Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Another time around

I was invited to join the 2Kayak4Batten team for the crossing of the Rotterdam Europoort Maas Entrance. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest Port in Europe and as such it's approaches are regulated.

In 2003 Nico and I crossed the harbour entrance with just a VHF call for our Around the Netherlands by Sea Kayak. The channel is 1 km wide and we had to stop halfway for the vessels were a bit faster (and bigger!) than we thought.

When I learned that the KNRM lifeboat would escort them for the crossing, it was an easy decision; I did not want to miss this. At 07:45 I met up with Feike, Fenna and Willem at 's-Gravezande and at 08:45 sharp, the KNRM Jeanine Parqui arrived at the Maasmond north pier accompanied with some very nice wave action on an otherwise flat sea. Just before that some big container ships and ferries in the channel, but on our crossing there was no shipping at all.

Thanking the KNRM for their escort we continued along the south breakwater and along the Maasvlakte land-reclaimed industrial area. At the corner I spotted an offshore patch with some waves. On this windless spring-tide day and otherwise flat seas...

Combining bus, metro, train and 4K walking got me back to my car and I could return to pick-up my kayak. Arriving back just in time at Rockanje to join the team for dinner at the campsite. Thank you Fenna, Feike and Willem for your great company and the KNRM for escorting us.

I captured the crossing (and VHF communication) in below edited video.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2Kayak4Batten on their way

Feike, Fenna en Willem started yesterday in Amsterdam on their epic 5.500 km sea kayak trip to and around Italy to raise funds for the Batten Research Fund.

Their cause - - had a good head start for they got extensive and quality national media coverage.

I wish them a good and safe journey.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Costa Smeralda

The last two days Claudio took the group to the Costa Smeralda. Beautiful turqoise waters. Very comfortable swimming (and rolling) water temperatures. I had a great time coaching-on-the-go and rarely felt the need to act as a ‘police officer’ for group control. Everybody enjoyed his bit of sea and not always in the same direction.

Today I was pleasantly surprised that on this last day the group stayed closer together and had a lot of fun playing. Many switched kayaks to experience different kayak designs and materials. For a few this week was their first time ever in a sea kayak.