Kayaking in winter waters

Öresund
Mornings

Over the past 9 month kayaking has shown me the most beautiful scenaries i’ve seen for years. It has also given me time to think, time to be right here right now, in the present – no distractions. It has given me passion, expanded my ideas about how life can also be, and inspired me to dream about adventures. Paddeling my kayak has triggered me to begin, get started, get out. There are some people that have inspired me, and one guy in particular, continues to do so – more about him in a minute.

Last year, this time, was a mess in many ways. It lost my job and began to fear the age-trap. Later that winter a person I cared deeply about gave me the middle finger and terminated our friendship in th most fucked-up way I have ever seen. Other good things happened to balance this, but it was something I thought a lot about the past nine month, or so. Life moves on, there are worse things in the world. In the larger perspective, the friendship is now just a blip of insignificance which I will only remember for the way it ended.

Back to kayaking. It is becoming a popular sport and there are many good reasons for this. If you ever dreamed about being close to the water and travelling expedition style, sea kayaking if most definitely an excellent option. There are few requirements besides from not suffering from fear of water, and being a reasonable swimmer. In most danish kayaking clubs there are training, education, club kayaks and, most important, many passionate people with good experience and knowledge you can take advantage of. Part of the attraction to me is also that sea kayaking is not a innocent and risk free activity.

The ocean can be such an unforgiving play-mate.

However, if you want to learn, rescue your self and other, are not afraid of a dip in the water now and then, just get on with it. If you are attracted to it, you will soon find out. Maybe you are satisfied by a nice paddle in flat waters on a nice summer day, maybe you – like me – begin to think about the adventures you can actually do with your kayak if you improve you skills, learn from others and practice. I enjoy to paddle in the winter waters. It is such great training, and with the right clothing, it’s basically only the short days which restricts you. Three layers of clothe and a drysuit will take you a long way.

Johanna
Johanna in the tent

During summer I came across Erik B. Jørgensen, ex danish special forces, Sirius Greenland patrol but more than that he is an adventurer in the words best manner. Erik has paddled round Denmark in the strongest winter we had for 28 years, he has paddled all the way around Scandinavia, some 6.500 km, and spend 45 days in the wild with his daughter and their dog, in a canoe. Erik’s slogan is that the adventure begins in your back yard. This slogan has inculcated in me and plans are being bade for spring, summer and falle. Me and my 7 year old daughter, Johanna, are sleeping in the tent during the winter (a day here and there) in order to prepare her and build a comfort zone, when we go canoeing 8-10 in Sweden late spring next year, only her and me.

I’m sure this is just the beginning and I really like that fact.

 

Me and my kayak

Breaks are nice
My Kayak

 

This summer I ‘ve done what I have dreamed doing for many years. I bought a kayak, actually one and a half. It all started when my friend Jacob and I talked about we would love to try this out and we decided to share the investment in the boat. We soon discovered, that this would be something where we found a lot of joy. On top of the privilige we of living very close to Öresund, we soon realised the joy of being on the water, discovering our hood from the sea.

After a few weeks it became clear that one key thing, was that we enjoyed to be on the water together. So, another kayak was ordered, and we have two boats. We can get on the water when we want, alone or together, take our own pace, practice and learning.

I spend a lot of time researching for my kayak. I ended up ordering a Hasle Excursion 520 from Norway. It was with some tension it arrived, because even though I have tried some different boats, I had not tried anything from Hasle. Knowing there are a lot of difference between brands and designs, I ended up in deciding by thinking about what I want to do with in the longer perspective. Establishing the fact that I am a beginner and I want to go on longer trips with the kayak, my tent and my Trangia, I ended up with the Hasle. And I love it. I’ve been back in some the other kayaks after getting used to the new one, and I have no regret’s what so ever. It feels good, I can go in a lot of wind with a nice degree of control and it has pretty good space for goods under the deck.

From here, it is only to plan and realise some dreams. I am in a hurry to improve my skills and get gear so I can be on the water when winter arrives. That requires a a lot of training and a dry suit.

In all the excitement there are also the discovery of some very nice twitter friends with shared interests. People like, @flipandtell and @many – thank’s for tips, talk’s and plans 🙂

Next weekend it’s time to having some training. I look forward to that, learning, removing some of those zero-days and get out in nature with my boat with better skills and better prepared for kayak adventures 🙂