Sunday, January 29, 2012

wow. that was a stormy weekend

Friday and Saturday were super stormy here in Israel. At our beach in Sdot Yam the strong wind and large waves made seakayaking  not an option.
The ones who could enjoy the wild conditions were the windsurfers and some brave surfkayakers, who even then had a bit of a wild time.
Yossie Wolfson from Optimist kayak club took some great photos of the action at our beach, you can see his pictures here   

Meanwhile at the Hilton Hotel beach in Tel Aviv my friend Rami Gil was having a great time in the surf as you can see in his video

Friday, January 27, 2012

close call

The weather report was for stormy conditions, high seas, 4 to 5m, and strong winds. So  even there was no paddling this morning I went down to look at the surf and feel the power of the storm

Soon Hadas and Pupik came strolling up to the clubhouse, and over a cup of coffee I heard all the details of yesterdays close call
Yesterday morning the sea was beginning to turn from calm to stormy, G and R went out first on their Fenn surf skis and Shalom was on his short surf kayak out at the rock. By the time they came back the waves had gotten bigger and the sea was rougher. Just as they were turning to shore G capsized and from then on things went from bad to worse to dangerous.
Mind you this is all second hand  info, but I heard it from 3 sources so its pretty accurate.
After failing to get back on his surf ski and floundering in the now cold water G was beginning to feel pretty wiped out and worried, to say the least. R had not managed to help him and had been capsized by the attempts too. G had not worn a pfd and  by now was feeling helpless. By this time Shalom had seen what was happening and come to help, he separated G from his kayak because of the danger of getting pulled onto the reef , and towed the kayak back to the beach, in the meantime Z and I had arrived and Z gave G a pfd to put on .Z had to jump into the water and help G put on the pfd, in fact the first time he put iit on backwards and then had to jump back into hte water to correct this mistake. He got no help from G all the while. Then he towed G out of the danger zone until  shalom arrived.

 This helped him float and gave a bit of warmth.  they could not help G in the water without danger of more capsizes and so tried to give moral support and encouragement.
By this time Shalom had managed to get a dingy out and with some difficulty in the rough water pulled G into the boat and got him back to shore. G was badly shaken by  the incident , suffered from beginning hypothermia, exhaustion and panic, but after a hot shower managed to feel a bit better. He lost his paddle but his surf ski was saved.
I'm sure that there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from this incident and will leave by saying that the least you should do is wear  your pfd ALL THE TIME , especially in rough water.

The picture above shows Israel demonstrating how to hang on to your surf ski in rough water.
Good if you can do it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pancake day at Optimist Kayak Club

Today Jan.25, has just been nominated as International Pancake  Day by the Optimist Kayak Club.
If you want to join in the celebrations but missed the day, you can celebrate any time this year but next year it should be on the right day

Its ok to eat as many as you want after your morning paddle as the calories you burnt up need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Most of us could not stop after the first one

Hadas showed off her kitchen skills

And then we both got into the swing of things with synchronized  pancake flipping

Even the Boss got stuck in and enjoyed himself.
See you next year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Withdrawal symptoms

After 2 long weeks of stormy weather most of the Optimists have been showing withdrawal symptoms.
I have seen them in the bath tub in full paddling gear and paddle in hand looking at the running tap water with longing. There have also been reports of them taking up walking, jogging or yoga, which is not too bad.
Some of us braved the cold wet and stormy weather and did get some paddling done .
Today we finally broke the dry spell with an early morning  outing, calm seas and  small wave out at the rock.
Yossele shows how to surf with a delicate back, and the surfskis were out there too.

 I cant imagine living in some countries where you have to stop
 paddling in winter
How lucky are we to be able to paddle all year round

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

so cold the birds froze in mid flight

I went to the beach this morning ,admittedly later than usual. It was a cold windy morning with rough water predicted.The office was nice and warm and Hadas and Ehud were drinking hot drinks.

Out on the water Aram was the only one playing in the surf.

I stood on the beach and tried to take a few pictures but my hands were too cold

After watching him struggle against the wind and current I decided that today was not a day for me to get in the water
So I went home and made pancakes for breakfast.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

cold wet and rainy, just right for a paddle

Gold at the end of the rainbow, maybe we can get there by boat.

So we debated  whether to go out  or not

No question about it at all, we went out to the rock

The waves were messy, big and strong, not suitable for me in a long kayak, but the shorties had some fun for a while

There were some separations

Yossie was a bit cold but still smiling, I think his smile was frozen on his face
These little surf kayaks can take pretty rough water with ease, and they are a lot of fun too. It was definitely the right thing to do today despite the initial difficulty to get out of bed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photography by Rachel Einav

Rough water on Tuesday, Racheli came to take some pictures
Mostly I am the photographer and therefore am not in the shots

So its nice to actually have some pictures of myself playing in the surf

Thanks to Racheli, who had to get out of bed on a cold windy morning
She got some good ones too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

what a difference a day makes

Yesterday the sea was one big mess, today a different place altogether, nice well ordered waves with flat water in between and gentle swells. Next week storms are predicted again.

Racheli and Kid .. just two of the famous Optimists girls

We had a large turnout for the 7am outing.

Meanwhile the surfing out at the rock was a lot of fun

Friday, January 6, 2012

why you should always wear a helmet in big surf

Thanks to Yossie for the video.
Lessons learnt, always wear a helmet in big surf, or make sure that you are on the sea side of the kayak.

experiment in the Guillemot Fast Double

Israel and I getting ready to go out in rough seas
Yossie Wolfson was the photographer on the beach
He was using a panasonic lumix
I invited him into the water but he declined
We tried to stay close to shore so that he could get some good action pics

No doubt a real SLR with telephoto lens would have been ideal

We will work on our roll together

All in all it was a great outing, video to follow soon