Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day trip in 15 degrees cold

Finally we managed to meet, all three paddling companions. We had arranged a “meeting” – that is a paddle trip where we get the opportunity to discuss matters of our long distance trip.
I had suggested Håøya, an island in the inner Oslo fjord. Håøya is a good destination for a short day trip, you can paddle 20-30 kilometers around the main Island, and visit several smaller islands on the way.  
When I started packing the car this morning, the thermometer showed 20 degrees below zero. I really like to paddle in cold weather; the only drawback is all the packing in and out of the car, and packing kayaks on the car roof with frozen fingers.
At our launching place, the water was frozen, so we needed to drive a little extra, to find open water for kayak launch.

The frost mist was blowing across the water, and the sun rose, as we finally found ourselves seated in our kayaks on the water. It was spectacular – immediately worth all our efforts.
We paddled for 3-4 hours, didn’t land but had some small breaks seated in the kayaks. On the way we discussed issues of safety, preparations to be fit for the trip, and equipment. Tor had made a sea anchor that we tested. I had for the first time my new anorak – it felt really good. Thanks Anne for your kind help! Quoc brought up the subject that a large outdoor equipment business was willing to sponsor our trip. When I heard that they also perhaps wanted to sponsor us with freeze dried food, I really became interested! Food is actually the only major expense in this project. We already have all the equipment we need and more…  

My fingertips are still a bit cold, as I write these words. It was a great trip – really worth the effort. On my way home (1 hour drive), I saw 4 car crashes – only minor accidents. People were driving like madmen. You could really feel the stress on this last shopping day before Christmas. I felt privileged that I had the opportunity to spend my day on the sea instead.
Happy christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ice and cold in Denmark too!

I was fleeing from the very cold and early winter in Norway, hoping for better conditions in my old homeland, Denmark. I brought along my baidarka, a new paddle (bent shaft Aleutian type), dry suit and other gear for winter paddling.
I was quite disappointed when I found out that winter had really come to Denmark for once. Normally, winter is quite cold and rainy in Denmark, but it seldom involves lots of frost, ice and snow – until this weekend!
My first attempt was in the Faxe bay – by my home town. The sea was calm, but lots of ice made paddling difficult. It was no problem to go through, it was just that it slowed down the speed of the kayak so much that I felt there was no point in paddling very far. I took a few nice photos, though, and got back to my dad’s summer cottage, that had become my base for the weekend.
I also filmed a short cut with my new canon camera. I think the quality was really impressive – check out the sound also!

Later, the ice disappeared with the strong westerly wind, and I had a great time paddling in lee, along the coast of my childhood’s landscapes and beaches. I had one trip to the Fed peninsula where I felt that this one trip was worth the whole trip. The kind of experience where you feel a strong unity with yourself, your craft and the elements, and you get the feeling that you can go on forever, and that time stops. Truly a good experience!

Later in the weekend, the wind became stronger, up to gale force! It was 6 degrees below minus in daytime, so I gave up paddling any more, and spent some valuable time with my father, my mother and my sister and her family.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Test of video

I thought it could be fun to add some movie clips once in a while. Outside, it's still cold, below 20 degrees! So making new movie clips is not so tempting. I joined Vimeo, and just made this test movie clip for fun. It was taken last year with my waterproof olympus mju 8000 compact camera. I think the quality is O.K. for internet use. Actually I'm impressed that such a small camera can make this kind of pictures, but maybe I'm old fashioned! Check it out:

And now I'm looking forward to some more paddling. Next week I can hopefully paddle 150 km. or so.

More (6/12): I haven't figured out how to answer the comments yet, so now I do it this way! Still got a lot of things to learn, it's probably easy. But to the comment - This was so fun and easy to do. I will definitely do more rolling video in the future - one roll at the time, and post it on my main web page. And to do it in english should be no problem - good idea!