Friday, November 30, 2007

post symposium blues

Back to work after 4 intensive days , what can I say, bummer. I`d rather be kayaking Now we can just look at the photos over and over again and remember how good it was. There was something for everyone, on all levels and those who didn`t make it this time should try next year. It takes us to a new level an gives an added dimention to the whole sport of sea kayaking. The emphasis is on safety, personal and group safety,and once your eyes are opened to the real dangers things look different. For example the simple fact that we are going into winter and colder weather, brings with it the dangers of hypothermia, and we need to be aware of this when we go out even though our temp only goes to about 16C [water temp. that is].
So go safely and see you on the water.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

first day at the end

On Wednesday, the day before the symposium, we took our guests down to paddle on the Dead Sea, 417M below sea level. It is a remarkable place with a very special atmosphere and not really a friendly place to go kayaking.The day was stormy with wind and rain and the sea was rougher than we would have liked, but nevertheless we went out and had a good time , kayaking, floating and then smearing ourselves with the mineral rich mud, a long soak in the hot spring bath and then off to Jerusalem and supper at Abu Gosh.The pictures are from Hadas, and Justine also has some on her blog.If we had known that the seas were going to calm down we could have done our 4 star training here.

the last day

Today we had the last day of our symposium, 4 star assesments. There were 12 of us taking part and going for the test.The conditions were not exactely rough enough water, but due to the fact that the first days kayaking was in really high seas, Jeff used this to check out our rough water skills. Everyone gets a private chat and asessment at the end of the day, and advice or direction as to what he needs to work on.This is a very nice and un Israeli way of doing things, and we can all learn a lot from the way Jeff handles and relates to us.I was very impressed with the people skills demonstrated by Jeff and Justine and consider myself priveliged to have undergone this 4 day symposium with them. Not to mention my increased admiration for Hadas as well who did a great job of organising the whole show. Also a great thank you to Ehud, Avigail and Yossele[ Dror ] for their unending work in making sure that all went right. All in all it was a FANTASTIC symposium and I am sure that everyone will agree with me.
And so as they say in Hollywood, Thats all folks, till the next time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

4 star training with jeff

Today we had 4 star training with Jeff and Justine, lots to learn and practice and practice and practice. Jeff is very innovative and can create rough sea conditions with little more than a few rocks and a helpful motor boat. Also having ones kayak filled with water makes handling a bit more difficult. Tomorrow is the test, so we will see how well we listen and adopt new techniques. Here are some of the pictures.

Friday, November 23, 2007

symposium second day

Today we had three star training in the morning and assesment in the afternoon, probably not the best thing to do straight after a kibbutz lunch , but thats how it worked out. The weather was good, slightly on the cool side and the water about 25C, nice and warm according to Jeff who spent the day standing in the water and on the rocks giving help and doing the assesing. we all had a great day and our kayaking skills took a great leap forwards. The pictures tell the story better than I can so have a look.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

our prayers are answered

Well the weather we asked for arrived in good time, after a few stormy days when the sea was off limits, today , the first day of our annual symposium was a fantastic day. Due to high seas we moved to Dor beach as they have a more protected bay, here it was easier for us to go out past the breakers. Jeff and Justine gave us a great insight into the ways of British instruction and we all had a great time in the surf.More thoughts later meanwhile here are some of the first days photos.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

countdown to symposium

Next week is the big event , hopefully the weather will help, we need a calm sea on Thursday and Friday and then we need some waves and swells for the next few days. Just who do I need to speak to to get my order in??? If only it were that simple, but the fact is that sea kayaking is totally dependent on the weather, and therefore we need to be able to go out in all kinds of weather and all kinds of surf conditions. Here`s where our skill levels come into play, if we only go out in calm seas we are totally limited, I guess thats what the star ratings are all about, giving us the needed skill for all kinds of seas. I am calling on all our kayakers to support this symposium, lets make it a great success and the beginning of a new tradition in our club.
My camera is still out of action and so I have chosen a few of my favorites from my archives. Hopefully Olympus will admit that their camera was to blame for the leak and not something that I did, and then replace it. I feel naked every time I go out on the water without a camera.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Optimist Club Symposium

Hadas has returned after a trip to the USA to attend the Sea Kayak Georgia Symposium. Now she is busy organising our very own Optimist Kayak Club Symposium, due to take place on Nov 22 to 25 at our beach on the shores of the Mediterranean at Sdot Yam and Cesarea.We are lucky to have Jeff Allen and Justine Curgenven our guests and coaches .This will be a first time event for us and hopefully will be the beginning of a new tradition . We have been very busy getting all our kayakers up to scratch and everyone has made great progress over the last few weeks. I`m sure that it will be a great success.There is always an element of fear when doing something new for the first time, we all want to succeed and sometimes the fear of failure stops us from doing the things that we really want to do. So heres to Hadas and the organisers of the event, Ehud and Avigail, go for it, we all support your efforts and will be happy whatever the outcome. Dont let fear stop you from chasing your dreams.
This last week the sea has been more exciting than usual, large swells, big waves and wind, going out through the breaking surf, practicing what we have learned on flat water in rough seas shows that its not enough to stay in the calm, you have to go out into the real world and see if you can make it there too.
I still dont have a camera and will have to borrow Baraks pictures again from Friday and Saturday

Saturday, November 3, 2007

fish attack

Friday morning, the sea is as calm as can be , no wind , no waves, for some a perfect day to paddle. Suddenly the water is churning and numerous flying fish are attacking us from every direction. The little monsters move very fast, and have a sharp needle like sword for a nose, which if it hits you can cause a nasty wound. We see them often but not in such numbers , and today if I had a baseball bat I could have hit some home runs. Sometimes they land on your sprayskirt leaving you with a fishy smell and a slimy goo . They are not good eating fish and not worth catching, but great fun to see jumping out of the water with such gusto. My camera , the waterproof Olympus, has been sent to a Lab in Europe, to see what I did to it rendering it less waterproof, and so todays pictures were loaned from Barak. At this moment in time his Olympus is still dry.
As Hadas is still at the Symposium in South Georgia, todays lesson was in white water kayaks with Yossele, they behave very differently to long touring seakayaks and its nice to have a go on something completely different for a change.
A note of thanks to Barak for his pictures