As Rob had the idea of taking a look at what was left from the sandplate Simonszand after the heavy storms this winter, the concept for this tour was born. He planned also to circumnavigate Rottumerplaat and paddle through Schild between Rottumeroog and Rottumerplaat.
At 9.00h it was high tide, but leaving then would mean that we had to leave even earlier from home. And today I had to wake up at 5.00h already, for we planned to start at 10.00h.

Click on the map for an enlarged version


We were with a nice group of experienced paddlers (Rob, Wieger, Wietse, Henk, Annet, Jos, Maarten and myself; all members of KVU) and the weather was perfect for this tour: the sky was blue and the wind only NE3Bft. The only thing is that you are not yet used to this kind of summer-conditions in april.

Our actual start was at 10.15h, pretty close on scheme. It would have been nice to paddle directly to the Schild-creek. However, this seemed not possible to us as the sandbanks there would block us after a short time already when the waterlevel was lowering to low-tide. May be when we started earlier it would have helped a little bit.
Therefor we followed at first the buoys from the "Zuid Oost lauwers" before we turned to the north to shortcut our way to the Schild. Sometimes we met shallow waters already and had to read the water to find deeper spots. Our next aim was to follow the Boschwad-creek. We must be there in time because after 13.00h we expected the waterlevel to be too low for paddling. Another handicap was that we had to paddle this creek against the tidal-current. Our maps showd this was only 0,7-0,9 sm/h and we expected this to be easy. Arrived at buoy BW4 however, the current turned out to be at least 2 sm/h and we had to look for shallow waters to make more progress against the current. We liked paddling this creek very much, enjoyed the scenery and all the seabirds who gave us a migthy concert.
It is unbelievable to me that this area is forbidden area after 15 mai for the rest of the summer. All the birds acted totally undisturbed when paddling the creek and there seems to be no reason at all why this should be forbidden area when paddling.

After crossing the wantij the current changed direction and after reaching deeper water there was time for a short break.

Until now we did not meet challenges with waves or wind today. When going to the northern side of Rottumerplaat this could be an issue in case of northerly winds which can cause heavy surf above the "Gronden van de Lauwers"; a big sandbank where quite a lot of ships were wrecked in the past.

Today´s conditions were perfect howerver as there was no surf at all. It was very interesting to see that there was, about 100 m from shore, a sandbank following the beach thus creating a protected area between it and the beach. It would be interesting to know if this bank blocks the heavy surf and provide a safe passage for kayaks. This is certainly something to explore another time.

After a short break along the waterline on this forbidden island we progressed further and crossed the "Lauwers" at the moment of minimal current: well planned Rob!!
Having reached Simonszand we were surpised about the changes there: the high circular sand-ridge was almost gone and expected to be flooded during high tide most of the time. Also the nice creek behind it, a perfect place for landing, was almost gone und not suitable any more for kayaks. The area with small dunes also disappeared and it seems that camping on Simonszand would be impossible for the next few years. That´s a pity, but on the other hand, may be it easier to accept the tongues speaking that camping there will be strictly forbidden from now on. Something that is difficult to understand.

After our walk around the sandplate we had a long cosy break with chatting and enjoying the beautiful scene. Only Wietse used this break to get some extra sleep because of having mist some during the past days.
The tour also turned out to be a complete arrangement, as Rob took with him a nice homemade salad for us. OK Robsmile!

As the tide rises again we left at 17.30h to paddle with the tide back to the cars. We followed the "Lauwers" and had a nice experience near the buoys ZOL 6-7 where the current was fast, causing waves and excellerated us to 13km/h.

So left me to say that this was a perfect paddling-day, one not to forget. THX Rob for the organisation.

DETAILS: Distance 52 km, temp ±20°C, temperature seawater 10°C, Wind NE3Bft, High tide 9.00h Noordpolderzijl and 8,30 Lauwersoog,
Wind-diagram of 14 april 2006: