Kayak meeting, Estonia
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 (Estonia, Kayak meeting), 5 comments
A couple of days on island Aegna, north of Tallinn. Approx 65 participants with a generally high competence level and some to me new kayak models to test. As expected Seabird Designs was well represented (having the office for sales and marketing in Tallinn) – a number of Seapearls, some Discoverys and Expeditions, one Qanik and one Black Pearl (though white ;-) – the latter used by me in my classes.
...three days of tropical conditions – even late at might as in this photo
I was invited to teach Greenland style paddling and rolling and to talk about the dimensions vs performance of sea kayaks – of course spending hours on spontaneous and informal discussions on all kinds of more or less paddling related topics.
A talk on friday night on the dimensions vs the performance of sea kayaks (photo: Sara Wagner)
...and as some will be able to confirm, I can spend a lot of time when heating up on one of my favorite topics... photo: Sara Wagner)
...not kidding – really a lot of time ;-) (photo: Sara Wagner)
...but eventually it got dark
The weather was incredible during the three days on the island! 29-30˚ C during the days and over 20 during the nights, a bright sun shining from a clear blue sky, light or no winds and enjoyable water temperature (not just in my opinion ;-)
Aegna is a small island, a couple of kilometers across with long sandy beaches and a sparse pine forest – a perfect place for a kayak meeting (well, a little less mosquitos would have made it even more perfect).
No crowding in the vast but sparse pine forest
...but more densely "populated" on the beach
The initial plan was that Helen Wilson and I were to handle the Greenland stuff, and local instructors with two instructors from Anglesey handling the BCU-classes. But Helen got occupied elsewhere and only Phil Clegg from Wales came, so Johan and Sara from Escape Outdoors och Black Light Paddles flew in and saved the day. In the tropical conditions the rescue scenarios were a bit lame, but for the beginners Greenland rolling classes it was just fine.
Some planning (re-planning) became necessary now and then – Rene in his intense organizing pose...
I flew back from Estonia with a laidback but well-directed arrangement in fresh memory, many new friends and potential customers, new kayaks tested, loads of photos of sandy beaches and turquoise sea under blazing sun, more mosquito bites than I can remember ever having and a nice suntan (the funny patchy suntan, of course, well known to all sea kayak paddlers).
Wonder what will last the longest – the bites or the suntan?
...the more chefs ;-) – (Swedish proverb, meaning that the more people involved, the more can go wrong) – but Hillary, Rene and Sara did a good job of disproving that...
Aljona from Seabird Designs admires Sara's masterpiece – a 480-gram Black Light paddle!
In the middle: the white Black Pearl HV from Seabird – impressive finish and a lot of nice details! In the background a red Seabird Discovery
...and the Qanik with some of the clean and elegant lines of the old famous Illorsiut kayak showing
The Black Pearl HV out for a late test ride – about eleven o´clock and a lot brighter than back in Lund, some 420 km further south!
...and beautiful reflections from the bright night sky!
Rene at a short ending speach on sunday afternoon
Of course I got a tour of the old city of Tallinn, with the oldest parts from the 13th century – about as old as Lund, but more of the buildings preserved
No prizes for guessing a Hanseatic past...