Every year, the Windhappers Kayak/Canoe Club celebrates the end of summer paddling season and the beginning of winter paddling with a short paddle and campfire in a nearby park. The Windhappers Kanovereniging (windchasers kayak/canoe club) is a paddling club based in Den Haag (the Hague) in the Netherlands. Every Wednesday evening, members gather at the swanky clubhouse to either (1) practice kayak polo, (2) go for an evening paddle, or (3) loiter around the bar. Elizabeth and I visited a few weeks ago and participated in item #3. I asked at least 5 people how the club works, and how an experienced member can join and use the equipment. They seemed baffled by the fact that:
Click below to read more about our first club impressions!
Lake Brienz (Brienzersee in German) is one of two lakes that flank the city of Interlaken, Switzerland. Unlike the Lake Thun (the other lake), Lake Brienz is a vibrant turquoise blue color, likely caused by glacial sediments flowing into the lake. I rented a boat from Hightide Kayak School in Bönigen (next to Interlaken) and embarked on my longest solo paddle yet. As you can see from the photos below, the views and weather were fantastic!
Note: I'm trying out a new layout with this post, with all photos + captions up front and the detailed trip description later on. Let me know what you think!
A couple months ago, while searching for Dutch kayaking info, I discovered Johan's Kano Route website, which describes kayaking routes in the Netherlands and a few in other countries. I clicked around for the routes within biking distance of Delft, and there are quite a few. He always lists the nearest kayak rental shops, which is helpful for a car-less boat-less person like me. Elizabeth and I decided to embark on the Rotterdam route (which only takes you to the center of Rotterdam if you paddle ~16 miles).
Bridget, Stijn, and I met up in Gent for a one-way paddle from outside the city to the city center, where we partook in typical Belgian activities like beer-drinking and french fry-munching. We paddled under ancient bridges, circumnavigated a moat around a castle, and broke into a canal house after Bridget jumped into the canal to save her phone... Read on :)
This weekend I met up with Maya at her grandpa's lake house on Owasco Lake where we spent the day kayaking with her brother Kiran and sister Mallika. We launched from the lake house (east side of the lake) and paddled north. Back in 2010 I paddled around the southern half of Owasco, so much of this territory was new to me.
Yesterday evening turned into Rough Riders Reunion 2014. In the wise (and paraphrased) words of Mike Peet: "Paddling like it's 2009!" The turn-out was fantastic (26 boats!), and the waves were apparently the largest of the summer. It was a perfect evening for rock gardening and practicing towed rescues. A bunch of the original Rough Riders were present, including Jeff H, Mike, Steven, Dan, Jeff B x 2, Rita & Garnetta, Sue, Ann-Marie, Nick, Dave, and I. It was also fun to meet some newer (i.e. in the last 3 years, so maybe not so new) members. Matt from Brooklyn was in the area for a couple weeks and recently bought a boat from BayCreek. I'll be in NYC on Monday to visit friends, and he provided some helpful tips for kayaking around the City...
There are 21 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior (on the southwest corner), which were named by French missionaries after the 12 apostles (they clearly couldn't see all 21 islands). The islands were formed by wind wave erosion between ice ages, and were glaciated repeatedly after that. Terraces and wave cut platforms suggest that water levels used to be higher in Lake Superior. Of particular interest are the sea caves found on many of the islands. The Devils Island Formation geology is a red sandstone that formed from rivers depositing sediment thousands of years ago. The sea caves form when waves erode and undercut the base of the cliffs.
Early morning #5 billion. After a near miscommunication mishap with the Bismarck baggage agents, I successfully picked up (stole? it was so easy...) Jeff’s luggage before heading east to Fargo. We arrived within a few minutes of each other and booked it across the state of Minnesota in an attempt to arrive at the kayak shop by 4pm. 9 hours later, we arrived at Living Adventures Inc kayak rentals in time to pick up Pierre, the yellow Canadian Current Designs Storm. In Bayfield, we grocery shopped and discovered that Wisconsinites don't eat hummus or pitas (disaster!!!). We noted the intense humidity to which neither of us is accustomed. We went for a 2 hour evening paddle, launching from the Apostle Islands Marina and paddling south along the peninsula to Pikes Bay. The sandstone cliffs here are nearly vertical and bright red.
After a quick bagel breakfast with Devin and Ginny, during which Devin attempted to make espresso with a broken machine (no luck, resulting in another steamer), I hopped in the car and headed east: destination Bismarck. I only made a brief stop in the Badlands (Medora, ND), where the gas station attendants were amused by my inability to operate an old-fashioned gas pump.
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.
Email updates on new blog posts, about once per month.
Click the "Read More" link at the bottom of each summary for more photos, to see an interactive map of the route, and to read about the adventure.
Maps in each blog post: Click the icons to learn more about the launch site (amenities) and destinations. Click the square in the bottom-left corner to see an aerial photo behind the route.
Click the RSS Feed link, copy the URL, and paste it into your favorite feed reader.