Mats Bengtsson kayaking and kayak techniques

A short cold spring trip outside Malmö

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

First spring kayak trip 2010

The winter was long and cold. So cold that there was too much ice to continue kayaking (the kayak would have to be carried on the ice a large distance out from the beach before finding open water to launch it). The ice broke away only a couple of weeks ago. There is still some heaps of snow present in some isolated places, and one occasional morning still has a zero degree temperature.

a kayak in malmoe harbour with some remnants of snow and some swahnsBut in spite of that, it is spring, a little later than usual, but the sun is starting to give some warmth, and the sound of birds has returned to the air in the mornings. When coming back from our first spring paddle trip, and on the final few hundre meters to bridge, I caught the below photo, which I think combines it all. A warmly dressed kayaker (my wife), some sun, warming but still not strong, some remnants of the snow that plagued us soo long, and some swahns, who will likely stay here and get kids later in spring. The spray skirt is not on, since we have just carried the kayaks over the protecting harbour border. In spite of that, the outside wind, around 7 meter per second, is causing small waves also inside this barrier.

It felt nice to be out on the water agin

Pernille outside malmoe harbour cvlose to oresund bridgeDuring the winter, I have participated in some eskimo roll practices in an inside swimming pool. Besides that, no kayaking. Thus, just to be out on the water again felt nice. As can be seen from the picture of my wife, it is still necessary to dress quite warm. Myself. I am using my kokat dry suit. My wife however, feels trapped in such a suit, and instead uses a lot of layers, on top of which she has watertight trousers and a warm coat. I actually think that is less comfortable, definitely less secure would whe fall in. Myself I only need a thin wicking material (NRS microlite), a warm layer (Kokatat dry liner), and the water/wind stopping layer (Kokatat Gore-Tek dry suit). And it works well.

Inde4pendent of the issue of dressing, we set of on a short trip to the harbour. The weaves where relatively small, there where no boats out, but a number of people on the beach we passed. In spite of the break, it felt natural to sit in the kayak, and the sound of the water against paddle and kayaks where refreshing.

Short rest in the harbour

Entering the harbour it was peaceful and quietAt the entrance to the harbour, the waves almost went to nothing, and the wind did not catch the kayaks any more. It was thus a very peaceful entrance into the harbour. There were some people around, but not on their boats yet.

short rest in the harbourIn the harbour, we stopped at one of the low bridges we usually use to get into shore. But this time Pernille preferred to take the break just on the bridge. She was too cold to feel a longer rest on shore would be nice. Thus, we sat down, ate an apple, and drank some, before returning back home. The return trip was fast. 7 meter per second, almost straight in the back led to a lot of quick surfs and a very comofrtable and fast return trip.

I noted that the rest itself made my hands freeze when taking on the wet gloves, which was a bit unexpected since I have paddled in similar temperatures before. My conclusion is that the gloves are on the limit to what is enough at these temperatures.



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