Posts by Alexander

Foraging companionship and the taste of seaweed

Plate with fried seaweed, Dulse

“Do you know the different types of seaweed?” the guy asks, he’s one of the 14 nephews and cousins we just met. They stay in the large house for the yearly work party on the currently unpopulated island of Ensay or Easaigh in Gaelic. Standing side by side, the house and chapel shape the deep…

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As dangerous as a visit to my mother-in-law

Charlotte in kayak with basking shark close to South Uist

‘Are you sane?’ she asks when we tell her we will round the Mull of Kintyre the next day. We are not surprised by the question, ‘Is that not dangerous?’ It is regularly asked when we arrive somewhere with our kayaks. People and especially my mother-in-law, think that we risk our lives when we go…

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The love boat

Alexander holding a rock in a heart shape

A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it’s built for. — Albert Einstein or John A. Shedd. I always tell my kayaking students, jokingly, ‘the best thing about this sport is that it allows me to yell and scream at my spouse’. And it is true, a rough sea…

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High water at home

Kayaking in Meinderswijk, Arnhem. With High water in the floodplain

This week, in the Rhine close to home, water did rise to 12.40m NAP (approx. sea level). To give you a reference to my floor in the living room is at 10.60m NAP. Don’t worry, we are still dry behind the dykes This water level, which is a once in every five-year event, only flows…

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The Old Man of Hoy

The Old Man of Hoy rises one hundred and thirty-seven meters above the sea. It is a temporary monument in an almost timeless landscape. It is the tallest sea stack in Britain and in my opinion one of the most fascinating ones around the Scottish coast. Its warm orange and red layers of Old Red…

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Tie up, before you lose time (or boat)

Two fishing boats at low tide in Portree, Skye

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe- When you step into the unknown, for example, like the journey in the first year, it is so pleasing to collect knowledge. Knowledge has the power to break the feelings of anxiety and unease. It seems…

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