Back in October 2016, after two years living in the Netherlands and Belgium, I made my first trip back to the US. My first stop was San Francisco, to visit friends and colleagues and my favorite sites around SF Bay and the open coast. Some of my favorite California kayaking buddies and I spent an afternoon on the water in Sausalito. Two years have passed since this trip, so this post will be more photos than words...
Last May, Anais and Anton invited us to join them an a couple Canadian friends on a canoeing day trip and BBQ in the Biesbosch. Fully aware of the culinary abilities of A&A, we enthusiastically said Yes!
In this whirlwind of a weekend, we camped and kayaked in Friesland, crossed the Wadden Sea to Ameland, camped and biked, paddled back again, and made it back to Rotterdam in time for dinner. We encountered a bit of wind and waves, some friendly currents, big ferries, and a (real!) message in a bottle.
Greece, how you exceeded my expectations! When I first began brewing up plans to go kayaking in Greece (shout out to Doug!), I pictured steep coasts peppered with bright white houses and blue decorations. I had imagined that these dense developments would cover the Greek islands, and we would paddle from dense village to village, eating delicious Greek food and sipping red wine. So, when we began paddling away from the little town of Vasiliki on the Island of Lefkada, I was struck by how vast and natural the surrounding islands really were. Aside from some small villages in pocket beaches, we encountered undeveloped shorelines of steep cliffs, rocky/pebble-y beaches, and olive groves.
Today I'm just sharing a handful of photos from this evening's paddle on the Maas River in Rotterdam! The city shines at this hour. Led by Erik and Iede, a big group of paddlers (I didn't even count) went for a paddle through Rotterdam. We caught a nice river current on the way back.
Last weekend a fun group of Never Dry paddlers headed out to Stellendam for a late winter (early spring?) paddle on the North Sea. If you are wondering why we are walking in the photo, read on to find out!
This is a "Time Capsule" post, meaning it describes a trip from the past which never made it to the blog. This post is short on text but has some of my favorite ever paddling photos! Enjoy :)
Our second day of Vancouver paddling, in October 2016, took us to Deep Cove (click here to see the first paddle). We rented boats from Deep Cove Kayak (at the time, 72 CAD for the day), and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of their rentals. After they heard I was an experienced kayaker, the manager said he had a boat I might like to try. He came back with a beautiful white (carbon fiber?) sea kayak from a brand I hadn't heard of before - Sterling Kayaks, made in Bellingham, Washington. I paddled the "Illusion" model. Apparently they go for $6000+! Price tag aside, it was a wonderful boat to paddle. A girl can dream, right?
I'm on vacation this week! visiting family and friends in Boston and New York. Flights to the US always seem to be on sale this time of year, and when I saw a flight to Boston for $400, I went for it! As you might have noticed, I've been blogging pretty actively through the winter. I'm not sure where this winter-y motivation is coming from, but a few cold weather adventures and a trip to New Zealand certainly didn't hurt!
With the Trip Planning 101 series almost wrapped up, I'm excited to kick off a new series in which I'll share photos and maps from trips that never made it onto the blog. I'll be focusing on particularly scenic/memorable trips from before The Naked Kayaker began (2010) and from more recent too-busy-to-blog periods. I think this idea stems from my wintery bouts of paddling nostalgia, and not wanting to lose the details I still remember. The posts will drift from the usual format (story, logistics, photos, map); they'll be shorter, informal, and focus on photos, with short snippets of text. Maybe I'll even ask a few of my fellow paddlers to weigh in with their memories! I'm tentatively calling it "Time Capsules," but if you have any wittier suggestions, please share them!
Today I'm excited to finally share some photos from a beautiful trip to Vancouver in October 2016...
After a week on the North Island, we caught the 4 hour ferry from Wellington to Picton. We would spend the next two weeks of our trip exploring the South Island. As someone who loves bobbing on waves in a tiny kayak, I'm always surprised by how quickly I get nauseous on big ships in slightly rough seas. The weather was crappy, so we couldn't spent more than a few minutes outside in the fresh air.
That evening we stayed in a scenic, walk-in, waterside Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite, where we shared the site with one other tent (see album at the end of this post). Early the next morning we drove to the kayak rental headquarters, where we emptied our belongings across their lawn and packed for our first overnight kayaking trip in New Zealand (and Henk's first overnight trip ever!). Destination: Kenepuru Sound in Marlborough Sounds on the north coast of the South Island.
Sooooo I never mentioned it ahead of time, but Henk and I just spent a month in New Zealand!! Get ready - for those of us who have (gradually and begrudgingly) become accustomed to Dutch scenery, it may take a bit of adjusting to the crazy beautiful, varying, dramatic scenery of New Zealand. We went paddling three times, so I'm planning to share three posts with you, and I'll sneak in some of my favorite non-kayaking photos at the end of each post.
For our first destination, I present you: the Bay of Islands, in the northern tip of New Zealand (-35 deg N)...
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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