This weekend was abnormally warm for October. Actually, record-breakingly warm. A few of us decided to spend it on the water! Tom, Berend, and I spent Sunday exploring a new (to me) part of Haringvliet, a former estuary-turned-lake just south of Rotterdam.
Sometimes I like to set goals, and occasionally check in to see how things are going. It's always satisfying when you realize you've made progress towards a goal, without consciously thinking about it for a while. Back in March I was having a bit of a kayaking existential crisis, which inspired me to put together a set of goals for 2018 to get myself back on track. Let's see how it's been going!
1. Blog a lot!
The goal was to write an average of two posts per month. It's early October now, so I should have 2*9+1 = ~19 posts. As of this post, I'm at 24! So I've already met my goal for the year, and expect to exceed it by at least a few posts.
2. Paddle a lot!
Obviously meeting Goal #1 requires, to a certain extent, Goal #2. However, let's look at the data. I wanted to paddle in 10 new locations, and a total of 350 km. Here are the new locations:
Additional distance covered in non-new locations: 20+ ~8 km + 10 km + 4*8? = ~70 km
Total distance so far: ~324 km (probably a bit more). I think I will manage to paddle in ~2 additional new locations this year, and the distance goal should not be an issue given trips that are already on the calendar!
Verdict: On track! / basically complete
3. Do a couple open coast paddles!
I wanted to paddle in two different locations on the open coast in the Netherlands. Success! Went for some fun trips on the North Sea (again in a few weeks) and on the Wadden Sea.
4. Refresh my Greenland paddling & rolling skills
At the time of the goals blog post (which I wrote in the US), I had presumptively written that I'd brought my Greenland paddles with me to the Netherlands. However, that did not actually happen, so this goal quickly hit a wall. I've been thinking about giving up on bringing my paddles over from the US (big hassle), and instead making my own here. That's something I've always wanted to do, and I have a few friends who I can rely on for email-based paddle-making advice (Ben & Mike!). Let's see how that evolves over the rest of the year... I really miss Greenland paddling and rolling, and I would get back a big part of my kayaking identity by bringing it back into my practice.
Verdict: No progress, but hopeful
5. Find my paddling community
This was my main goal for the year, and I'm proud to say that it's the one I've made the most progress on. It's certainly nowhere near "complete," but some concrete steps have been taking!
Some specific updates:
Verdict: Going well, can always improve!
6. Write a few more Water Nerd posts.
Hmmmm how do you define a "few"? I would say 3. SO far this year, I've written one new Water Nerd post, describing sandbar migration near Stellendam, the first place I paddled on the North Sea. I'm not really hopeful that I'll write two more posts this year, as the motivation isn't there, and I'd prefer to direct my energy towards #4 and #5... When I first made the Water Nerd section of the website, I was really excited about my work as a coastal engineer and its intersection with kayaking. Now that the content of my work has changed a bit, I"m a bit less inspired/excited to write about it or research things I encounter during my paddles. It's sad, but I hope that, as is so often the case with my non-kayaking hobbies, this is a temporary phase that will pass, bringing a new phase of inspiration!
Verdict: Not on track, but that's alright?
7. Name my new boat!
While this may sound like the easiest of the goals above, I'm finding it quite difficult. I got so many good suggestions, but a good name just needs to stick. My terrible memory isn't helping, either. There have been a few occasions when a name is mentioned during a paddle, and I say "yes, that's the one!" and promptly forget it... After requesting help in naming my new kayak, the suggestions rolled in - thanks everyone! Many of them play to the name of my first kayak, Big Purple. Maybe it's fun to share the full list with you - feel free to vote in the comments!
Complete (and growing) list of potential names (my favorite names in bold):
Verdict: Not on track
When we recieved an invitation to Tanya and Ken's wedding in Switzerland, I jumped at the opportunity to go on another kayaking and hut trip in the Alps! My first kayaking trip in Switzerland, on Lake Brienz, was (and still is) one of my most beautiful paddling experiences, and I hoped to recreate it on another Swiss lake. We planned to attend the wedding on Saturday, do a hut trip on Sunday/Monday, and go kayaking on Tuesday before flying out Tuesday evening - busy to say the least! Before building it up too much, I'll warn you that the paddling experience was a bit disappointing, but the wedding and hut trip were wonderful!
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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