Saturday, May 3, 2008

Difficult landings

A complete circumnavigation of the Faroe Islands is approximately 450 kilometres of paddling - not a overwhelming distance if it was to be paddled on flat, protected water. But we expect that the paddling will be anything but that. Rough seas, swell and wind is going to be on the agenda, so we'd better be prepared for it.

So, how do we go around training for the trip? Well, as the saying "train as you fight" proposes, it makes good sense to paddle in conditions similar to what we can expect to meet, and get familiar with that. The danish west coast provide the rough seas, swell and wind, but the difficult landing spots are harder to find.

On today's trip, i found one though. It is a section of the coast south of Hirtshals in Northern Jutland, Denmark. After paddling out of the large harbour, the outer part of the harbour produces massive chop and reflecting waves for around 1km, followed by a section of the coast with car-sized boulders in the midst of the surf zone.

After scanning the coastline for a few kilometres, we spotted a few places with some safe surf, and had a great time playing in the waves. And at the end of the trip, just as we approached the entry to the harbour, the ferry from Norway arrived, kicking up the waves reflecting off the harbour.

So, to wrap it up, making the most of the following weeks and months of paddling is important to get physically ready for the trip. What are the possible approaches? Probably a mixture of:
  • Paddling in "realistic" conditions (rough seas, wind, surf).
  • Paddling long distances (50+ km/day for several days).
  • Training long crossings, navigation and getting acquainted with all the gear.
  • Physical exercises "in the backyard" to gain body strength.
  • Eating properly, getting enough sleep.
Now, i'll make an attemt for the last bullet on the list. Goodnight!

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