On April 7th, 2019, the first kayakers of 2019 set foot on the Marker Wadden islands. The islands are nestled in the northeast corner of Markermeer, a large manmade lake east of Amsterdam.
It's late november, but the sun still seems to come out every weekend. 2018 has been a gorgeous year, and it doesn't seem ready to give way to winter yet. Yes, the nights are getting colder, but as long as it's not raining, you'll still find me on the water, with a few extra layers!
This weekend, a group of intrepid paddlers headed out for a local paddle on the Kralingse Plas (lake in Rotterdam). Fiona inspired Marieke to go for a paddle, and Bonnie inspired Nena. And Iede is always self-inspired!
Bonnie, a friend from California who joined me in the Hague and Utrecht a couple years ago, is back in Delft for a month. Apparently, she was not scared away by the torrential rain we endured in Utrecht, and was ready for another adventure. After brunch at Man Met Bril Cafe, we stopped by my apartment to grab piles of non-cotton fuzzy or waterproof layers before heading to the club. It was a crisp fall/winter day, and our bare fingers did not enjoy the bike ride.
Marieke, Fiona, and Iede were already at the club when we arrived. Fiona is a friend of Marieke's who is visiting from Melbourne for work and is training for a kayaking race back home. We layered and layered, with Fiona setting the record at 4 layers on her legs. Armored with our wool hats, mittens, and spray/dry-tops, we launched into the breezier-than-expected lake. Getting my sprayskirt on with cold fingers was more of a struggle than usual. It's really time for me to get a different sprayskirt which better fits my boat...
Have I mentioned that I'm really missing my old boat lately? I've really been craving a chance to paddle the same model (Valley Avocet RM) again, to see how it compares to my new boat. I haven't had the opportunity to make a direct comparison, since there was a 2-year break between the two boats. There's a lady at my club who has the same boat and doesn't seem to use it, but I've never met her. Maybe I should email her...
We paddled around the lake twice - the first time with all 5 of us, and the second time with Bonnie, Iede, and myself. The slanted winter sun lit up the north side of the lake, highlighting a few remaining yellow trees. Iede surprised us by practicing 3 rolls before getting out of the boats. His onside roll was looking great! Nice and smooth. Someone's been practicing :)
Back in the warm clubhouse, we ran into Anaïs (Never Dry member) and Wiebke (mutual friend), who came for a run around the lake. We sipped on tea and had a good chat before parting ways. It was a satisfying glimpse of the role I hope the club will play more and more in my life: a warm space for spontaneous meetings of friends with a common appreciation for spending time outside.
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.
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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