On sunday the 2nd of November, we attended the yearly jury meeting for the Red-White Ribbon. The Ribbon is given as a recognition of having kayaked around Denmark following a certain set of rules. Basically you have to be self reliant and complete the journey in one take.The Jury consists of paddlers that all have completed the journey. Before we were to present. Fylkir Sævarsson was to lay out his impressive 19 day paddle around DK, which almost led him to a breakdown. But earned him a lot of new records. Read about his exciting ordeal on his Blog.
The meeting was very relaxed and our presentation of the journey, was regularly interrupted by the jury members that wanted to share their anecdotes, which made it more of a friendly chat with old buddies than an interrogation. After a couple of hours of chatting accompanied by pizza and soda we got our expedition approved and was welcomed into the exclusive society of Red-White Ribbon paddlers as the 21st and 22nd member.
We are of course very proud and happy, now we just got to finish the film.
First and foremost we owe the success of the expedition to our own determination, but also to our fear of failure. Another fact to take in to consideration was our equipment. Below I have highlighted the five things that we have praised the most on the trip.
(The keen observer will notice that three of the items mentioned, has been acquired trough sponsor deals, but that doesn’t mean our excitement isn’t genuine)
The five things that we praised the most on our trip.
1. Whirlpool Bibs. Of course our super Gore-Tex outfit from Kokatat made paddling safer a more comfortable – especially the Whirlpool Bibs stood out! Lots of people properly regard the legs as of secondary importance when shopping kayak clothes, at least I did. But those bibs meant that our legs, feet and butt would be warm and dry all day, and the relief Zipper made it easy to get rid of excess fluid. And the fact that you could walk out to waist deep without discomfort, made launches an landing a lot easier and if it rained on land you would just change your top and keep the bibs on until bedtime.
2. Under Deck Bag from North Water. We had both one installed. It was a great addition to the kayaks storage capacity, and its soft design allowed one to enter and exit the kayak easily. Plus the possibility of taking the bag out was really useful.
3. Adventurefood. We had been sponsored with 28 freeze dried meals from Adventurefood. Normally I prefer to cook a real meal when on tour, but we agreed that there wouldn’t be time for that, with all the paddling and filming going on. The dishes was delicious and dinnertime soon became highlight of the day.
4. Keeleazy. That’s right unless you got a PE kayak you want a keel-strip to protect your kayak! No doubt that, that 0,5 millimeter of plastic tape beneath your vessel saves it from a lot of harm. You instantly feel the tape working when pulling the kayak on land, especially on stone and pebble beaches you’ll notice how smooth your keel runs when pulling.
5. ThermArest. Last but not least would we like to recommend everybody to get a Thermarest NeoAir inflatable mattress. It’s without doubt the best investment an outdoors person can make. The thickness of the mattress allows one to sleep super comfortably on the most rugged surfaces, and it keeps you warm as well! After one night on a NeoAir you’ll laugh at the memories of all those miserable nights you have spend on foam mattresses and the self-inflatable counterparts.
Conclusion. Do you need all these things? Certainly not, but they would surly make your trip easier, and more comfortable. And maybe even more enjoyable?
It’s now more than two weeks since we returned from our Denmark expedition. Personally I needed a vacation from all things kayak related, but the time off also offered a chance to gather some thoughts and regain some strength. In my first set of afterthoughts I’ll try to summarize the adventure.
The fact that we had to make a film while paddling made the trip challenging, not that it wasn’t challenging already, but all the extra equipment, breaks for filming and a constant need for charging batteries made it all a bit more strenuous. Adding all that to our slow progress, due to bad weather, meant that we had to sacrifice at lot of ideas and we couldn’t visit all the places plotted on our map.
Film equipment. From left: Laptop, DSLR, Battery chargers, audio recorders, tripods, camcorder and microphones.
But still we had some amazing experiences, met lot’s of nice people and gained a lot of new knowledge. Most of these magic moments got captured for the upcoming film. So despite the hardship and change of plans, we had a great time and the trip was a success, not the least thanks to all our supporters, followers and sponsors!
The Documentary film about our Denmark expedition will be edited during the fall and hopefully premiere on D.A.F.F. this winter.
The plan was to go ashore for a lunch before reaching the border, marked by a stone. But after 3 hours of paddling we found ourselves in the bottom of Flensburg Fjord, right next to the border. Surprised by our sudden arrival we paddled ashore, the stone looked nothing like we expected, and after a moment of short hesitation we placed our crooked hands on granite pole and thereby cementing our completion of the journey!
Camped on a sand dune at the entrance of Flensburg Fjord. The journey and filming is almost completed. Tomorrow we’ll reach the finish point and we’re trying to prepare ourselves for all the media that’ll be waiting. Cameras flashing, reporters shouting and helicopters buzzing.
Think I’ll just put on my shades and try look cool, Kay is more worried about his hair….
Island life. We arrived at Fejø in the afternoon. René, a local inhabitant, took us to his house and served us an excellent meal; fried smoked pork with new potatoes and parsley sauce – all locally produced. We just kept eating, and ended up consuming a kilo of pork between the two of us. Later we got a tour around the island and did some filming.
We have decided to take the fastest route to the finish line. That means we won’t be going around the southernmost islands on our way back to Jutland and the Danish/German border. The reason is that we lack time and are tired – and that the many islands that we’ll be navigating between makes better scenes for the film.
Navigating amongst the islands is a bit more challenging since we only have a greater overview map, but at least we know that finish lies at west – maybe 5 days from now?
The weather was beautiful as we launched to cross Køgebugt, a large bay south of Copenhagen. The crossing took about 5 hours and started on a calm mirror-like sea. But in the last two hours the wind picked up, and we had to work for it – again.
We followed the coastline down south, along Stevns Klint, a 40 meter high chalk and limestone wall running along the coast for 12 kilometers. The wall is now a Unesco world heritage site, due to a layer of clay that reveals that the earth was covered in ashes about 65 mio. years ago.
We have now parked the kayaks in one of the limestone caves and Kay has had his first fishing lessons. We only got 4 bags of Adventure Food left (the dry food sponsored by Eventyr Sport). The thing is that we expect to be at the finish line in 6-9 days. So we better start catching some fish!
Both graves and some parts of the church have disappeared into the water over time