Thursday, June 30, 2011

yay for the tipi, but what about the tarp?

Up to now I thought the tarp was a fantastic piece of equipment, and I still do. Here we used it as a roof while camping in Sicily, it kept the light rain out and another one was used as a groundsheet. Its easy to erect and you can use kayaks as anchors instead of pegs

Ali`s tipi was a better solution in wet windy Ireland. It`s a lot bigger and heavier and needs pegs to hold it down and open, but for us in the weather it was fantastic. With a fire going in the center it provided a communal space for all 16 of us, allowed us to prepare meals out of the wind and rain and on one occasion after a difficult paddle and rainstorm was the saviour of the day. If space and conditions permit, thats the way to go for a big group.

The group leaving Inishkea after the first night out.

First we stopped at the old harbour to collect some water a friend had dropped off for us

Some of the old deserted ruins were being restored for summer houses.

Others just left to deteriorate in the weather

Just look at all those sheep

The sea was a bit choppy and the wind fresh

We passed impressive cliffs and caves

Had fun going in and out of the arches

and marvelled at the beauty of it all

There was one beach on Duvillaun Beg, which is owned by an unfriendly millionaire, luckily for us he was out for the day.

So we landed for lunch

Curious heads popped up to see who we were

After lunch some slept

Others just messed about

Avital and I had our 2 piece Greenland paddles

And then we left for the next perfect island

Achill Island was the next stop for the night

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Optimists in Ireland, 2011

Drink Guiness, its good for you. We proved that this is true, drank the stuff and had a great week in Ireland

The Islands round Belmullet  are windswept, have no trees  growing, but there are lots of stones and rocks

We stocked up with lots of good Irish food besides the beer.

The traditional group photo at the beginning of the trip

All packed and ready to brave the windy seas

Hadas and Hagit in a double makes taking video a lot easier

There are a lot of lighthouses on the islands

Look at that smile, and it got bigger each day

Kobi went in a bit close to the rocks

At the tower we turned west and headed out for Inishkea North

Inishkea is a deserted island with the remains of the old stone houses inhabited by local sheep

Our local guide Ali, set up a Tipi for communal use and heated up the Irish stew his mom had made for our first meal

We had set up our camp in the protection of the old village

Looking back to the tower we left at Blacksod. It was a fine day to begin our trip

Saturday, June 18, 2011

summertime and the rolling is easy

Learning to Eskimo roll is fun especially when the water is warm, and by now most of the Optimist kayakers are getting the hang of it. Of course it takes a lot of practice, and there are times when you get it and then come back the next time and its gone.
Dont worry, with practice it comes back and then one day its instinctive.
The roll is  an essential skill for paddlers, boosting your confidence and enabling you to go out in more challenging conditions, and once you have a roll you can also learn more technical skills without worrying about a capsize.
So now that summers here, get out there and learn to roll. you wont regret it one bit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

meanwhile back home...

Izzy is finishing his new kayak

Can`t wait to get this thing on the water.

On tuesday David and I were playing in the surf

Great waves they were

meanwhile Izzy found an alternative use for this joint usually used to connect irrigation pipes

the diameter is a perfect fit for his paddle and he can set it at any angle he wants

Meanwhile hadas was playing with the new Tiderace X treme

and today Racheli took posession of her new Tiderace X cape-s

Looking good on you Racheli

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

crossing from island to island

He was there in the morning watching us get going

Every body ready, only 20km to go

Some of our group

Efrat and Motke in a double, they got on well together

Still a way to go

Looking back where we came from

Time for a break

Arriving at Panarea

Zviki found a way through the rocks

even the rocks are welcome after 20km

Everybody having a well earned rest

And then some of us went exploring

We found a small cove

and some exciting rocks

and amazing caves at the bottom of the cliffs

which we went through

and then had to head back home for the night