Monday, September 3, 2012

Kayaking at Vaulen Beach

The last time I successfully kayaked was a solo trip around Pulau Kapas (on the sheltered side the violent South China Sea), which was my first ever paddling experience. The second time was at Lutong Beach together with Joyce, Franco, and Joy ... we never left the beach  ... the vessel kept sinking or we managed to toppled it to it's side somehow or rather.

Ever since then, kayak is constantly in my mind. The big open spaces, the nook and crannies of the waterbody to explore, the still waters of Loagan Bunut to glide through quietly on a cloudy overcast day. The serenity it promises and the adventure beyond the next bend of the river. Getting a kayak in Miri was a chore due to the limited selection available.

Now that we are in Norway, surrounded by water, it is only natural we pick up kayaking again at first opportunity. The choices of kayak seemed limitless, there a shop next to our house which even offers storage space for the vessel. This time the entire family is taking part. They were reluctant at first but quickly changed their minds when half a day of wet frolic in 20 degree waters got the better of them.

Last Sunday we attended our first (re)introduction to kayaking as members of the Statoil Kayaking Club. Soon to be members of Stavanger Kayak Club, we foresee many memorable hours on the water ... paddling, exploring, camping maybe even an Eskimo roll or two on the way to a secluded rock someplace in the fjords. That's the grand plan anyways!

Checking out the handmade Greenland kayak Kersti made herself with her own two barehands.

Listening to the introduction to kayak by experts from Neptun Kajakk.

Four experienced kayakkers engaged for the day doing their thing for kayakking greenhorns in attendance.

Some have definitely done this before judging from their outfit.

The proper dress for kayakking in Norwegian waters, kayakkers here don't die of drowning but of hypothermia, so a proper outfit for a day kayakking consists of a baselayer or two of wool, a layer of dry suit and and outer layer of wet suit, water-proofed neoprene boots and other assortments of expensive clothing items.

Stable on the water.

Looking like a pro-kayaker.

Round and round the new kayakers go to get a feel of  their chosen kayaks.

The more advanced participants get to try out the Eskimo roll and the cowboy re-entry.

Ali and Aisya were both very positive about the kayaking experience, both were paddling confidently at the shallow end of the beach convinced that they can maneuver better than both parents. That's a good sign!

Here's to more kayaking days ahead (next stop Stokkavatnet practice days and the Grunnkurs)!

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