Tag Archives: Kayak Sailing


By Vladimir Brezina

Rigging the boatKayaking in open waters far from land, there’s not much to photograph except endless waves—and yourself!

These are photos from a kayak-sailing trip, with the camera mounted at the top of the mast.
Calm waters
Speeding along
Waves washing over the boat

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Self.

Doi Nomazi

By Vladimir Brezina

Doi NomaziIt was late December 2013, on the first day of one of our shakedown paddles through the Florida Everglades in preparation for the 2014 Everglades Challenge. We had just landed on the muddy beach behind the Everglades City ranger station to get our permits for camping in the Everglades.

As Johna tells it, “as we headed inland I caught sight of a couple of figures—a man and a woman—dressed identically in Army-green T-shirts and black pants. The woman was wheeling a loaded barrow, and I took them for park rangers.

But Vlad stopped and said to the man, ‘I know you! We’re friends on Facebook!'”

The couple were Doi Nomazi (“Two Nomads”), Adrian and Mihaela, a Romanian husband-and-wife adventure team. Even though they too are based in New York, we’d never met before, and this was the only time we have crossed paths so far.

Like us, they were on a kayak expedition in the Everglades over the holidays—but they were sailing, rather than merely paddling, their black U-boat, a double Long Haul folding kayak.

Later, back in New York, I looked to see how their trip had gone, and found that they had produced an enchanting 86-minute “video diary” of their adventure, entitled “Echoes of the Eskampaba—2013”.

“Echoes of the Eskampaba” remains my favorite among their videos, perhaps because it features many of the places in the Everglades that we, too, visited on our trip (such as the lovely but mosquito-plagued Highland Beach, where Doi Nomazi camped a few days after us).

But that’s just one of their videos. There are now 28 of them. Once or twice a year, on their vacation, Doi Nomazi visit some fascinating, remote corner of the world. The resulting video is as well-produced as any commercial movie, and more watchable that most. (It’s perhaps not surprising to find that Adrian has a rich resumé as a journalist, cameraman, and film producer and director.) In addition to the Everglades, Doi Nomazi have paddled in the Black Sea, in the Gwaii Haanas of British Columbia, in Greenland, in Alaska’s Glacier Bay… And it’s not all paddling, either: they have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, driven through the back country of Africa and Australia

Here is their latest video, from Glacier Bay:

Doi Nomazi say that “we have no special training, we are not athletes and we are not seeking any records.” Perhaps not, but their thirst for nature and adventure, and their willingness to endure the inevitable discomforts and hardships, are extraordinary. An inspiration to us all!


By Vladimir Brezina

Why did so many other kayaks overtake us in the 2014 Everglades Challenge? Wind power!

Wind 1Wind 2

Next time, we’ll have sails on our kayaks too!

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Wind.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Zigzag.

As every sailor knows, the most direct way to the destination is usually a zigzag—

... and a zag
... and a zig

Kayak sailing on Long Island Sound, 2007. Story and more photos here.

Travel Theme: Tilted

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Tilted.

Here’s a photo of me sailing my kayak through New York Harbor—that’s the Empire State Building in the distance—back in 2007. The camera, set to take a photo automatically every 10 minutes, was mounted on the outrigger arm, but evidently not very firmly: it started rotating round it, so that when I got home, I found I had photos tilted at all angles, even some upside down…


More about my kayak sailing adventures can be found here, here, and here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is From Above.

Kayak sailing in Long Island Sound, NY, in August 2007. The camera was mounted at the top of the mast.

Day 2, 12:20 PM

(click on any photo to start slideshow)

Story is here, more photos are here.

Kayak Sailing with Balogh Sail Designs

By Vladimir Brezina

Anyone paddling a kayak very soon discovers the power of wind. Even a modest breeze pushes the kayak briskly along. A headwind cuts progress right down. And, once the difficulties of controlling the kayak in wind and waves are mastered, a good tailwind makes the miles fly by.

Since expedition kayaking is all about using the available natural forces to complete the journey in the most economical manner, why not use the power of the wind most effectively, by putting up a sail? Even purists who consider this cheating will sit up straighter in a tailwind, or hold up a jacket, or even open an umbrella.  Why then not a real sail?

Kayak sailing has caught on! There is now out there a huge variety of kayak sail rigs, both home-made and commercially produced, ranging from simple sails that are not much more than umbrellas to serious rigs. Most of the simpler sails are downwind sails, offering little or no cross-wind, let alone upwind, performance. True upwind performance, comparable to that of a small sailboat, takes a true aerodynamically efficient upwind sail, and usually outriggers or stabilizers of some kind that allow a much larger sail to be mounted and used aggressively without fear of capsize. Some of the most powerful and elegant such rigs are made by Balogh Sail Designs.

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Recycled Adventures: Night Kayak Sailing on the Hudson River

By Vladimir Brezina

Also in conjunction with my kayak-sailing post, here’s a slideshow of a kayak sail—or rather, paddle-sail—in August 2007. During the hot, humid New York summer, I much prefer to paddle, and sail, at night. I left Pier 40 on the West Side of Manhattan before sunset, sailed up the Hudson River to the Tappan Zee, then returned to Manhattan before dawn. A waterproof camera, mounted on an aka of my outrigger sail rig, automatically took a photo every five minutes.  These are selected images from the series.

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Recycled Adventures: A Kayak Sail along the New England Coast

By Vladimir Brezina

In conjunction with a post on kayak sailing, here’s the story of my very first kayak sailing trip, way back when in September 2002… I and Mark Starr sailed in a double kayak from Stonington, Connecticut, clear across Rhode Island, through Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound, to Chatham, Massachusetts, a distance of about 100 nautical miles.

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