I was rather watching carefully the ship movements in relation to the incoming swell and my position.

    Eventually we reached some working communication, and petty officer BM1 Cooklin tried to explain to me the legal situation. I had been crossing the officially restrictive closed bar, this was a break of law! Sorry guys, I was not aware there was such restriction existing here in this area, today, and at that hour….

    While we were communicating the law rules (I was still within the restricted navigation area…) over and over again, from kayak to ship and back in quite some necessary loud, but friendly voice, both “lady captains” had to watch the distance (the woman driver of the ship Coxswain Kelsi Dozier and myself…) and I were backing up more than once to stay safe off the big ship in the rolling swell. I eventually even preferred to point my bow rather out than in while staying parallel in reasonable communication distance.

    Ok, the petty officer BM1 Cooklin finally gave me the option to either come on board to get back to Newport, which to my opinion was not feasible at all to get me and my heavy loaded kayak on board, even with the only available narrow low recess in the side wall to “fish” people in distress out of the water – but not kayaks? And I would get heavily sea sick on that ship in this swell…also no option for me would be to be taken on board myself, with my kayak being towed behind….

    The third option would be to get towed back inside my kayak, if I think I can’t make it myself over the now rougher ebbing bar and back in again against the current…no option for me either at all! I’m feeling quite comfortable here, and the river mouth didn’t look like it had changed much by now. And the outgoing current, on the right line, can’t be that bad at this hour holding me back…so I’d have to make it back over the nasty river mouth into Newport proudly on my own keel!

    Well, *my* idea of safety would have been to simply keep on going into the lowering swell, and to enter the Alsea River bar, on slack ebb tide at 6 pm with probably 2 meters swell relatively easy. I invited them to escort me, but it was no option for them…as the bigger ship can’t cross that bar just in case they need to take actions on me…and then, they even threatened me in a friendly way with being put into jail besides the due “traffic ticket”, if I’d not follow them back to Newport!

    Ok, what’s that discussion here and then worth, better stay “safe”…though crossing back over the now worse bar into Newport was, in my opinion, the most “dangerous” challenging solution! But I have my pride…and paddled safely over some big following washers into the quieter water inside the bar. I was tempted to raise both middle fingers…which would have probably caused another “ticket”. Glad to be safe, I crossed over to the northern breakwater to find the light eddy. Not sure that was the easier side..?

    On the coast guard dock, we all came together for a friendly chat, as the guys had meanwhile checked on my website and Facebook, and were obviously quite impressed about the “big fish” they had caught today…! 🙂 Kelsi had to issue me a ticket anyway, but said it might not be pursued when I could explain myself!

    We shared some stories, took pictures and I handed out signature cards, and I signed a coast guard emergency suit – which was an honor! In return, I got “lady captain” Kelsi’s coastguard hat as a gift…now I feel like I became a member of the US Coast Guard! In future similar situations, I would need to have it within reach…

    The conclusion of this second coast guard story is, I can only can blame myself for not having been aware of the bar restriction rules at that place, hour and day! Also neither my kayaking host Adam, nor Phil from the Englund’s Marine Supply nor the two guys Cliff and Ken with their sailboat docking close to me, packing while sharing stories, were thinking about a possible restriction…

    Back at Maribeth’s house. Thanks to her, Rachael and Adam to look after me here so well! Not sure about tomorrow yet…if I can go, then it will be again in the afternoon.
    (Thanks to Maribeth for editing this importatnt story! 🙂 )

    by Freya at March 15, 2018 04:37 am

    March 14, 2018
    ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

    Deafblind Challenge Helsingör – Helsingborg 2018

    Att paddla mellan två länder kan vara lite kuligt och lockar en del. Torbjörn Svensson från Höganäs i nordvästra skåne har en rejäl synnedsättning och knappt nån hörsel och ska paddla mellan Sverige och Danmark. Mellan Helsingborg och Helsingör är det ganska rimligt avstånd men skapligt vältrafikerat och utsatt för vind och vågor. I maj...

    Inlägget Deafblind Challenge Helsingör – Helsingborg 2018 dök först upp på

    by Erik Sjöstedt at March 14, 2018 08:10 pm
    Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

    Sea kayaking with
    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.

    A fourth luncheon on the machair at Silver Sands

    We stopped on the southern side of the Silver Sands of Smirisary and... ...made our way up the shore to the... ...closely cropped machair which backs the beach. Here, below a rapidly sinking sun, we partook of our 4th luncheon which we washed down with a not ungenerous snifter of 12year old Caol Isla. After our comestibles had been suitably dwindled, it was time for a...

    by Douglas Wilcox ( at March 14, 2018 02:23 pm

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Tue 13/03-2018 Day 156

    Pos: 44.6301,-124.0419
    Loc: Newport
    Acc: Maribeth house

    weather rest day

    I was sensing I need to check on my rudder…and I found some very important screws were lose…plus the friction of the skeg blade was once more too high to pop the springloaded fin out properly. All fixed (for now…), with the wonderful help of Scotty and Phil at Englund’s Marine Supply. I love this rudder, te one and only I’d take on a trip, but it needs occasionally some attention *prior* to malfunction and breaking…and on paddling, it won’t shave off if you have a bad landing.
    I also had to swap my VHF radio at Englund’s, which didn’t survive my swim on the first day, though it is supposed to be waterproof. All good.
    A lot of office work needed to be done, plus socializing with my wonderful hosts Maribeth, Adam and Rachael, and on the phone with so many new friends…I’m working hard on my new “tribe” here on the West Coast… 🙂 … feels so good…so grateful for all the new wonderful connections!

    For paddling today, on Wednesday, I have to cover only about 27 km to Waldport/ Alsea River mouth, either in the morning with little wind and higher swells, but I prefer to go out on slack high tide around 11-12 am, and to land on slack low tide around 6 pm. I will just have to fight a bit of headwind, but lower swells to enter the relatively open, but natural river mouth. This might become interesting in the evening…? See how it goes…

    by Freya at March 14, 2018 02:07 pm

    Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
    Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

    Paddle Article for Wooden Canoe

    Special news to report. A short article regarding one of my historic replicas was published in the February issue of Wooden Canoe (Issue 205, Vol. 41 No.1). "Paddles from the Past" discusses the history behind the decorated steering paddle illustrated by H.R. Schoolcraft in his  1821 publication Narrative journal of travels through the northwestern regions of the United States...

    Fig. 2 Schoolcraft's steering paddle
    from Plate II - Indian Manufactures
    Narrative journal of travels through the northwestern regions of the United States...
     Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

    For anyone who might be interested, I've made the two page article available for viewing at this link here.

    As an aside, the 2018 Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly is finally back in Canada this summer and will be in nearby Peterborough, Ontario July 17-22. More on that in another post.  I've been scheduled to discuss historic paddle designs and decoration. The Schoolcraft reproduction will be there as part of a display.

    by Murat ( at March 14, 2018 09:37 am

    March 13, 2018


    Euskadi tour: que viajem tan chulo!

    Siamo sempre stati molto legati all'isola di Minorca, per ragioni non solo affettive.
    Il primo viaggio che abbiamo compiuto intorno all'isola nell'inverno del lontano 2009 ci ha permesso di conoscere due persone meravigliose: Teresa e Carlos, i titolari del centro Menorca en kayak. Da allora siamo tornati a visitare la più bella delle isola Baleari ogni volta che se ne è presentata l'occasione. Quando lo scorso mese di ottobre, durante le Jornadas de Menorca en kayak, ci hanno invitato a seguire il gruppo nella trasferta annuale nei Paesi Baschi non ci abbiamo pensato su due volte e abbiamo accettato l'invito con grande entusiasmo.
    Abbiamo così avuto modo di incontrare ancora una volta un altro grande amico pagaiatore, Arkaitz Erchiaga, il titolare del centro di kayak e turismo attivo di Urdaibai, la riserva naturale della biosfera della Biscaglia, un grande estuario aperto sull'Atlantico ad una manciata di chilometri da Bilbao.
    Siamo rimasti affascinati dalla zona, dalla gente, dalle tradizioni, dall'arte, dalla cucina e soprattutto dall'accoglienza calorosa che ci hanno riservato tutti gli amici baschi e minorchini: la settimana è volata via tra una visita di tre giorni alla capitale basca ed una permanenza di quattro giorni a Lekeitio, il paese natale di Arkaitz ed uno dei villaggi di pescatori più pittoreschi della costa...

    Inizia l'avventura: Euskadi arriviamo!
    L'ingresso del Museo Marittimo di Bilbao: un'attrazione per grandi e piccini!
    Palle ovunque, ovunque palle!
    La prima sala espositiva del Museo Marittimo di Bilbao: kayak playmobil!

    Bilbao non è soltanto la capitale della Biscaglia, una delle tre province della comunità autonoma basca, e neanche il principale porto commerciale e turistico della costa settentrionale spagnola. E' anche una grande città metropolitana che ha saputo rinnovarsi nel tempo, mantenendo le sue radici ben radicate nella storia marittima del paese. Bilbao è la città famosa nel mondo per il museo Guggenheim, ideato da Frank Gehry sulla sponda occidentale della Ria, come qui viene chiamato al femminile il fiume che attraversa il centro storico: la vecchia città industriale, carica di moli portuali, è diventata in pochi anni un'icona internazionale di design urbanistico, arricchita da tante altre opere d'arte posizionate lungo tutti gli spazi verdi e pedonali che modellano ora le due sponde del fiume.
    Bilbao non è solo il Guggenheim, che pure è il biglietto d'ingresso più incredibile ed accattivante, quando si entra in città dal ponte che sovrasta il fiume, a sua volta sovrastato da un magnifico arco rivestito di formica rosso fuoco che di notte si illumina di 6400 led intermittenti: le 33.000 placche di titanio che ricoprono le falde irregolari del museo conferiscono alla struttura un che di immaginifico, come di una nave che sta per prendere il largo: prendono i colori del cielo e cambiano tonalità insieme alla città, dal giallo oro dei momenti di sole all'argento acceso dei lenti passaggi delle nuvole, e passeresti ore intere ad ammirare le immagini riflesse nelle vetrate, specie quando si attiva una delle installazioni artistiche più suggestive che arricchiscono la passerella intorno al museo, la scultura della nebbia del giapponese Fujiko Nakaya che ad intervalli regolari ma imprevedibili avvolge il visitatore in una densa nuvola di nebbia artificiale (che raggiunge anche l'altra grande opera di Anish Kappor realizzata con 80 sfere d'acciaio impilate in modo apparentemente causale sul pelo dell'acqua... sono rimasta incantata a guardarle per un tempo dilatato dalla meraviglia e dal piacere!).

    Una delle tante installazioni artistiche disseminate lungo il Paseo de la Memoria...
    L'ingresso del Museo Guggenheim di Bilbao: la punta sembra proprio la prua di un kayak!
    La scultura di fiori Puppy di Jeff Koons fa la guardia all'ingresso del museo dal 1995...
    Il faro di Santa Catalina a Lekeitio, proteso sul Mar Cantabrico che è già Oceano Atlantico...
    La lunga passerella di pietra permette di raggiungere l'isola con la bassa marea...

    Bilbao non è solo il Guggehneim, comunque: è anche la città della metropolitana ideata da Sir Norman Foster, che avrà anche disegnato lo yacth più brutto del mondo, ma si è pienamente rifatto con la perfetta fusione di ingegneria ed architettura che risalta tanto nelle passerelle sotterranee, sospese alle volte con possenti tiranti di acciaio, che nelle entrate in vetro, simili al carapace di un armadillo e che tutti hanno preso a chiamare Fosteritos; è anche la città dell'aeroporto La Paloma disegnato dall'architetto spagnolo Calatrava, lo stesso del ponte pedonale Zubi Zuri sulla Ria, e che di questo richiama la struttura sospesa come di un uccello ad ali spiegate, che però a noi ha ricordato di più i fanoni di una balena; è anche la città dell'Euskalduna, il Centro Congressi e Musica che si erge come un grande bacino di carenaggio di ferro arrugginito proprio dove un tempo sorgevano i cantieri di costruzione delle navi baleniere, orgoglio della marina basca.
    Bilbao è anche la città dell'Alhondiga, un vecchio deposito di vini recuperato a moderno centro di servizi, cultura e tempo libero, con 43 colonne tortili che sorreggono tre edifici di mattoni rossi in cui sono accolte sale cinematografiche, biblioteche, sale espositive, negozi e ristoranti e persino un centro sportivo con due piscine sul tetto. Bilbao è la città del Casco Viejo, pieno di stradine medioevali lastricate coi ciottoli levigati del fiume e di bar aperti fino a notte fonda. Bilbao è la città del Museo Basco, allestito all'interno di un antico collegio gesuita oggi in restauro, del Museo Archelogico, affacciato sull'altro lato della stessa Piazza Nuova, e del Museo Marittimo, abbellito all'esterno non solo dall'altissima torre Carola completamente ridipinta di rosso ma anche da tante boe e catene che un tempo ancoravano pescherecci e rimorchiatori.
    Bilbao è persino una città di mare, benché il Mar Cantabrico disti più di 14 km dal centro: due linee della metropolitana, pulite, veloci e frequenti, collegano il centro cittadino alle spiagge di sabbia incastonate tra le alte scogliere rocciose della costa basca. A suggellare il passaggio dalle montagne al mare è sempre la Ria, sormontata a due passi dal porto da un enorme ponte trasportatore, il Bizkaiko Zubia, che permette il transito di persone ed auto (soltanto sei per volta) da una sponda all'altra senza intralciare la navigazione: costruito nel 1893, primo nel suo genere e divenuto patrimonio dell'umanità Unesco nel 2006, il ponte è alto 61 metri s.l.m., lungo oltre 160 metri e permette di tenere sospesa sul vuoto una gondola bianca che fa la spola 24 ore al giorno e che sembra una navicella spaziale antesignana della serie di Star Trek...

    Pronti per la prima vera giornata di acqua (sotto e sopra!)
    Mauro su un kayak non suo e su un fiume (di acqua salmastra, almeno!)
    Riunione all'ultima ansa praticabile del fiume...
    Rientro in SUP: che gran bella scoperta!

    Bilbao è anche una capitale divertente, allegra, movimentata, piena di piccole e grandi cose che hanno attirato la nostra attenzione: le strisce pedonali, per dire, sono spatolate in maniera artistica per renderle meno scivolose e ne manca sempre una, la seconda o la terza dal marciapiede, per evitare che ciclisti o motociclisti possano scivolarci sopra con le ruote; i semafori, poi, hanno gli omini verdi per il passaggio pedonale che ad un certo punto prendono vita e cominciano a correre sempre più veloci quando mancano pochi secondi al rosso; le mattonelle dei marciapiedi, inoltre, sono tutte marcate con dei fiorellini tondi che ricordano quelli di Barcellona ma in mazzetti più pieni e che a volte sono battuti sul cemento grigio e uniforme ed altre invece sul cotto cangiante. Bilbao è una città facile da vivere e da visitare: all'arrivo in aeroporto, ed in ogni altro centro di informazioni turistiche, vengono distribuite le cartine della città che riportano non solo le linee di bus, tram e metro, ma anche le indicazioni di alberghi e pensioni, così abbiamo prenotato facilmente quella più vicina alla fermata dell'autobus; le campane per la raccolta differenziata del vetro sono tutte ricoperte di murales artistici e tematici, che ti fanno venire voglia di cercare in ogni dove bottiglie di vetro da buttare per potere ammirare da vicino tutti quei lavori geniali ed ispirati; i parcheggi per le auto sono abbelliti da posti colorati in diversi tonalità di giallo, blu, rosso e verde e persino i posti riservati alle moto hanno riquadri colorati di dimensioni ridotte... che ti viene voglia di star lì a giocare ai colori per giorni interi...
    Anche la lingue basca ha i suoi misteri accattivanti: è piena di X e K, la lettera usata per il plurale, e ricorda vagamente la lingua Inuit (chissà che alle sue origini ancora sconosciute non ci sia un qualche legame con gli abitanti dell'altro lato dell'Atlantico, raggiunti durante una battuta di caccia...). Arkaitz ha provato a spiegarci qualche regola ma noi siamo rimasti affascinati dalla moltitudine di parole in K: komunak, tabacoak, patatak frigituak, kayakak e persino un grandioso fax-ak!

    Una delle tante curiose parole della lingua basca...
    Il gruppo al gran completo alla partenza da Urdaibai per Lekeitio...
    La partenza da Urdaibai con l'alta marea...
    La sosta in un porticciolo lungo la costa basca con la marea calante...
    Arkaitz e Peki: con loro le escursioni sono sempre facili, sicure e divertenti!

    Dopo tre giorni di sole, di pioggia, di vento trascorsi nella capitale basca, ci siamo spostati con i trasporti pubblici, veloci ed economici, fino a Lekeitio, un paese di 6000 persone che in estate vede triplicati i suoi residenti. E' un piccolo villaggio di pescatori che si affaccia su un'isolotto roccioso e pelato dal vento che è collegato alla terra ferma da un lungo camminamento di pietra, che si copre con l'alta marea e si scopre con la bassa marea (che qui raggiunge anche i cinque metri di dislivello e che viene misurata con un coefficiente variabile a seconda delle stagioni e delle lune). L'isola di San Nicola protegge l'ingresso del porticciolo di Lekeitio, rigonfio di imbarcazioni a remi e a motore assiepate dietro la muraglia costruita a protezione dello specchio d'acqua che non sempre resiste agli assalti dell'oceano: una delle prime cose che ci ha raccontato Arkaitz è che la croce di pietra issata accanto alla rosa dei venti è stata spezzata più volte dalle onde furibonde che risalgono la scogliere e si schiantano sul molo.
    Le casette di legno sul lungo mare sono tutte attaccate le une alle altre, alte sei o sette piani e con delle bo-window dipinte di colori diversi. Accanto alla piazzetta principale sorge la bella chiesa gotica contornata di archi rampanti che proiettano le loro ombre proprio sulla sede del club di remo. I bar ed i ristoranti sono gli esercizi commerciali più frequenti e frequentati: una delle tradizioni locali più sentite e seguite è quella di "ir de txikiteo" - andare per vini, spostandosi con gli amici da un bar all'altro durante l'intero fine settimana per assaggiare i tanti spuntini che ricoprono i banconi dei locali. Pintxos & Txakoli sono gli ingredienti sicuri ed immancabili per una perfetta serata basca: il "bolseros" si incarica di tenere la cassa e di fare le ordinazioni, cambiando locale dopo ogni giro di vino o birra, servite in bicchieri tutti uguali che pure fanno il giro del paese. Sono tutti in strada, il venerdì ed il sabato sera: giovani e anziani, famiglie con bambini, ragazzi in maglietta e ragazze a grappoli, tutti presi dal rito collettivo del tirar tardi fino all'alba per collezionare una sbornia dietro l'altra. Ed è tutto allegro, leggero e condiviso.

    Siamo noi!
    In navigazione verso Lekeitio...
    Sotto il faro di Santa Catalina di Lekeitio...
    All'ingresso del porto di Lekeitio con bassa marea...

    Ci sono anche tanta altre tradizioni locali, dalla pelota giocata con una speciale cesta di vimini oggi riprodotta in materiale plastico multicolore, alle feste popolari in cui gli uomini si sfidano non solo in danze coreografiche ma anche in giochi rurali come il taglio dei tronchi ed il sollevamento dei massi: a Lekeitio una delle tradizioni più forti e più radicate nel territorio è quella delle gare di remo, che ogni anno si ripetono tra ragazzi adolescenti, adulti e anche donne. Le barche in legno colorato hanno da 4 a 8 posti ed il vogatore usa un solo remo infilato sullo scalmo, mentre il capitano che da il tempo regola un altro remo libero per le virate. Abbiamo rischiato di provare una barca tradizionale, ma alla fine erano tutte occupate per le esercitazioni settimanali ed abbiamo ripiegato sul parco-avventura, una delle tante attrattive del turismo attivo della zona: un bosco attrezzato con funi e liane e passerelle di corda come sempre di più se ne trovano in giro per il mondo, ma questo gestito dalla Generalitat e tenuto in ottime condizioni, nonostante la numerosa presenza di bruchi della processionaria. Mauro ed io siamo rimasti in camera a curarci la febbre, arrivata a Bilbao insieme alla pioggia del secondo giorno, mentre i ragazzi di Menorca en kayak si sono cimentati per l'intera giornata a salire e scendere dagli alberi per rafforzare il già eccellente lavoro di squadra.
    Il venerdì è stata poi la volta del SUP, lo stand-up-paddle che sta diventando il più diffuso sport di pagaia del mondo: visto il forte vento da sud, con raffiche di oltre 15 nodi, ci siamo rifugiati nel piccolo fiume che dalla piccola baia antistante il porticciolo di Lekeitio risale con diverse volute la verdissima vallata accanto al paese, che in alcuni scorci panoramici ricorda il tratto alpino del Trentino. Quando la corrente di marea faceva sentire i suoi effetti sul fiume, rientrando per diversi chilometri, allora ci sedevamo sulle ginocchia per non perdere l'equilibrio: ma quando siamo usciti in mare aperto ed abbiamo circumnavigato la piccola isola di San Nicola, io ho smesso di preoccuparmi e mi sono goduta la navigazione in piedi!

    La conclusione di un splendida giornata di pagaiata!
    L'ultimo saluto agli amici baschi e minorchini...
    Uno dei tanti brindisi delle serate basche!
    La visita domenicale e fuori programma al monastero di San Juan de Gatzelugatxe...
    Il ritorno a casa, felici come bambini!

    Il sabato, invece, siamo rientrati nella nostra zona di conforto ed in kayak, singoli e doppi, abbiamo percorso i quasi 25 km che separano la riserva di Urdaibai da Lekeitio, costeggiando prima una delle più grandi dune del nord che però viene periodicamente erosa dal vento e dall'acqua, passando poi accanto alla famosa onda di surf di Mundaka, la più lunga onda sinistra d'Europa, e pagaiando infine lungo imponenti scogliere rocciose interrotte solo qua e la da qualche spiaggia di sabbia e qualche paesino incastonato tra i boschi di abeti (che impressione gli alberi così alti tanto vicini al mare - quelli che di solito siamo abituati a vedere in montagna, per giunta!).
    Il faro di Lekeitio ha salutato la nostra pagaiata al tramonto e anche una passeggiata domenicale: il vento in aumento fino a Forza 7 ha impedito di continuare le attività in acqua, ma sotto l'acqua battente siamo rimasti al riparo dell'accogliente bar del porto per pianificare le attività future!
    Non mancheranno altre occasioni per incontrare i ragazzi di Menorca en kayak ed aspettiamo con ansia le prossime Jornadas di ottobre per tornare a pagaiare intorno alla più bella delle Isole Baleari. Nel frattempo, però, abbiamo anche cominciato a pensare a corsi ed escursioni da ripetere nei Paesi Baschi, magari con un percorso itinerante tra Bilbao e San Sebastian, l'altra grande attrattiva basca, e magari in compagnia di un gruppo di pagaiatori italiani interessati a scoprire le bellezze del posto.
    Non è mai facile riassumere in poche righe le tante emozioni di una lunga settimana vissuta a terra ed in mare: noi speriamo così di tornare presto a solcare le acque atlantiche del Mar Cantabrico e di pagaiare ancora fianco a fianco con Arkaitz ed i suoi ragazzi del centro Ur-Urdaibai.
    Grazie infinite per l'accoglienza calorosa e per l'esperienza indimenticabile: eskerrik asko!

    by Tatiana Cappucci ( at March 13, 2018 11:14 pm

    The Ikkatsu Project
    In the Service of the Ocean

    What Climate Change?

    It was 73 degrees here in T-town yesterday, pretty high temp for this time of year. We’re back to gray skies today but it still feels like winter broke its back. Less fires in the woodstove, more outside in the fire pit. I’m a huge supporter of this time of year. Still, it does seem wrong, in a way.

    The days are speeding on though, at this particular time. Lots of logistics for this summer’s cleanup, along with collaborations to be set up for this September’s Tacoma Shoreline Survey. If I listed everything out here, I would be doing that list and nothing else. At some time, I expect to get the upper hand in this game of Whack-a-Mole. That time has not come yet.

    I must go. I have a phone call to make to Wrangell Public Works. Wish me luck.*

    *Wish me luck, and please consider a gift to help these and other programs continue. 2018 is a busy year and the calendar is full. Which is fantastic, but it also means that there are more financial demands that need to be met. Please click on the donation button on the right side of the home page (or simply click here), and follow the easy instructions. Thank you for your generous support!

    by Ken Campbell at March 13, 2018 05:22 pm

    Sea kayaking with
    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.

    The hidden isles and recesses of Loch Moidart

    We left Castle Tiorum and continued...  ...our exploration of the South Channel of Loch Moidart. The wooded sides of Riska island fall steeply into the blue waters of the loch. Our tour of the inner Loch Moidart continued past Eilean an Fheidh (deer isle) and... ...tiny Eilean na Craoibhe (tree isle). Normally we are in a desperate hurry here as we have  usually been rushing before

    by Douglas Wilcox ( at March 13, 2018 03:50 pm

    Qajaq Rolls
    Dedicated to the Art of Greenland Style Kayak Rolling

    Yoga for rolling – Strength

    Despite my desire for rolling to be a purely relaxed, gentle and meditative practice, I cannot overlook that strength is needed if one's rolls are to be successful. Repeatedly practicing rolls helps develop strength in the muscles needed to roll if the rolls succeed, otherwise, you run the risk of developing the muscles (and memories) needed to fail. By using yoga to develop strength, before trying to roll, you give yourself a better chance of success.  You start your rolling practice knowing you are physically capable. Then, the rolling becomes a mental activity, one in which we learn how to apply our strength and flexibility.

    by Christopher Crowhurst at March 13, 2018 05:24 am

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Mon 12/03-2018 Day 155

    Pos: 44.6301,-124.0419
    Loc: Newport
    Acc: Maribeth and Rachel’s house
    Dist: 31,9 km
    Start: 09:00 End: 16:40

    I was quite early awake this morning, doing some office work. But in general, I’m getting a good night’s sleep now, and feeling quite fit on today’s third day paddling! I just had to find a friendly helpful hand to get my kayak to the launching ramp, which came with some park warden on his early morning checking tour.

    Exciting the zig zag harbor channel was no big deal, and out there, the warm, quite strong blowing offshore wind felt like spring! Sunshine, and feeling a good working body into about 15 knots SE. Over the day, it calmed down a lot, that I was eventually rather boobing around in the warm sunshine, texting and calling people, just to feel a bit social which I am missing a lot since the first stupid day…

    One spout to see, more to hear, but no real whale humpback showing up…or was I too much immersed into my “office work”? I had to stay quite off the coast, as despite the swell felt low, it was breaking heavily on the rocky coast. The real “wildlife” showed up with sea lions occupying the bell buoy out of the Depoe Bay channel, and inside the harbor of Newport, it was barking, grunting and farting with huge sea lions on every corner. These guys are lazy civilisation occupants!

    Entering the Newport channel on about an hour before low tide was a bit of a challenge, but no big breakers in the middle, just a bit of current to fight. I was able to store my kayak on a private jetty with the help of Phil and Scotty from the Englund Marine store, and Adam was picking me up with his over sized for my typical American truck 🙂

    Some great cooking and laughing tonight, will stop typing now!

    by Freya at March 13, 2018 03:06 am

    March 12, 2018
    ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

    Lördagssol på Skälderviken

    I lördags tog vi en go tur på Skälderviken. Riktigt gött i svag medvind och lite solantydan utåt längs norrsidan. Snackade om bad men när vi vände var det svalt i den svaga svaga vinden. Blev badkrukigt men ändå finfint med lite paddeldräll såklart 🙂

    Inlägget Lördagssol på Skälderviken dök först upp på

    by Erik Sjöstedt at March 12, 2018 08:02 pm
    Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

    March Chalenge #1 - Explore Andalucia

    I've been visiting Spain for forty years.  During that time I've seen a lot of the country.

    I've mountain-biked in Extremadura, climbed hiked and cycled the Pyrenees, ridden the ancient pilgrim route to Santiago, and spent many, many weeks living between Valencia and Alicante where my parents lived and died.

    Andalusia had escaped my attention so I decided this was the month to rectify this oversight.

    I would combine a cycle training camp with a visit to some of the great Andalusian cities of Granada, Ronda and Seville.

    I decided I would not take the training camp too seriously - after all I'm not training for anything - so I could mix the riding with city exploring.  I looked at a few companies offering camps, and decided to go with Andalucian Cycling Experience.  They had great reviews, promptly replied to emails, the dates worked but in truth, the main reason was their location.  From their Montecorto base I could easily reach Ronda and Seville.

    To save you hunting, the others were Wheels in Wheels, Epic Cycling, Cycle Sierra Nevada, and Custom Cycle Coaching.
    Montecorto, home to Andalucian Cycling Experience
    The experience of cycling in Andalucia deserves a separate post which I shall write.  However, just getting to the lovely village of Montecorto proved a challenge worthy of my #yr60 programme!

    This was the cunning plan.  I don't have a bikebox, so planned to borrow one from my friend Allister in Northumberland.  I'd stay with him overnight, leave the car, and he'd drive me to Newcastle airport for the Malaga flight early Saturday morning. 

    The 'Beast from the East' weather hit the UK days before I left home in North West Scotland.  "Stay in your homes", was the advice.  EasyJet cancelled all its Friday flights from Newcastle.  Hotels were full to overflowing.  Allister had to walk five miles home through deep snow because there was no way to get up his track.  Suddenly my Andalucian Cycling Experience was looking doubtful.

    Is it a sledge or bike box?
    I set off from home early Friday morning.  The Amber weather warning across Scotland's central belt switched to Yellow as I reached it and I sailed through.

    While the side roads were snow-choked, the main roads were clear and, with relatively few cars using them, I made it to Newcastle Airport Hotel in a little over five hours - that's actually faster than normal.

    Meanwhile, Allister had sledged the bike box down his track and met me at the hotel which I'd reserved on the moment the weather looked doubtful.

     I was set.

    And alone.

    When I reached Montecorto I discovered I was the only person on this cycle training camp!  Two other riders had postponed their trips (there was only ever three of us) so I had the town-house and cycle guide Drew all to myself.  Initially I was slightly narked by this - one of my reasons for coming had been to ride and hang out with other cyclists.  As it was it worked out very well.

    No strap, snapped cable tie, open catches
    I was also rather lucky.  Allister had given me a ratchet compression strap to wrap around and secure the Polaris Bike Pod box.

    At the other end, the strap had disappeared, along with the luggage tag identifier that the airline had wrapped around it.  These straps hold ladders of car roofs and simply do not snap, so it must have been cut off by baggage handlers.

    Also one set of cable-ties had snapped, and two of the locks on the bike box pinged open, putting enormous strain on the remaining catches.

    I was lucky the bike and contents survived.

    This was the second time a Polaris Bike Pod had sprung open on me.  For the return I had it 'wrapped' in a thick clingfilm-like wrapped in the departure hall which added €20 to the flight but meant it arrived intact.

    Andalucia might have escaped the snow but it had suffered storms.  The previous week's cyclists missed a few days riding because of torrential rain and  especially high winds.

    It was completely unseasonable for this part of the world, and while it moderated, the rain hadn't entirely disappeared.  So we switched days around to suit the weather.

     When it was raining hard in the mountains,  I headed north to explore Seville.  There's a single-line metro and it's easy to drive to a large well signed park-and-ride and take the train into the centre.  Andalucia had also been hit by storms and all the city parks were closed for clear-up crews to work.  I'd identified three 'must-do' sights in Seville.
    Real Alcazar, Seville
    The Real Alcazar is an Moorish fort/place which is now the royal residence in the city.  The cool architecture, designed for summer days over 40C, was harder to appreciate in the chilly temperature, but the beauty shone through.  There were a surprising number of tourists too.

    So many tourists that the queue to get into the cathedral was just too long to contemplate, so I walked to the third on my list, the Plaza Espana.  I remember the publicity around 1992 Seville Expo and considered taking the metro out to the site, but saw photos showing it was pretty much wasteland.
    Plaza Espana, Seville
    I was slightly underwhelmed by Seville.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps it was the temperature?  It's a city designed for the heat of the sun.

    Whereas Ronda is impressive.  Essentially it's one old square with a bridge over a breathtaking gorge.  Drew included a stop here during one of our rides and it was a great way to visit.  Yet again, there was a overwhelming number of tourists even in March.

    So what about Granada?  The big tourist attraction here is the Alhambra, but I discovered tickets must be bought a month in advance.  Plus Liz had told me to leave something to do with her.  So that will have to wait.  Next, I'll write something about the cycling which really was very good.

    by Simon Willis ( at March 12, 2018 06:00 am

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Sun 11/03-2018 Day 154

    Pos: 44.8083,-124.0600
    Loc: Depoe Bay
    Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
    Dist: 30,4 km
    Start: 10:20 End: 16:15

    A good night’s rest…a chilly sunny but humid morning…time to go! But…check the river bar first…and it did look very different from when I came in! The last two hours of the running up tide created such nasty breakers on this morning’s swell I thought I better stay in and wait for the tide to go down again around 10ish…I saw two kayaks on the beach close to the river entrance…what were these guys up to?
    I followed the two paddlers just leaving for the other end of the beach, even whistled at them, they turned around, but they didn’t stop walking…well…I slowly followed, and thought they must have important private stuff to talk about…I dared to whistle again, and now came some reaction! Laurence and Matt have been just paddling half out and in again, but were also judging these were too nasty much of trashing breakers…and now they were on their way to Camp Westwind on the other end of the beach to get the ATV to get the kayaks back. After they heard my story, and I got invited to follow them in. Nice chatting, and a wonderful family camp! We drove back to my tent in an open beach ATV, kind of a funny small adventure trip this sunny morning!

    I slowly got ready, enjoying each sunny ray, and carefully feeling my body if the strong stiffness was natural after so long time no paddling, or if something was aching wrong…but all good. Just rusty!

    With some pondering heartbeat, I slowly neared the river bar, determined to get out without a drop in my face…well, almost! One fat breaker I couldn’t avoid, but ducked down successfully, climbed the next one, and crashed down on the other side from about 2 m…bang! Out I was! Quite some swell going this morning…I had to point out to sea a couple of times when some scary swell was cresting up, and avoided more than once to look to my left where monster breakers were rolling on the unprotected open beach with spraying crests. At some point, the swell went a bit down, and paddling became relaxed.

    Not much to see today on the open beach! I decided to try something I haven’t done before, also because I was relatively new to Google Play Music…I just had collected my favorite songs a few months ago…I had some batteries to spare, and decided I’ll paddle now with music! No head set, my phone has amazing strong speakers itself. It felt like paddling at home on my kayak ergo meter, or driving long distance with my car, but I soon realized that the beats per minutes on the ergo meter were matching very different to my real water strokes! I found out the best beats-per-minute songs for real water, and additionally was singing at the top of my voice. Good to have no hoarse voice any more! I could have flipped up the matching texts, to make some real “paddling Karaoke”, but was content with the few words I had to sing along. I also occasionally implement my thoughts into the songs with sentences matching the rhythm…a funny game, thank goodness nobody was listening! 🙂

    When I was nearing the cliffs of Depoe Bay, I better stopped the music session, geared up with helmet and PFD, unclipped all safety lines, and kept on paddling up to the red buoy marking the best entrance line under the bridge. The bay reef was breaking horribly! But I knew there would be a clean entrance line, just be patient…I had to let through one fishing charter first, then I was honking my air horn as required and paddled with those two 90 degrees bents into the calm harbor. No ship going out, thank goodness…

    I slowly inhaled the harbor feeling, paddled a bit around, and took out at the boat ramp leading to the park. On a green grassy stripe close to a park bench, I decided this will be my “homeless camp” for this night, I just had to get my gear to the sot! A helpful hand for the kayak was quickly found, and I had a few hours to spare in warm sunshine. Not too bad of a city camp tonight!

    Tomorrow will be Newport, where a friend of Adam Webb will be hosting me for the Tuesday weather day off. Thanks for that! I could do some office work…and use already a shower…

    by Freya at March 12, 2018 02:29 am

    March 11, 2018

    Fotos,videos y relatos de mi navegaciones en kayak de mar


    Un truco para llevar todo bien sujeto al chaleco y no perder nada al pescar o navegar. leer más

    March 11, 2018 09:33 pm

    Manolo Pastoriza


    Empieza la época para practicar y seguir avanzando a nivel técnico.  

    Con este curso podrás empezar a adquirir o mejorar los conocimientos para afrontar condiciones más exigentes.

    El objetivo principal de este curso es que puedas seguir mejorando o seguir practicando las técnicas de kayak de mar y  realizar tus salidas  de manera  más segura.

    Día 15: SEGURIDAD 
    Rescates, Autorrescates y Remolques.

    Lugar: Cangas do Morrazo - Pontevedra

    Grupos máximo de 6 kayakistas.

    Más información:

    by Manolo Pastoriza ( at March 11, 2018 05:00 pm

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

    March 11 - Discovery (#15)

    Dan, Rob and I went for a morning paddle around the islands. A nice morning with no current and a northerly wind at around 10 knots. Saw one sea lion around Seabird point.
    click to enlarge
    15 km, YTD 141 km

    by Mike J ( at March 11, 2018 12:37 pm

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Sat 10/03-2018 Day 153

    Pos: 45.0455,-124.0027
    Loc: Salmon River
    Acc: tent
    Dist: 24,5 km
    Start: 09:05 End: 15:00

    At 6 am, the noise of the dory men launching their fishing boats told me it’s dawn…I still remember one boats spectacular high-speed-sliding-on-the-beach-landing on my last year’s arrival. Besides that, the night was relatively quiet in my log corner.

    My body was naturally aching from the longish swim, but the real body ache from the first day’s paddle is tonight…feeling like an old lady in a sanatorium in my tent…

    But the first day’s paddle was already 100% worth that feeling! I was still mourning my lost paddling buddy José, feeling a bit like I had sacrificed him to launching rather yesterday than today…as it was much calmer, as forecasted. But it was our mutual decision, though I should have pulled the break not only after going out and in again…

    A nice chap came by on my launch, explaining he had paddled also most of the coast down south. He didn’t knew about me, and got my signature card to learn :-). Thanks for your launching help! Sorry I forgot your name…

    I enjoyed very much the sunny day, though on the open coast, it was much more windy with 12-18 knots headwinds from SE than expected. I made my way, slowly but surely, listening carefully to how my body was starting to work again. i got back into my rhythm, my mind relaxed, my (stress-)coughing was gone, just by inhaling the open sea again…I made a vow to myself not to be off the water anytime anymore for half a year!

    When I saw the first seal of this trip section, I felt fully back home in my element again. And then, this high white spouting…far along the cliff headland…again and again. Were those already the “Big fish out there, large enough to eat you!” the old bearded guy Roy sending us off yesterday warned us from? 🙂

    I felt magically drawn to explore this “spouting”, and soon realized it must be a blowhole in frequent action. As it was…but this strong blowhole was only the first highlight of the cliff coast around Cascade Head! I spotted a high waterfall…with another active blowhole just besides it..and a huge dark hole to the left…a gigantic cave! I judged the swell, all ok, and was silently gliding inside, through the curtain of the waterfall and the spray of the blowhole in action into it’s magic interior. The cave was high and impressive like a church, with some dozens of seals on the altar-beach. I stayed away from them, separated by some rocks on lowish tide, far enough not to cause a distressed mass launch, inhaling the smell of the seal rookery cove. Those magic places get me alive…and I felt sorry I had sacrificed José’s company due to the combination of some mistakes.

    Reflecting on the incident yesterday, we simply should have waited one more day…I was actually wondering does the local coast guard have no jet skis to rescue swimmers in distress like me? The helicopter with the daunting winch-man felt like a bit like an overkill…and they would truly not have winched up my kayak. I might have accepted a jet ski tow…but thanks again for their presence! Maybe the helicopter rotor blew me into the right direction…I still remember some coast guard practice like this on a symposium in Anglesey, causing a few kayak to roll continuously (for fun…). Myself, I have been winched up for practice in Iceland, finding myself up in the air with lovely Kristin Nelson! But mostly, I connect helicopter flights the other way round – jumping out of those…best when standing still in the air…it’s like a base jump… 🙂

    Highlight after high light came along Cascade Head, a noisy sea lion colony, many narrow channels to pass on the right timing, a few more minor caves, and a beautiful double-arch where I was going through three times for “three times luck”. Can’t even recall them all now…too many natural wonders!

    The entry into Salmon river felt easy on low surf, and once inside, a paddled around the bend to find the take out with the least carrying distance.
    I have a wonderful dead-calm campsite, just a few houses across, and a handful of weekend-boats around. Life is good! Just missing good company to share…

    I organized the last food and house hold items, still too physically tired to cook and hot meal. But mentally, I feel I’m back to my real life!

    by Freya at March 11, 2018 03:49 am

    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!)

    Gowanus Graffiti and Street Art Flickr Album

    Poor TQ came down with a bug, so our plans for tomorrow are off, but I ended up going to the walking tour of the Gowanus Canal anyways, and it was great!

    I was very interested in going on the tour because Owen Foote, the co-founder of the Gowanus Dredgers who was our guide today, is an architect and urban planner who's been involved in water use and ecological awareness in the Gowanus area for years. He's incredibly knowledgeable and as I expected, he gave an amazingly informative talk about the history and present time of the area as he led us on a walk that wound through the neighborhood, starting at the Smith and 9th street subway station and finishing at the northern end of the canal, where the water swirls and foams as the pumping station pours in water from the East River.

    It was such a good tour, and I took so many pictures that I'm not even sure where to start, so I decided to start with the same thing Owen started us off with - street art! There's an amazing variety in the area, and our first stop on the tour was at the GOWANUS street mural. I've put together a flickr album of the art that particularly caught my eye today -- click here to visit. I hope you enjoy it! BTW, if you liked this post and you live in the area, keep an eye on the Dredgers website, they're going to start offering monthly art walks led by a local artist as one of their things to do once the weather warms up a bit. I will definitely be joining in on one of those!  

    by (bonnie) at March 11, 2018 02:21 am

    March 10, 2018
    Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

    Vildmarksmässan 2018 (explore)

    Explore mässan i Älvsjö 2018 var det något att gå på? Ogillar verkligen nya namnet och var inte mycket kvar av vildmarksmässan.  Räddningen var att den pågick samtidigt som båt och fotomässan som drog mycket folk som även spiller över på Explore. Ensam var det inte mycket att ha…Lite märkligt att den fanns en utom husdel som inte direkt gick att gå till utan att lämna mässan. Lite synd då den delen var lite mer originell se video nedan. Kajaksidan var dock på båtmässan med stor monter. Jörgen på kajaksidan sa att de snart har stora nya fina utställningslokaler då det har kunnat utöka bredvid befintliga lokalerna.

    by Bengt Larsson at March 10, 2018 06:40 pm

    WK 525

    Såg den här nya WK 525 på mässan, gillar WK 500 så det här kanske är intressant.

    by Bengt Larsson at March 10, 2018 06:17 pm

    Freya Hoffmeister
    Goddess of Love to the Seas

    Fri 09/03-2018 Day 151

    Pos: 45.2181,-123.9739
    Loc: Cape Kiwanda
    Acc: tent
    Dist: 3 km
    Start: 11:30 End: 12:15

    Ok, this was not Plan A, B or C, but (un)Plan D…

    José and I got ready to drive from Warrenton with two cars, as Buruce realized I’d get best additional rest with occupying the back seat for two hours of extra sleep or meditation. Thanks for that mindfulness, Bruce and Terry!
    I did put my scarf over my face, and blndfolded listened to my body, lying nicely on the spycious back seat wrapped in a cozy blanket, my head and some pillows. Terry brough this bedding in…oh this couple did so well for me! Will love them forever!
    I did some strectchig with all limps in all directions, switched my brain quite fully off, and decided after two hours driving, despite lack of sleep, I’m ready to go.

    On the beach at 10 am, we both had ample time to load both boats for the first time, even for me as an experience packer, my gear was not 100% sortet to my content due to lack of time…José packed well, and quite realized this kayak takes LOADS!

    Low tide was at 1 pm, and the swell and surf calmed down noticably by the minute, leaving the usual channel with quite low surf to exit which we both judged as absolutely doable…if…José wouldn’t be in my boat, for him the first time…

    Anyway, we decided this is doable, José felt comfortable, I checked through all his gear and I helped him launching, getting afloat in the shallows, making sure his rudder is deployed. The plan was to meet in the shelter of Haystack rock, where the sea looked calm. I made the mistake to let him launch with the paddle leash on, which I even eventually did myself…it sounds like a minor mistake which I never do, I always launch without leash, but it happened, and it had influence of his easiness to re-entry later. Glad he made it anyway, but also not sure if his paddle would still be in his hands without leash…but in any case, always launch without leash.

    He paddled out all right, but very soon out of direction, obviously not able to control the boat with the rudder as it should be. He later said, it was mainly due to the inner pedal position, different to the outer position in his own kayak. Mistake no. 2, we really should have paddled my for him new kayak in dead-calm sea first…He ended up aiming way too far to the right of Haystack rock, where the surf was occasionally breaking nasty, without being able to keep the quite safe line out which we both felt absolutely comfortable to handle – in a boat we are used to… One of those nasty breakers caught him capsizing, I saw this and thought “SHIT”, please let him be safe now!, as I really had no means now to get out to help him.

    José told me later, he managed to re-entry with a cowboy entry. Well done in still some occasionally nasty breaking corner, with the reef rocks of the beach close. He paddled out to where he judged to feel safe to wait for me, with still a half-swamped cockpit. I hurried to launch myself, all fine for me, but I couldn’t see José for probably ten very worried minutes! Fuck! Was he already stuck on the headland rocks somewhere??? Finally I saw hi way far out to the right of Haystack rock, pointing his bow out to sea to stay stable in his half-swamped kayak, all correct. I tried to contact him on the radio, no answer. No whistle reaction, no shouting possible. I finally reached him, and first realized he had not pumped out his cockpit yet.

    We quickly paddled into the more shelter of the huge rock rafted up, he pumped, and he said he felt all right. I decided to go back in anyway, this was not going to be our start of a longer paddle today. We would go tomorrow in even more calm conditions. We reached some red floating buoy which I judged to be a good calm spot to wait, told him not to go in before I was out of my boat and ready to catch him. I paddled in with a small surfing, but no big issue. José ha to judge out there his own timing, did fine first, but capsized anyway. Another SHIT!, as I saw him and his kayak still together, but surely drifting toward the rocks…I walked out as far as I could, hoping him to let go of the kayak and to swim-rescue himself, what’s a broken kayak worth against a saved life. I was also realizing the rip current here which I am not much used to, but knew in theory how to handle, swim parallel until it changes…

    José finally drifted far out even more to the big rocks, but I knew there was a halfway safe calm channel. He thank goodness finally let go of the kayak, swam in all right in the inner channel, and I knew he was safe, while I kept an eye on the drifting kayak. It didn’t get smashed on the rocks, but was rather bobbing up and down with not much force. Ok, now time for a longer swim, I thought, stripped my spray deck to the rocks, finally reached the kayak, clipped my tow line to the bow, and swam for my life and the life of my dear baby…well, it sounds now more dramatic than i really felt, as soon as I was connected to the boat, I knew we could make it. Not fully sure yet about the method…I first turned the swamped kayak upright, stuffed the paddle float and water bag dangling to the side back into the cockpit, and started to swim.

    Soon I had to realize I am not getting quick enough out of the dangerous rocky area, decided to grab his spare split Greenland paddle from the back deck, connected it, and on my back, with the tow line between my legs, I used the paddle with strong strokes to help me swimming and towing the kayak out of the danger zone. It worked all right, I felt making progress parallel to the shore, saw a flashlight car on the beach, and soon the rescue helicopter buzzing above me. In no time of my paddling career I had to call 911 myself, and to be rescued by a helicopter, leaving “my” boat behind!!! And it won’t be today either…I kept on swimming, relaxed on my back, occasionally turning my head to judge the distance to the rocks and to the beach. I also signalized with thumbs up to the guys above me in the air I am feeling fine and capable to rescue me and “my” kayak myself…hope I got the right signal, also need to work on that…

    Away from the calmish channel and off the rip current, I was now facing the quite nasty breakers further away from the rocks, knowing I now need to watch I’m not getting hit by the kayak…I had to duck-dive down three times to avoid successfully exactly that, once the tow belt dragged hard on me behind the surfing kayak. Godd, we are getting in…I checked the belt release, just in case…but decided I do not need to let go yet. Hypothermia was noticeably getting closer after about twenty minutes of swim, but no time yet to pull the belt off and to body-surf in myself only…I kept on relatively relaxed paddling hard toward beach, feeling often if I could finally touch ground, the buzzing helicopter still above me…no way, guys, you won’t need to get me! I was hoping they did not decide themselves at some point to take serious action to lower a rescue person…and finally, eventually, I touched ground, saw José in the shallows, waved him to help, and together, we reached with the swamped kayak safe ground. All good. A fat big hug, not much words.

    Terry, Bruce and Laytisha assisted as good as they could to get the kayak dry up and unloaded, while the coast guard guys and sheriff were just keen to get their paperwork done. later guys, I need to get dry and warm first…but I answered some necessary questions. My dry suit held up to 95%, need to get it checked at Kokatat’s once passing Arcata…Terry drove to the one and only hot outdoor shower behind a restaurant without any privacy, i didn’t give it a shit, stripped down, but was at least so “polite” to put on a string…but had to chase away a restaurant employee smoking in a break close to the shower…he eventually turned around, while Terry desperately tried to make some privacy with my large towel…hilarious situation…I was in the urgent need for a hot shower, but had to keep some dignity regarding stripping fully down without caring…ok, I was finally warm and dry, and we all had a relaxed de-brief in the warm sun-heated car.

    José was basically fine, keen to keep on going in another try, but his one finger being a but bent on the attempt to hold on to his kayak prevented him to do so…a pity…but also somehow a relief for me, as I had to realize once more in this humbling experience my lack of skills handling serious incidents – which I was quite aware of, but last year it went all fine with my five paddling partners…but this serious warning was meant to come right at the beginning now, and it was all right. Just feeling sorry for my three lined-up southern paddling partners, maybe we’ll find another solution.

    For now, I camped on the beach, got warm and organized and many hours of quality sleep with few cramped coughing left. My body tells me I am on the right way…

    this morning at 4 am, after sleeping well from 5 pm to 1 am, then from 2 am to 4 am, I first organized the rest of my gear, making still a list what to improve. Then this longish typing was due, and I will launch now! Either Salmon river, or Depoe bay…easy conditions.

    by Freya at March 10, 2018 03:23 pm

    Sea kayaking with
    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.

    Fair birlin' doon the loch to Castle Tioram.

    We left Shoe Bay and set off up the South channel of Loch Moidart with both a fair wind and a flood  tide behind us. We were soon birlin' doon the loch at a most respectable rate of knots. As we paddled deep inland, the loch narrowed and the wind dropped. To the south the land was relatively low lying and is where the outflow of River Sheil carries the fresh water from Loch Sheil into the

    by Douglas Wilcox ( at March 10, 2018 03:21 pm

    Setting off hell for leather to Shoe Bay.

    Donald quickly disappeared over the horizon towards the mouth of the South Channel of Loch Moidart.  We had arranged to meet at Shoe Bay for our third luncheon. We fully expected he would be there long before us. Unfortunately for Donald, the various entrances to this delightful spot are not at all easy to spot from the sea and when... ...we arrived at the inner recesses of Shoe Bay

    by Douglas Wilcox ( at March 10, 2018 03:15 pm

    March 09, 2018

    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!)

    Choices Choices -

    What a decision to make on Saturday! The Gowanus Dredgers are hosting a guided shorewalk along the Gowanus Canal, which is an area I've really never explored but find interesting. I shared that on Facebook, and moments later one of my Coney Island swimming friends said, "But wouldn't you rather come join us planting beach grass on Coney Island?"

    Tough call! At this point I'm leaning towards the shorewalk just because it's shorter, I have some other things to do this weekend, and TQ and I are going to CT for a small family gathering on Sunday, so it's Saturday or bust. I can't remember the last time I've wished as hard that I could be in two places at the same time (or that one event was sure to happen again). Ah well! 

    by (bonnie) at March 09, 2018 07:55 pm

    The Ikkatsu Project
    In the Service of the Ocean

    Seriously, Save the Date

    Consider this an invitation, a special delivery, with bells on, type of invitation. To the 1st ever Ikkatsu Project Spring Social, an opportunity to catch up with friends while you catch up with all the programs that are on our calendar for 2018.

    Sunday, May 6, 2018

    There will be colorful displays (pretty sure). There will be food and adult beverages. There will be a raffle. The band has already been booked. I sense the possibility of an epic afternoon. Please mark this in your calendar… it will be a good time and you would hate to miss it. More details to come in the next days and weeks but feel free to share this far and wide…

    by Ken Campbell at March 09, 2018 05:15 pm

    Paddle Making (and other canoe stuff)
    Functional paddle art and other canoe related ramblings

    Historic Paddle Illustarion: Robert Petley - Sketch of Halifax from Dartmouth

    Another painting by Lieut. Robert Petley (1809-1869)  which prominently features a Mi'kmaq camp and paddle as well as a distinctive canoe in the background.

    Sketch of Halifax from Dartmouth (with Mi'kmaq)
    Petley, Robert
    Latest Production Date: c 1834
    Material: Watercolour on paper
    Accession Number: 1980.62

    by Murat ( at March 09, 2018 02:22 pm

    March 08, 2018

    Mountain and Sea Scotland
    Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland


    Despite the heavy snow and fierce cold of recent weeks, the season is beginning to turn towards Spring.  Winter is often thought of as a dark time with little in the way of colour; but there have been occasional moments of real beauty - as in every winter.

    The dazzling, sparkling purity of snow covered hills against a cloudless blue sky is probably the best example of this and there's been more snow than in recent years too, a "proper" winter.  On this day above Deeside we could see for many miles through the clearest of air.

    Earlier in the season when there wasn't so much snow but plenty of frost. There was contrast between shaded forest which held a frost haze most of the day, and the warmer colours brought to life by sunlight on the slopes of Lochnagar.  The scene in the mountain's great corrie was altogether more monochrome though.

    The winter saw a series of "supermoon" events where the full moon was bigger and brighter than usual due to its proximity to the earth.  The pale blaze of this moonset at home was a beautiful sight, and prompted me to get out and experience the arclight brilliance of this rare event.

    One of the features of the winter landscape is the blonde shades of the fields, grasses and barley stubbles bleached by the frost and wind.  Lit by low sunlight, these apparently lifeless fields take on a remarkable shade.

    Back among the hills, as a freezing night gave way to a sunny day with a fierce north westerly wind. With a combination of frost haze in the glens and searing morning sunlight plus suspended dust from the wind, the view across the Dee valley towards Mount Keen was one of silhouettes softened into shades of light and shadow, the sky almost devoid of colour.  Processing this image in black and white made it actually more true to the view I experienced.

    Days are short in the north of Scotland through the midwinter, the sun remains low for the six or so hours it's above the horizon.  The low angle means that sunrise and sunset can seem quite long, and the delicate lighting of dawn in particular can be quite beautiful.

    Even when the cloud is down and there's apparently little definition, the play of shifting light can be quite magical.  We sat on the moors above Glen Gairn and watched as cloud and sun performed a "dance of the veils" - alternately hiding and revealing the hills and moorland slopes.  The eye was drawn to the geometric shapes of field boundaries in the foreground as a point of reference, but all around us light shifted and changed.

    Spring is on the way bringing a riot of bright colours, but winter isn't so dark and monotone after all.....

    by Ian Johnston ( at March 08, 2018 04:53 pm

    Liquid Fusion Kayaking
    Cate's blog about the kayak adventures of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino Coast, and beyond.

    Intermediate Advanced Rock Gardening

    We are excited to announce that we have just added a 5 day Intermediate and Advanced Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino Adventure.  

    LFK's 5 Day Art of Sea Kayaking Mendocino September 24-29, 2018 is designed for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers who want to paddle and play in rock gardens and surf.  
    Sea Kayak Rock Gardening at one of our favorite pour-overs.
    This adventure is scheduled over 6 days so that you can enjoy the best of the Mendocino Coast including an off the water day.  This is a great opportunity to see "off the beaten paddle" stretches of the Mendocino Coast including some of our favorite pour-overs and surf waves.

    Click here for more information and information on applying.

    Sea kayak surfing on the Mendocino Coast of California

    by Cate Hawthorne ( at March 08, 2018 05:30 am

    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!)

    Annual Admission That Mom Was Right

    Kids hate to admit that their parents are right, but almost every winter since I moved to New York City, I have to admit that my mom was right about the snow.

    My sister and I were lucky little Navy brats who got to grow up in Hawaii. Hawaii is an absolutely spectacular place to be a kid, and I loved it, but every year when Christmas rolled around and we'd put up the ersatz icicles and snowflakes and decorate the plastic tree (you could buy a real one but they were shipped over on a Matson container ship, cost a zillion dollars, and were well into dropping their needles by the time they made it to the supermarket parking lot), my sister and I would start to get wistful about white Christmases. We'd watch the Christmas movies, and the TV specials, and we'd see the beautiful snow scenes on the Christmas cards we'd get. Wouldn't it be neat, we would think, if it could just magically snow, just for the holiday? Snowball fights! Snow angels! Snow forts and igloos! Snowmen! Sledding! So many wonderful things!

    My mom grew up in New Jersey (not Joisey, please, New Jersey, properly enunciated, she's from the areas that gave the Garden State its name). She grew up with snow, lots of it, every winter.

    And when she would catch us mooning about the white stuff, she would try to explain the different between Hallmark-card snow and real snow. Real snow, she said, isn't all that neat. She would grant that it was pretty when it first fell - but then, she would continue, it doesn't go away. It hangs out, getting plowed and walked on and driven on, and it goes from beautiful white to dirty gray, and you're oh so ready for it to all be over.

    My sister and I were skeptical back then - but now?

    Yep, Mom was right. And this storm didn't even manage the new-fallen-snow prettiness part. Straight to frozen muck.

    Come on, Spring! 

    by (bonnie) at March 08, 2018 04:21 am