Wednesday, February 29, 2012

gone fishing

Sometimes I stop to look at the Ocean on my way to work in the morning. Just north of Netanya is the Blue Bay Hotel and there is a nice little beach there. If I am early and have the time I go down and park there for a few minutes , watch the ocean, daydream about being out there and get inspiration from the constant motion of the water and the waves. Then I come back to reality and go to work.Sunday morning was just one of those days but there was a surprise waiting for me.

There were these 3 kayak fishermen getting ready to go out for a morning fishing.They were from Tel Aviv but seemed to know the area. When I asked they said no , there were not many fish around, but that didn't seem to bother them at all, 

I watched as they launched, managed to get through the small breakers and vanished into the distance

I couldn't help thinking how lucky they were, to spend the morning going fishing while I had to go on to work. But then I remembered that I do get to go paddling at least 4 times a week. 

Today I should have been out there but the winter storm with wild winds cancelled any paddling .
And it looks like it may just carry over into the weekend.
Maybe I`ll build another kayak instead.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Annual Dead Sea Paddle

Paddling on the  Dead Sea is not a common pastime. The water is unfriendly when it splashes on your face and lips or if it gets in your eyes. Because of the high mineral and salt concentration it feels oily and leaves a film on your skin and when it dries a salty residue remains. This is said to have therapeutic properties and the mud is supposed to be healing.
As the sea shrinks the shores become muddy and like quicksand, if you're not careful you can find yourself  stuck and sinking and about to loose your shoes
Thanks to Zohar for the pictures of me,

Every year the Optimist Kayak Club has a days outing paddling on the Dead Sea, actually its just another excuse to get together for a picnic  and a bit of fun.

The Hebrew name is actually The Salt Sea, if you translate it , this is more accurate than the English because its far from dead.
The salt formations on the shores look like snow and ice from afar and have a wonderful crystalline composition when seen close up.

Its rarely rains down there but we were lucky on Friday to get caught in a shower, the raindrops bouncing on the water were spectacular and everyone reacted with glee and smiles as we were washed  by the fresh rainwater.

Before we headed home we spent some time in the hot spring waters just relaxing and getting the muscles loose for the long ride home

Sunday, February 19, 2012

the weekend storm
This was the storm of the winter, kayaks can not go out in such seas and strong winds but there are those who can.
There was a competition called Storm Riders where these pictures were taken, here you can see last years competition

I take my hat off to all those courageous wind and kite surfers who played in the surf and also to the photographer who captured these great images. You can really feel the power of the sea and the wind.
Well done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

this is what happens when addicted paddlers cant paddle

captain hook before the big storm

Izzy made Hadas a paddle hook to help while she recovers from carpal tunnel syndrome, now shes back on the water.

There`s a big storm predicted for this weekend, peaking tonight and tomorrow, so no kayaking

Even the birds take a break from the strong winds

early this morning we came to see the storms progress

And met Hadas on her way to work. How lucky to live close to work and enjoy the walk. Most people have a commute and have to deal with traffic jams.

The strong winds can play havoc with your mind and cause strange behavior. Hope we can get back on the water soon to correct this.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

yossie wolfsons pictures

Yossie was on the beach while Zohar and I were in the surf. Here is a link to his great action pictures. You can see Zohar doing a cartwheel in the surf. Great work Yossie.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Do we learn from our experiences ?

Steve I would like to write a post in your blog because what I have to write doesn't fit my own blogs. There is no lovely photo behind this little story…

It's a story about the lessons we don't learn, and right now…to be honest, quite a painful one.
Steve and I went out today
into quite a messy sea. No real waves to surf, western wind that was getting stronger while we were out. All the real fun J
 I took my sunglasses, camera and fleece hat. All the gear that could have stayed behind on a day like that. While trying to get some surfing done I saw that the constant worry about my glasses and camera was  stopping me from having fun. In my new pfd there is no pocket to put away stuff like that. Then I saw  the 'Yossis' standing on the beach photographing us, so I took a big wave down and approached to give the stuff to them.
While on the sand, a small wave came and was going to put my kayak on a nasty stone. Being a nice Carbon tempest I was trying to protect it by pushing it, hand placed on the stone. WRONG INSTINCT!!! The result is maybe a smaller scratch then expected on the kayak. But a painful hand. While trying to recover and paddle back in I couldn't feel my finger at all. However- there was something else that I could feel very strongly- the feeling of being stupid!!!
Only 3 months ago, during a week paddling around the Islands of Lopud, Sipan and Mljet in Croatia, I was trying to land in a rocky area as all beaches on these islands are. The sea was a bit of a mess and I found myself sitting on a small stone on the way to the beach. I was trying to recover by waiting for another small wave and pushing the kayak with my hand. The result was almost a broken finger, like today. Had it been broken that day, that would have meant the end of my trip. Had this one broken today, that would have meant a cancelation of the next trip to Croatia.
I have 3 conclusions from today:
-1-  Do not take unnecessary equipment into a messy sea if you don't have a way to protect it. The worry about it will drive you crazy.
-2 – If you have a lesson to learn from an incident- LEARN it and use what you learned next time.
-3- Never ever place your hand under your kayak to push it away from a rock. A broken finger takes longer to heal compared to a broken kayak!!!

Other than that- it was another lovely morning!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the Sea Of Galilee

Friday morning, bright and early, more than 30 kayaks getting ready for our annual circumnavigation of the Sea Of Galilee. There has been a lot of rain and the water level has risen quite a bit more than last year.

Bringing up the rear I was watching all those lovely paddlers heading off . Mount Hermon was looming on the horizon, covered in snow .

The winter rains have made the hills surrounding the sea a lush green

Tourist boats take day trippers out on the water for a short  sail

The surrounding is different from our usual beaches, here its stony shores and green hills

These hills are the beginnings of the Golan Heights. A short while ago the Syrians were stationed there and would bomb our people continually

The trip is actually an excuse to have many picnics along the shores

Its easy to get blown into the reeds and trees in the strong winds

Seeing the Sea filling up leaves us with a good feeling, we need every drop of water we can get.

Its only about 56km all round, not too difficult over 2 days but its a great experience and a lot of fun. that's why we come back year after year.