The other side


This weekend I spent on the Island of Texel in the north of the Netherlands.

The Texel sea kayak club organized two swimming pool sessions. The island paddlers that attended Freya's Greenland rolling clinic last January were eager to practice more. But not all kayaks are created equal. Although Dubside says "do not blame your kayak", some kayaks are easier to perform the balance brace with than others. Custom outfitting of the cockpit is another thing to consider.

The first pool session being on Friday evening, left the Saturday for exploring the Island. Karien took me to the Slufter. This is a part where the dunes are broken-through by a past storm and where high tide enters a vast valley through a maze of channels; a prime bird sanctuary.

Jumping channels provided some adrenaline rush. When was the last time that we sprinted and timed a jump across a water channel? Now older (and wiser?) don't we all tend to consider potential risks more carefully? Sometimes preventing those rewarding jumps into the great unknown?

All sea kayaking trips around the Island of Texel pass this spot, but only once before I had a break here (on a memorable trip in 2002), but I had not taken the tide into the valley. Karien knows about nature and she has a good eye for spotting interesting items on the beach, like the egg shells (sometimes called Mermaid's Purses) of a thornback ray and a dog fish. It is a gorgeous sunny day with a low angle bright March sunlight brilliantly lighting up the surf and deepening the blue of the dune ponds.

Saturday evening another pool session; lots of play time. Sunday another beautiful dune and beach walk with Jannie and Karien. Time on Texel appears to run more slowly than on 'the other side', a term that the islanders use for the Mainland.

Now I am typing this on the train journey home on Monday morning. It appears that 'the other side' skipped a day. Good time on Texel with friends. Thank you Jannie, Karien and Bart for a warm welcome on the beautiful island on 'the other side' (for me).


Saturday 10 March 2007

Sunday 11 March


© A.M. Schoevers