Saturday, October 31, 2009

on the second day............

Rain, thunder and lightening characterised the second day.Worried looks on the faces of the organises, Ehud and Hadas. Would the sea conditions allow our sympo to continue or not.To sea or not to sea was the big question.

Well, the decision was to go for it, and see what happens. Kayaking is a wet sport and a little rain does not scare us at all. Now lightening is another matter. So keep your paddles down, dont attract that electricity from the sky and youll be ok was the motto of the day.[usually in these lightening conditions we get off the water as fast as we can and go play golf].

Today I attended Bens forward paddling class, and what a delight it was.
Ben starts by asking questions, why do you sit like that, why do you hold your paddle like that, why why why. We were sitting in the kayak cage and doing all these experiments designed to make us think about what we do instinctivly all the time. What an eye opener it was for all.Then we got to go on the water and put it all to trial.

To quote Ben, "if you only take 2 things from todays lessons[and now I hope my memory is good], first dont start the power phase untill your paddle blade is properly planted in the water, and rotate that torso."

Now I am sure that not everyone wants to be a racer, but we all got a lot of food for thought from Ben and if we watch Hamish we all can loose a bit of weight and develope those fabulous abs just like Ben................

3 coaches walk into a kayak club.................

Jeff has been here before, but for Greg and Ben its a first time and after 3 days we hope it wont be their last. That is to say that we are all enjoying the sessions with them so much that they will have to come back for more.Summer turned into winter on the first day of our symposium, heavy rain, thunder and lightening were the order of the day and at one stage the wind was gusting at 44 knots.Nevertheless the lessons continued , despite the conditions and later that day the sun came out wind died down. I spent the day with Greg and a group learning Greenland rolls, and what a good day it was too.Not to go into details of the lessons, enough to say that most of the participants had a great time and were successful by the end of day one.
I heard from others that Jeff and Ben`s sessions were just as good.
Later that evening we were lucky to hear a fabulous presentation from Greg on Greenland and Newfoundland expeditions.
Day one gets an excellent grade.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

it can happen to you too

On saturday they registered for the symposium, they decided it was about time to learn some rescue techniques and get some experience under their belts in incident managment. On the Friday before, they were still confident in their belief that they could manage on their own, as up till then all had been fine. They usually paddle together, often not with the group, and usually not in wild seas, so they had no reason to worry . It has been a long time since any of them capsised, and so they havent had any rescue practice, until Friday,[ not even the 13th.]
As they were going south, Y noticed that they were too close to shore and there were still some largish swell coming in.

Before he could alert S to the potential danger a large wave came in, Y managed to crest the wave but it caught S and flipped him over. He bailed out and while Y was doing a rescue he also flipped over. Now we have 2 kayakers in the water in the shorebreakers along the reef.Luckily they managed to get to shore, empty their boats and carry merrily on their way.
Being intelligent souls that they are, they began to analyse what had happened and find out just what went wrong and what needs to be done so that it won`t happen again.

I heard the tale on Saturday morning and recommended that they both sign up immediately for a course on incident management with Jeff Allen.
As luck would have it Jeff will be here on Thursday for a 4 day symposium and his area of expertise will be just what they need.
I`m sure everyone who reads this will have something to say, some invaluable piece of advice, or critisism. And they will all be right.
The thing is that even in our benign conditions, warm water, lack of current and tides, ease of getting back to shore mostly, one should not become complacent. Incidents happen all the time, the more you practice, the more you think about them and the more skill you have, the easier it is to deal with them.
So, heres another reason to come to our symposium.
By the way, Y told me he was going to write the story in our forum, but till now I havent seen it and hope he doesnt mind my telling it here.
Ps, as I wasn`t in the neighbourhood I had to use archive photos for illustration only.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

black and white and colour

Vered has a new camera, she bought the canon d10 waterproof and is experimenting with it all the time. Some people , before using any new appliance will read all the instructions and only then begin to use it. Others on the other hand, and I fall into this catagory, will begin use immediately and only read the instructions if all else fails. Seems like Vered and I have something in common.

Heres Kobi and Kid in color , taken with my Olympus, just a regular snapshot

And heres a few taken by Vered with the black and white function, you lock onto a color and then click, giving you a colorful black and white photo. Nice for an added effect if you like that sort of thing,

Thanks to Vered Shachaf for the pics for the post today

The Canon looks like a hit, its much faster than my Olympus, allowing you to get the action pics easier, and the video also looks a lot better. I am just waiting to see how it holds up under water, lets see after 6 months or so. After ruining too many "waterproof cameras" very quickly I am a bit hesitant to spend money on unproven technology.

So far so good

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

greenland style rolling with Greg Stammer.....Who?

So you made a Greenland paddle and maybe used it once or twice, then hung it on the wall as a decoration.

What a pity, the Greenland paddle is awesome, versatile and supremely useful. If you don`t think so or have had a negative experience with it then you definitly need to come to our symposium and take a lesson or two with Greg Stammer

Greg will be in Israel at our symposium at the end of this month, this is a great opertunity to meet and learn from one of the best Greenland paddlers outside of Greenland. Follow the link and read about him and you cant help but be impressed.

Rolling is also one of the most confidence boosting skills to learn, and if you learn it early in your kayaking career then youre off to a head start, as you will be able to go out in rougher water without the fear of a capsize. Playing in the surf becomes a lot of fun when you dont have to worry about being upside down in you boat and you dont need help from anyone to right yourself each time. You dont need to know all 30 of the rolls , but at least learn to roll on your left and right side.

Also the rolling skills you learn with a G stick can be used with a Euro paddle too, so dont worry if you havent got one.

Jeff Allen of Cornwall will be here too as well as Ben Lawry, so there will be lots of fun and new stuff to learn.

Even if you just come for the beer you`re sure to have a great time.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

from rosh hanikra to sdot yam in 3 days

This weekend we had our annual trip from Rosh Hanikra on the Northern Border down to Sdot Yam.Its a 3 day trip with 2 nights camping on the beaches along the way. There were 20 kayakers all in all, quite a large group, and a varied level of skills from relative newcomers to more experienced paddlers.We began at Betzet beach and went into the caves with a mildly rolling sea which made for an exciting trip. The wind came up, a northerly one with quite strong gusts making paddling downwind quite a difficult experience for many of the group and by the time we reached Acco we had a well deserved rest. We decided to shorten the days mileage and head for Kiryat Yam beach where we spent the night. On arrival the beach manager brought us a kettle of tea as a welcome gift. What a nice gesture. All our meals were communal affairs with a wide range of delights, pasta , salad and soup and the inevitable alcoholic beverage to ease the days aches and pains.Living in nature we tended to sleep early and rise even earlier. Next day began with flat seas and no winds but then the wind came up in the afternoon and made the last couple of hours a bit more interesting. We spent the next night at Habonim beach and were surprised by Racheli and Avigail who brought us a fantastic meal of couscus chicken and meat and knafe for desert.The last day we paddled past Nachsholim and the beautiful rocky coast and caves and then a dash home for the last hour or so. All in all a great weekend and a wonderful trip. Thanks to all those Fantastic Optimists for a great trip.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the petrel in the waves

Today the sea was a bit more cooperative, giving us some small swell and breaking waves. A perfect test for my new Petrel. theres only one word to describe the performance of this kayak......FANTASTIC......
Going out against the waves it breaks through with ease and rides over the crests of the waves. The bow is raised enough to prevent diving into the waves making it easy to paddle against them.I had the same experience on Friday going out aainst a 16knot wind and wind waves of about 1m. Moderately easy to get out.

The fun starts when paddling in a following sea, coming home with the waves this morning was just beautiful. The kayak catches the waves with ease, breaking waves or just swells, it doesnt matter, I managed to speed along with the waves for a great ride. I have never been able to surf so easily before.

Playing in the shorebreakers was also a lot of fun, the Petrel is a great kayak for surfing, handles easily, rolls like a dream and is easy to steer in the foam and waves and I had almost no fear of nosediving even in the breaking waves today.
I admit the surf was not too large , but good for a start.

Monday, October 5, 2009

test rolling the petrel

Well, it seems like a popular kayak, all who tried it for the first time gave it rave reviews. Although it was only on flat water it feels great and rolls like a dream. Mickey had a rollfest and came up smiling each time, he even aaaaalmost got the handroll.
More to come as the seas get wilder.

Friday, October 2, 2009

new kayak launch

This morning was launch day for my new Petrel and when I got to the beach there was Itay Bahar with his new CLC Double kayak also out for his maiden voyage. Luckily Itay had brought the traditional bottle of Champagne for the christening, but up til now I haven't managed to give any of my kayaks a name. Maybe I`ll just give them numbers.
Anyway it was an exciting morning and a great maiden voyage. The Petrel is a terrific kayak, just waiting for the rough water that it`s supposed to be built for.
Itay brought his son with him, Amir, 4 and a half years old and already an accomplished kayaker with his own Greenland paddle.Now he just needs a kids sized kayak to complete the outfit.What are you waiting for Itay?
Today there were lots of wooden boats on the water making it a wooden kayak day for sure.