Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gjogv

Short status wednesday: The team had a day of rest and finished with an easy 15 km paddle with the tide to Gjogv. Jesper's grand uncle, Mogens, brought fresh baked bread - thanks Anna !
Position: 62.19n, 6.56w. The morale is good after 12 hours of sleep following the 3 last fast-paced days. Living with the tide rythm can be though on sleep !

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tjørnuvik

short status: the team is now in Tjørnuvik (62.17n/7.08w) after a 54 km paddle with one landing for lunch. Saw seals, paddled tide races and explored caves. All OK !

Mykines

We arrived on mykines today, in an exciting way, have been paddeling in fog all day so we havent seen much of Faroe Islands, just grey grey and some black, something expected to be the shoreline :-)

When we arrived to Mykines habour we couldn´t see 30 m ahead and didn´t know how the habour looks like and we could hear big waves breaking onto a reef just out side the habour so we limped in until we could see the surf an didn´t know what to expect on the otherside more rocks or ???

Tue snook in and after a while he could see shipmasts an we went trough an we saw the concret wall of the habour and a big stone lifted from our hearts but our troubles wasnt over next problem was safe landing of the kayaks in the surge of the swells on slippery rocks and concret walls, but Tue stepped up to the plate and showed some guts and secured both of us a safe landing. now we were sitting in mykines in with Dánjal Danielsen an his family drinking tEA and listening to Faroes stories.

Jónvá (Dánjal´s wife) is sending a greeting to all the mothers, wifes an children left at home.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camp on koltur

We're finally on the water. First camp was on Koltur, 61.59n, 6.57w! We decided to go for the western Islands, given the current 5-day forecast of 4 days with stable weather. First experiences with tide went well, we had a good 24 km paddle sunday evening.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ready for some action

We're now ready to head out on the the first paddle. Again, there's fog (this time in Torshavn) so we'll wait for better sight before leaving.

Yesterday we finally made it to Torshavn! We quickly fetched the kayaks and all the other gear from the Smyril Line Cargo terminal, and transported it to the local Scout group's house.

All saturday evening and saturday was spent re-packing the gear, and we were actually hoping to get on the water around high water slack this afternoon -- but thick fog and clouds stopped that plan. On the good side, it gives us more time to check maps, and do some route planning.

We can be contacted on mobile +298 593751 while we're here - and we'll check up on email now and the. Comments on the blog are now moderated, so please keep them coming, and have a little patience!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finally on the move

We're now waiting to board the flight - after two days waiting, where time was spent on kayaking. We had some good surf despite the very calm weather, and had the chance to visit old friends. We're now looking much forward to finally setting our feet on the Faroe islands and get ready for some paddling.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Grounded in Denmark

Our original flight wednesday evening was cancelled due to fog on the Faroe Islands, we have been scheduled to fly on saturday instead.
A rather tough start, and it hit us just where we had no alternative plan. We're hoping for better weather on saturday! (Just found some live weather webcams from the Faroe Islands)
We're now on the way to the danish sea kayakers summer gathering to spend the waiting time with-you guessed it-on the water.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sponsor update

Without our sponsors, this project would not have been as easy (or economically realistic) as it has turned out to be.

A few words on the sponsorships, before we set out:
RelaxShoe and Sparekassen Thy provided financial support for gear and for use during the expedition. Smyril Line kindly offered to ship kayaks, gear and food to Torshavn and back again.
Brødrene Vestergaard
in Thisted has been our main provider of high quality kayaking equipment (Tomas even took home a lot of gear that wasn't in stock) at very reasonable prices. The shop is likely to be of particular interest to kayakers from the Faroe Islands - situated in Thisted, only 20 km south of Hanstholm, and close to the "test driving ranges" Limfjorden and Klitmøller).
PureKayaking sponsored safety equipment - a McMurdo FastFind MAX PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), as well as handheld and parachute flares that we'll carry for emergency use.
Friluftsland sponsored all the freeze-dried food that will be our main evening dish during the trip, and offered discounts on outdoor gear, most importantly the Hilleberg Nammatj 3 tent we're going to use.

A big "Thank You" to all our sponsors - we look forward to tell you more about the trip when we're home again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TV Spot

Thursday 17 july, TV Midt/Vest, a local tv-station, asked for an interview, and it was broadcast in the news today, at 22.20. Check it out here!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Turbulent week

This week have been a turbulent and stressing week, after the training weekend in the wadden sea. I have been drying and repacking all the gear and preparing it for shipping with our sponsor, Smyril Line Cargo who willingly will ship all of our gear to and from Faeroe Islands for free. A special thanks to Aage Brun and his crew for making this go smoothly. This afternoon i have stuffed all the gear into a container in Smyri Line cargo center in Hanstholm, and the gear will await us in Torshavn when we arrive.




But that's not all I have been busy with this week. Tuesday, Nordjyske Stiftstidende printed an article about our expedition, and that started the medias interest in our quest, so i have been handling the press also. Yesterday, Tv midtvest was making an inteview, but for now we don't know if/when it will be broadcasting.

Today i was visiting P4 Nordjylland and making an radio interview about general kayaking with my college from Purekayaking Mette Bach, who also used the occasion to hand over kindly sponsored safety equipment (McMurdo Fastfind Max PLB, handheld flares and parachute flares).





Monday I will do an interview from 09.30 with Radio Midtvest, and Tue Olesen has done an interview with Faeroe Islands radio, so all in all a turbulent week.

You can also see some of our pictures from our training weekend, and of the equipment here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DIY Hydration System

During the training weekend in Esbjerg, we had quite many hours of strenuous paddling. Keeping hydrated while paddling in swell, wind and moving water doesn't allow long breaks from paddling, to dig out a water bottle from the cockpit or dayhatch. The deck-mounted bag with a hydration bag and tube in it, that i had on the kayak when paddling friday evening failed to do the job, during friday night's surf session. The valve fell off the drinking tube, and the tube was generally just getting in the way of maps, GPS and all the other stuff on the deck.

That convinced me about the need for a PFD-mounted hydration system (a thing which i had, until now, been reluctant to adopt, because it adds more clutter and weight to the PFD). Unfortunately, Stohlquist doesn't make a hydration system for my X-Tract D PFD. After looking at a similar system from Kokatat, i thought "how hard can that be"?


A quick DIY-session with sewing machine and various leftovers of nylon fabric ended with a quite functional solution. Total material costs are negigble - working time was around one and a half hours, including sewing on the badge from Smyril Line (which kindly offered to transport our kayaks, gear and food from Denmark to Torshavn).


The PDF-mounted bag takes a 1,5 L hydration bag. First impressions are good, definitely better than the deckmounted system - time will tell if the concept holds!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In the local news

Tuesday, Jesper was interviewed by the local newspaper in northern Jutland - they wrote up an article with some photos from Klitmøller on the trip. It's available in full length in the paper edition of "Thisted Dagblad", 16. July 2008.

Update from Jesper, 17. July 2008: As Tue wrote I was interviewed by Nordjyske Stiftstidende yesterday and you can see the full article here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ready for the real thing

This weekend's training trip to the wadden sea near Esbjerg and Fanø has come to an end - all in all a great trip. We fought our way through tide, wind and surf, and never really had any relaxing paddling during the weekend.

The gear works, the food works, the bodies work, and we now have a list of the final, small adjustments and improvements to be made before we set out on from Thorshavn.

As a special, non-planned experience, we arrived on Fanø right in the middle of "Fannikerday", the yearly celebration on the island. Many of the locals were in their magnificent traditional dresses, dancing, singing and having fun - we looked in awe, and enjoyed the fresly baked cake that one of Jespers friends made for us.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Night surf

Friday at 10 pm we left Esbjerg for an easy night paddle to the west coast of Fanoe. It turned out to be a little tougher, the last hour was night surfing in 1.5 m breaking waves. Today, the fun goes on, but this time in daylight.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Speedlinks

Just a quick catch-up - some interesting speed-links: Kayaking history on the Faroe Islands, some TV footage from Stora Dimun, and a great website with information on all the small cities and villages spread over the islands.

Previous expeditions:

This is a list of the previous expeditions that i know of - there may be more (if you know of one not listed below, write a comment on it)

TV footage from Stora Dimun

This sunday evening, i got the chance to see a danish TV programme by Søren Ryge, about the sheep farmers living on "Stora Dimun" on the Faroes. This really got me excited about getting there - we're talking only 15 days until departure today. Great footage of the shoreline, including what's probably the only possible landing spot on that little island. During some of the interviews, it looks like tide currents are appearing quite visibly on the sea in the background.

Last, i found a great overview of the the villages and cities on the Faroe Islands, written by a local guy now living in Denmark. He's maintaining the page as a hobby project - nonetheless, great work.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tide water

Tide water must be taken into account in the route planning for this trip. Fortunately, this is somewhat predictable - we have been looking into the Faroe Islands tide water pilot book - and with help from a kind local, we're able to read it now.

During the trip, the moon phases add to, or subtract from the daily low/high tide as follows:
  • Half moon; 26. july. Neap tide (least difference between low and high tide).
  • New moon; 1. august. Spring tide (largest difference between low and high tide).
  • Half moon; 9. august. Neap tide.
  • Full moon; 16. august. Spring tide.
Tuesday this week we took a very thorough look on maps and tide tables, and came up with possible route plans. We have a rough idea about the route now - the intention is to evaluate those plans with locals (kayakers, fishermen) before we're afloat.

This weekend, we're going for the last training trip, near Esbjerg on the danish west coast. Currently, there's a 2 metres difference between flood and ebb water levels, and the forecast is currents of 1½ knots - however, mostly in narrow channels of water, as much of the area is rather shallow water.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The green lightning

This weekend i finally got it and this time in the right size, the green lightning.

We decided to upgrade our current kayaks (NDK Romany and Valley Avocet) to more specific expeditions kayaks, and after a great deal of thoughts and grey hair, i picked the Romany Explorer, The green lightning.


The green lightning is a MV Romany Explorer and the fit in the cockpit is just perfect, lots of space for luggage, and the handling on the water is just right, all in all the best choice for me.

So The green lightning is going to be my ship on the Atlantic and i'm going to paddling with a Nimbus Kiska 210 cm and a Werner Cypres 205 cm paddle.

My paddling condition is good but i have a minor setback, i have a big blister directly on my tailbone, after trying a surf kayak from Dragonossi (the Fish), so this week i have a break from sitting in a kayak.

video

this it from now but more to come.

sea u on the flipside

Jesper Tilsted