Paddling Planet

June 20, 2018
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Transportera kajak på bilen

Ibland vill man förflytta sig och kajaken lite längre och det blir för tungt att ta kajaken på axeln, dra den på kajakvagn eller efter cykeln. Då är det smidigt att lasta kajaken på bilen och dra iväg. Och det är egentligen inga konstigheter att lasta kajak på bilen, bara att se till att kajaken sitter ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Transportera kajak på bilen dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at June 20, 2018 05:23 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sun 17/06-2018 Day 235

Pos: 56.2971,-158.3842
Loc: river beach
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 46,4 km
Start 12:05 End: 20:30

The final day paddling with Catriona! We really would like to cross over to Chignik tomorrow, and conditions in the afternoon with the tide running into the bay should be doable, though at first not really pleasant despite following winds of 20 knots. But on still 2 m seas when we launched…so it was almost some more up and down going than forward going…lol. But we were both comfortable in these conditions, and it was getting better by the hour, seas went down to 1,20 m and later to almost flat when nearing Chignik. The rebound of the headland to round initially was making things not really more smooth, but we headed straight across pretty soon.

I asked Catriona to please stay in sight by my side, as I still feel kind of responsible for her well-being, though she said she was fine. But I was wondering how she would be dealing on the long run in this stuff after two or more hours? I know by myself how easy one can get sea sick, if not focused on the horizon, which was hard to make out today in bad visibility. But as she preferred to hide behind me, I was sensing she was sea sick, but being a tough lady, she didn’t like to admit it…and any time I stopped to let her catch up she also stopped way behind me…stupid game…well, if she chose to…at the end, she was responsible for herself. It was better for the paddler without the course setting GPS to be on the downwind side (right today), as when I’d notice any drift downwind (to my right), I would correct upwind (to my left), and there is where I need space. I had to look down on my GPS arrow quite a lot to stay halfway on course, with no headland to see on the horizon, I surely was correcting occasionally my course paddling into a whiteout only! So best position for the following paddler is on the downwind side, in halfway decent communication distance. When she was on my left, she was drifting mostly too close.

At some point, a huge monster whale showed up to my left side, barely ten meters away, with a trumpet-like spout…he obviously wanted to join into our paddling concert? I think my jar dropped quite a bit…after three hours, the sea calmed down slowly but surely, and as Catriona seemed to be fine but slightly tense, I enjoyed great downwind runs, always one song, waiting for her on another…and slowly but surely, the very steep black cliff of the Chignik Bay entrance emerged from the foggy day. What an impressive sight! We both enjoyed the many small but steep waterfalls, and Catriona called our contact Clyde Pedersen, local manager of Trident Seafood, that we would be arriving within one hour. Meetin spot would be behind the crane…but as there were two of them, we ended up first in the fishing harbor, and talked to some fishermen. aAll big ships were still in the harbor, fishing season has not opened yet…fish are late this summer! We didn’t mind to be out there by our own to a degree, but also would have loved an occasional chat with the local fishermen.

As we were keen to catch the flight out of Chignik on Monday, with Clyde’s friendly help, we hurried to get settled in the Trident Seafood bunkhouse with cleaning and washing our gear all evening. Thank goodness for a dry and warm place to stay, with a shower, real bed, laundry and dryer. Thanks so much to Clyde and his crew to look after us so well!

Thanks so much to Catriona to have joined me for those three weeks! I was surprised and excited to find out how strong she is on forward paddling, she was a really great challenging “sparring” partner, especially on headwinds! Laughter, fun, chatting and mutual great experiences is what I keep in mind, the odd difference in opinions, silence and stubbornness on discussions comes with two strong similar characters…but nothing we mutually fixed not sooner rather than later! Glad to have her as a friend for ever! Always welcome again to paddle with me!

So the final paddled day. Sad but also looking forward to home too now the plan was made. Two days in tent was fine especially as we had video evening with chocolate and Justin’s Kayaking the Aleutian film. Meant a lot more as I have now seen a part of the journey…. and the bear free islands lol.
Before setting off we filled water from the local creek, which I wasn’t sure about as it had a log dam will all sorts of rubble in it. Freya thought it’s lovely but my tummy didn’t! Still it was all we had for the final leg. Then Freya noticed back rest almost broke again so conscious effort not to use it and I tried to adjust foot pedal but I did it wrong resulting in the rudder control was too far away from my toes lol ..still ony 45 km.

It’ll be just grand….just meant lots of correction strokes instead of rudder use especially in the clapotis. My own fault, I had two days weather bound I could have had it fixed! So first out past the reef, it was a bit choppy, but we each timed out own passage through and it was all good. Freya took a big, but easy set, I choose the baby set lol..thankfully. I had my helmet on just in case lol. It was at this point we realized we never once discussed hand signals before now… lol well we didn’t really need them before this as I went around most obstacles. Water conditions were lovely, some nice swell and bounce which I enjoy but the visibility was awful …min fact NIL!!! Unfortunately I made mistake of not setting up my GPS and no compass on kayaks and I found it really difficult not having a point or bearing to focus on. Couldn’t tell where sky started and sea finished.

Freya was keen we stayed side by side but I found it very difficult as we were like wee cork logs on a water flume bobbing about from wave to wave in all directions. We hit paddles a couple of times, and it never seemed clear what direction we were heading. I was keen to stay behind Freya to avoid knocking into each other and to be able to use her as focal point and not have to keep looking sideways for direction. But Freya didn’t like not being able to see me behind and wanted me at side. So bit of challenge here. More into journey my tummy when from water flume feeling to positive nauseous, and before long I was sick twice…. thats a first…. I wasnt able to eat or drink any water rest of journey. I want my normal speed but choose a slow steady constant pace. Think we averaged 5.5 which still ain’t bad.

The whale must have been 25ft at least and defintly was checking us out. Aaaamazing.. lots other whale spouts and puffins today . No wee otters though. For the last 15km the sick feeling finally eased when we got good tail wind as Freya chased the down waves to music. Now she was occasionally in front about 500m and it gave me the focal point and the direction I needed. I finally had a horizon lol

Clyde was terrific on phone; he told me a bed and shower awaited…. those last 5km, I fantasied about a bed, a hair wash, warm shower, smelly conditioner and AND deodorant and…..a toilet to sit on and the luxury of a flush handle lol luxury.

The landing was great, just over 543,7 km in 17 days, 13 paddling days, with three off the water, 11 out of 13 head winds and 11 days burning sunshine, clear skies, whales bears otters eagles and much much more. I can’t thank Freya enough for this opportunity, help and all the knowledge she shared with me. Yes, living in each others skin 24 hours a day brought a few tensions here and there but never anything that didn’t resolve and only strengthen our friendship. I thank we both think we both learnt so much about ourselves and and each other. A wonderful experience….. Now we just have sort flights and the journey home starts tomorrow xx

by Freya at June 20, 2018 04:21 am

June 19, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

The black sheiling of Loch Crabhadail

The curving beach of Traigh Mheilein is a delight; a bold curve of dazzling white sand backed by dunes.  The seabed is also white sand for most of the width of the shallow Caolas an Scarp, and reflects light in beautiful aquamarine shades. I paddled along the length of the beach, then around Rubh an Tighe (point of the house) to land on yet another fine beach.

Even though it's comparatively sheltered, the beach at Loch Crabhadail (pronounced "Cravadale") clearly sees some big swell; the boulders at the top of the strand are of considerable size.  This is a quiet, empty spot, but it hasn't always been empty.

Between a small freshwater lochan and the beach, a distinctive pattern on the ground tells of different times when this land was farmed.  The system is known as rig and furrow, more commonly known as "lazy beds" (feannagan in Gaelic).

Scarcely can a more inappropriate term have been applied than "lazy".  The ground here is unpromising and poorly drained, so in order to grow crops it had to be modified.  The rigs were dug by hand and would have been built up using a mixture of sand and seaweed to make a usable gowing medium.  The furrows between the rigs helped to drain the soil and allowed potatoes and mabye some barley to be grown.  Usually the beds were re-made each year, sometimes at right angles to the previous year though here at Crabhadail they may have stayed in the same alignment due to the narrow site and the drainage to the lochan.  It must have been back breaking labour, but necessary to avoid starvation.  And, if that doesn't seem hard enough, when seaweed was in demand for making potash for glass and soap, many landlords banned their tenants from using it for fertilising the soil.

The line of an old wall can be seen at the end of the lazy beds, perhaps built to both shelter the crops from the wind and to keep out cattle.

What now seems an idyllic, lonely place would probably have held a couple of families - and although it's a beautiful setting, you can't live on a view.  This place was a sheiling, used mainly in summer by the people of Scarp and called Am Bhuaile Dubh (the black shieling).  Often it was the young folk and women who worked the sheilings, many Scarp and Harris men went away to work the herring fishery as the fish moved around the coast to the North Sea.

The remains of a couple of small houses can be seen, probably single roomed with low drystone walls and turf roofs.

The larger enclosures were used to confine cattle at night to stop them getting in at the crops; by day the beasts were herded away from the sheiling to graze.  There's a great deal of information about Scarp and the Crabhadail area on the Isle of Harris website -well worth a read.  As ever, these "rickles o' stanes" make me think about the people who made their lives here - all gone now.

Bogbean was flowering in the lochan, the waves on the beach were a gentle rhythm and above the crags a Golden Eagle turned on a thermal.  On this sunny day, Am Bhuaile Dubh and Loch Crabhadail were peaceful and evocative.  On another day just like today I'll come back here and camp in order to spend some time exploring and absorbing something of the place.

by Ian Johnston ( at June 19, 2018 09:00 pm


Corso "basico-avanzato" a Pedaso sull'Adriatico...

Sottopasso Pierangelo Bertoli - Lungomare dei cantautori del ventesimo secolo.
Così ci accoglie Pedaso, un piccolo paese marchigiano affacciato sul mare.
Costretto tra ridenti colline verdi, rumorose uscite autostradali ed una trafficata linea ferroviaria, Pedaso è un luogo ideale per la pratica del kayak da mare. I molti sottopassi dedicati ai cantori italiani collegano il centro cittadino alle spiagge di ciottoli e sabbia; i lunghi frangiflutti proteggono il litorale dalle mareggiate e dal vento dominante dei quadranti nord; i piccoli approdi sono sempre frequentati da natanti di vario genere, dai pescherecci locali che escono a gettare le reti poco al largo ai surf-ski, sit-on-top e sup che sfruttano le chilometriche zone ridossate per pagaiare in tutta tranquillità. In più, la vicina foce del fiume diventa dopo ogni piena o mareggiata, il luogo ideale per la ricerca di piccoli preziosi ritrovamenti, una miniera a cielo aperto di legni lavorati dall'acqua e dal vento!
Quando arriviamo a Pedaso, la sera di un caldo ma nuvoloso venerdì di metà giugno, la nostra guida locale è già in piena attività: ha previsto, programmato e predisposto ogni cosa, dal parcheggio dell'auto sotto casa, al noleggio gratuito di uno dei suoi tanti kayak al ritrovo culinario con tutti gli altri partecipanti per un primo incontro di conoscenza e scambio di informazioni pratiche.
Fabio Ficiarà è una delle nuove promesse della scuola italiana di kayak da mare.
Appassionato di ognuna delle mille-mila cose in cui si getta anima e corpo, ha affrontato con lo stesso spirito di profonda curiosità anche il mondo della pagaia, arrivando in poco tempo a costruirsi non solo una solida base tecnico-didattica ma anche una folta flotta di skin-on-frame, i tipici kayak groenlandesi in legno e tela dalle inimitabili ed avvincenti linee marine. Fabio ha saputo ravvivare l'entusiasmo per il kayak da mare nella sua zona costiera, ha seguito corsi con istruttori vicini e lontani e ha lanciato una serie di interessanti iniziative canoistiche. Ha un bagaglio culturale, sportivo ed umano di tutto rispetto e dimostra sempre una elasticità fuori dal comune. E sopratutto Fabio ride spesso, quasi sempre, anche quando il caldo avanza e non tutti mostrano di avere il suo stesso rilassato auto-controllo...

Fabio, Caterina, Marco e Gianni: tutti sorridenti!
Fabio e Mauro davanti al paese di Pedaso... 
I primi esercizi sulle varie posizioni delle mani sulla pagaia...
I salvataggi assistiti prima di affrontare il mare aperto...
Vento teso da nord: nessun problema ad affrontarlo di prua!
Stesso tratto di mare col vento di poppa: qualche indecisione ma una gran bella andatura!
I colori intensi del Mare Adriatico!
Prove di spostamenti laterali in una delle poche zone protette dal vento...
Uno dei molti momenti di confronto sulla tecnica e sulla tattica...
Un gran bell'inizio per lavorare sull'inclinazione dello scafo!
La presenza di Fabio è sempre stata preziosa...
L'inventiva di Fabio non ha limiti: il suo carrello porta kayak per la bicicletta è insuperabile!
Uno dei miei cantautori preferiti ha osservato dall'alto i due giorni di corso...

Il corso era nato come uno dei tanti 3 stelle della British Canoeing che Tatiyak organizza in giro per l'Italia e l'Europa. Si è però presto trasformato in un corso "basico-avanzato", secondo l'indovinata definizione dello stesso Fabio: i tre partecipanti hanno preferito concentrarsi sulle tecniche di base della pagaiata, dei salvataggi e delle varie manovre di controllo del kayak per acquisire la giusta sicurezza personale prima di affrontare il mare, che qui si imbianca spesso di frangenti ravvicinati, nervosi e sempre molto rumorosi. Ci siamo così concentrati sulle esigenze degli allievi, uscendo dai soliti schemi per rendere il corso il più possibile adatto alle necessità dei partecipanti: una soluzione molto stimolante che richiede a tutti una sana dose di elasticità, adattabilità ed improvvisazione.
Caterina, Marco e Gianni hanno dimostrato, ancora prima di impugnare la pagaia, di possedere una dote rara tra gli amanti del kayak da mare: essere umili. Tutti e tre sanno bene qual'è la differenza tra il conoscere il mare e l'andare per mare: ascoltare. Sapere leggere il mare può fare la differenza tra una pagaiata di piacere ed un'uscita da dimenticare: mi ha piacevolmente colpito la pacata consapevolezza che hanno sempre mostrato dei limiti, sia propri che ambientali. Sono sempre portata a pensare il meglio delle persone che non sopravvalutano le proprie competenze e soprattutto che non sottovalutano mai le condizioni meteo-marine: sono le sole in grado di pagaiare in sicurezza.
Il corso non poteva andare meglio: allievi curiosi, appassionati e volenterosi, affiancati da un assistente insegnante che non si è mai risparmiato. Bei momenti, davvero.
Era molto tempo che non pagaiavo lungo la costa adriatica ed è stato bello riscoprire un posto così accogliente e particolare. A pochi chilometri dal promontorio del Conero, che staglia il suo inconfondibile profilo roccioso sulla vasta distesa azzurra dell'Adriatico, Pedaso è uno di quei felici luoghi in cui si può uscire in mare, e quindi organizzare un qualsiasi corso di kayak, con qualunque condizione di tempo meteorologico: le barriere rocciose create per proteggere le spiagge pubbliche sono perfette anche per proteggere i pagaiatori locali in casi di forte vento e onda formata, così che ogni giorno può rivelarsi quello giusto per uscire a fare un po' di pratica di navigazione e salvataggi.
I due giorni del corso di sono così riempiti di esercizi, domande, riflessioni, chiacchiere e confronti: che sono continuati anche la sera, al ristorante sulla spiaggia o al chiosco nel parco, quando satolli di piatti di mare o pizze guarnite, abbiamo continuato a parlare del nostro argomento preferito.
Il kayak da mare unisce posti lontani, stringe amicizie durature e scalda il cuore!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at June 19, 2018 09:00 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

A Shift in the Wind

Almost as I finished writing the last post, the race recap, my mind switched over to Alaska mode. Like a switch being flipped or a sudden gust of wind. Three weeks from today, Marc and I will be arriving at the lighthouse for this year’s South Kuiu Cleanup. Between now and then, there are a whole lot of details to wrestle with… I alternate between confidence and panic fairly regularly these days.

But it will be worth it all when we step off the deck of the jet boat and onto the rocky shores of the Gut there at Cape Decision (weather permitting, of course). Walking up under the helipad and on to the steps of the lighthouse, looking south to the Spanish Islands and Coronation, seeing the green hill behind us, the white tower above us and the wide, blue expanse of the distant Pacific… all of this seems like a dream now. To say I am looking forward to it would be something of an understatement.

by Ken Campbell at June 19, 2018 03:28 pm


Bajando a Bilbo...

Ya he comentado por aquí, lo fácil que es disfrutar del monte para la gente que vive en Bilbao.

Hoy, volviendo de ruta en un precioso día de primavera 

by Jose Bello ( at June 19, 2018 04:05 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Varning för mat

Vårt förhållande till mat avslöjar mycket om oss själva och vår tid. I Varning för mat samlas matskribenter, journalister, forskare och experter för att reda ut hur mat gick från att vara något livsnödvändigt till att betraktas som något potentiellt livsfarligt. Det här en klart läsvärd bok. Titeln och undertiteln “Varning för mat : om hur något ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Varning för mat dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at June 19, 2018 08:58 am

June 18, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Huisinis - pure brilliant light

The first couple of days of our Hebridean holiday had been spent exploring Lewis from our base in Harris. The two are actually one island, but considered as separate entities.  The largest of the Scottish islands, Lewis and Harris are quite different from each other.


Where Lewis is fairly flat and has a landscape dominated by peat bogs, Harris is mountainous and has a rugged, rocky landscape fringed with jewel like beaches.  Harris itself is divided into North and South Harris, and is almost cut in two by the sea at Tarbert, the main settlement.  As elsewhere on the west coast and in the islands, the name "Tarbert" indicates a narrow neck of land between two bodies of water - the name derives from a Norse word meaning "draw-boat" and indicates a place where a longship could be hauled from one body of water to another across the land.

Great eagle country, North Harris has the highest population density of eagles anywhere in northern Europe and we were to see both Golden and Sea Eagles regularly, sometimes at close quarters.

But the thing that Harris is most notable for is the stunning quality of light.  We'd deliberately not gone to visit the coast while the weather was dull and wet, but the third day of our trip dawned bright and sunny, so we headed west........... Huisinis, a crescent of white sand fringed with aquamarine and deep blue - this is what we'd come for!  The journey from Tarbert along a narrow, twisting single-track road takes much longer than the mileage would suggest - and this is a good thing.  Spectacular views, a landscape in parts otherwordly and wildlife (we had two good views of Golden Eagles above the road) are a great introduction, and the destination is well worth the effort.  Huisinis Bay faces south and was sheltered from a brisk northerly breeze; the sun was hot rather than warm which added to the impression of a slice of the tropics adrift in the Hebrides.

We strolled across the machair to the northern bay which has a good view up the Caolas Scarp.  The last time I was here was in 2011 and I was very much looking forward to more exploration of the area. A slipway gives access to the water, and this is was the only viable landing point when the island of Scarp was fully inhabited - these days there's just a couple of holiday homes and an occasionally used croft house.

I did my own bit of "draw boat" by pulling my kayak on a trolley over the machair path to launch from the slipway.  The northerly wind blowing down the Caolas (Kyle) an Scarp made for a bit of swell and a tricky launch but I got underway and headed out between Scarp, on the left of this image, and Harris.  I considered myself very fortunate - the kyle is shallow and in heavy weather swells break right across from shore to shore and travel the length of the channel, cutting off Scarp for days at a time. My first destination was the white sand beach on the right of the image.....

....which is actually the end of a curving beach backed by low dunes.  As I moved into shallower water the colours began to grow in intensity.....

......until they reached a crescendo as I landed on the shore and the sun emerged from behind high cloud.  This is the quintessential Harris scene, dazzling white sand and a sea of aquamarine, turquoise and violet shades.  It could scarcely get any more stunning....

...unless you add a brightly coloured sea kayak into the picture!  I spent a good time just strolling around on this beach, allowing the colours and the pure brilliance of the light to fully register.

by Ian Johnston ( at June 18, 2018 10:10 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.

Flat Earth Kayak Sails Footloose '80 preview.

Introduction.  I was in Glasgow getting a steroid injection into my right shoulder in clinic F then having a pint of blood drained from my left arm in clinic P when I heard the news that a parcel from Australia was waiting for me at my summer home on the Solway. Despite living 50m from the shore for 7 months of the year I have not been very active recently. I last managed a kayak camping trip

by Douglas Wilcox ( at June 18, 2018 05:59 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Why backpackers should try kayak camping

You are a skilled backpacker. You have your gear wired. Your weight is just right. You know your systems and they work well, and most importantly you can cover ground with ease. You should try transitioning to kayak camping. Why? Here are ten reasons:

1) No crowds. You want a taste of real wilderness without having to travel across the globe? There are far fewer people kayak camping than there are backpacking. The A.T. has seen 155% growth in the past couple of years. Backcountry campsites are full. So many people are hiking and backpacking that is recommending that people put rubber tips on their trekking poles to prevent damage to trails. As a kayaker you will have campsites to yourself.

2) You already have the gear. Yes, you need a boat and paddle and pfd, but other than adding some dry bags (and there are even ways around this!) you are good to go. Just about any backpack is smaller than the storage of any kayak. All of your backpacking and camping gear will transition nicely to kayak camping.

3) Ready for adventure? You are used to walking on a trail, that even in the worst rain is usually predictable (with the occasional mudslide not withstanding). Transition to the water makes everything a little more exciting. Adventure awaits.

4) Float and gloat. This is the reason I transitioned to kayaking. I was tired of carrying a heavy pack. In the early 90's my pack weight was 52 pounds, and at the time it couldn't really get any lighter than that. I used an 85 liter pack. Today I am using a 48 liter pack and my pack weight is 32 pounds with real food (not freeze dried.) But in a kayak I just have to get my gear to the water line, I am making distance without carrying any gear on my back. I can also go further, the max for a backpacker is about ten days of food and fuel, and even then the load is monstrously heavy. I kayaked 21 days on the Inside Passage (though we had food and fuel for 30!) and it all fit easily in my Kayak. The boat was a little slower, but actually more stable when loaded. How big is your backpack? 65 liters? My boat can hold a little more than 215 liters of gear, and more importantly, none of it is on my back!

5) The food is better! When weight isn't an issue I can eat whatever I want for dinner. I generally make pasta with a sauce from scratch. I don't have the skills, but I know people who bake in the backcountry. Which can be cakes, or pizza from scratch. And let's not kid around, you want a glass of wine with dinner, pack in a bottle. It will fit perfectly in the bow of your boat!

6) Big, exciting, epic trips are closer. It is far easier to do an epic trip in a kayak. A week of paddling on the NC coast where you see dolphins and not another soul is easy to make happen. Similarly - also in NC you could hike the Grayson highlands where you will see wild ponies - or as I call them, land dolphins! - but you will do it with a crowd of people around you. I think the path from novice paddler to extended trip is shorter in a kayak than it is in the backpacking world.

7) It'll make you cool. All your friends are backpacking. (and you can still backpack with them!) but you can also be the person that goes on amazing paddling trips. Far fewer people are doing kayak trips, so you will stand out in a crowd.

8) A different perspective of the world. When I am backpacking I feel like I spend the day looking at the ground, three feet in front of me. I have to think about taking time to look at the view. But in a kayak you are paddling while looking up and all around you at all times.

9) It will push your skills as an outdoors person. You will learn about water and tides and more about weather and wind and rain. It will kick your navigation skills to the next level and lets not forget that you get to learn all about propelling and controlling a kayak.

10) It's easier on achy knees and problematic backs. If you think kayaking is a sport of arm power you have never been taught how to paddle a kayak. Kayaking is at first about core strength, and eventually with practice and skill about leg strength. That is where the real speed in a kayak comes from. What kayaking will give you is amazing core strength and good posture. All without straining your tired knees. If you have back problems, make sure to support your back in the beginning, but soon you won't need the additional help. Think of Kayaking as cross training. Your backpacking workout is very "legs and lungs" but kayaking is back and core.

Bonus 11) It's fun!

by paddlingOTAKU ( at June 18, 2018 09:00 am

June 17, 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!)

Happy Father's Day

My dad and his dog, Jump-Off Rock, Hendersonville, NC. TQ and I visited in honor of his 80th birthday. They moved here after he re-retired (he retired from the Navy and then had a shorter 2nd career teaching math to 7th and 8th graders at Waipahu Intermediate School) and thoroughly enjoys sharing the scenery in and around their new hometown. Belle (the dog) liked it too!

by (bonnie) at June 17, 2018 11:35 pm

kayak adventures
Adventures and misadventures of a sea kayak guide in Mexico, the Northwest US, and around the world

Dolphin Galaxies

Sometimes you just need to go. Get outside. Sleep under the stars. Remember what all the computer work is for.

So I did. At about 7:30 in the evening I shut the half-done projects into my laptop, their cries for attention muffled by the closing of the lid. I put the kayak on wheels and loaded the sleeping essentials into an Ikea bag, along with a few granola bars, some nuts, and dried fruit, and headed out the driveway. Locked the gate behind me, and pulled my kayak down the middle of the street, as you do in Loreto.

I love living in Loreto, a block from the water. The hotter it gets into the summer, the earlier I’m going paddling or running each day. Now I go before sunrise, and even then often drenched in sweat. It’s a little fresher after the rain this week, Loreto’s first rain in 8 months.

The sun is setting over the mountains now, casting a last red glow on Isla del Carmen 9 nm to the east. My destination. I’ve become comfortable finding more familiar beaches by ear, bioluminescence and skyline silhouette in the starlight. But this part of the island I travel less often, and only once before have I paddled directly from Loreto to there. I’m not exactly sure which peak to aim for. So I guestimate a little to the south and know there are several options to my left once I reach the island.

But I’ve a ways to go. I empty the Ikea bag into my kayak, and pack the wheels into the hatch. I push off the beach and become amphibian. A live performer is torturing some chords at the waterfront Hotel Oasis where guests sit at outdoor tables draped in white linen. It’s all-you-can-eat clam and oyster night. The sounds and lights of Loreto follow me into the dusk.

Swells are coming from both north and south, almost opposite each other, making for a syncopated rising and falling as I paddle less by sight and more by feel. A light headwind keeps me cool.

Isla del Carmen turns blue, then black. I notice a shadow moving back and forth on the deck of my kayak. A crescent moon hangs over my shoulder, bright enough to cast a shadow. A couple of planets keep it company. Stars come out, lighthouses blink in the distance. The Southern Cross slowly cartwheels back below the horizon.

I hear the splashes of fish on occasion, but these are bigger, and more persistent, and coming from all around, almost like the churning water of a tide race. I stop paddling to listen. The staccato exhalations of dolphins accompanies the splashes. I see one dark crescent break the water beside my kayak. They are behind, in front, and many to the right. I alternate between paddling and listening. Between excitement and gratitude, my smile another beaming crescent in the night. How can the presence of other beings bring such a flood of joy?

Big splash to the rear. I turn to see another leaping high in the moonlight. “Whoo-hoo! You are beautiful!” I declare.

I wonder how they know exactly where the surface of the water is to take a breath in the dark on a wavy night. I wonder what they see of stars. I wonder if they can see anything through the thick brilliance of the bioluminescence streaming past their faces. My paddle sends galaxies spinning out beside my wake. I wonder what the dolphins know of galaxies.

I’m about halfway, a little over an hour into the crossing. Isla Danzante’s distant blink and the silhouetted cone of Isla Coronados are on either shoulder. My path is crossing the line between them.

I will hear the dolphins off and on for the rest of the journey, until I also hear waves breaking on the rocks of Carmen.

There I am alone. I feel alone. There is a tall rocky point in front of me. Not a good place to sleep. It’s 10:30pm. I know there are reefs along this side of the island, so I keep a cautious distance from the point as I head north, listening.

I have a headlamp hanging ready but turned off around my neck. It’s not strong enough to cut the humid air all the way to the shore. I have a GPS in my day hatch, with a familiar beach already programmed. It felt like the responsible thing to do before I left. But I don’t need it.

The waves change tone. The air smells slightly earthier. I head closer. This beach will do. I pull up the kayak, float myself for a bit in the sparkling water, then make my bed as the moon sets behind the mountains. The mountains are invisible, another darkness in the darkness. The moon disappears tail first into the darkness without touching the lit horizon of Loreto.

I lie down beside my kayak and look at the clouds of light swirling half-mixed with the darkness as the Milky Way rolls off Scorpius’ tail just above the peaks of Carmen. I look until my eyes can’t look any more, and then I dream to the sounds of water.

by Ginni Callahan ( at June 17, 2018 05:33 pm


Nytäppetträffen 2018

Östra Bokö i maj. Blekinge skärgård i strålande sol. Glasfiber, Goretex, Hillebergs och mingel.

I år gick Nytäppetträffen av stapeln den 18-20 maj. Man kan ju inte säga att det precis stormade in paddlare som fyllde stranden på Östra Bokö med kajaker sida vid sida. Det var nog liksom lite mer tvärtom. Vi som var där funderade lite på vad det kunde bero på och kom fram till att det nog var datumen som var lite ovan. Alltså en vecka senare än vanligt. Alltså inte på Kristi Himmelfärds-helgen. Som det brukar. Det där med att inte hålla på traditioner har ju konsekvenser. Ryktas dock att Malmögänget höll på traditionen och var på Östra Bokö en vecka innan träffen. Eller hade de inte koll? Så kan det ju va. Jo jo…! 🙂

Hur som helst. Vi som var där hade det så klart väldigt mysigt och trevligt. Det fikades, paddlades och yogades precis som vanligt. Och över allt i hopa sken solen varmt och gott!

Träffgäng på väg till Tjärölunch.

Samma gäng fullproppade med lunchbuffé. Gott och nyttigt.



Fajitas till middag. Kladdigt som attan men himla gott.

Åke hade bott in sig ordentligt.


Frukostsnack tjejer emellan.

Flare-spaning. Ja, ja – en aning nördigt men väldigt kul! 🙂

Jenny, Ola och Hedvig på väg hemåt.

Spännande himmel.

Serneviarna med kajaksläp.

Rött ljus och blå himmel.

That’s all folks! 🙂

by Christian Cronberg at June 17, 2018 02:24 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv

Nelo på bild

Tryckte av detta foto vid stadshuset, någon som vet vem det är ?


by Bengt Larsson at June 17, 2018 01:31 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sat 16/06-2018 Day 234

Pos: 56.5031,-157.8278
Loc: small river bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent

no paddling today

Same weather conditions, raining, bad visibility, wind up to 25 knots se, seas up to 2 m. Nothing worth to even go out of the tent for…chatting, sleeping, eating, reading, house holding – and we are doing hair, nails and other beauty maintenance…lol…

The weather is supposed to calm down tomorrow afternoon, we are hoping to get out around noon. See how it feel and goes!

Catriona: just as Freya said, another house day in the tent. Last night though brough a few more surprises as the tide washed up alot more sea, maybe the winds brought it closer again and the sea side of tent had a bed of kelp and wood washed up to it this morning as well as Freya having some little water enter one small corner of the tent. Thankfully though she had everything packed away in dry bags just in case.

Something more about Freya, with everything I’ve wrote so far, I think what often comes out is how quick she thinks and acts.. it’s instant… but thats not all. She things fast talks fast walks fast acts fast and yes eats fast. (Freya: It’s all relative, lady!…lol) I am a fast eater but I never met anyone who can eat as fast as this woman. For example, we had individual bags of 6 of Oreo biscuits… She had all hers eaten and I had only one eaten, I gave her one of mine and just as I started saying.. now eat that slowley, I think I only got the word Now out and she had the whole biscuit in her mouth in one go lol. Same with sweets, the wrapping is of the second sweet the minute the first one goes in her mouth lol. Everything is fast. When she wants to sleep she falls instantly asleep… when she wakes she burst into conversation and my brain takes several minutes to break down the words she is actually saying. (Freya: Life is short, lady!!! hehe, lot’s to do and to experience!)

Now a few more arrangements to make and hopefully as Freya says back on the water tomorrow… either 42km straight across or 62 if we have to hug the coast…. Weather will dictate what we do

now its video time as we sit down for a video evening in the tent

by Freya at June 17, 2018 03:46 am

Fri 15/06-2018 Day 233

Pos: 56.5031,-157.8278
Loc: small river bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent

no paddling today

I woke as usual after an extensive hard paddling day – with my body aching everywhere, but thank goodness it’s only “good” aching with (for me…) normal sore muscles after a hard workout. My muscles react always instantly with soreness, which tells me they like to be challenged and to stay fully developed…natural athlete…?

I had “breakfast in bed” around 10 am, and went back to sleep until around 2 pm. Feeling like being in a sanatorium! We chatted along all afternoon, fiddled around with gear and organizing things even better to make a homy tent fort those 2,5 days we might be weatherbound. I always thought I am a genious in the interior design of my Hilleberg tents, but as this Keron 4 is brand new, I missed out so far to sew on more laundry lines and pouches to help organizing gear especially for longer living inside on bad weather. Catriona was missing drawers and side tables…lol….but she got even more creative in our “puppet home” for creating comfort. I have never visited her regular home (yet), but she is convinced it might be much less orgaized than my own one, and her creativeness in home making comes only out fully in tents and vans…

I will let her write most of today’s entry for that reason…

Catriona… lol she lets me write because I told her yesterday she steals all my stories before she writes lol.

So yesterday was a very eventful day and by the time we got camp site set up, tent all organised and boats sorted, this time tied off to large logs on the bank… just in case, we finally settled down to sleep about 2 or 3 am. Freya fell instantly asleep, whereas I, being still alert from the previos night, listented to every wave crashing nearer and nearer. At 4.15 I looked out again when a particularly large wave hit the shore and it was only inches from the tent!!! I woke Freya, she looked at the time and didn’t even answer, just lay down asleep again !! I though it must be ok then… sometime after that I eventually fell asleep and woke again at my normal 6.30 or 7am. Luckily no muscle aches or pains for me (not a natural athelete then… just 8 months younger lol) but I did have just normal old back stiffness I have every morning moving. Freya slept on until about 10am…. and she slept all night, the first night without getting up to pee, not even once. We both enjoyed breakfast… in the tent!!! We had a slight slant in the tent so our landscaping was not perfect last night but good enough with a few dry bags along one side of sleeping mat.

When she woke, I said to her about the high tide inches from tent.. she instantly replied I dont know why you were worried that was 15 mins after high water so water was already starting to fall!!! doh… why didnt I know that lol

We had a relaxed morning, After breakfast, Freya returned to sleep until lunchtime while I continued my play house organizing and sorted a nice carpet of long grass in the vestibule of tent and also outside the door of tent. Aiming to prevent taking sand into tent as much as possible and it worked. I also placed a large log near outer door so I could knock sand of shoes before taking them into vestibule and I made a hanger out of a piece of wood, tied it to the supension strings in vestibule and managed to hang my storn cag to drip-dry. To prevent sand breaking the outer zips of tent I put some flat wood pieces under the zips to minimie the risk …thats some hints and tips by Catriona lol.

We seemed to chat non-stop, to be honest I don’t know where the day went, it flew in. We had a discussion about tent life when weather bound… personal needs, washing, using toilet etc when camped in rain… Freya said when she is storm bound she just dosn’t like to leave the tent, not at all!!. (Freya: Why getting my rain clothes wet??) She said she would dig a hole in the vestibule and bury the contents of her Pee-POO POT….. I replied “Not this time you wont” (Freya: What’s the problem???) lol for washing teeth, she used the same pot lol (Freya: It’s the first contents to go in, means when it is perfectly washed clean from the previous day!!!). I couldn’t. For me, I just put storm cag on and went outside as normal, it was only a drizzel of rain. Washing teeth, I use a wee ziplock bag to spit into and then seal in a odourproof bag… Ying and Yang . Freya has a clothes line tied the length of tent on inside which is great for either airing clothes or drying of damp clothes. Also good for hanging head torch, pen, towel.

During the day, we made further plans, using Freya’s satellite phone we were able to phone the flight company to arrange my flight out of Chignik and also managed to contact John, owner of a local adventure company. He informed us accommodation for one night would be $200 per person per night when we arrive into Chignik…so we think our wee tent will suffice one more night. But he was very kind and has offered to help us with transportation and boat storage.

We set about our normal routine of Freya typing while I cooked dinner. As we had no evidence at all of any bears on the beach, the first beach without any signs on this trip, I was fairly confident we were bear safe so I didn’t have to many objections to Freya having the snacks in odourproof bags in the tent!!! But I still insisted on cooking outside and eating outside the highly flavored pasta, salmon fresh peppers and BBQ flavored dinner… the eating outside did raise some objections lol but I lit a fire to ease her distress. She gave in and joined me at the fire for dinner. We managed to burn all our paper and wipes rubbish. It was getting cold and a drizzle of rain had started so Freya returned to writing in the tent while I continued to keep fire going to make sure all rubbish especially food rubbish was well burnt. So off I was strolling along the beach gathering wood, trying to find some dry wood…. when next thing I see is a very large grizzley bear on the grass bank above us, just stood staring at me…. so as calmy as possibe in these situations I talk aloud…. “FREYAAAAA I HAVE NO BEAR SPRAY:::: FREYAAAA BIG BEAR HERE… BIG BEARRR I AM HEREEE… BIGG BEARRR DONT COME NEARRR lol thankfully the Kokatat bright orange colored storm cag I was wearing and me talking loudly and strongly scared the bear away… the storm cag may well make a good scarecrow outside a tent for bears… more hints and tips by Catriona lol. Phew, so the idea of food in tent is no longer reassuring !!! I think thats a count of 17 bears for us now.

Unfortunately I lost the personal alarm Mary had given me before I left, we think maybe lost when we climbed the hill on the last island…. so out came my back up Air Horn… lol that was fun, but I do think it would be useful. Its just a not too noisy reusable pump air horn, but better than nothing. When I was outside later making sure fire all safe for the night I bent down and accidental pressed the bear air horn… it gave me a bloody fright lol

Back into tent, more chatting and lots of laughs, it took ages to write yesterdays blog report as we changed the format and then changed it back again… think we finished it about 2am… and eventually to sleep. Another great day.

by Freya at June 17, 2018 02:52 am

June 16, 2018
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Trollsländor vid Rössjön

Fram till förra året hade vi ingen aning om att vi bor i och rör oss mycket i en av Sveriges mest artrika områden för trollsländor. Kompisarna Håkan och Lena Jernehov har dock gått och blivit trollsländenördar och orkidénördar. Härom dan var de på sländspaning i våra krokar och vi hängde på en sväng. Vi ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Trollsländor vid Rössjön dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at June 16, 2018 09:01 pm
Triathlon, cycling, sea kayaking, swimming and life in the Scottish Highlands

June Challenge #1 - Tackle Another SwimTrek

Day one, and if I look apprehensive, it's because I am.

Firstly, I'm the only one swimming in a wetsuit.

Secondly, my injured shoulder hasn't fully healed and swims over 1km hurt.

But mainly because I'm read the bios of the other swimmers on this SwimTrek.  Oh boy.

Most had been swimming competitively for well over twenty years; one was hand-picked at 5 for special development squad; another played serious-level water-polo for twenty years; oh yes, and one has swam the English Channel.  Twice.  Once doing butterfly stroke.

On our first SwimTrek, Liz was at the slow end of the lead group and I was at the top of the mid-group.  Most people wore wetsuits.  Here, we're also-rans.  Hence that face.

However, I need not have worried.  Out of the water there was no hierarchy and everyone got along like old friends, with lots of friendly banter and fun.  My self-appointed role was to take photos, and once the team saw they were reasonable shots, most happily complied.

On the water Coll and Eoin successfully managed the groups despite the vast speed differences.

Our first SwimTrek last year was OK, but not great.  There were too many coastal swims from random point a to random point B with no real journey or reason for the swim.  A holiday sold as being a series of crossings delivered just one crossing. But we asked around at the time and everyone said, "Go to Montenegro" - so we did.

We flew to Croatia (Dubrovnik) four days early and acclimatised in the warm water around the town of Cavtat.  There's lots of boat traffic, but the swimming around the headlands is safe, provided you don't stand on a sea-urchin.  Cavtat is better than crowded over-priced, tourist-trap, cruise-ship-hell of Dubrovnik, which can easily be visited by bus or regular taxi boat.  It gave me a chance to swim almost daily and get my shoulder working properly in the warm water.

The two-hour transfer to Perast in Montenegro was simple to arrange (€50 for 2) and took about 2 hours.  Perast is crowded, stuffed with restaurants and places to stay, but relatively small so it retains a nice vibe.  The Mirshe Palace - not a hotel but a lovely house where Grandma and Migi run everything - is a lovely place to stay.  The Bay of Kotor - find it on Google and you'll see how amazing it looks - is largely a UNESCO site.

The swims are utterly superb.  Each has a story behind it - a crossing, a circumnavigation - whatever.  They are varied and each is different.  We even took a 2 hour coach trip to Montenegros biggest lake for an island-crossing swim followed by a swim down a river.  With lilly-pads and the local equivalent of mangrove, it felt like Vietnam.  It featured heavily in a wee video I made for our group.

We had almost two days back in Cavtat at the end by which time my dodgy shoulder had improved so much I managed a 4.5km swim, something I couldn't have contemplated at the start.

The best thing for swimming is swimming.  We'll definitely go with SwimTrek again.  If you're contemplating such a holiday, Montenegro is highly recommended.

by Simon Willis ( at June 16, 2018 04:46 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 14/06-2018 Day 232

Pos: 56.5031,-157.8278
Loc: small river bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 73,7 km
Start 06:30 End: 23:00

So we had successfully landed close to this big river mouth area through some low surf the previous night, and Catriona was so relieved to have handled the “dreaded” surf well. Good job, girl, these low surf conditions are really the best to practice surf landings in (and to get rid of the fear…), as they would be likely not much trashing in case of timing things wrong.

When we were mutually deciding on a camp spot on the wide sandy beach in very windy conditions, Catriona said this surf stress had worn her out so much that she felt unable to get kayaks and gear high up the dunes to camp wind sheltered, but would rather prefer to camp on the closest spot safe enough from the spring tide high high water.

Ok, I pointed out a place on the flat beach upfront the dunes which would stay dry. It was close behind the last high high tide mark to keep the least gear moving effort possible, but far enough from the last high high tide mark to have one day to spare to the maximum spring tide tonight. I knew it would be close, but I was very secure the tent would stay dry for the sake of agreement where to best camp…

When we had moved Catriona’s kayak up the beach to the camp spot “downstairs” below the dunes, Catriona asked me, slightly stressed: “Is this where you want my kayak, I thought you wanted to go up into the dunes?” – I thought she was thinking: “…did you really just agree with me? Or is this really the place where you decided now we should camp, after I said I am unable to move our gear high up…? But maybe your idea going up high in the dunes would be still better…?” I was answering her, also slightly stressed now: “I don’t know where you want to put your kayak…!” – and we silently kept on setting up camp…

We resolved all stress fully before dinner and falling asleep. My kayak was stuck as usual under the guy lines close to my side’s entrance, but I didn’t realize Catriona left hers out there, about two meters parallel of our big tent, right where we had left it when we moved it up.

High tide was at 2.57 am middle of night, and I knew it was as the highest tide of the new moon spring. I am used to wake up at least twice a night for a pee, and especially when the tide may come close, my subconscious mind realizes all changes of the surf noise outside. Especially when they suddenly sound very close and very threatening…

I woke at 2.38 am from a very strong breaker and water flushing noise, and when I looked outside my tent door – I was sleeping at the “water side” – I saw that now the incoming breakers were rolling occasionally over a higher sand flat upfront the far away main river bed, and the overflowing water was gathering in a new “river” flowing *up* the main current and river delta. We were camped from this new river bed about two meters away. It was cut half a meter into the sand river bank, and created by the last night’s high high tide, We were tucked almost at the dunes edge, and I thought, there would be plenty of space for one more day of rising tide, in case the new river bed moved towards our tent. Basically correct, the strong flow in this river broke about a meter off the old bank, but only a tiny bit of water came over the new edge, and ran under our tent just a small bit.

At that point, it was 17 minutes to high tide, for me it was just a matter to keep the nerves for those left minutes, and to accept maybe two or three more breakers flooding the river so high that it might be leaking towards and under our tent – which was the case. But basically, it was no problem with our great solidly anchored, and waterproof floored Hilleberg Keron 4 tent…

BUT – I saw only my own kayak safe upfront my side’s entrance, and was assuming Catriona had moved hers to the same position on her entrance side as we used to do most evenings before, and cuddled back into my warm sleeping bag.

BUT – she might have not…that possibility came to my mind when I was just back in my bag, nice and snug…I stuck my head out once more, saw NO kayak on her side, nor upfront the tent, and in panic shouted out loud “Aaaaaaaaaaaargh! CATRIONA! YOUR KAYAK IS GONE!!! And in the same second I shook her heavily to wake her up…

She sprung vertical, thinking or even saying “Where is my bear spray!” as only a bear as a threat came to her mind…but she jumped out as quickly out of her tent with putting her shoes on wrong feet with her bed socks still on, whereas I didn’t even bother to put *any* shoes on my feet and jumped out barefoot into the smooth sand, with only shorts and t-shirt on and my strong torch in my hand. I have always laid out my shoes in the vestibule to be ready to go, just in case…and might now also better lay out my water sandals for these occasions. My strong torch, headlamp, bear sprays, knife, camera and watch is always handy anyway even in the darkest the night.

“Downstream!” I shouted, pointing to the right where we should run to, along the new narrow, but strong flowing river bed, along the leftover two meters beach which got flooded on strong breakers upfront the dune cliffs. I froze me bare feet off in the soft sand and shallow waters, Catriona fully soaked her shoes and socks…but happily, thank goodness, we found her kayak stranded about two hundred meters downstream…upright, hatches all closed, with no damage.

We hugged each other dearly in mutual relief! It had just decided to leave us probably on the same breaker which woke me…yes, baby, we should never leave you unattended, and not securely tucked under the tent lines, cuddling close to us!!!

We found the orange plastic worker’s helmet I had found on our afternoon walk, and which I threw some hours ago into the main current for creating a small fun floating boat – exactly besides her kayak, kind of protecting it! Odd co-incident…

We dragged the half-loaded kayak quickly up, completely out of the danger zone area, and I shouted “Let’s better run quickly back to the tent!”, expecting maybe more strong breakers finally flooding everything. It was unlikely, as it was now ten minutes after high tide…but who knows?

Tent and my kayak were still fine, we put our dry suits and boots on, suit top still down, and walked back to the rescued kayak to flood it conveniently back to the tent through the small river where it was flooded downstream itself…all good!

We chatted excitedly for about an hour about this absolute surplus incident, but if we have nothing else to write about…I tried for long to get my frozen feet warm, and Catriona called her partner Desi on my satellite phone home as it was good European time. Desi warned us of some upcoming bad weather days, and I called Peter, sitting also online at this time in France, and who I value not only for being an expert online researcher about any information we need. We discussed our many options we had now, regarding bad weather, leftover distance, flight times, contacts in Chignik and what to do when…

We decided to start paddling *now*, without any more sleep than the wee three hours I had this night (and the wee five last night…), as we chose to at least try to make the leftover distance in one go – 110 km. Catriona can do it! And I proved once or twice I can do it…). It wouldn’t be too tough though, as we had many options to stop on the way.

On the water at 6.30 am, launching was easy on low surf, wind was down and seas were flat. Good conditions for now, but it would be breezing up with 10-15 knots headwinds as normal around lunchtime.

So we happily paddled along side by side, with great speed, chatting about our options and our excitement to reach Chignik probably early next morning. We would have maximum three hours of “real” night, as it got dark-ish the last nights around 1 am, and light-ish around 4 am – when the sky was clear. We will either stop briefly, or just punch though the (as we hoped for…) light night. That was the general theoretical plan.

But at first, we had to round on minus-low-tides some fully exposed reefs, and on the last on, I decided to drag over instead of going all around, which Catriona preferred to do. No big deal, I chose a landing spot for a bathroom break in the one and only wee sandy “beach” spot in the next bay upfront it’s wide reef, Catriona found me and we heated sea water to pour into my boots for thawing my (as usual) frozen feet. What a wonderful feeling! It lasts unfortunately not longer than two hours, and my feet were frozen again as always. Tough expedition life here in the north…lol…

Our next planned stop after the first bay crossing was on the spit of Kunlik Island. Catriona paddled about 500 m ahead and landed first, as I had my low moments of tiredness from last night’s lack of sleep. She thought about cooking some quick couscous meal, to give us “proper” energy for the upcoming next section crossing. It was already 4 pm after about 40 km paddling, our usual landing time for the day.

She already had the stove out and running, when I slowly arrived, and without landing yet, I spotted suddenly this light brown spot above her head! I was hissing sharp but silently at her: “Catriona!!!!Catriona!!!!!” She turned around, and saw with eyes and mouth wide open this monster grizzly grazing silently just a bit above her head on the grass top! She was retracting quickly to her boat, almost forgetting her cooking gear, but she ran boldly back up the beach, and was finally stuffing it hastily into her back hatch, gas can and stove still connected, saucepan thrown in, water canister in, and launched without hatches closed properly nor gear properly in place, thankfully without the grizzly noticing her. Oooops! This was close! And I told her I saw even another fat grizzly sitting on a small hill higher up the mountain…this one wouldn’t have bothered me for a quick stop, but that other one surely was to close and too big to be simply chased away.

After I closed her hatch on the water, and she finally fixed all gear, we crossed over to the mainland. Halfway across Suddenly Catriona was asking me if I could check if she had turned off the gas stove properly?…Ooooops?? I was already envisioning a threatening gas explosion in her back hatch, and thought why the heck can’t I open her back hatch easy as always, this is sucking! But everything was ok, the stove was properly turned off.

We found a sandy but swell unprotected beach on the mainland to land for the dinner stop,. Catriona did great on landing, well timed after me through some possible very nasty dumper. Always get rid of your paddle first by throwing it high up the beach before exiting your boat as quickly as possible!

We had some fast hot noodle dish besides a fresh bear track stuffed us up enough for the next crossing section – a bit too much for my idea, I prefer to snack, smaller, but regular on a long day’s trip.

The wind had turned meanwhile to a low following south easterly, seas still calm, and we turned on my phone for music. Wind and seas rose quickly to moderate conditions, all well so far. How I love to paddle this way on long boring crossings!, being challenged to adapt my paddling to the rhythm of the music, to the following swell waves and to my paddling partner’s speed. It is sometimes like paddling in trance after having taken Ecstasy (not that I knew how this would feel…), especially when I have a much slower but strong at the peak cadence, and still gliding and surfing along in the same speed as before. We both didn’t spoke much, but really enjoyed this ride with dozens of whales spouting around us, puffins, eagles, seals…and wonderful following waves and winds!.

Nearing the headland we aimed for, we both agreed we could keep on paddling the last 40 km to Chignik through the night, hoping to make it before the bad weather would come in. But we better check Karel Vissel’s reliable forecast, which we haven’t seen so far!, We got the forecast and ooooops! ok, we better decide to turn in now those three kilometers to the coast, to find one of my marked good beaches! Our dream of a 110 km stretch and “civilization” with a hot shower and internet at the end had to be reduced to seeing our fist since long well-lit fishing boat passing us, making us thinking about the men inside, sitting maybe warm and dry over a pan full of fried potatoes and a beer…

We just about made it into a marked landing bay and beach with some already nasty gusts and higher seas in our backs. This was introducing the tide change at 10 pm, with rain and generally worse conditions, as Karel clearly has announced on his weather messages for the night. Winds up to 25 knots se, gust up to 33 knots, seas raising to 1,50 m.. Glad we have him sending us so reliable weather forecasts, and even some precise on the hour on demand! Thanks once more for being with me with your weather texts since my first circumnavigation around Iceland 2007! Eleven years ago now!

The first beach of our line of three options proved to be sheltered, but no proper campsite to be found on all corners…big to moderate boulders and gravel, steep and the grass top being bumpy and lumpy and high. We opted to launch again, freezing now in drizzling rain and strong wind, but we could turn around a small reefy headland to find my second beach option, a wonderful narrow sandy bay with a stream where we could land easily and sheltered. We found two or three almost flat sandy tent site which looked they would stay dry on this night’s highest high spring tides. I will be close, though…we put up tent first, and shuffled all wet gear inside as quick as possible. And – we both stored our kayaks close to the tent, even securely tied to the logs…

We changed inside the tent out of our wet dry suits, slowly mopping everything dry and sand-free, and putting things into place, while the tent was shaking viciously in the strong gusty winds, even here in this “sheltered” bay!

Catriona was in her elements! Amazingly, at home she said she is not overly-tidy, but this night, she couldn’t stop organizing, mopping, cleaning and missing shelves and pouches to store things properly…hehehe…while I was already dry and mostly warm stuck in my fleece and down sleeping bags…we might be staying here for another three days, so things need to be comfortable!

Not much signs of bear activities here, and some properly closed and (to our nose..) smell-free food bags found their way into our tent for snacking. Glad Catriona relaxed a bit on this matter…her very first night to camp out in rainy wet conditions changes opinions quickly…lol…

But sure enough, when she was still outside to clean up he rest of our dinner, she spotted one of the buggers who ran away quickly.

Catriona: Wow, this sure is a long report tonight, but isn’t it a good read…. now for the less experienced viewpoint!!!…

landing last night did get me a bit anxious… but as usual … more than needed. Before landing I got myself properly geared up for the surf landing, PFD well zipped and tightened, helmet on, extra tight just in case ….and Freya waiting with arms open on the beach to receive me. Thankfully I didn’t need her on this occasion but so glad she was stood waiting. I landed right way up, albeit with a little extra water in the cockpit!! Freya did offer me a chance to go practice in these SMALL conditions at this time and while I appreciated the offer, I replied “YEAH RIGHT…..NOT” lol. I’ve got this far with dry hair, (apart from my waterfall showers)….lets see if I can manage another few days. She did advise me of timing and jumping out of kayak as quick as possible… maybe that’s my problem with surf… I can move as quickly as possible while paddling, but getting out of the kayak quickly in surf… just ain’t as possible anymore lol

Then onto setting up of camp, when it came to planning the campsite, Freya always asks “where do you think?” and I’ve kinda learned to just say “where ever you think” as it’s usually the outcome and usually the better option…. but on this occasion I suggest where ever is the shortest carry allowing for the high tide mark…. I felt imminent stress from both of us at this point but its all making more sense now, I didn’t realize at the time, Freya was mindreading me again, and shes not very good at it lol. So in my mind; when Freya agreed to the spot with shortest carry, I was indeed surprised and when we carried boats and gear to that location (with no chatting and the silence a bit deafening) I did say “I thought you wanted the sand dune and she just replied “you wanted shortest carry”. Tbh I was kinda suprised she had agreed with me but very glad we were not carrying up hill. Boy did I eat my words on this!!!

So we were both definitely a bit tetchy this evening, maybe a bit of tiredness setting in or just expedition stress. So we carried up all our gear and boats as normal and left the boats beside the tent, mine was just in front of the guy lines of tent about 2-3ft from tent lines and Freyas under the side guy lines her side of tent as usual. I didnt even think to move it further as we always moved the kayaks to final resting place for the night. As you read above, it became a very very interesting evening!!!

I wake several times each night (only here in tent, not normally) but here I sometimes hear Freya getting up to use her wee pee pot in the tent … lol this is not a sound I am used to yet hearing right beside me in the middle of night. But on this occasion I hadn’t woke so you can imagine the jump I got when she shouted and shook me lol… I obviously thinking Bear Bear.. so immediately before eyes even open I grabbed my bear spray which is always at my hand even when asleep. It took me a few seconds to actually hear her saying “Girl your kayak is gone, its gone girl, we gotta go get it, girl your kayak is gone oh shit”….. well roughly that was the words… the next moments would have be great on camera… definitely a good comedy script!!! So have you ever tried to get out of a snugly zipped sleeping bag, with a sleeping liner in it …in a real hurry… let me tell you it ain’t easy!!! Then consider have you ever tried to jump out of bed with only 1.5 mt ceiling…. and try to put shoes on while almost falling over… lol if only this was on video… I did manage to get out of the sleeping bag and I got my shoes on… albeit on the wrong feet…. (Only before we fell asleep she commented “I always leave my shoes loosely laced ready to jump into just in case of anything during the night which I dutifully did this night…..This is how all the hints and tips get learned with all the incidents and near missed she has had over her paddling career…. Anyway on with the story…

So out we rushed out of tent in search of kayak, couldn’t have taken us more than a few seconds to get out… I was so impressed how quick she thinks and acts. She immediately says “downstream downstream…. look downstream” and off she started running…I just ran following… looking at her bear feet and bare legs in the water I was thinking my fecking shoes are on the wrong feet!!! lol

The relief when she shouted: “its here its here!..and freezing cold in middle of night, soaked, we hugged with a great sense of relief. Another learning for me…. from now on, if I am camped beside surf or 3-5 meter tides, my kayak will be tied to my big toe!! Promise All I can say was Phew… what excitement, sure is an adventure and so lucky I am with Freya for it. At it was now 3 am I asked to phone Desi (my partner) at it was a good time at home. This was first contact since leaving home 3 weeks ago so it was nice to get the chance and tell him of the evening. And so glad I did as this was our first real warning of the low pressure due to arrive. Desi had been following the blog but first got concerned when the blog entries stopped showing on facebook which we didn’t realize as we don’t have Facebook access here. But thankfully he found the blog entries on Freya’s website. He let us know, a low pressure was heading our way in next couple of days.

Following this Freya did some phoning and texting and confirmed we had minimal time left. So the kayak incident actually alerted us to the upcoming weather alert and allowed us to plan the next 24 hours and aim for a speedy finish with a possible 110 km paddle in one go if weather allowed. It was at this point Freya said…. “You can say ‘I told you so now about running short of time and the possible weather “… and I replied… and you can say I told you so about camping high lol. We laughed and it just gave us all the more energy to face the 110 km paddle with immediate start

The morning headwinds…sure that’s our forte now. We had them most days so far and we were in very good spirits with loads of energy. As we neared our second pit stop I powered ahead being full of energy as I had the idea to cook us both some couscous for the next 60 km .Thinking I would do a good turn preparing the food… I reached the beach, found the easiest place to land, scanned and scanned for bears… all good so jumped ashore, bear spray in hand and got the water. While I was just about to do a pee…. when Freya calmly called my name and pointed to area just slightly right of me!!!!!!! Big Big Bear….. Ohhhhh Boy…. he was obviously just out of sight behind the bank when I arrived, hence not seeing, but as he grazed he tracked more up the bank – closer to me!

I quietly and quickly moved back to kayak, when Freya said “grab your gear, we will not stop here”….. actually I was kinda happy to drop all and just go. I didnt care much about that stove or saucepan… but dutifully obedient… I grabbed the gear, hurried as silently as possible and hunkered down as much is possible at my age …..I just shoved all in hatch and jumped in boat and said Freya you’ll have to close the hatch when we get out a bit. But she calmly said… we’ll do it here , a whale could come up beside you so better close hatch now… lol what else is gonna happen !!!

I was still nervously laughing at the whole incident when I said, I just shoved all in, dont even know if I turned off the gas properly… Freya said well we better check….. we were 5 mins from landing at a beach so I suggested we are nearly in we can check on shore lets just get away from the bears…. and pmsl Freya responds….. I don’t want your back hatch exploding lol well the way today is going anything is possible !!! so Freya checked and thankfully I had turned it off!!! lol

So full 16km in more headwinds, sure that’s our forte now. We’ve had headwinds most days so far and I do love the power on… But the afternoon was great – watching the GPS with speads of 7-8km/hr in still fully laden boats was fun. I was full of energy and the paddling seemed easy but strong. I did zigzag a bit as I tried chasing some waves and on one occasion I mounted the back of Freyas boat… I instantly said sorry sorry sorry and Freyas first thought was, lets just check your boat is ok.. Ever aware of possible risks and prevention.. Another great learning. Edwardo… if you are reading, I am making a habit of this lol More great excitement as we watched several whales close by, hearing the noise they make was rather special, between the otters hugging each other which we passed on route, the foxes which strolled the shore this morning as we passed, the several eagles which flew over head, The bears on the island, puffins galore and then whales…. it was like all the wildlife came out for our finale journey… truly a very vear special day and it wasn’t over yet.

I was again impresed how Freya read the warning and the imminent change in conditions and how she decided and called the speedy landing… not before we both put on PFDs, helmets and stored all unecessary deck luggage away… needless to say, I instantly tensed up a bit, thinking more surf!!! But as always every thing good..

Freya checked the beaches painstakingly in the rain, for the best spot thinking, flattish, near fresh water, away from breaking surf and not to rocky for safe landing for boats and paddlers. Obviously I said to her “where ever you think Freya, I will carry kayaks as far up as you think… lol learning from previous night obviously lol

So setting up camp again. But this time knowing we are staying a few nights. No matter when I have been away I think I have always been lucky with weather and I have never had to camp in the rain, at least not for more than one night. So this was a new experience for me, camping out through a bad weather period… for at least 3 days. And I did get all excited, a bit like a wee kid on a camping trip. I do love make-up homes, tents or van, nothing like getting it all homely clean. I am not overly domesticated at home but a wee tent or wee van and it just makes it exciting, childlike home making and fun.

And the camp site is bear friendly I think… not a bear track, not bear bunker, not bear foraging signs in sight… Freya sneaked food in odor proof bags into the tent…and I brought my breakfast and drink powder…after the last 24 hours I let her away with it….. sure what else could happen!! lol and we hunkered down for the night in our lovely wee home )

As it turns out I did see a bear on camp but that’s tomorrows story….

by Freya at June 16, 2018 10:09 am

Paddle Reflections
Sharing my experiences of paddling and paddle making.

Some paddles for sale

I'm about to move to Sweden again, and now I'm thinking of easing my load a bit by selling off ten of my paddles.
These are all hand made by me, some are used and some are completely new. If you are interested let me know here or on Etsy.

Nordic Wildwood on Etsy

by Jonas Sjöblom ( at June 16, 2018 11:04 am

June 15, 2018

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

Davies, Berczy & Armstrong paddle replica

Just completed another display paddle for the upcoming WCHA Assembly in Peterborough this summer. My presentation on Saturday July 21 will focus on decorative themes featured in various artworks over the centuries. One such pattern that consistently occurs in several artworks is the "checkerboard" pattern where the blade is painted in opposite quadrants, sometimes with additional decorative elements.

The earliest painting illustrating this pattern I could source is by British Artist, Thomas Davies (1737 - 1812). His painting entitled  A View near Point Levy opposite Quebec.. is dated to 1788 and features a standing figure holding a short canoe paddle decorated an alternating red pattern. The native group is thought to be Abenaki or Huron / Wendat based on the canoe designs and clothing.

A View near Point Levy opposite Quebec with an Indian Encampment, Taken in 1788 (1788 )
 Thomas Davies (1737 - 1812)

Davies' Paddle Closeup

Decades later the red checkered pattern appears on a work by William Bent Berczy (1791 – 1873) entitled Indian Encampment near Amherstburg features a stylized shore scene. In the rear is a bark canoe and a set of decorated paddles lying on the ground.

Indian Encampment near Amherstburg, c. 1819-1830
William Bent Berczy
British, Canadian, 1791 - 1873
watercolour over graphite on wove paper

A closeup reveals that one paddle looks to have a single side painted red while the one underneath has the diagonal checkered pattern with red paint. Given that the paddle grip was not depicted in the earlier work by Davies, I ended up using Berczy's illustration as the source for my reproduction.

BerczyPainted Paddle's Closeup

Then 30+ years later, the decorative element occurs again in multiple works of William Armstrong.

Hudson's Bay Store, Fort William c. 1860-1870 
William Armstrong
National Gallery of Canada (no. 30490)

Indians Completing a Portage
William Armstrong
1873 watercolor 
Library and Archives Canada, Mikan #2833414

Paddle Closeup (far right corner of original image)

The Distribution of the Government Bounty on Great Manitouling Island 1856
William Armstrong

Paddle Closeup (bottom left corner of original image)

Echoing the images portraying rather short paddles, I carved this one from an offcut of basswood. In the end it has a 21 inch blade and an overall length of 4 feet, making it quite suitable for one of my sons to use. It has a blunt, flattened grip as in the Berczy painting. On one side, I included the additional dot element from Davies' work in 1788 and on the other painted the simple checkered pattern found in later artworks of Armstrong.

Paddle Reproduction from Davies, Berczy and Armstrong

by Murat ( at June 15, 2018 12:26 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Why I think the Appalachian Trail is dead.

The Appalachian Trail. The AT. 2200 miles of history. I have a fairly good personal history with this trail, as does every hiker on the east coast worth his salt. I've hiked most of the trail from the New York State line heading north. Since moving to the south I have also hiked a lot of the trail down here, though I am not hiking as much as I did in the 80's and 90's. You may recall that last year I hiked the first 25 miles of the trail, I had seen the northern terminus and wanted to see the southern terminus. I wasn't disappointed, as it was a spectacularly beautiful hike.

So it may surprise you to hear that I think the A.T. as we know it, is dead or dying. I have had this conversation with a friend who is also an outdoor educator, he has hiked the entire trail and he vehemently disagrees with me, so I may have the minority opinion, but that doesn't mean I don't get to express it.

For clarity sake, let me say that I don't think that the A.T. as we know it as a physical trail is going anywhere soon. I think the trail will continue to be a pathway leading up the eastern seaboard for decades to come, though I am concerned about the talk of a pipeline cutting across the trail. If there is a pipeline at some point there will be a leak. If I were in charge - and I am clearly not - The Federal Government would purchase all the land and turn it into one big National Park (the trail is a national scenic trail and managed by the NPS, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the U.S. forest service and numerous state agencies, but I think it needs to be run under one roof. So what do I mean by the A.T. is dead? Well before we get into that, lets look at some facts:

Between 2010 and 2017 the number of people attempting to thru hike the trail went up by 155%, but the number of people completing the entire trail is dropping.

We don't know how many people use the trail for a couple of days, a weekend or a week, but the number has to be in hundreds every weekend. This is a huge impact on the trail and the surrounding environment.

On my three day weekend, from the start of the trail we were constantly flip flopping with between 30 and 40 thru hikers. Upon getting to a shelter it was a party like atmosphere. There were just so many people.

This impact, at some point is going to have to be dealt with. The Pacific Crest trail deals with it's growing popularity by making people get a permit to get on the trail. The A.T. is going to have to - at some point - do the same thing.

According to the ATC on average you cross a road every 4 miles. I know this is an average and in practicality they are further apart than that, but you are never very far from a road, and therefore a town. Which means there will only be more people, vendors, stores and resources for hikers encroaching on the trail.

Okay, here is the sentence that is going to piss people off. In my opinion -and it is a minority opinion I know - the Appalachian Trail barely counts as "wilderness." For me, a wilderness experience includes some measure of solitude and lack of access to resources. But hey, that is just my definition, let's see what Websters has to say.

an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.
synonyms:wilds, wastes, bush, bush country, bushland, inhospitable region;

Uh huh... Does that sound like the Appalachian Trail to you? I spent three days on the start of the AT (keeping in mind I haven't hiked the whole trail, probably a third of it, but I have hiked thousands of miles all over the planet, I am not a neophyte hiker, okay?) and in those three days do you know how much wildlife I saw? One snake. I didn't see so much as a cool bird. I didn't see a squirrel. I didn't see a chipmunk. I had better odds of getting athletes foot than seeing a bear. The reason I didn't see any wildlife was the amount of people on the trail. That isn't to say it isn't a beautiful trail, it absolutely is. but as far as I am concerned it isn't wilderness. 

I am seeing more and more people - literally helping to outfit them - prepping for the Pacific Crest trail. This year I helped four, which doesn't sound like much, but is a 400% increase from any other year I have been doing this. I am also seeing a lot of thru hikers. A LOT! 

I think there is a social aspect to hiking the trail. Getting a trail name, and the like. I think it is becoming a club. A club that to get into it you have to hike 2000 miles. And I am not trying to diminish the achievement of completing a thru hike. It is an amazing achievement. 

A friend of mine is currently hiking the trail, but she is taking a break to go hiking in Alaska with her boyfriend. I am curious how she compares the two. 

We have to take steps, including a permit process, to lessen the impacts on the trail and protect it for future generations, but I fear it is in the beginning phases of the process of becoming a theme park. Like Philmont Scout ranch. 

There, now two groups of people can hate on me. Thru hikers and the Boy Scouts. Have at it. 

On Monday you can come back here to read about why you should transition to kayak camping. 

by paddlingOTAKU ( at June 15, 2018 09:00 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!)

2nd Annual Hudson River Cup - Coming to Hoboken in July 2018

Delighted to see the announcement for the 2nd annual Hudson River Cup! I had a wonderful time at this last year and I expect it'll be even better this year (although I doubt I'll win the kayak race this year, that was a bit of a fluke). Maika'i, Ke Aloha, maika'i! 

Click here for full details and race registration 

Click here to read my trip report from last year. Was good fun! 

by (bonnie) at June 15, 2018 04:08 am

June 14, 2018

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean


That race is done. Greg Barton and partner won it at 3:09am, about the time that I was settling into my second leg on Colvos Passage after a fitful 2-hour nap. They covered 70 miles in the time I’d done about 12, more or less as expected. I did not finish, making the difficult call to the race boss from Kingston after pushing the Basura 42 miles from Tacoma in about 40 hours. It was an amazing 40 hours, however, one marked by brilliant sunrise and raging winds, calm water and big waves, some moments of genuine pleasure as well as real pain, physical and mental.

Without doing too much of a post-mortem, I’ve come up with a short list, three distinct lessons, if you will, given me by the Seventy48 experience. It may take a while to process it all, but this is where I’m starting from.

A. I need to remember that the boat is literally garbage. To say that it didn’t handle as well as I’d hoped is a little petty when you consider its origins. That said, while the Basura did okay on flat water, it handled the chop poorly. Stability was not a problem and it held together incredibly well overall, it just felt like I was paddling a brick when I had to go into the waves. The big flat underside of the bow would slap into the face of an oncoming wind-wave and the entire boat would slow down with a shudder before accelerating again. Like a paddleboard or a whitewater boat. The small skeg was evident in the crosswinds and tracking was an issue on a couple sections. “Unforeseen design limitations,” is how I’m thinking about it, because even though I did foresee some of them, I had just chosen not to look at them in great detail. So there’s a lesson or two in there.

B. I knew I would not be able to withstand a whole lot of headwind. I also knew that, for me to have a hope of finishing within 48 hours, I would need to maximize distance during the four ebb periods, and especially the two biggest current windows, when the tide was dropping 13 -15 feet. What ended up happening was that the times when the current was most able to boost my progress were also the times when the wind was on my nose. It wasn’t always a hard wind (although it was when it really mattered), but the way that the value of the current was negated by the wind was hard physically and mentally both, and resulted in fewer miles than I’d hoped for in those sections.

C. In addition to the boat and the weather, I have to think that another reason that I didn’t get a little more distance had to do with the paddler. While I have a couple blisters and some sore muscles today, I expect that’s normal for pretty much all the racers. I’m a little more concerned about my joint pain, sore bones and stiffness, all things I never thought about 20 or 30 years ago. The incredibly short naps that I took en route, curled up on a beach in a drysuit, were not enough to recharge and I actually nodded off while paddling on two separate occasions. I trained for the race in the gym and on the water and I think I gave myself every opportunity, fitness-wise. But time treats kings and kayakers equally, hard as that may be to accept.

I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish. I hated making that call. But I also need to focus on why I was paddling the Basura in the first place, instead of an actual kayak. The surface of the boat, all over the deck and the sides, is covered with messages and signatures from people who have come in contact now with the issue of marine plastics in a way they never would have otherwise. There are those who have taken a pledge to re-examine their own plastic use, who have resolved to cut plastic out of their lives as much as possible. The boat itself was a message and while it was carried by me (for 42 miles, at least), it was sent by many. I find that a little inspiring.

Finally, a huge thanks to those who supported the effort, I truly appreciate each of you. The race start, when I could hear you cheering on the dock, was amazing. It is impossible to count the instances when a timely comment has been the boost I needed to get over a tough part, all the way through the construction of the boat to the race itself. I am lucky to have my friends and I know it.

by Ken Campbell at June 14, 2018 09:21 pm

The Dash Point Pirate
Photography, film, and wooden kayaks, since 2005

How strong is a skin-on-frame sea kayak? (Destructive testing)


Katya Palladina was given this skin-on-frame kayak by Phoxx Ekcs after he completed his expedition along the north coast of Vancouver Island in 2011. After 7 years of regular use, it's time to replace the skin and do some minor repairs. This gave us an opportunity to conduct some destructive testing.

We tested the strength of a the nylon fabric skin prior to completely removing it in preparation for re-skinning. It resists blunt force very well but can be punctured by a sharp point. Typically when this happens it's because of dragging against oyster shells or large barnacles. The skin comes off easily from the wooden frame after softening the resin with a heat gun.

This kayak was designed by Kiliii Yu of Seawolf Kayak and built by primitive skills expert Phoxx Ekcs.

It doesn't seem right to destroy this kayak without a reference to the amazing journey Phoxx Ekcs took this kayak through. The full story can be found in our interview with Phoxx on YouTube:


PART 1 "Living Primitively"

PART 2 "The North Coast Trail"

PART 3 "No Limits, No Regrets"

PART 4 "My Most Dangerous Day on the Water"

by aelizaga at June 14, 2018 06:34 pm

Horisont Kajak
Kajak i Stockholms Skärgård


Kajakkurs hos Horisont Kajak. Matcha rätt Paddelpass.
Matcha rätt kajakkurs med rätt Paddelpass hos Horisont Kajak.

Vi slänger in Johan och en extra TÅNG

Årets första TÅNG blev ju fullbokad blixtsnabbt. Johan, en av våra mest erfarna instruktörer fick feeling och vill köra en extra TÅNG på lördag. Perfekt!
Kursen är för dej som aldrig gått en kajakkurs. Du kommer garanterat att bli blöt och du kommer garanterat att ha kul. Du kommer också att få hjälp att hitta genvägarna för att göra din kajakpaddling roligare, enklare och säkrare. Tummis.
Det finns tre platser. Kolla in kursen här:ång eller boka


Inlägget EN EXTRA TÅNG – PADDELPASSET GUL dök först upp på Horisont Kajak.

by Carin at June 14, 2018 09:20 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Wed 13/06-2018 Day 231

Pos: 56.8739,-157.0445
Loc: river beach
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 20,9 km
Start 07:10 End: 15:45

No bear visit at night, despite seeing those two last afternoon…feeling all safe in our with the half-open tent doors noisy, smell-free tent. Well, food-smell…clothing smell is eventually getting stronger…lol…

We almost were stuck in a rocky reef again two hours before the almost lowest tide of the months, but with some sea weed padding (work smart, not hard…) we could slide the fast drying loaded kayaks over the last rocky ledge. Then it was a bit slalom through rocks until we hit the open sea.

When we came to the next crossing of 17 km, we preferred to do the chicken way inside the bay in upcoming 20 kn headwind…a wise decision! We conveniently paddled side by side and sideways to the waves to the headland inside the bay, stopped briefly behind a reef for a pee and were playing for about 2 km with some low choppy surf lines close to the beach (at least I did, and admittedly got one or two face washes…Catriona paddled a bit further out in the whitecaps, but she had no breakers there), before the shore break turned only to one single small dumper

Before the first large river mouth, I saw a break in the surf and went in for lunch. Easy landing, but we were sitting only on a sandbank which got flooded very quickly. We moved the kayaks along while eating, until we could float them in the deeper channel close to the steep beach. A look upstairs showed us this is not the place to camp tonight close to spring tide…so we launched again, until I thought the next river mouth looks like an easy low river bar breaker into the mouth. I told Catriona to rather go over the shallow bar a bit to the left to end up in deeper water…we both timed it right, I landed on the steep shore line easy, but Catriona went too much downwind to the right and was eventually a bit unhappy sitting on a sand bank and was waiting in vain for a wave strong enough to get her afloat again…so getting out and dragging into the river mouth was the only option now. No big deal, and we decided to camp on the sand without dune protection to keep the tent noisy flattering in the wind against potential furry visitors! Seems to work…

Catriona: Another very different day… well the scenery anyway… the headwinds are more common than not!! We could have punched through the wind… but as we’ve decided to stop earlier, no point and we paddled along at a very leisurely pace… you could say old women chatting pace lol Then Freya choose to paddle along the beach, almost riding the back of the almost breaking wave… I made sure I wasn’t getting any face wash at all!!! Surf really isn’t my thing… or at least I am just not practiced enough in it. Forecast was given to be even bigger in the afternoon, so time to look for a suitable landing.

Freya explained how to find the lowest surf, maybe river mouths, or behind reefs. Here no reefs, but a few river mouths were close. To be honest, I really did not want to mess up on the surf landing and wanted to be able to get in independently. First Freya explained about the approach but I felt we were at a bit too close to the breaking waves…. but we weren’t really, just my limited skills. I wanted to back of from the surf a bit and have it all explained back in calmer waters lol always over cautious!!!. I geared up with helmet on, made sure to detach the bow line and paddle leash, got my self all in order and off I went…. sure it was fine… what was all the fuss about!!! (lol it was barely 2-3 ft!!!) I held her straight to the lowest waves I seen…. unfortunately that was straight onto a sand bank lol but at least I was right way up hehehe. Once in, I opted for the shortest carry as always, but as Freya noted, other spots would probably have been more sheltered from the sand drift.

More lessons today, on top of the approach in surf, Freya got to explaining best care of tent in these conditions. Making sure sand is cleaned from zippers before opening or closing and she carries spare sliders just in case not to mention her small brush and shovel comes in handy for cleaning out the tent from sand. Freya also pointed out the water dormitories often end up with damaged threads around the openings in sand, which can cause spilling. So best to always wash well when opening and closing.

Tonight Freya had to tend to my midget bites, massive welts all over my back, tiny wee midgets, bit right through my merino top!!! And boy my body has reacted with vengeance. So cream and antihistamines for me!!! I cant complain though, that’s the first evening we had any, one this that the headwinds did to was to keep the wee blagerts away lol

Something I forgot to mention yesterday, as we were passing one cliff, a soil clearing on the hill distinctly resembled Ireland, Donegal, Northern Ireland, Galway to Mayo, Kerry and the southern coast was all very evident and I commented we have just paddled the south coast of Ireland as we passed it by. This triggered a conversation about going around Ireland …. and Freya said she would do it with me… it’s the one place that would be well worth going back to do again… so watch this space, Hopefully I get her back to Ireland ….

by Freya at June 14, 2018 06:13 am

June 13, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

The "other" Calanais

For the last stop on our visit to some of the ancient sites on Lewis, we returned to Calanais, but not to the main standing stones.

The main stone stones were visible and impressive on the skyline, the cross shaped formation is actually easier to appreciate from a distance than when among the stones.

Along the road from the visitor centre, a minor road leads to a small parking area.  On the skyline another stone circle can be seen, reached by a walk across a field.  This elliptical circle is known as "Calanais II", neither circle or individual stones are as large as Calanais, but it's an atmospheric place.

The 18 stones vary from 2 to 3 metres tall and are arranged in an ellipse on a ridge very close to Loch Roag. A metre of peat was removed from the site in 1858 to reveal the full extent of the stones, and it is believed that a timber circle preceded the stone one.  As at Calanais I, the orientation of the stones seems to be on the moonset.

A feature of Calanais II is that the stones are slender and proportionally tall. A slab lies near the westernmost standing stone, pointing to the centre of the circle where there's the remains of a cairn.

Just 200 metres from Calanais II, there's yet another stone circle in this remarkable area.

Across a rough field you come to Calanais III, a double concentric circle.  The outer ring has 13 stones, while the inner circle has just 4 stones remaining.  There's no central cairn here, and once again the balance of interpretation is that the circle was oriented to the major moonset.

There are over twenty neolithic sites in this part of Lewis, a remarkable concentration.  For over 5000 years the stones have been part of the landscape, impressive but never dominating their surroundings.  It's entirely likely that despite the crowds at Calanais I, you'll have these two circles to yourself - which adds to the experience.

As with all such sites, the Calanais stones inspired us to reflect on the community effort of construction, the stones in use and what's been lost in our understanding of the world.

by Ian Johnston ( at June 13, 2018 10:41 pm


Curso de esquimotaje y rescates asistidos

La seguridad en la mar es lo primero. Si no sabes esquimotear, reembarcar o ayudar a otros tras un vuelco, se limitan mucho tus posibilidades de navegación (segura).

Curso personalizado a cada alumno, en grupo reducido, desde inicio del aprendizaje a perfeccionamiento. Estos son los  contenidos (pica)

Pues eso...

by Jose Bello ( at June 13, 2018 05:05 pm

Océanos de Libertad

The Cow Rapid (El paso de "la Vaca")

Ismael  and the cow.


From time to time, when you are looking through a river guide book or sketch, maybe sometimes you
become curious  about  some names of the river rapids.

This is the case of one of rapids in Alberche River. " The Cow" could be  reflexing concerning the origin of  such a name.
Sould you leave  your imagination  fly free as a result you could think that maybe that name is related with a close farm an  a herd of cattle...perhaps some day a kayaker was in the rapid when a cow was drinking or taking a bath...
But the reallity is totally different,  the rapid is named after a dead cow that "Alberche Beavers" (The local kayak club) found  in the middle of the river.

Owed to  the weigh of the animal, several days were required  to removed the corpse. It was a hard and delicate work...the animal had been dead for long time, so the decomposition process had already started. They needed  a tractor to withdraw the corpse at risk of blowed it up and as a consequence spread the  parts of the dead animal.


Not only Deserve " The Beavers", our recognition, but also our most appreciated friendship for their outstanding labor of maintenance of the river. Thanks a lot guys!!

En ocasiones, cuando vemos el nombre de los pasos en las reseñas de las guias, o en los croquis, dejamos volar la imaginación...¿Cual habrá sido el motivo de tal nombre? En este caso, ni más ni menos una vaca muerta que nuestros amigos Los Castores del Alberche, retiraron del rio con la ayuda de un tractor y el considerable riesgo que el animal durante el proceso reventase debido al estado de putrefacción del mismo, pudiendo causar un grave problema ambiental en el rio. Afortunadamente ser Castor es equivalente a estar forjado en el servicio a los demás. Gracias amigos!


by Jorge López ( at June 13, 2018 02:06 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Pack and Go! or Hell No! Jetboil Jet Gauge

This edition of Pack and Go! or Hell No! is debating the jetboil Jet Gauge.

This product made by Jetboil is a a small battery operated scale for measuring the amount of fuel remaining in a single use fuel canister.

Fuel canisters are by far the most popular fuel type used by backpackers and other outdoors people, but they have some inherent flaws. As I mentioned above they are single use. They can't be refilled, and without a special tool - the crunchit tool, also made by Jetboil - they can't be recycled. But they offer easy use, and great flame control. But, there is no way to a actually know how much fuel is in a partially used canister.

Yes, there are a couple of methods for estimating the remaining fuel, but none of them are particularly accurate. That is where the Jet Gauge comes in.

Screw the canister onto the bottom of the gauge, turn it on, and allow the canister to hang. It can be set to work with any of the three available sizes of canister and despite the fact that it is made by jetboil it will work with any brand of isobutane fuel canister.

Due to the types of courses I teach I end up with a bunch of half used canisters, and no way to know how much fuel is in them. One test of the Jet gauge and I was sold, and at $14.95 I felt that it was a steal. The jetboil jet gauge is inexpensive and fixes a problem in the market.

The Pluses - Easy to use, fills a hole in the gear world. Inexpensive. I can finally figure out how much fuel is left in a canister.

The Minuses - Um.... I don't actually have any. I love this product.

The verdict is definitely a Pack and GO! (but don't really bring it with you, use it to test canisters before your trip.)

UPDATE: I just learned that this is a Backpacker Magazine 2018 editors choice product. So I am not alone in my love of this simple, and usable, piece of gear.

by paddlingOTAKU ( at June 13, 2018 09:00 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Tue 12/06-2018 Day 230

Pos: 56.9153,-156.8023
Loc: Cape Kuyuyukak
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 36,2 km
Start 07:10 End: 15:50

Thanks goodness the carry of the kayaks and gear down the steep gravel beach this morning was much easier than the nasty choice of campsite yesterday…so we got on the water early. It was fore casted following winds stronger in the morning, very light the afternoon, but we couldn’t really say it was very helpful…the seas went now criss cross, no real surfable waves developed, and later on, it was rather calm winds than pushing. But no complaints, paddling in general was surely easier, and the seas were much lower than yesterday!

We crossed first over to a beach marked on the chart as “good landing” – which was truly a fine natural harbor, even on low tide! We filled our water bags on the river, and found a bear while we were paddling to the next beach. As soon as he lifted his head and saw us, he also smelled us, turned around and galloped up the grassy cliff. The guys are simply more scared about us than we (I…) about them…

We went around the headland with no issues, seas were low, not much breaking and not man inviting gaps for me to hop through…the crossing of the next bay of 18 km went by fast with chatting along and not really paddling hard, no winds to “fight”, no swell to ride, just lightly choppy water, low hanging clouds, many rocky reef islands to the right…nice, but not extremely entertaining today.

Until we neared “Cupcake Island”…on a straight line, we would have been passing it in 750 m distance, far away enough to not see much details besides a huge round open water arch, but close enough for me to sense this must be a spectacular place! Only having passed it fully, we could also hear the sound of the many birds in the lightly following wind…and this made me asking Catriona if she wanted to turn in and to investigate this obviously very special bird island? A mere detour of 750 m paddling off the straight crossing line, plus a full circle around, in easy conditions…?

Catriona was not keen about the small exploration detour, but said I could go by myself and she would wait at the corner of the next island.

So I paddled off to explore Cupcake Island! And this WAS worth the detour! I think I found one of the most exciting nature paradises of my whole paddling career…fascinating rock formations, huge monster cave, and a smaller one sounding like thunder on the swell rolling over the massive gravel beach inside – really like the hell’s gate! -, a magical stunning huge arch, and all decorated with millions of birds couples nesting on the uncountable tiny square “apartment” ledges all around the clustered rock island, inside the cave and flying around in the air. I caused a major “stampede” on my approach on most sides, two of them sounded incredible swelling up and down noisy in the movement of the thousands of birds taking off at once and landing again. I kept my hood on my head, and was expecting to come out white sprinkled again from all their droppings, but it was actually not too bad.

The arch was stunning in the clustered rock formation pattern, the water channel was wide but pretty lumpy if I wouldn’t have timed it right…not to talk about the big kelp field on the island’s backside with about 100 sea otter mummies hugging their babies! What a nature life!

I paddled up to the other island where Catriona was waiting, slightly worried about me taking an hour 10 for the detour, and if I’d have climbed the island meanwhile or such…no, I just paddled around, took pictures and extremely enjoyed the scenery! You chose to not have come with me, lady! I convinced her to paddle back together and to enjoy this highlight of the trip together…still easy conditions, but my “hell’s gate” cave has somehow disappeared in the raising tide…and no more huge noisy “stampedes” of bird swarms…and even the otters field had diminished…still very enjoyable!

While Catriona was waiting for me at that other island’s corner, she reported she had seen three swimming bears climbing up the cliffs…

The second small “detour” didn’t really matter also, as we were both not too keen on another 20 km crossing…so we found a sandy beach, and set camp. We were both inside our tent, when Catriona shouted “Oh shit! Where is my bear spray? Where is my camera?” as she spotted a bear outside on “our” beach…about 100 m away, and his paw prints later showed he was strolling from the other end of the beach towards us, but in reasonable sight, smell and hearing distance, he decided to turn in and to be gone over the cliff edge…we grabbed bear spray and cameras, and also climbed the grassy cliff, but the relatively small bear was gone…instead we saw a huge mommy or daddy bear about 300 m across the lightly yellow colored meadow upfront some green trees peacefully grazing…he (or she) didn’t look disturbed by us, and we watched for a while until he was gone. Hoping for a quiet night!

We were calculating as every evening Catriona’s remaining time to catch her flight back home and the distance left, and came now to the final decision we won’t make it safely in time within the maximum left 12 days to Sand Point, and she will fly home from Chignik. Plans changed, all good, and we can relax (and I later can also take my time with Michal on the leg from Chignik to Sand Point…)

Catriona: Another very different day. As Freya said, we did not get the following wind we hoped for, but it was still a lovely start to the day, lots of chatting, calm sea, not millpond but still very easy paddling and great company. The first corner, Freya shot through a wee gap, while I went around the headland on the outside. She had hoped I would have been sitting waiting to take a pic as she went through the gap…. but it was looking a bit sporty, I didn’t have helmet on so thought better of it and headed for quieter sea just around the headland. After that we decided to stay together lol. When we seen our first bear for the day my camera died but I didn’t worry as knew we were doing open crossings so sights were going to be minimal today. We planned to change batteries when we stopped for lunch. We had been calculating the distance left to do over the past few nights and knew we would run short on time if we didn’t make up some distance especially as weather could change and allowing for normal days off the water. We had planned to cross two bays today, hoping to do 50 plus kilometers to make good on some time we lost with the early stop on Paradise beach yesterday.

All was looking good until Freya spotted the Cupcake Island… she does have a sweet tooth lol. The island indeed held the shape of a cupcake and the cliffs were indeed like the paper cupcake. After she asks did I want to go around the island, and me saying “not really” as I was thinking of the long distance ahead and left me saying you go ahead and I suggested I wait for her there but then we agreed I would wait at the tip of the next island which was barely a km away. As I approached the island I thought I could get the battery changed in my camera while I waited so as not to hold things up later on. As the island was only 2 km around and it was barely a km away, I really didn’t expect her to be long so I wanted to be as quick as possible. I approached the island and rounded the corner to find a beach, but three bears got there swimming before me, mum and two fairly large smaller bears, maybe 1 or 2 years old were just swimming up to the beach and walking onto the shingle…. I quickly reversed!!! … but curiosity got the better of me and I decided to nudge around the corner again for another look. As soon as they seen me they ran up the hill and away. My heart steadied again lol So I though I will try the next beach further up, I didn’t have any contact lenses in today so sight was poor to say the least!!! As I paddled a few meters more, another bear… maybe daddy bear, stood and stared at me. I didn’t know whether to move or stay!!!. I tried the camera for one last shot and managed 3 or 4 pictures before the camera died again… the bear then also ran away. Lets just say I decided not to get out on the beach to change camera batteries and instead, I waited for Freya. I really only expected that she would be about 30 mins behind me as it was only a tiny island of 2 km around.. but as time passed I did worry. Stupid I know, this girl travels all around the world on her own, I’m sure she is fine on cupcake. But I couldn’t help it, maybe just my nature but I did become increasingly aware we had no means of communication between us, and I had no means of communication at all not to mention I was bloody freezing lol. I knew it was silly we parted again especially after us agreeing to stay together.

When Freya came back, first I was glad to see her, then I listened to how this was the most unbelievable experience she has had in her whole paddling career lol She was just excited. Again, the insisting started for me to go back and see it …again I did decline… but in end I really didn’t have a choice…so off we paddled back to Cupcake Island. It was spectacular. Very like the Saltees Islands, southern Ireland, except no seal colony here instead lots of otters. It was an island with an amazing bird colony, the same while washed cliff walls like the Saltee islands. The birds were often squawking and fighting, stealing bits of nest (sea weed) from each others nest, then they would fight, others flew to the sea, picked up some more bits of sea weed and returned to their nest. Many were simply love birds huddled close together. The archway was fun, needed a bit of timing when I went through, thankfully all good. The usual picture taking followed. As I didn’t have a camera, Freya gave me hers spare so I could grab some pics of her coming through. Water was a tad bouncy so it was not the easiest of pictures to grab. We looked for the deep cave Freya seen but no luck, maybe higher tide covered it. So we set off again, back across to mainland and it now approaching 3pm.

As I sat waiting for Freya I was thinking and I knew I couldn’t be chasing time. This adventure is ultimately Freya’s amazing trip around North America and she should see as many corners of it as possible. Thankfully she isn’t just flying around and she does get itches every now and again to just cut in, explore around a cliff or corner, paddle up a stream or into a harbor or have a climb. And right she is!!. So I did the maths, currently, between having a day off, and a few early days and 10 out of 12 days into force 4 and sometimes 5 headwinds we are averaging about 35 km per day. I know if we lost another day or two, either to bad weather or needing time of the water, I would miss the flight in Sand Point. It is not like other areas with lots of get out spots. Here is very different. We have not been near any civilization since leaving Kodiak, Chignik will be the first village we come across and the next after that is Sand Point, another 200 km along a beautiful but unpopulated coastline. The decision had to be made, so I will stop at Chignik, 200 km short of my hope, but that’s expeditions for you and I will still have done over 500 km from Kodiak to Chignik. So all good. We still have a few days before getting to Chignik so lots of great paddling and camps between now and then. As Freya said…. when the bear came into camp tonight.. I didn’t know if I should grab bear spray or camera….. So I grabbed the camera and got a picture before he ran off lol

More good learning tips today. Before the day started, when we were expecting good following wind, I let Freya know that I wasn’t great in downwinds… she replied “I would never say that, instead say you have just not practiced it enough” basic self statements, that is so true. This certaintly is one for my work book and personal learning. Tonight as soon as we landed, Freya set to normal household chores, basically check all nuts and screws in place, makingher gloves more functional but cutting thumb and two finger tips so the she can slip her fingers out when needed, and recover them again when cold. She is always adapting gear to better suit her needs. Something I think we could all do a bit moreof.

Now all good for the evening and we can look forward to some more headwinds tomorrow!!!

by Freya at June 13, 2018 07:29 am

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


Friluftsliv for ferskinger, i kursform denne gang. Vi var et par stykker som prøvde å arrangere det for Vesterålen Turlag i fjor, men da falt mange fra grunnet gråvær, og til slutt ble det avlyst grunnet sykdom. Det ble flere påmeldte i år, men makkeren min ble syk...
Jeg hadde nokså presis en halv time (!) på meg til å gjøre om på hele opplegget. Takk og pris for en time avspasering! Da fikk jeg jo halvannen time! (Inkludert omkledning, pakking av sekk - og å gjøre om på opplegget.)
Kjøringen hjem fra jobb gikk til å ringe rundt og høre om noen kunne tenkes å stille opp på nærmest null varsel – det gikk om lag like dårlig som det måtte. Her var det bare å ta sats, og ordne dette alene. Kryss fingre og alt som er.

Ti stykker møtte opp. Vi begynte med å kikke litt på kart, før turen gikk til gapahuken på Lomtjønnåsen. Det var nemlig gråvær, men her inni var det opphold. Det var i grunnen bra, for vi fikk noen snøfnugg... Vi fyrte bål, og hadde ei trivelig stund. Det var en blid og sporty gjeng.

Ei på kurset hadde forresten et kompass som viste nord et annet sted enn de andres. Hun har sjekket opp, og fått beskjed om at magnetismen var kommet i ulage, så det må sendes inn og oppmagnetiseres. Det kan visst skje om kompasset er i nærheten av nøkler, mobiltelefon og så videre. Jeg visste jo at sånt kan innvirke der og da om noe sånt er for nært, men at det rett og slett kan hefte ved i ettertid sånn, det har jeg ikke hørt om før. Da har vi lært dét.

En liten kartlegging avslørte også at slett ikke alle var så fryktelig ferske. Blant annet var det en som meldte seg frivillig til å ta kartbiten på dag 2, hvis ikke makkeren min var blitt frisk til dagen etter. Det ble han selvsagt ikke, så jeg var sjeleglad. Igjen - tusen takk for hjelpen!

Heldigvis viste kartøkta at nå tror jeg jammen at disse kart og kompassgreiene sitter skikkelig snart, også for å kunne lære bort. Skal teste på en tur i nærmeste framtid.

Et glimt av sol måtte foreviges tvert, hvem vet hvor lenge den varer. Her har vi stoppet for å ta ut kurs, det gjorde vi noen steder underveis der det passet. Kart og kompass er noe mange føler seg utrygge på, vi bruker det vel lite her i Vesterålen. Her går vi gjerne rett opp på fjellet etter en sti, og følger den ned igjen. Så det blir fort litt fremmed, selv om man har lært det en gang. (Kan jeg skrive under på...) Men denne gjengen tok det i hvert fall veldig raskt!

Bæææ! Disse kom løpende, men jeg tror kanskje de så for seg at vi holdt på med noe annet, for de ble litt paffe da de kom bort. Da var interessen straks mindre. Men koselig å treffe sauer i marka igjen, nå er det lenge siden.

Her tok vi en liten stopp, egentlig for å ta ut kursen til Ånstadblåheia. Pytten til venstre gjorde nemlig at vi var sikre på hvor vi var, og Ånstadblåheia så vi tydelig. Men så var det å få kart og terreng til venstre for gjengen til å passe sammen?

Ja, for hva heter egentlig denne toppen i midten her? Vi ble enige til slutt, men vet ikke hundre prosent sikkert om det stemmer med fasiten. Noen som har sjekket etter kurset?

Vi fulgte stien videre rundt, og tok en shortcut til gapahuken. Underveis samlet vi bjørkenever, for å få lett fyr på bålet.

Det gikk jo bare godt. I dag tok vi sjansen på å sitte ute. En av tingene som gjensto var matlaging ute, der var det sannelig mange gode tips å hente rundt bålet.

Selv om dette ferskingkurset var min ide (akkurat dette - DNT har mal for ferskingkurs så jeg fant ikke på konseptet), så lærte altså jeg også en del. Denne her for eksempel, var jo et smart tips at man kan få tak i.

Likeså ante jeg ikke at jeg hadde fløyte på ryggsekken min, integrert i spennen på brystreima. Det var riktignok på en sekk jeg sjelden bruker for jeg liker den overhodet ikke (Osprey - sjekk om du også har), men det er jo uansett greit å vite.

I tillegg til flere gode tips, blant annet kule strå (med dusk) som kan spises.

Takk for turene, folkens. :)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at June 13, 2018 12:13 am

June 12, 2018

Mountain and Sea Scotland
Hillwalking and Sea Kayaking in Scotland

Blown away by Dun Carloway

From Calanais we headed north along the road which hugs the coast of Lewis to a visit a place which I'd been really looking forward to, possibly more so than the stones we'd just seen.

Dun Charlabhaigh (Dun Carloway) is visible from a long way, and was meant to be seen.  An iconic outline on a prominent ridge line, even in a partially ruined state it's a striking sight.

Dun Carloway is a broch; a type of fortified residence unique to the north of Scotland, the Northern Isles and Western Isles.  A "Broch" can be described as a tapered round tower construction with more than one internal floor level, and the walls are usually galleried internally.

Built around 100BC, Dun Carloway was constructed at a time when brochs were beginning to be replaced by buildings which required less in the way of resources, particularly timber.  It may have been in use as late as 1000AD, which is quite late in comparison with other brochs.

Even in a partially ruined state you can clearly see the two walls with galleries in between.  The ruin stands nine metres tall at its highest point and is likely to have been somewhat higher.  It would have been had a conical timber roof and timber floors at each level - a significant use of what's a scarce resource on Lewis.  Much of the stone from the side which is easier to access has been re-purposed into constructing nearby blackhouses in the past, before the site became one of the first to be taken into national protection under Historic Scotland.

The quality of construction is astonishingly high.  No mortar was used, the walls are drystone built with hardly a gap - the building of a concentric, tapering tower of stone in this way must have required skill and vision; and must have been commissioned by a person of significant power.

The stairways between floor levels spiral up inside the walls themselves and are still in remarkably good condition.  You have to remind yourself that the brochs date from the Iron Age, but the folk who built this were far from primitive or uneducated.  Given that Dun Carloway has stood here for over 2000 years, the fact that internal stairways are intact and usable is nothing short of astonishing; how many modern structures will last that long? 

The graceful taper of the walls is carried through internally in the galleries which run around each level.  It's likely that livestock could be housed at the ground level with human occupants living above.  Brochs are believed to be part defensive refuges and part impressive statements of power and control - several were probably used as refuges from Norse raiders well after they had ceased to be permanently occupied.

Supporting stone slabs were used higher in the structure to strengthen the whole - the more one explores the more the skill and vision of the broch builders becomes evident.

Dun Carloway is looked after by Urras nan Tursachan (Standing Stones Trust) who also look after the stones at Calanais and there's a small visitor centre below the hill which is built to echo the broch itself and is partially underground. Access to the broch is free and you can explore the inside by going through a small gate at the ground level entrance.  We were blown away by Dun Carloway

We were blown away by Dun Carloway.  In contrast to Calanais there was just two other people around and we were able to glimpse the power, symbolism, the setting of the broch and the craft of its builders.  If you visit Lewis, don't miss Dun Carloway!

by Ian Johnston ( at June 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Jersey Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayaking Tours & Courses in Jersey

Introduction to Kayaking 1 Day Course

For anyone considering taking up kayaking or is unsure, if this activity is for them. Over 6 hours we’ll cover essential paddle techniques, safety and get top tips from some of the islands most experienced kayakers and the author of “Sit-on-top Kayak. A Beginner’s Manual”.  £99 per adult. Reduced price, if you have all your own equipment and […]

by derek at June 12, 2018 04:31 pm

Kayak Angling Skills & Safety Course 4 August

This one day course covers essential kayak techniques for users of sit-on-top kayaks who plan to go kayak fishing or, are already kayak fishing and want to learn and practice key safety skills with our expert staff. All equipment is supplied. Kayak fishing safety training can include the use of rods, anchors and fishing gear so you […]

by derek at June 12, 2018 04:24 pm

Océanos de Libertad

Remembering BCU 3 Stars.





Long time ago, in a sea far far away, I attended with my friend Helen a BCU course. It was after my formation as a Sea kayak guide  by the RFEP.

There was a time when I wished to become in  a distinguished professional. Seakayaking  occupied all my thoughts until something greater, erased my previous priorities...The day I came to be Father!

Not only did not I regret, even  I feel proud of my following  step in life.
Nowadays , due to the fact that rivers are closer to home than oceans, I´m focussing my kayak activities into white water kayaking. Otherwise  from time to time I devote a little bit of time to seakayak and  surfkayak








by Jorge López ( at June 12, 2018 01:12 pm

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

Strikkeweekend ved Storebæltv

Gennem nogle år har fruen og jeg været på strikkecamp på Storebælt Camping & Feriecenter. Nu strikker jeg ikke, men så er det jo meget smart at pladsen ligger lige ved Storebælt, og jeg har selvfølgelig kajak med.
Valget faldt på min Black Pearl, og hver gang jeg kørte og bar den ned til stranden var jeg glad for dens lave vægt.
Stranden er meget fin at sætte i fra.
Jeg roede - de tre ture det blev til - mod nord. Det var stort set havblik, så turen over revet og under broen var problemfri. Der kan ellers være nogen gevaldige strømsøer.
Kysten er meget smuk med et par flotte klinter og en lang strækning med strandeng.
Det meste af området er fredet, og det forstår man godt når man ser det rige fugleliv. Jeg spottede på et tidspunkt en edderfuglebørnehave med ca 50 små og store edderfugleunger - hedder de noget? Der var også dværgterner, strandskader, en stæreflok, måger, rørhøg og en masse andre fugle jeg ikke kunne identificere.
På den ene tur gik jeg i land på grænsen til det fredede område - der var lidt skiltetvivl om fredningsperioden.
Et skilt sagde fra 15. marts til 15. juli. Det andet fra 1. marts til 1. juli. Nå, ingen problemer for mig. Jeg blev på vandet og et halvt hundrede meter fra land.
Det samme gjorde en undervandsdykker. I fuld camouflagedragt og med et kæmpe spyd svømmede han rundt i overfladen med et gult flag efter sig .
Jeg så ikke at han fangede nogle fisk. Det så jeg nu heller ikke nogen af de mange lystfiskere på moler eller strand gøre
På den ene tur mødte jeg tre roere fra Korsør roklub. Det var tre herrer på min egen alder, og de inviterede på en kop kaffe i deres klub. Det var hyggeligt at følges med dem, og imponerende at se alle de flotte robåde i den kombinerede bås- og kajakhal. De mange robåde blev dog brugt meget lidt fortalte de. Der var mere gang i kajakkerne, og vi så da også en enkelt kajakskole på vandet.
Det var blæst op fra nord, da jeg skulle tilbage,og jeg var da lidt spændt på bølgerne da jeg rundede den nordlige mole ve Korsør Havn. Bølgerne var også pænt høje - vel en lille meter. Her viste perlen sig fra sin pæne side. Den dansede af sted og føltes dejlig tryg at ro i. Eneste ulempe var nogle gevaldige sprøjt når bølger der væltede ind over dækket ramte kulfiberkanten ved lugen. Jeg er gået i tænkeboks om en inddækning, så fordækket bliver helt glat. Selv om lugelåget ofte er dækket af vand er lugen helt tæt - så tæt at den nogle gange kan være svær at åbne pga vakum.

Det blev til 35 ved Storebælt

by Pouls kajakblog ( at June 12, 2018 11:01 am


Sidst i maj og først i juni var jeg hjælpeinstruktør på kajakskole i NKC. Seks kursister kløede på med alle de forskellige tag og redninger.
Allerede efter tredie kursusgang havde de været gennem det hele et par gange og havde rimelig styr på tingene. Vi kunne af og til se tvivlen i ders øjne eller kropssprog, men det er også mange ting hjerne og krop skal forholde sig til som ny i en kajak.
Den sidste kursusdag valgte vi at ro på "langtur", og det blev til 16 km - undervejs fik vi et lille havørneshow, så kursisterne fik da fuld valuta for kursusgebyret.
Ud over skolen får de dog også medlemskab resten af året og ret til at bruge klubbens kajakker og andet udstyr.
Nu er der kun tilbage at håbe at de holder ved og deltager i nogle af de mange begynderture klubben arrangerer. Når de har roet 50 km på disse, og vist at de kan håndtere kajakkerne og de forskellige teknikker - incl redningerne - kan de købe en nøgle til klubben og selv tage på tur.

Se alle billederne fra skolen her.

by Pouls kajakblog ( at June 12, 2018 11:01 am

Océanos de Libertad

Próximo otoño Curso Rescue 3.(Govin kayak)





Here you have more photos of the last  Rescue 3 Europe course that we attended in  the Alberche River, Navaluenga. Next year  the organizer Govin Kayak - Aventura Gredos is thinking seriously about organize another one  as soon as the river catch water...maybe in october or november..We will report you as  faster as we will be able!

If you don´t know anything about the rescue 3 Courses, here I provide you a link to their website. The only problem is that you will have to deal with english, otherwise whether you don´t comprehend english  fluently we will translate it into spanish to you.
It is said that the more you learn the less you know, and that is exactly  one of the main objetives of this your mind and be aware of the necessity to adquire new knowledge an rehearse these rescue techniques.

To this day, we already  have several friend who are interested in attending the next course. Which will be probably located in Navaluenga, and the Alberche River, maybe another location for the course could be in Tormes River close to Barco de the end, water will decide the place!




Bueno en español, no me quiero enrrollar mucho, deciros que el primer curso Rescue 3 Europe organizado por Govin Kayak y UR 2000 fué un exitazo y Freddy ya está pensando en repetir la experiencia el proximo otoño...Ya os avisaremos, porque tenemos muchos amigos que se quedaron con la miel en los labios y desean realizar el curso. Un saludo!



by Jorge López ( at June 12, 2018 11:45 am

Björn Thomasson Design
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Kajaker och fotografering

Nanoq – Leif Karlsson

Kajaker kan vara uppenbart fotogeniska.  Men det kräver förstås lite engagemang, eftertanke och planering. Det räcker sällan att skjuta från höften med mobilen.

Leif karlsson, professionell fotograf som skickat många härliga kajakbilder genom åren*, mailade en serie bilder av sin Nanoq (professionell kvalitet på kajakbyggandet också!). Det är sena kvällsbilder (omkring kl 23), tagna med extremt långa slutartider (15-20 sekunder) och med liten bländare (f29-32) för att få fram den läckra rörelseoskärpan i vattnet och det nästan osannolikt skira ljuset.

Nanoq – Leif Karlsson

Nanoq – Leif Karlsson

(* Leifs NanoqNjord och Isfjord, och bilder från olika tillfällen: en rollbild, en kajakorientering, och en blåbandet-nomad.)

Nästan samtidigt kom ett par bilder från Johan Elwing (som också bidragit med fina bilder tidigare och trevliga kommentarer om Frej). Det är ett par Struer Frej under en dramatisk himmel någonstans på Onsalahalvön. Johan har inte meddelat något om fototeknik, men jag anar lite HDR i kontrast och färgmättnad och en del fotoretusch. Snygga bilder hur som helst.

Frej – Johan Elwing

Frej – Johan Elwing





by Björn Thomasson at June 12, 2018 08:00 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Mon 11/06-2018 Day 229

Pos: 57.0337,-156.5104
Loc: David Island
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 25,9 km
Start 08:30 End: 14:50

Our choice of beach was really not the greatest…we slept well and relatively bear-safe. But we should have taken into account our landing time yesterday evening was not the low tide-level of this morning…so we had to carry our boats and gear much further out than in. But actually, not really, as we could float them over a wet reef area with ankle to calf deep water with slippery sea weed. Glad we didn’t slip and broke whatever…next day, we pick again a more clever landing beach! Waiting would have been no option, the wind breezed u pretty soon again to headwind of 15+ knots.

And – now additionally, the sea was finally for real sea kayakers and not for tourists only! Some big swell, some rough seas, all after the first headland with an island offshore which shows on my (Virtual Earth) satellite image more than 20 fishing boats in action! The swell seems to gather here on this corner, not only to make rough seas, but also good fishing! We had a sunny start, but a thick fog bank came in very soon, which made the scenery eerie. Glad to have a GPS…

Some next headland was inviting to go through a gap in big swell and rough breaking seas – when it was not a lull…I took the chance on the third lull and went through, helmet and PFD on…Catriona was already far ahead away…ok, as no way she would have been of any help here, just in case…the gap over an inside of the next island was very surfy, again, good timing and no big deal…

I caught up with Catriona, and was happy she felt all right here in this relatively big stuff! Good girl…she went outside everything to be safe.

The wind breezed up even more we resisted a tempting calm beach in the lee of an other small headland and kept on punching into large swell and 15+ headwind…Catriona is paddling strong in headwinds! Every time I am stopping to check my GPS or to change the batteries, she is far ahead and I have a hard time to catch up with the tough little red-haired Irish bitch! Love her, and not only as a paddling partner! Occasionally, she has a different idea of where to go and needs to make some short extra miles…lol…we caught up again as agreed in the lee of the north eastern corner of David Island, where we wanted to decide if to go inside or outside of the island…and a lurking beach on the south eastern corner was not the best place to go, as outside is no real wind shelter and too rough seas today.

So we finally went inside along David Island, and rested in the lee for a pee on a wee beach, plus had for some lunch. The plan was to go another beach across the channel which was even marked as “good landing” on my chart, but as we kept on rounding David Island, a beautiful beach on the island itself topped another short windy headwind crossing…and we went in! No great distance horizontal today, but add a lot of vertical one and we are allowed to be done for today!

Bear free island? Not with 1 km distance to the mainland…deep dug holes in the fine gravel and an old poop pile showed traces of some furry visitors here at least at some point. The best thing for us to discover was a wonderful freshwater lagoon just behind our beach! 150 m x 50 m, about chest deep with muddy rocky ground, well (solar-)heated to about 18-20 degrees made the refreshing cleaning swim a *real* swim and a luxury to hang out in the natural pool! Just imagining mommy bear teaches her babies here to swim…?

I was tempted to have a climb up the rocky hills behind our beach – a stunning view! Catriona took a bit longer to decide it was worth the climb to come up, while I was already descending from another peak. But then she was as thrilled as i was about the stunning view! No bears at home here…

Four artificial dots caught our attention from above – a red bottle box, two blue canisters and a white bucket, they don’t belong here in those wonderful natural freshwater pools! we collected them and put them in a seclude spot.

One fishing boat crossed our beach in the evening, only the second one at all to see around here. Fishing season seems not to be opened yet…

Wow what a day… more head winds but I have to say I do enjoy the workout and challenge, I don’t get in front of her much, so any opportunity to get a leg ahead has to be taken…. We do have great challenge paddling and she has me working hard. (Freya: I think it is the other way round! My month long touring pace would be less fast without the Irish red head kicking my butt!)

Today the sea was fairly big on the headlands, especially the first, 2 meter swell, 15 knts wind and flooding tide, thankfully all coming from same direction, but the headland was causing some back eddies and confused water. I had got to the headland when I noticed Freya stopped, I drifted back to see what she was up to and if she found a quiet passage through…. and all I see was a washing machine on spin cycle and she was smiling. Again I have learned, don’t follow Freya unless I am full sure I want to!!! So off I went around the big choppy seas ALONE…. half way around I thought, shit.. no PFD on… and I wasn’t stopping there to put it on either.

I carried on around hoping Freya made safe decision, but I really thought this girl needs a talking to!!! lol So when we met up again, I said to her…. your mum must have had a hard time with you…. and quickly she answered “look in the mirror, lady…” lol Turns out her son Helge and me have the same birthday and she reckons she knows me as a result. lol

So the next headland, again I seen her cutting inland, after the last one, I just decided out and around again. This headland not quite as big but still big. We met up again and set out to cross to the island, again strong strong headwinds and the 2 mt swell. We punched through deep. At one point I said to Freya, the one thing I am really missing in the boat is being able to have contact with knees and boat for bracing and added security lol she answered you don’t need that, you only need contact for rolling or side surfing, neither of which you are doing. (Freya: A surf ski doesn’t have knee braces either, goes in big seas, and that is what you are paddling!) So I said OK…. but I still would love knee contact lol Tomorrow I will tighten my backrest and hope that will move me forward slightly.

No bears today…. thankfully. Just a sea lion on his own studying me for awhile. Plenty of puffins on all the headlands but still cant get a photo of one. When we reached the island and had a breather, we then set of for a 6.8 crossing to our planned campsite. BUT as we rounded the next corner, this amazing wee beech came into view. Freya looked across at the planned beach and then again at this wee magical place and I shouted… are you thinking the same as me lol both smiled and in we went.

Wow what a beautiful island. As Freya said, this place is a gem a real Paradise island. Desi you would love this one. Thankfully I am convinced no bears here tonight….. but will they swim in for the low morning tide??? Who knows!! Oh that fresh water pond at 20 degreees… NOT…. more like 10 degrees, 12 maximum… boy it was cold, she kept shouting its soooo warm!!!! So in I went – Burrrrr bloody freezing!! But I did get a lovely hair wash and cold dip!!. We have been so fortunate so far, every other day we have been able to wash and dry our clothes….. but I had a real luxury this morning, I put on fresh paddle suit – amazing the luxuries we can cherish when out

Hints and tips today really are all about watching this lady plan and work. Every landing is scrutinized, where will tent go, is there access to fresh water, can we get the boats in and out, is there land exits just in case. Even lunch spots are explored for quiet landings, behind reefs or rocks. Great to just watch and learn. She is constantly studying her GPS with detailed maps, every rock marked, so surprises are minimal. Terrific learning… she asked me in the middle of the big seas if I want to come closer and look at her GPS to learn something ….like I wanted to stop out there in middle of that lol I asked could I do it when we get in lol Fingers crossed tomorrow apparently we have a tail wind…. heres hoping

by Freya at June 12, 2018 05:36 am

June 11, 2018

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

And They’re Off!

Last update before the starting bell: Exceptionally poor rest/work plan for my last 24 hours, so I will be starting tired. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, after years of insomnia and scheduling turbulence, I am used to functioning at a fairly high level without a whole lot of sleep. So there’s that.

If you are interested in following the progress of the race in general, and the Basura del Mar in particular, there’s a page on the Seventy48 site that charts all the racers in real time. It’s pretty cool and it goes live at 5pm PST today. The race starts at 5:30, which means that, for that one final half-hour, I’ll be right there with the pack. Once the race starts, I expect that will change quickly.

Wish me luck. Here we go!

by Ken Campbell at June 11, 2018 09:38 pm

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

Ta din åre fatt - Reinøya

Turlagstur! En av årets kuleste tur-ideer syntes jeg, at de som digger stille ferdsel på sjøen drar på tur sammen. Vesterålen turlag, Øksnes kystlag og Vesterålen padleklubb gikk sammen om en tur fra Sommarøy til Reinøya.

Kystlaget i Øksnes er ett av de råeste i landet tror jeg, de finner på alt mulig hele tiden. Blant annet lærer de Øksnes-unger å ro (jepp, det finnes en ro-knapp!), og de har adoptert Reinøya som vi skulle til, for strandrydding. Det var de som inspirerte padleklubben til å gjøre det samme, faktisk. (Ikke sikker på om de vet det selv, men de gjorde det kan jeg bekrefte.)

Kystlaget og turlaget har hatt tur sammen her tidligere, men det var første gangen vi også ble med. Det helt store oppmøtet ble det ikke, men det kunne vært verre.

Her er vi framme ved Reinøya. Vi hadde egentlig en plan om å padle rundt, men droppet det fordi vi var litt seint ut fra start. Tid til bål var viktigere.


Her ankommer de siste padlerne - og Redningsselskapet på rescuerunner. Det var jo også stas at de ble med.

Stasvær hadde vi jo også, det var rett og slett en staselig dag.

Fin plass for bål, grilling kom fort i gang.

Dette fjøset kunne vel blitt et bra bål, men vi hadde med egen ved.

Pølser og grønnsaker, i hovedsak. Grillspyd fungerte nok noe bedre enn min aluminiumsform, må innrømmes.

Denne her karen lå på land, men var ganske livløs. Praktisk, for når de lever er de jo enten skjult inni skallet, eller så springer de av gårde i full fart og er vriene å få tatt bilde av.

Antagelig har en måke eller noe sluppet den på land, og så har den ikke funnet tilbake til havet igjen, så har den daua i forsøket. Det var jo steiksol tidligere på dagen. Rest in peace.

Etter hvert tuslet kystlaget bortover til kirkegården (ironisk nok), for å gjøre noe til gagns. Ja, for de har som sagt mye forskjellig for seg, så tror du jammen ikke at de driver og sloss mot den hersens Tromsøpalmen også. Svartelistet plante, som ruver og sprer seg, og passer veldig dårlig på en kirkegård. Flott at de orker, for det er nok litt av en jobb. Håper de får has på den!

Vi tok kajakken fatt bortover på returen, for å se på kirkegården. Har vært såvidt innom Reinøya en gang før, men da var jeg strengt tatt ikke på land.

Men vent - finn 1 feil... (Hersens Goprokamera som skal stå bak der og dokumentere alt hele tiden)

Jeg kom heldigvis på at ett eller annet var feil, og sjekket hva det var. Så var det bare å ordne det. Det er ulempen med glidelås på ryggen - ellers synes jeg det funker helt fint så lenge det ikke er borrelåsklaff over, men akkurat dette med glidelåsen glemmer jeg av fra tid til annen når den er bak der.

Herved har vi dokumentert 10 på skjæret-posten, som er ved naustet her, også.

Dette er en av de gamle kirkegårdene i kommunen.

Livskraftige vekster. Disse ble gravd opp med rota i forrige runde, men det hindrer ikke dem i å vokse videre oppå torva... Nå er de riktignok litt mindre enn de som har stått i fred, men likevel. De gir ikke opp så lett, nei.

Hilde klar for retur, etter et kjapt besøk på kirkegården. Her har ho for øvrig dokumentasjon av posten, tilfelle ho melder seg på 10 på skjæret.

Det var i grunnen et flottere område å padle i enn jeg hadde sett for meg, til tross for at jeg har vært her før (men ikke padlet samme strekningen). Disse spisse fjellene gjør jo susen.

Ikke like spisse fjell denne veien, men det var likevel fint  det også.

Rescuerunneren var med tilbake også. Grønt og rødt lys, så vet vi hva som er styrbord og babord på han!

Sola er forresten oppe hele tiden nå – vi har passert datoen for midnattsol. Men jeg er litt usikker på hva som er eksakt dato. Wikipedia sier 23. mai, da stemmer det kanskje.

Vi nærmer oss Sommarøya igjen.

Værgudene leverte et flott maleri på himmelen.

En flott tur var over. Synd ikke flere benyttet anledningen, spesielt til å ro. Men ikke en eneste kajakk fra Øksnes deltok, heller. Merkelig, man kan riktignok padle her når som helst, men likevel. Det er jo ikke så ofte man har sjansen til å slenge seg med en sånn fellestur her.

Uansett, takk for turen til alle sammen. Spesielt til ho som ville være med men ikke rakk det. ;)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at June 11, 2018 01:14 pm

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

Setting Goals

Yesterday I taught a Stand Up Paddleboard class. I have only been teaching SUP about 4 years, and I have to say I really enjoy it. It is a very different experience than kayaking. I was actually surprised to be teaching yesterday at all, I am pretty obsessed with watching the enrollment on my classes and yesterdays SUP class was empty right up until Thursday night or Friday morning. I thought the class would cancel. But come Friday afternoon I had a participant. But just one.

A lot of times it doesn't make financial sense to run a class with just one student, but in a case like this with very little set up time, I would imagine we break even. I am always happy to teach, particularly a fun class like this.

Yesterdays class was actually the first SUP class of the year for me, and so before hand I took some time to refresh myself not he curriculum and then I started thinking about my goal for the day. I always start a class by a sling that of my students. What is your goal for the day? What brought you to my class? For a lot of people it is just something fun to do, but in reality the answers can be many and varied. Not for SUP specifically but for any class, it may be a lead into a bigger outdoor outing, or it may be something along the lines of I am missing this skill in my personal skillset. I want to know what those needs are before the class so I can make sure I give you what you need, or are looking for.

Yesterdays participant was really just wanting to try something new. Simple. As we got onto the boards I realized she had some slight mobility issues with her right knee, and it made the transition from sitting to standing on the board difficult. We spent about three quarters of the class trying to get her to a point where she could move that knee in a manner to get her from sitting or kneeling to standing. In the process she got proficient in turning and even a good forward stroke. We practiced getting back onto the board after she fell off in the process of trying to stand. She had a great attitude and despite not being able to stand up, she was having fun.

We talked more about goals, and I realized that for both the student and myself it isn't so much about choosing a goal, it is about defining success. What does success look like in any given situation? She made it clear that her definition of success was having a good time, something she felt she had already accomplished. I too had already accomplished my goal for the day, which was to have a nice day on the water. Success doesn't require lofty goals.

As I thought about her problem I knew I really wanted to get her standing on the board. I thought about something one of my friends said about our current fleet of boards, she didn't think they were very stable. I thought about what other more experienced SUP instructors would do in the situation. There's a line from a Gene Hackman movie - When I get in jam, I like to think of a guy smarter than me. And I think "what would he do?" So I paddled along and realized I needed to get her on a bigger and more stable board. I needed to give it one more shot to get her standing. The board I was paddling was an older board that while only 6 inches longer was a bit more stable than her board. But back in my storage container - which is at the lake we were paddling on - we had an 11 foot board. We headed back to where we started and I went and grabbed the other board. I quickly switched the fin to the new board and attached her leash to it as well. Then I thought of my friend who is a better SUP paddler than me, and I thought what would she do? I pulled her board out into about 2 feet of water, and straddled the front of it, making it more stable. With the wider, longer board and me supporting it she was able to make the transition to standing. I then gently got off the board and allowed her to paddle away. I quickly got onto my board and followed her.

She left the course ecstatic. Literally dancing on air, with her definition of a successful day extremely elevated. I guess you could say the moral of the story is to set your goals high, but honestly I think it is to have a good time, and work hard to give others a good experience.

by paddlingOTAKU ( at June 11, 2018 12:00 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sun 10/06-2018 Day 228

Pos: 57.1884,-156.3504
Loc: Rocky cliff beach
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 40 km
Start 07:00 End: 17:05

A calm morning’s forecast, quite (head…)windy in the afternoon. Sunny, calm seas. Are we lucky with the weather, or is June in Alaska meant to be like that? Still, out of ten paddling days, we had nine headwind days…We paddled easy and fast pace all morning, Catriona rather opted for a straight line a bit offshore, whereas I enjoy very much going behind the rocks as much as possible. And there were many rocks today! So pretty going close inside the reefs of the line of the Channel Islands! And a lot of fun! We passed Titcliff Island, we were aiming for that yesterday just for the fun name…but stopped obviously earlier.

The next cape had the name Cape Kayakliut, and this was te most beautiful cape so far! It had a huge dry arch sticking out on a headland, and when I approached, I thought I saw some people on the bottom of it, exploring the arch? I was already looking for a boat, when the people turned out to be a mom bear and two cubs! They disappeared before I could take a wonderful picture of three bears inside an arch framework…but I was surely looking for them again behind the arch headland. I saw them walking and quickly disappearing up on the beach around the corner, and I could just take a bum shot of the mom.

But that was not the end of the bear game today! I was just sorry that Catriona rather preferred to paddle outside the reefy area, and couldn’t see neither the bear family framed in the arch and walking up the beach, nor the next single guy on the next, about 100 m wide, rocky beach. He was foraging peacefully in the sea weed on the high tide line while walking towards the end of the beach where I slowly and carefully arrived. I watched him for a while, at some point he saw me, sniffed and obviously got some wind, and he decided to rather turn slowly around to walk to the end of the beach where he came from.

I paddled a bit closer, but that seemed to be too close, he started to gallop away, but I didn’t notice he couldn’t get off the beach and up the cliffs in that corner! He turned towards me, and I backed away from the beach. I already thought he would jump in the water and swim after me, though this is not what they would do, but I backed out even more. This gave him space to run along a narrow ledge close to the water to an easier path up the cliffs, he previously obviously felt this would be too scary with me so close to his one and only escape way! Sorry, Teddy! I noticed too late this is your only stepladder out!

I caught up with Catriona who was far ahead of me, and when we had lunch in a very sheltered bay, I told her about my two bear encounters! She also had to offer a bear story in a small beach before our lunch beach, where she briefly also saw a sow and a cub on the beach!

As it had breezed up quite a bit just before lunch, we decided to not cut across the next wide bay, and this was the best thing we had done today! I saw on the GPS map a wide river with probably a rapid-free exit, and we opted to paddle a bit upriver – armed with bear spay handy…Catriona stopped at some point where it became a slight bit shallow, and I continued for about another kilometer upriver. It varied between about 20 m narrow and deep with more current and shallow and wide with about 50 m and less current. still, the riverbanks on both sides felt pretty close…and with them the possible bears…I decided to switch on my phone with my favorite songs and sang along loudly…no bears chased up on their lunch time siesta…all good, I turned around and found Catriona floating in front of a beach with some wreck.

We kept on paddling, just to continue with our bear watching day…I saw something light brown moving on top of the grass cliffs – another sow with two cubs came down to the beach! This trio didn’t catch any wind, and despite the sow walked right into the water after she came down with her kiddies, she was only to bath and cool down her tits (or such…like getting rid of parasites…) – whereas Catriona felt she was up to swim out and to catch her…and she accordingly paddled far away out…

The sow walked out of the water pretty soon and back to her cubs, explained to them how to dig in the weeds, climbed calmly the cliff and laid down peacefully to watch her kiddies playing downstairs! No sign of her being bothered by me close and Catriona far away watching! At some point the two cubs got aware of our presence, the more naughty on (probably the boy…) stood up on his short hint legs to check us out, but went back to grazing calmly very soon! No sign of the sow up on the cliffs being worried…and we let the be in their family life.

The headwind was stronger now, but we had some hope to find a decent beach on the island at the next headland – here are so many nice beaches everywhere! We checked on one before the cape, but that was inconvenient on low tide to land, we climbed a ridge to have a look over the narrow strait, also nothing rally inviting in the strong wind, so we opted to paddle downwind to the next suitable beach spot which was a rocky small ledge below a dark towering cliff. Ok, we had better campsites…but this would do for tonight! No sunlight on the camp spot, at least for cooking was some left. All good!

Catriona: A very mixed day, some hints and tips from Catriona tonight….. Don’t follow Freya into bays with minimal entrance…. She certainly is a brazen hussey lol When we seen the mum and two cubs together, the mum was certainly curious (Freya: but no worried at all, and about 500 m away from Catriona…lol) and close. I rightly paddled a bit off to be sure to be sure… whereas Freya paddled closer!!! I did venture back, get some pics and then hightailed it out of there… hoping Freya could take the hint not to push it too much… We have been called Ying and Yang quite a bit….. I am beginning to understand why. lol We had a great day with a variety of conditions and experiences. And even nicer when we shared them together this afternoon. Freya certainly is full of surprises and a very special person. I am a lucky person to be out here and very grateful to her for this amazing opportunity. Thankfully we have taking to lifting the empty kayaks rather than dragging kayaks. I really couldn’t get the hang of the dragging, but lifting empty kayaks is fine.

lol Freya has just now gave me another hint…. to warm your feet, fold them right under your thighs…. lol I wish…. they stopped bending like that when i was in
my mid thirties lol Another hint came when Freya was flying the tent like a kite….how to avoid rusty or stuck tent poles, baby wipes and WD40. Thankfully I have never had this problem, but as she spend her year in a tent, I understand why this would be significant..

She is a dab hand with the tent. (Freya: My Hilleberg Home is my castle!) She tends to put it up on the gravel or grass then move it to the sand where it will be for the night. This to avoid getting sand all over the tent. She also ensures the tent zips are sprayed with wd40 when it is being stored away… not that hers gets stored for long!!! Today, she was flying our tent like a kite to dry it before putting it up in the shady corner…hilarious…

Freya has a corned net behind her back on the opposite side to her day hatch, this is the perfect compartment for storing helmet when not in use. Something I will be adding to my Tarentella when I get home. Paddling is terrific, have to say I am loving the extended adventure, but I do miss being in contact will all at home, especially Desi, Patrick and Eileen. Hopefully I will be in coverage in a few days time and I will be on the phone. Tara, be sure tell Mary Icrry the personal alarm every where I go lol

by Freya at June 11, 2018 04:48 am

June 10, 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!)


Algunos momentos del curso de tecnificaión de este fin de semana

Buen finde de curso...

Diferentes niveles, por lo que los contenidos y prácticas de cada alumno estaban personalizados.  Esto se garantiza limitando mucho el número de participantes en la actividad.

Muchos rescates, un buen indicador del esfuerzo de los palista en apurar sus límites.

Jose Luis rescata a Javi

Javi rescata a Ana

Ana se rescata sola

Remolques largos...

 .... y cortos

Buscando olitas para las prácticas de surf y apoyos...

Casco obligatorio.....

Selu pasando la rompiente del castillo

Muchas maniobras
Grandes avances

Ha sido divertido

by Jose Bello ( at June 10, 2018 10:04 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Snorkelhäng vid Hovs Hallar

I lördags tog vi oss en lite snorkelutflykt till Hovs Hallar på kvällskvisten. Riktigt gött. Varmt i vattnet och ännu varmare på klipporna. Blev lite bad, lite snorkling, middagshäng på klipporna. En del folk som både badade och klipphängde. Även en del uppe runt restaurangen och parkering som inte gillade naturen 😉 Vi är ganska ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Snorkelhäng vid Hovs Hallar dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at June 10, 2018 08:01 pm
Kajak, Foto,Friluftsliv


Har haft flera sega förkylningar den här vintern och våren så paddlingen har gått så där. Men i dag var jag ute några timmar ute vid Björnö/ ingarö med Frej 534. Kändes segt att paddla då jag inte är helt frisk. Är ändå skönt att komma ut en sväng.


by Bengt Larsson at June 10, 2018 04:57 pm

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


Un cuchillo es un elemento de seguridad muy recomendable si haces kayak. Aquí te digo lo que debe tener y las opciones del mercado y en Amazon leer más


June 10, 2018 03:21 pm
ute räknas. Ute med kajak räknas minst dubbelt :)

Maj 2018

En go månad till som drog förbi. För vår del fick vi till en go paddling kring Tjärö i Blekinge, dessutom med lite Winzentinslag. Vidare blev det en varm utflykt till Hallands väderö. Inte mycket mer paddlat än så. Fick klart odlingstunneln med nya bäddar och det blev tokbra. Ett par rundor mtb runt Rössjön ... Läs mer...

Inlägget Maj 2018 dök först upp på

by Erik Sjöstedt at June 10, 2018 08:31 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Sat 09/06-2018 Day 227

Pos: 57.6023,-155.7407
Loc: East Channel Island
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 42,8 km
Start 06:45 End: 16:40

Well rested physically, we were up relatively early. A huge waterfall offered himself as the first play spot, but I had to walk over myself from our landing spot, Catriona didn’t feel like it and rather watched the boats. Another small fox was foraging between the rocks, not shy of us at all watching! Impressive towering solid cliffs at cape Unalishagvak, many bird’s home!

We chose to cut across Portage Bay, a mere 20 km with light headwind on only slightly choppy seas. Nothing compared to our previous headwind crossing! We both enjoyed the workout, and the dry, but over casted weather. We hugged the coast back again at Cape Igvak, and I had to land to pump out some water in my cockpit…not sure where it is still coming in…the hatches are bone dry!

The cliffs at Cape Igvak were different again, many gravel slides, and a “rock castle” on the top, pretty cool! Some white beach was lurking on the first of the Channel Islands, we landed to find the white large gravel dug out on many points from bear activity…they swim! I’m sure there is no resident bear here but who knows? we enjoyed our lunch anyway…

We decided to land on the inviting reef beach of the East Channel Island, but also here – the walking on low tide or rather swimming distance on high tide for the buggers is simply too short to make another convenient bear-free island stay for us…so we arranged our campsite on the sandy beach to be off the beaten bear track path, and there will be room for all of us!

Catriona… so she says… the bear prints are a mere 2 ft from the tent lol But hopefully no resident bears, although I have found several print paths to the grassey land above the beach. Two eagles watch us from their nest high up…. oh godt have the eagles view and know what lurks here….. Freya all refreshed today and set good pace. I may have kept up with her but I wasn’t feeling as strong as other days. I think my paddle style just wasn’t as good. Something to work on. The foot peddals again gave some bother and needed the nut tightening again. Everything else about the boat fits well. I seem to be ableto manage the size and volume of the boat, the tapered front to reduce volume near the stretch for paddle movement is good and accomodates close paddle entry without any thumb hitting. The seat is comfortable and fits my well proportioned ass quite well lol. I do like the rudder system and the foot plate stye, despite having lots of issues with it so far. This is primarily because I am a short ass and the original plate does not allow the foot pegs to come forward far enough. Freya attached an extension rail but unfortunately the glue was not the right one and epoxy glue and fibreglass tripes is not really designed to have two strong legs pushing on is all day long… and aparently I have some push lol !!!

Today started of with puffins, then three nosey sea lions and I swear one of them was stalking me. Sinky breath he had too!! I didn’t see any whales today but Freya seen a spouting whale. I am sure I shave een a bear and watched it climb, but I was a distance away so maybe maybe not. Lots of birds on the headlands today with the usual white wash walls. Thats the first collection of birds we have seen as we pass the coast. The gravel hills showed lost more land slides. Earthquakes here or is it just continious weather beaten??

Freaya was ever ready again today, when my foot plate began to move she was able to get the tool kit and tighten it again instantly…. more learning. Mind you her flexibility does help getting into her back day hatch. Today I asked Freya about her GPS and plotting her course. I was asking if she adjusts her course depending on what the current is doing…. lol her actually response was… “I don’t give a shit…. let it be… I’ll deal with it when it is” lol there you have it, and that gets her around the world…. literally.
I notice Freya is picking up some of my words… she is saying wee alot.. The wee island, a wee piece of chocolate etc etc. I think I am rubbing of on her lol More hints, I have really recognized the benefit of just having lots of spare batteries for what ever it is you are using, phones, laptops, cameras, GPs VHFetc etc. The power banks, solar charges etc are just too heavy in the long run and it’s just as eacsy to have lots of batteries. They are not as heavy as the power banks I brought with me.

I also think having a phone that is easy to change batteries and carry spares is a must… even though I have no coverage on this trip… but learning for other trips.

I was amazed at Freyas dry suit. Brand new Kotatat drysuit and the first thing she does is take the sissors to it… adding a neck zip on her touring suit makes it alot more comfy and breathable. Don’t think I would have the confidence to do that lol. Another important hint, especially for anyone with cold hands and tender hands, cutting the tops of the fingers of gloves and adding surf wax to the paddle to enhance grip. Plus she uses open palm mitts on top. She states this stops all blisters on her hands, protects her hands while also help with the coldness.

Right now we are all tucked up and its only 8.20pm….. time to sleep. we did good ground coverage today and hoping for similar tomorrow. nite nite all

by Freya at June 10, 2018 04:32 am

June 09, 2018

Björn Thomasson Design
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Frej och Smart – Jan Sörfeldt

Frej och Smart – Jan Sörfeldt

Ett par nybyggda kajaker på tur i Vättlefjälls naturreservat nordost om Göteborg

"Hej Björn!

Nu i veckan har höstens-vinterns-vårens konstruktioner äntligen hamnat i sitt rätta element. Först blev det en Smart och det gick ju så bra så det blev en Frej och en paddel också när jag var i farten. De är byggda på samma bädd, dvs båda är 4,85m långa, Kvistig gran från brädgården till Smart, helt kvistfri gran från Gransjöås Såg till Frej.Smart väger in på 18kg och Frej på 19kg.

Några kortare turer på plattvatten har det blivit i detta underbara väder vi har. Smart är trygg och säker, stor sittbrunnsöppning, lätt att komma i och ur, där kan man "åka med" tryggt även om man är novis.

Frej är än så länge lite trixigare att komma i, liten sittbrunnsöppning, så ett oplanerat bad har det blivit. Men vad gör väl det när badtemperaturen är 23 grader. Väl på plats så infinner sig en trygg och förutsägbar tur.

Båda har reglerbar skädda och båda är extremt lättmanövrerade (tvålkoppar) då den är uppe, och kursstabila med den nere. Mycket behändigt!

Tack för bra ritningar och trevlig läsning. Jag är mycket nöjd. Bifogar några bilder när jag, min fru och äldste pojk provade dem för första gången. Jag har en känsla av att vi växer ifrån Smart ganska fort, men det kommer ju en vinter att göra något på ;)

Några turer till på plattvatten, så blir det havet sen!

Jan Sörfeldt"

Frej och Smart – Jan Sörfeldt

Frej och Smart – Jan Sörfeldt

by Björn Thomasson at June 09, 2018 07:28 am

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Fri 08/06-2018 Day 226

Pos: 57.6023,-155.7407
Loc: South of Dry Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent

no paddling today

Our first day off paddling…not that we couldn’t paddle today, but this was the worst forecast out of a range of god to reasonable weather day. Up to 17 knots headwind nw. I decided for myself during the night we should have today a day off paddling to recover our sore old bodies aching in many corners, after seven days of continuous paddling.

Catriona with her three weeks paddling together with me rather thought we could have also gone today, but my experience on ultra-long distance paddling told me, a full day off is better than two half-days of paddling. And I have some more months to go…

Tomorrow, we have following winds, and we should paddle a longer day to one of the upcoming bear-free islands…lol…Catriona said, she can’t remember when she had a day “off”, but this day “off” is only a day off “physical paddling” for me, not off the trip. Many chores to do today…and yes, this trip is kind of work for me. Very pleasant work, for sure, but it is not a “holiday”. I am full filling my commitments in many ways.

We thought this morning, we discovered another bear track on top of ours, but were not fully sure. Nothing to notice during the night. Maybe we should carry a rake to wipe out all prints from the previous day to be better able to see the new ones? I could use our our wee red tent brush for the job…

Our tent was noisily shaking all night, Iit’s probably good to chase all nosy animals away. We leave both end’s doors half open from the top, rolled and clipped down with a cloth peg to be able to view the surrounding area during a short wake up at night…you never know. Rather *I* am viewing, as I have to pee twice at night, I have no idea how Catriona manages to not pee for hours on end on paddling and during the night…?

In the regard of round view, my Hilleberg Allak two person tent was unbeatable, but we decided to go for a roomy four person tunnel tent for the two of us, which we enjoy very much with plenty of personal space and two entrances. We usually sleep head to toe, each of us sticks her head out to the private entrance. A great setup if you are not a loving hugging couple!

But we kind of “love” each other, respecting each other, so far no serious argument, and we think it will stay like that! Catriona is great company as I knew her from our few mutual days around Ireland, and from her caring support on my UK/ Ireland talking tour when I was sick. Thanks for that! She is a skillful paddler, eager to learn what she doesn’t know yet, very ambitious to top herself, tenacious and stubborn when the going gets tough(er), and a lot of fun to hang out with. Simply a great paddling partner!

I didn’t wake Catriona this morning, and she raised one eye at 7 am to say good morning, but closed it very soon again when I said we’ll have off today…and she slept in until 10 am or such. I meanwhile started working, means editing about 1000 mutual pictures…until I dropped the laptop to join into sleep until lunchtime…we had some wraps for lunch, and the same sleeping/ working thing continued for me in the afternoon, until I was through with our pictures. Not much else done today than feeling my aching body, sleeping and working on the pics…but around seven, I joined Catriona on the rocks who enjoyed animal watching with her great quality binoculars.

I made a fire for burning our trash, and kept it going with heaps of driftwood until we finished our risotto rice dinner. Fully recovered, I’m eager to paddle tomorrow again!

Catriona: Freya is correct, I was at aloss as to what to do on a day off… Desi will tell you, I don’t know how to stop lol and climbing the hills, wander up the lovely river or just heading for a stroll ….was out of the question…. on the bear imprinted land lol what to do??? As we went to sleep early last night I was actually awake at 5am and enjoyed another wee map reading and measuring distance done and distance to do on my phone… 525 km still to do… the excitement of it is still a ball of adrenaline in my chest…. a feeling I enjoy.

When Freya said we were having today of, indeed I grew concerned, being aware of the distance to do and need for almost all days paddling, allowing maybe 1 or 2 for bad weather days. I really want to make it to Sand Point… I know I will have to accept if I can’t…. but like Freya says I can be very focused and determined sometimes. lol.

So today I set myself a task of some mindfulness, mindfulness in what I see, hear and in what I am experiencing. Today I reflected on the past 10 days, first my days with Deb and Eric… Deb, today, I found the little note you left me in my journal. Thank you so much. It was just what I needed today xxx

While reflecting, I was enjoying my binoculars. It’s amazing how much goes on around us that we don’t see, but is visible through the extra lenses. Today, I watched a full whale display, maybe 20 or 30 whales, breaching and splashing, maybe a thousand birds around them. I tried to photograph, but even zoomed right in and then the photo zoomed in all I caught was a splash of water. But through the binoculars I could see so much. I leaned against a rock and used the rock to balance the binoculars as I do have an awful shake in my hands. Without that I probably would not have noticed them.

Then out of the corner of my eye, this wee fox strolled by me within 2 ft of me, probably the one Freya saw earlier on on top of the grassy cliffs, it glanced at me sitting still not wanting to move a muscle, then it scurried on past. Wowww. I savored the moment. and I learned, sometimes waiting is good, sometimes doing nothing and the best things arrive. I also watched a pair of eagles through the lenses. One bald headed eagle and another eagle, was it a juvenile, was it a female. At first I thought they guarded a nest as they seemed to take it in turns to fly, but then they left together. Beautiful experiences. While at first I did wonder about a day off the water… now that the day has reached its end, I see Freya’s point, a day off the water…. is not a day off the expedition. Lots of learning again today.

Now its after 10 pm, the light at this time is like 7 pm at home. It’s so hard sometimes to think of it as bedtime. But I expect an early morning awaits for more paddling and more learning from the expedition guru. One funny learning today was her fleece sleeping bag liner which she is sewn to when in the tent, its consistently wrapped around her. But she states, she hates overly warm feet… so the seems are not fully sewn to the bottom… leaving room for her to be totally covered by her fleece sleeping bag liner, but with her feet out…lol the picture will explain all lol

On a previous day, GPS was the focus of conversation, while I have always had one, I have never really used it, preferring the “old school way” to use maps, tidal information, charts and tidal atlas for planning. For Freya, she never uses any of these. Instead she uses a GPS (she has three of them, just in case…), sets her way points, reads local HW/LW, currents and sun and moon rise on the GPS, and just paddles… “then you just see and adjust to what comes” she says. I didn’t realize the amount of functions on a GPS!!!. With map chip installed, it has detailed maps, tidal information, distance measuring and loads loads more. The settings need changing depending on whether you use ordinary batteries or rechargeable. Unfortunately I wasted batteries on the first 4 or 5 days as it was set to ordinary batteries instead of rechargeable, and used twice as many.

Trevour Coulter recently recommended GPS also to me, but I didn’t have enough time with him to learn more. I am so looking forward to playing with it more in the future and keen to learn lots more from Freya about its uses while I am here. We are running low on batteries though so my GPS has gone aground for now, to make sure we have enough batteries to the end. But I will still hopefully learn lots while Freya follows hers. night night for now…. paddling tomorrow and looking forward to it. With some luck, maybe them whales will come and visit… and hopefully the bears don’t tonight lol

by Freya at June 09, 2018 07:12 am

June 08, 2018


Stelle "crescenti" alla Palmaria...

Non sappiamo più quante volte siamo tornati alla Palmaria.
Negli ultimi dieci anni abbiamo fatto campo sull'isola almeno un paio di volte all'anno, sia in estate che in inverno. Ci torniamo sempre con grande piacere perché è per noi un luogo un po' speciale, pieno di affascinanti contraddizioni: a due passi da uno dei più grandi e trafficati porti marittimi e commerciali d'Italia, affacciata su un grande golfo ricco di bellezze storico-artistiche-paesaggistiche ed affiancata da un altro paio di piccole isole molto interessanti, la Palmaria non a caso è inserita, insieme alle vicine Cinque Terre e alla "dirimpettaia" Portovenere, tra i patrimoni dell'umanità dell'Unesco. L'isola è ricoperta da una folta macchia mediterranea, ha qualche casa sparsa sulle alture affacciate sulle "bocche" e all'estremità sud-occidentale mostra i segni imponenti di una vecchia cava di marmo: così vicina alla caotica vita cittadina, a noi sembra sempre molto lontana dalla civiltà, avvolta dal silenzio carico di suoni contrastanti della natura e del mare aperto.
Abbiamo fatto campo sotto il "solito" boschetto di pini marittimi, circondati dalle caprette selvatiche a terra, dai gabbiani impertinenti in aria e da una miriade di barche a motore in acqua. Tutte all'ancora nelle rade sottovento oppure nello stretto braccio di mare che separa la Palmaria da Tino e Tinetto.
Mentre noi cinque in kayak pagaiavamo in lungo ed in largo nel golfo e sotto le scogliere rocciose, incontrando anche un bel gruppo di Canoaverde guidato da Luisa e Giulio...

Le prime prove di destrezza nei giardini di roccia...
L'imperdibile esplorazione della Grotta Azzurra...
I primi entusiasmanti sbarchi sulle rocce...
L'imbarco dalle rocce usando le cime di traino...
Gli auto-salvataggi nella corrente tra Tino e Tinetto...
Una pausa lungo la scogliera strapiombante del versante occidentale di Palmaria...
Conduzione del gruppo e scambio di kayak...
Risalita "complicata" da timone e cima di traino...
Programmazione dell'escursione giornaliera...
Un bel gruppo motivato: Tatiana con Arne, Alessandro e Benjamin (Mauro dietro la fotocamera!)

Sono stati quattro giorni di totale immersione nel corso di Moderate Water Sea Kayak Leader, il vecchio 4 stelle della British Canoeing.
Ci siamo ritrovati al venerdì mattina alla spiaggia libera di Marinella di Sarzana per svolgere il corso di navigazione costiera presso l'accogliente stabilimento balneare "Da Pitì", già perfettamente attrezzato per la stagione estiva ma ancora poco frequentato da bagnanti ed amanti della tintarella.
Arne è arrivato da Roma, Alessandro e Benjamin poco dopo da Vicenza: fino alle cinque del pomeriggio abbiamo lavorato sulle carte nautiche, sulle tabelle di marea e sulle carte sinottiche, poi abbiamo costeggiato il lungo promontorio di Monte Marcello fino a Tellaro per traversare infine sulla Palmaria, la nostra meta per l'intero fine settimana. Sabato abbiamo dedicato l'intera giornata ad un ripasso generale delle tecniche di conduzione dell'imbarcazione, domenica invece siamo entrati nello specifico del corso da guida marina ed abbiamo affrontato tutte le diverse tecniche di conduzione del gruppo. Lunedì invece abbiamo ripreso tutti gli esercizi di navigazione costiera svolti anche durante le serate del campeggio nautico e abbiamo chiuso il corso in bellezza con un ultimo spuntino consumato sulla spiaggia sabbiosa di Lerici, proprio ai piedi della luce verde della diga foranea che chiude il grande porto di La Spezia. Le condizioni meteo sono state molto tranquille, senza grandi onde o venti forti, ma sotto le falesie abbiamo scovato molti angoli invitanti e la corrente che sempre interessa il canale tra Tino e Tinetto ha reso i salvataggi alquanto impegnativi...
I saluti finali sono stati molto gratificanti: "Abbiamo imparato tante cose, grazie"!

by Tatiana Cappucci ( at June 08, 2018 10:12 pm

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

Øvelse gjør mester

Sist helg var det kulingvarsel. Jeg kjørte til Fjærvoll for å se, der var det kult. Men det sto rett på så det var ikke le noe sted, og det var for mye vind til at jeg tok sjansen på å ta kajakken opp og ned av biltaket alene. Vinden lå jevnt på 11-13, med tilhørende sterke vindkast på rundt 18. Kjørte til Straumsnes, der var det litt bedre, men fortsatt sånn at jeg syntes det var litt risky å bale med kajakken alene, så jeg kjørte til Ringstad. Der burde det være bedre. Det var det.

Men det var litt vind her, likevel. Straumsnes til høyre. (Det er noen km å kjøre rundt, men bare 500 meter i luftlinje fra Ringstad til Straumsnes.)

For øvrig møtte jeg en kar ved båthavna der jeg satte ut. «Har du vær til å padle? Nå?» Jeg sa det var fint padlevær for jeg har jo tørrdrakt. Selv var han ute og gikk tur i samme været - uten tørrdrakt. Nuvel, det var vel noe goretex der, men dog. Hvis han hadde turvær så hadde vel jeg.

Forbi kaia på forrige bilde var det vindstille, men her kom det motvind. Oi, det var ei sterk rosse.

Oi, den var enda sterkere! Ikke noe krise om jeg hadde blåst overende her da, jeg ville blåst kjapt på en holme. Det ble ikke verre enn dette, noe jeg fryktet i øyeblikket, men jeg begynt å bli nysgjerrig på hvor sterk vinden egentlig var i kastene.

Jeg gikk derfor en tur i land. Rosenrota har blitt ganske stor nå, den er fin når det samler seg dråper i den i regnet.

Det er ikke lange biten bølgene får bygget seg opp her, men vinden var faktisk omtrent like sterk her som på Fjærvoll. Litt mystisk. Rossene var opp i 17,7. Dermed har jeg fått bekreftet at det kastet jeg opplevde tidligere i vår som pisket sjøen skikkelig opp, nok var godt over 20, for det var langt verre. Men også mye mer kortvarig enn disse vindrossene.

Fin i le bak holmen. Jeg var uansett ikke innstilt på å padle så langt i dag, skulle øve på rulling og manøvrering i vind. Lenge siden jeg har gjort i nordkappen.

Jeg satte kursen mot Buøyene, for å se om det gikk an å øve i bukta på andre siden. Om jeg valgte denne siden kunne det bli langt å drive dersom jeg mislyktes.

Her var det litt le.

Rolig her imellom øyene.

Men man skulle ikke så langt for å finne vind igjen. Jeg fant ut at det var fint å holde på her.

Hyret og kamera på!

Junirullinga gikk sånn her.

Holdt på ei stund, så ut i blåsten igjen.

Fikk et par små surf på vindbølgene, faktisk.

Bølgene ble ikke store, bare få hundremeter å bygge seg opp på. Men utpå var det nok gode bølger nå, synd jeg var alene.

Kult bilde, men jeg må få goproen på hjelmen snart, så jeg slipper alt vannet på linsa.

For en gangs skyld funka dette skikkelig. Så pass tak innimellom at jeg måtte holde godt på den.

Her borte ved kaia var det le igjen. Skikkelig flott når store regndråper treffer vannflata i sånt vær. Denne båten så ikke riktig like flott ut dessverre.

Jaja. Jeg padlet litt rundt hit og dit, fikk vind alle veier, det gikk i grunnen veldig så greit. Rullinga gikk jo også høvelig bra. Eller egentlig veldig bra, fikk vel alle til på første forsøk når jeg tenker meg om. Kunne nok fint ha holdt på en stund til før jeg ville blitt sliten, men jeg hadde lagt brødskiva igjen i bilen. Så det var det for i dag. Men det var i grunnen herlig med litt vær. Neste gang håper jeg på blittelitt annen vindretning, så kan jeg få mer ut av det. (Eller noen som blir med, så jeg kan få kajakken ned og opp av det jækla biltaket.)

by Miamaria Padlemia ( at June 08, 2018 07:58 pm

The Ikkatsu Project
In the Service of the Ocean

And So…

And so, here we are. Just a couple more days before the start of the Seventy48 race. I will probably go for a paddle on Saturday morning, but other than that, there’s no more prep to be done. This seems like as good a point as any for a pre-race assessment and predictions.

The boat is in good shape and I’m not particularly concerned with its seaworthiness. It is not fast, but it is stable and responsive, and I think it will perform fine. I’m going to need to be careful on the beaches, not to damage the skin too much, but on the water, I think it will be respectable. I’m guessing my sustained cruising speed will be around 2 – 2.5 knots, depending on wind and current.

Which brings us to the weather. We’ve got a front moving through this weekend but the race days don’t look bad. I do have some concerns about whether the wind will shift once the front goes through, but there’s not much I can do about that. A north wind would certainly impact my progress, and if it’s strong enough and sustained enough, it would probably mean I wouldn’t be able to finish in time.

As far as physical prep has gone, I feel like I’ve done what I needed to do. Between regular weight room sessions and a steady schedule of paddling in the Tacoma Narrows (much of it in the dark and very early in the morning), I don’t know too much more I wish I would have done to get in shape for the race. It’s not a special routine, just what I do on a regular basis, but the body feels decent. There are aches and pains pretty much everywhere, but that’s not due to any specific ailment so much as it is the overall mileage. It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

The mental prep is as important as the physical, if not more so. It’s going to be a big party start, lots of noise and hooting, but that will not last long. Most of the course, at least for me, will be an exercise in solitude, and with so much of the route being done at night, I expect that I will be talking to myself fairly often along the way. I remember a long time ago, on an all-night climb of Mount Fuji, the other climbers on the trail encouraging each other with cries of “Gambate!” (Keep going!) All through the night, we greeted one another with that exhortation, and it’s something I will certainly have at the forefront of my mind throughout.

Then there’s the reason that I’m doing this in the first place, which is to bring a message about marine plastics, and to challenge each of us to examine our own use of plastic in our daily lives. I don’t know how that’s going… I hope it’s successful in getting out amid all the hoopla of an event like this one. It’s encouraging to see people reassessing their plastic use now in a way that wasn’t being done five or ten years ago. We still have a ways to go.

As to a prediction on finishing time, it’s hard to say. With all these variables and as-yet-unseen difficulties that tend to arise in tasks like this one, an accurate guess is going to be difficult to make. Like Yogi Berra said, “I don’t like to make predictions, especially about anything involving the future.” But, if I had to, I’d say that I will arrive in PT on Wednesday afternoon, at the 43 to 45-hour mark. (This is just an estimate, a ‘wild-ass-guess,’ as they say, and should not be used for gambling purposes.)

That’s about it. Nothing left now but the wait and the pain.


by Ken Campbell at June 08, 2018 02:48 pm

Freya Hoffmeister
Goddess of Love to the Seas

Thu 07/06-2018 Day 225

Pos: 57.6023,-155.7407
Loc: South of Dry Bay
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 39,7 km
Start: 08:10 End: 17:00

What a relaxing sleep on a bear-free island! Well – besides the seals claiming back their territory with noises all night reminding me sometimes to barking dogs or mating cats. When morning came, they were gone fishin’ again with the high tide, and were curiously watching us from the water how we were leaving.
We headed straight to Cape Kerkurnoi, not much to see inside the bay. Seas were flat again, the sun was out all day – we are really lucky with the conditions! And it was light following wind today, breezing up in the afternoon.

After the Cape, we strolled close to the rocks, impressed how the scenery was changing to steep white cliff walls with some caves. One especially had a narrow arch exit where I had to squeeze through, ending up in kind of a 90 degrees bent exit with a sharp additional bow rudder turn. All worked well! We are a little short of epoxy, no failure allowed…lol…

Offshore, the sea was littered with reef rocks, but we decided to have a short break on an island about 750 m from the shore with a low gravel beach. A sea eagle’s nest towered on top of one rock, what a beautiful show to watch the eagle parents flying in and out! I climbed the grassy cliff top, and found confirmed what I was already seeing in the gravel beach – this wee little island 750 m offshore is NOT bear free! A clear deep path in the grass circled the top, and I had to step over a relatively fresh pile of bear poop. But I was wondering if the bear wouldn’t just swim over for his low-tide foraging round, and leave again for the wide mainland beach…? Or is here really a resident bear (family) on this small territory?

We crossed Puale Bay, just to find ourselves again in a different scenery – these cliffs here were huge, with loads of birds nesting and afloat on the water upfront. They launched accordingly for us approaching, and for minutes on end, we were circled by thousands of birds! Wonderful nature! The cliff tops were snow free, and many streams seemed to be dry here, so we were almost worried not to find enough water the next days? We were aiming for a beach straight across the next bay, when the wind breezed up to friendly 12-15 knots with some low but lovely following seas. Surfing time! We dug in deep, and speeded up enormously. What a different final 10 km compared to yesterday’s slug into a similar headwind!

We worried a bit about the landing on the beach we were aiming for, and geared up for the worst with PFD and helmet. It looked nasty at first , but the breakers were rather a corner reef break which we left behind to find the real beach relatively easy going. Some rocks in the landing area were the main challenge, that was it!

A single bear track followed the beach, but I was happily jumping butt naked into the large wide rocky river pool forming before the quite large stream exits to the sea. What a lovely bath tub! Just the heating was missing…but good enough for a hair and clothing wash.! I took my kayak necklace off as usual no to lose it in the pool, and stuffed it deep into the bag I carried, but I must still have pulled it out with the towel I was fishing for…panic at the tent! My precious necklace was gone! Thank goodness I found it back at the river…Sunbathe in the warming spring sun to top up my pale winter tan followed – this is Alaska’s beach life at it’s best!

Catriona: Wow last night I had the best night sleep. I have to say, I can’t even remember writing in the blog, think I did it half asleep and couldn’t think what to say. I actually fell asleep while Freya was talking to me. Amazing what a bear free island can do for you. It was great, no need to be on guard and I slept like a baby.

This morning started with Freya putting my kayak foot rests back in place… the first panic of the day. The alien key was missing… panic over as it was found in the deck rim… seems to be a common hiding place. Once we were on the water the paddling started as did the chatting. But the talking always slows me down.

Today certainly was different. The morning strong sun an flat calm seas and the afternoon following seas. The coast would but you in mind of the grand Canyon, steep steep cliffs, where the top couple of meters were vertical with deep lines running through. very different coast round this corner. Amazing how the coast changes so quickly in only 40 or 50 km. the cliffs look very dry with a multitude of landslides. I spotted my first wolf today, seemed greyish-brown in color through the binoculars. It didn’t hang about though and scurried away once it seen me.

Freya enjoyed chasing the waves on approach to our final stop. I on the other hand still had to work it. I seem to power forward and keep up with the best in a head wind, but give me a down wind and I still have not mastered it….. but I will, one day lol for now hopefully lots of practice over the next couple of weeks…. that is hoping for lots of following seas rather than headwinds. I was very cautious of the surf today and worried about the possible landing. But all good. Freya knows exactly where to look for the quieter landing… after all her boat is precious lol In behind a reef, the landing was quiet. No surf landing at all. Thank you Freya. More learning.

From lunchtime I suffered with a headache. Not something I normally get. I can only think it was the strong sun and maybe not drinking enough water. Tomorrow I will have to wear lighter head gear and drink more water. My skin just ain’t as sun loving though as Freya’s!!!. Sun cream protection 50 on 3 if not 4 times today and still I look like a sun blushed tomato…. or maybe a sun dried tomato lol My hands are very tender, not from paddling, the skin seems to be very tender, I managed to cut m finger on day one, and each day the cut reopens. Two thumbs and a finger seem to have infections just on side of nail. Really is unusual. Again not something I normally get…. as someone I know would say, it will tighten me lol

Lots more hints and tips though from Freya. The teaching never stops, she is always eager to share her knowledge, thanks for that!. I’ve noticed from day one her neatness and attention to detail. Something I didn’t mention though is her electronics… all in individual Aquapacs and within homemade neoprene sleeves to protect from knocks, from the sun and from curious looks. Only the screen is then exposed. Also protects the Aquapac.

In her packing, everything goes into individual zip lock bags, even each individual charging lead. This makes sure none entangled and also makes it easy to pack and they slide easier when in plastic bags. She has self-sewn Cordura bags, to carry her gear to and from boats. These she got made following the Ikea pattern. A lot easier on the hands , more sturdy and easier to stuff into the hatches. Another terrific wee gadget, her paddle leash, instead of being fitted with velcro or just tied on, a piece of elastic cord, doubled stretches over a small ball around the paddle shaft, the other end attached to deck net by a clip. This system makes it very easy to quick release it in case of getting entangled. But she takes it off on launching and landing and also better on rock hopping.

Something Freya does consistently… the habit of checking your paddle partners. This is probably something we don’t do, especially when we are paddling with peers. But this is really important, as we can all mess it up sometimes. Freya again like a hawk misses nothing. Its amazing, I keep thinking I need to spread some of these learning hints out in case I run out…. but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon….

I’m increasingly aware the long time I am away from home and contact and hoping all my loved ones are well. Will be in touch as soon as possible. So another terrific day with loads of new personal experiences, a beautiful sunny Alaska, lots of learning and great company.

PS, we cooked away from tent, ate away from tent and Freya just told me my hair smells lovely…… its supposed to be odor free conditioner…. hoping the bears don’t like it as much !!!

by Freya at June 08, 2018 06:10 am

June 07, 2018

Paddling Otaku
Otaku is defined as ' a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests'

2017 Recreational Boating Statistics - good news and bad news.

The 2017 Recreational Boating statistics are out, you can view them here. There is good news and there is bad news.

The good news first. Paddle sports related deaths are down in 2017 from 2016 by almost 6%. That is actually pretty good news. Yeah, that's all I got. It's pretty good. Not great. 

Okay, the bad news: 76% of fatal boating accidents, the victims drowned. Of those fatalities 84.5% weren't wearing PFD's. 84 percent would have had a better chance - not guaranteed, but far better - of living if they were wearing a PFD. These numbers include all boat types. the vast majority are open motorboats, but second (15% of fatalities) were kayaks.

81 of 94 total fatalities in kayaks were drownings. That is 86% of all kayak fatalities. Now it is possible to drown while wearing a PFD. If it isn't properly fitted your mouth and nose can end up underwater. If you are too tired or unconscious and can't hold your head above water you can still drown. But if you are a paddler, these numbers should scare you. This number goes up to 91% for Stand up paddle boarders! For the love of your own neck SUPers, wear a damn PFD! 91%

Operator inexperience was also a large factor in kayak related fatalities, which translates to, paddlers without enough experience to either competently handle the situation, or recognize that they were in danger were getting killed while paddling. 

Hypothermia was also a factor in a number of fatalities. 

The lessons from this are simple:

Seek instruction and build your skills. Learn to assess danger and don't be afraid to back off. Have respect for the power of wind and water. Dress for the immersion, meaning dress for the temperature of the water, not the temperature of the air. Finally, wear a PFD. 

Now go out there and have fun. Paddle safely.

Note: This data comes from the US Coast Guard, and the full report and all the data can be found here. 

by paddlingOTAKU ( at June 07, 2018 11:45 am