Lake Macquarie, from Shingle Splitters Point - 9 February 2016
Website created on 9 Jan 2009. Last updated on 9 February 2016 2300hrs
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|Welcome to our Website. |
Forthcoming kayaking events:
Tuesday 16 February 2016 - Swansea/Lake Macquarie. Osmond Reserve, right up the north end of the peninsula, past the Swansea Gardens Lakeside caravan park. Dobinson Drive, Swansea, on your GPS. Newcastle UBD map ref 178 G5. Google maps (-33.071656,151.633422).
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Knut's Youtube videos are here!
| We are an informal group of friends who like the outdoors and a healthy
lifestyle. This page provides a Notice Board where we can display our kayaking
program, and any other information we might want to share, and some photographs
of our activities.
We meet on Tuesdays. Launch time is 0900, so if you want to join us arrive by 0845 please. We have morning tea/lunch afterwards. Bring something nice to eat if you can, and a couple of dollars to cover the tea, coffee, milk etc.
We paddle in all lakes, lagoons, creeks and rivers from Berowra to Clarence Town, and everywhere in between.
We generally paddle for 2 - 3 hours and travel between 6 and 12 km, at a gentle pace.
|Disclaimer - As we are not a club, just a group of individuals who go kayaking together now and then, we have no responsibilities as an organisation, and no organisational status. Anyone who decides to join us on our outings does so on the understanding that they are responsible for their own welfare and safety. People will provide all assistance and advice to visitors, but take no responsibility. Joining our group is on that understanding, and you will be asked to sign confirmation of that fact. We have no insurance - you should provide your own.|
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|Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail by clicking here. Weekly reports appear below.|
|Tuesday 9 February 2016 - Dora Creek|
Even 30 kayakers just about filled Dora Creek, the village, with cars, and Dora Creek, the river, with kayaks.
On a warm and cloudy humid morning we paddled down to Lake Macquarie, where we split up with Jill, Diane and Carol K heading down the western shore towards Bonnells Bay, where they encountered late-starters Rolf and Keith Vall. Nikki and others paddled into Eraring Lake, which she claimed was as big as Munmorah, but further research shows it's half the size of that more southerly lake.
The rest of us went across to Shingle Splitters Point (SSP), that very attractive lump of land at Balcolyn, about 1400 metres from Dora Creek, the creek. Conditions were perfect, persuading a few of us to cavort in the clear water in our skin.
Visitors Karen, Peter Holt's daughter, and her friend Tony, on holiday from UK, in borrowed kayaks, paddled around in the creek, but Tony at least made it to the lake, in Doug's green tub, then headed back, wisely. At 9.5km for the SSP adventurers this was an easy paddle in a beautiful place on earth. Thanks for coming. We had a competing event at Myall Lake, so this was quite a respectable turn-up for the day.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Our member and friend, Shirley Bleechmore, is an accomplished artist. She is having an exhibition at the Shorethyme Restaurant, 9 Mitchell Street, Norah Head, on 1st March. Click here for details.|
|Thursday 4 February 2016 - Car racks for sale|
Geoff Broome's car racks, for kayaks, are for sale, hardly used. Click here!
|Tuesday 2 February 2016 - Mooney Mooney, Hawkesbury River|
A superb morning at Deerubbun Reserve, Mooney Mooney, for the 26 kayakers who attended. A slight SSW breeze, warm and sunny...
With the tide flowing out to sea, we headed upstream against the flow, along the northern shore of the beautiful Hawkesbury River, past Peat Island, past Cheero Point (couldn't see anything there), past all the gorgeous sandstone and eucalypt forest and massive rock faces. It seemed to take ages, to me, 65 minutes to reach the old Parramatta wreck, but only 45 to get back to base. Most of the others with faster kayaks, or arms, went across the river and around Milson Island, before cruising back to the launch venue. A lot of maritime activity on the river, with fishing boats, construction barges, tinnies and cabin cruisers on the water. I'm trying to make it sound interesting, but you had to be there.
Bob was there with his trusty camera, so his photos are here. Check out Gloria's report on the kayak lessons below.
|Thursday 28 January 2016 - Kayak Lessons|
Gloria's report on the kayak lessons, with photos, are here.
|Tuesday 26 January 2016 - Myuna Bay (MB)|
A gorgeous Australia Day for kayaking - warm, cloudy, 10 knot NE breeze... Twenty-eight kayakers brought their boats to Myuna Bay for a pleasant trip over to Wangi Beach.
Doug and Sue were also there to help and bring our morning tea, thanks guys! There is plenty of parking at MB, just spread along 500 metres of service road.
With the breeze from the NE we decided to head north east to get a tailwind back later. The water was a bit choppy, but it was warm and lovely. We stuck to the shoreline, around Goonda Point and on to Pebbly Beach, or at least a pebbly beach at Wangi Wangi, where picnickers were frolicking, paddling, floating, jet-skiing, swimming and watersliding , not to mention having barbecues and picnics. Good fun on Australia Day! After a respectable period we re-boarded our light watercraft and paddled back to Myuna Bay, with the breeze behind us, making us very warm with no cooling system. A great day paddling with friends, for 8-10km, depending on where we stopped. Debbie and Frank pushed on to the end of the peninsula. Harry and bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 19 January 2016 - Summerland Point|
Only 42 kayakers today, so down a bit on last week. We decided on turning left at the Sandy Beach, and paddled towards Tiembula Creek down in Chain Valley Bay (CVB). Further on right in CVBS there is another creek, with a footbridge over it, called Karignan Creek. For some reason we can never remember the catchy names of these creeks.
Everyone went up the first creek, forgot the name again, about 250 metres before a fallen tree blocked our way. Turn around and paddle back to the lake. Everybody is heading south towards CVBS, so off I go trying to catch them. About halfway across the bay I give up and follow Daryl and Knut back towards our base. Don't know where the advance contingent went, somebody tell me. We all got back to Sandy Beach safely, thanks god, and enjoyed a super morning tea, I'm not even going to attempt to describe the offerings, including hot sausage rolls from resident kayaker Claire, and lattice slices from Shirley, oh bugger, now I've told you! Knut brought a nice meat and vege slice too. All his recipes are here.
To the first creek and back was about 8.5km and any deviation added to that total. Well done those boys! And girls. Harry's photos are here. Thanks for coming!
E-mail from Kee
I think I screw up again on the Launching venue. Waited until 9.30 am. No other person turned up. So I had a solo paddle for about 4 km. It was very tidal and windy.
View of expensive houses but horrible sight of crappy jetties and boardwalks. Much prefer views of Deerubbun Reserve. But then these houses at Broadbeach, Gold Coast have nice views from their living rooms. [Gold Coast, you tricker!]
See you guys in a couple of weeks.
|Knut's video from last Tuesday 12 Jan is here http://youtu.be/hL8Na9xBw3Y.
||Tuesday 12 January 2016 - Toukley, Coast Guard HQ|
Quite different from last week, at the same place - very warm, no breeze, sunny. Forty-four kayakers turned up for the first paddle of the year.
With a week's rain in the lake, it was quite full of water, allowing Budgewoi Lake to be completely navigable, usually there are sandbars everywhere. Launching was easy, just drop your kayak at the edge and climb in! At 0900 we set off towards the Golf Club in perfect conditions, heading towards the far south-east corner of the lake, where there is a little creek and golf happening.
At the footbridge we saw how high the water was as no kayak could fit underneath the bridge. The lively ones disembarked and dragged the vessels to the upstream side of the bridge and embarked on another adventure up the flooded creek. It soon became too narrow, and several skippers decided it was too hard, and backtracked. I went further, but got stuck trying to turn my long kayak around, with help from Rolf who looked after the stern. Harry was ahead and he and Rolf headed further up, dealing with each hazard as it manifested.
I waited ages for them at the bridge, and eventually they came back, beaming with excitement at their adventure. All back on the lake, we turned for home, to find many young water-sprites at the Coastguard ski-ing, paddling and wakeboarding. I'm told our distance was 6kms, seemed more.
This venue is well served with toilets, parking, playground (where we had our m/t) and water, and is especially good after heavy rain. Thanks everyone for coming, a near record number of us for a local venue. Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Harry's Report on sortie into golf course.
Nicky led us into the wilderness (picture 1) after we went round the bridge at the golf club. We went 100 metres and the stream was too narrow so she deferred to my smaller kayak. I went another 50 metres and then came to a bank, hauled my kayak out and started again on the other side, paddled 50 meters, came to a swamp and crashed through about 30 metres, then hauled the kayak out again and in to another body of water. Came to a tree crossing the stream and again a portage, then onto a longer stream (picture 2) for about 100 metres. Then came a dead end that I am sure was not there last time we travelled this stream. There was a man-made embankment. It was at the foot of the main fairway of the golf course. Could see the restaurant and was about to get out and have lunch but realised I was not suitably dressed. Then returned on another branch of the stream beside the fairway (picture 5), came to a levee bank and dead end. Portage to main stream and paddled back to find faithful kayak companions Rolf and Danny, waiting for me.
|Tuesday 5 January 2016 - Toukley, Lake Budgewoi|
Happy New Year! Due to persistent heavy rain and 20-25 knot E breeze (see Seabreeze graph below), nobody was interested in paddling today.
Bob and Lorraine turned up first, bringing their kayaks which they had loaded last night, but not their kit. I turned up at 0820 fully equipped for paddling, but without any enthusiasm. Vivince soon arrived complete with all her gear, choking back tears when she was told - No paddling today, Viv! Keith Arno soon put in an appearence, minus his kayak, and Linda just walked from home to see which idiots had come on such a shocking day.
Nobody was interested even in adjourning to a café for a hot drink and cake. I decided I would be better off at home rinsing my socks, so I headed for the door. As I drove out of the Volunteer Coast Guard grounds, Doug and Sue rolled in, with instructions to leave the venue the same for next week, followed closely by John D who also came for a squiz.
The only thing I can say good about the weather is that it wasn't that cold (19°C), and that at least I could go home and watch the cricket, looking forward to that! Aaarrgh!
PS Bob's stunning photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 December 2015 - Tacoma|
A nice morning at Wolseley Road, Tacoma, about 22°C warming up, a southerly of 15 knots which we only felt returning to the launch venue, and cloudy. Twenty-eight souls parked up on the side of the road, or down at the footy oval, and we all headed upstream somewhere. Rolf paddled all the way from Buff Point, later heading home into who knows what sort of chop on the lake.
From our launch spot to the railway bridge is 5km, which is where most people turned around, but some went further, and one fell short (me). So, between 9 and probably 14km for the day. A lovely spot is McKenzie Island, with its pleasant channel separating it from the Australian mainland. There was plenty of traffic on the Wyong River today, other kayakers, recreational boaties and fishermen (I checked them out - all guys!). So lots of wavy water to break our rhythm.
Had a new guy today, Wayne, who knew nothing about our famous morning tea, welcome Wayne. Margie J was there again, hi, and many of the old familiar faces, no offence meant.
Harry and Bob were both there banging off snaps, sorry, and they are here. Thanks everyone for coming, this is the best morning out, in the shire.
|Tuesday 22 December 2015 - Vales Point, Mannering Park|
My report is short today. Yesterday I washed my Pajero, then parked it back in the carport, got out but left the handbrake off, and the car rolled back while I jumped in and firmly pressed on the clutch, instead of the brake, while the door hit the post and bent it forward. Shut the door with some effort, then couldn't open it. So this morning I had to visit my local panelbeater who temporarily fixed it. I had unloaded my kayak by then, and as it was raining quite hard, at half past nine, I headed off to Manno, only to change my mind and go home, thinking there would be no-one there anyway. Wrong! Suddenly this afternoon photos started arriving in my e-mail box, so we have pictures!
I'm hoping somebody writes a report, but anyway I have Harry's and Bob's photos, they are here.
Doug gave a verbal report - Yeah, rained all morning, got heavy later. We did 10km. Couldn't find the channel because of all the steam. John Stone came down for m/t. And, ah, yeah!
|Tuesday 15 December 2015 - Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point|
A warm cloudy day for our Xmas Party, with a shortish paddle to start. No weather at all, just a nice 26°C. I didn't paddle, so the paddle story will be a bit short on detail.
It looked like everyone enjoyed their kayaking up to the weir, and back, and no mishaps mentioned. Bob and Harry's photos will tell the full sordid story, and they are coming.
Afterwards we all congregated in the Chittaway Point Community Hall which had been transformed into a wonderhouse of food and gifts. Doug and Sue with their little helpers provided a party of the year - cold meat and salads, lollies, dessert (pavlova and trifle) and gallons of delicious punch. We all did our best to wolf it all down, but there was plenty left. Thanks again to all who made this happen. This is not even mentioning the lucky door prizes, for every lucky participant. Each recipient drew the next ticket, and my wife in front of me drew my ticket. Barry was speechless!
Thanks to everyone for coming, and it was wonderful to see the other halves who generally don't come, there enjoying themselves.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 8 December 2015 - Gosford Brisbane Water|
Not as hot this week, 27°C with a cool NE breeze of 8 knots. Nice going downwind, and refreshing coming back! Over 37 paddlers today, keen to get going, pushing off at ten to nine. This means the backmarkers can never catch up. If you are going to leave early, could you please have a re-group after half an hour so we can get back together.
Just divine on the water this morning, passing Iguana Joe's, across Broad Water and down the west coast, past Point Claire and Tascott to Koolewong, where we had a re-group, thanks. The plan was to paddle across to the eastern shore of Brissy Water, but it looked so far away I said, just head for Point Fred. Arriving at Point Frederick quite early most of us decided to go around it and paddle into Caroline Bay, which was very pleasant. There are some fantastic boats moored down the west side of the point, must be worth $millions.
Even though we extended our paddle to about 9km, we still got back quite early, about 10.45am. It was lovely to see everybody this morning, especially some who've been missing for a while. Thanks for coming, and thanks to those who brought the scrumptious morning tea, and to Sue and Doug for bringing all the coffee and furniture. We really appreciate it!
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 1 December 2015 - Canton Beach, Tuggerah Lake|
First day of summer: hot! Thirty-five paddlers came to Canton Beach to enjoy the clear skies, light breeze and hot sun. At Lake Haven at 12.30pm it was 37°C! Still, lovely on the lake!
We paddled west towards the Toukley Bridge. Some people went under the bridge, but most of us kept paddling down past the Wallarah Club and into Wallarah Bay. The Wyong Council has done a brilliant job on the lake and Canton Beach - no weed or muck, just beautiful clear water and sandy beaches! I commend them!
Then across the bay to Pipeclay Point and around into Dalnott Reserve, where Barry and Lois live. One shout from me, and Baz wanders out to see us and avva chat. There is a large expanse of sandy-looking material around this area, but it's all sandstone rock! Bob and I disembarked from our small craft and threw ourselves in the limpid waters on the lake side. Divine!
Paddlers then wandered off towards Canton Beach with total distances travelled (see Strava) between 8 and 13 kilometres. It was so pleasant paddling back across the lake into a nice cool breeze (5 knots N).
Back at the ranch, morning tea happened with a lovely range of delicious and/or nourishing food (take your pick). A couple of extras arrived to join in (JD and Merrill), then we had birthdays, with Carol and Doug both celebrating their 70th this week. Carol was presented with a lovely photo on canvas of herself kayaking, and Doug received, at his request, a nice coffee mug with a similar photo somehow stuck on it. To show her appreciation for all the work Doug and Sue do towards the kayakers, Shirley painted a beautiful picture for their loungeroom, on our behalf, and I presented it, as Shirley is too shy, but don't tell her that. See it in the photos. Thanks everyone for coming, and enjoy the photos by our two resident snappers. We really do appreciate having you guys too! Today's photos are here!
|Ralph's report - Friday 27 November 2015|
|Tuesday 24 November 2015 - Parsley Bay, Brooklyn NSW|
Twenty-three kayakers attended today's session at Parsley Bay. Conditions were very suave with a light NE breeze and cloudy skies. The tide was on the way out, so some places on the Hawkesbury River were quite choppy with the turbulence.
So we paddled north out of the Bay towards Dangar Island (DI) of which, to be truthful, I didn't know the location. Quite a few of us had been there (it's about 400 metres from the launch site) so Kee led us across the river to the east side of the island where we admired all the civilisation that exists in the middle of the river. We kept going past DI and Kee suggested Mullet Creek to add some value to the day. Mullet Creek (named after the locals' favorite hair style) runs longside the railway line, and I know exactly where it goes, as I have gazed at this creek for years as I travelled by train to the city in the old days.
As we entered the limpid waters of the creek, Ralph complained about his crook back, so Harry, Graeme and I offered to help him back home. I offered to let him have a try in my kayak, so we looked for a beach to do the swap, and lo-and-behold there was a beach just there on Dangar Island. As we stretched our legs Harry mentioned that the café was only 100 metres away, so despite my protests they dragged me there and we had a cuppa, to get us back home safely. Luckily we had some money.
After we watched the others paddle back by the railway bridge, we set off ourselves back to Parsley Bay. Near DI there was a large choppy area caused by the tide and the island. Shirley said later she was a bit scared there, as she sits at the front of her double kayak and can't see much but water ahead of her.
A lovely day's paddling, thanks to everyone who came, and to the Daleys who brought the makings, and those who supplied the delicious food. By-the-way, don't forget the Xmas Party, to be held at Chittaway Point Hall, Sunshine Park, Geoffrey Road, on 15 December.
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 17 November 2015 - Waterfall Bay
Conditions were perfect for today's paddle at Woy Woy - sunny, warm, no breeze to start, building to a NE of 10 knots by 11.00.
Over 30 kayakers rolled up at Brick Wharf Road and we headed off towards the wharf, noticing that the tide was so low the canal through the islands was just flat mud. Plenty of water in Parks Bay, under the railway/bike/road bridge, and up into Waterfall Bay. It was so pleasant on the water, just cruising along!
Up at the waterfall the low tide came back to bite us - couldn't get near the falls! So we hung around for a few minutes, then paddled back to the little famous beach where I had a swim, and some of the others stretched their legs. Some of us then paddled across to Woy Woy Bay for some extra distance. At no time did we go near Phegans Bay, or even Fagans Bay, it's back around corner up Woy Woy Inlet. Check your map.
Some newish faces today, like Jane, who rides with us on Sundays, Pamela and Morrie, whom we haven't seen for years, Cyril, who has been AWOL for 18 months... Back to a wonderful morning tea, where Sue presented John Stone with a beautiful canvas photo and a kayaking mug for his 75th bd, congratulations John! And thanks to Sue for the effort she goes to for our birthday people, and everything else. Thanks everyone for coming to our little kayaking group.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 10 November 2015 - Bonnells Bay|
Perfect morning on beautiful Lake Macquarie - no cloud, no breeze, only bliss! Over 33 kayakers attended at Pendlebury Park, where we soon found the short-comings of this venue, viz not enough parking and only rocky launch access. Nice as it is in the water, I think we won't come back here. Also a busy fishing boat port and a lot of cars and trailers in their special parking spots.
We headed out before nine o'clock, thereby missing a kayaker or two, paddling up the east side of the bay towards Shingle-splitters Point. Having reached there in about 30 minutes, we floated around waiting for direction, as Doug wasn't there to tell us. Some people headed off for Myuna Bay, but luckily turned around before reaching the distant shore. The rest of us struck out for Dora Creek, the creek, not far away across the lake.
Having reached Dora Creek we took a port heading and paddled back to Bonnells Bay. Dora Creek flows out of a long delta built up over many millenia, but you don't see that when you're on the lake, it looks very different on the map. So we finished up just paddling back to our launch site, covering only about 8.5km, except for the Myuna Bay guys who did about 2km further.
I didn't know what was going to happen for morning tea, but Sue suddenly appeared with all the coffee and tea, and everybody trotted out their specialties, so we had an abundance of stuff to eat. Thanks everyone for bringing everything. A really nice day on the lake, thanks for coming. Photos are here.
|Tuesday 3 November 2013 (Melbourne Cup Day) - Picnic Point, The Entrance|
Weather conditions were not much better than last week, except it wasn't cold, just rainy and windy. About 22 kayakers turned up, a lot of them even bringing their kayaks, and a few of whom even paddled. I think we had about eleven paddlers today, while the others came merely to cheer us on, or go in Claire's sweep, or join in the morning tea. Anyway, it was nice to see us all there.
It didn't actually rain while we were paddling, but there was a stiff southerly of 15-20 knots. While we were sheltered in the lagoon we didn't even notice it. We started off paddling down to the lagoon from our launch site on Picnic Point, and under the bridge. There is a lot of work going on there, with dredging sand and painting the bridge, not to mention re-concreting the piers which seem to have suffered concrete cancer.
We paddled down the lagoon towards the ocean, with a few of us actually reaching the turbulent sea. By the time Harry, Bill A and I paddled back into the swiftly draining lake, the others had disappeared, under the bridge and to points north towards the caravan park, to go around the islands and back to base.
Lori decided not to go down the channel but headed back towards Picnic Point and beyond, towards Long Jetty. She was out of sight, but Harry followed her towards the jetty. I thought he was going to Tumbi Umbi, so I waited about halfway down. Rolf happened by so we set off together for Long Jetty, but we met Harry coming back the other way, and we all paddled with a strong tail wind back to the launch site. Lori arrived back after us, so everyone was accounted for and we got stuck into the beautiful m/t. A few other guys rocked up with food, so they were made very welcome. It rained lightly during this time but we had the picnic shelters so everything stayed dry. Claire organised the Cup Sweep, but we all went home before the race was held.
Thanks for coming, those who could make it. Next week back to Bonnells Bay, where I hope it will be a nice day and we can all have a paddle in the limpid waters of Lake Macquarie.
Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 27 October 2015 - Bonnells Bay|
Rain and strong wind welcomed the day, so already doubt is in our minds. Doug and Sue loaded the morning tea supplies, but not their kayaks, and headed to Bonnells Bay. When we arrived, there were 4 miserable faces there to greet us, Trevor, Jill, Bob W and Nikki who had already unloaded her kayak. Trevor, Jill and Bob were huddled in their cars. After a quick chat and surveying where we could set up the coffee gear, Nikki decided to paddle anyway and took off onto the lake. The rest of us headed to the only table with a shelter and attached a tarp to try and protect us from the wind and the rain. We had morning tea and a chat and then Nikki reappeared after her valiant solo paddle. Nikki joined us for morning tea and then we all decided to head for home. A non-event in kayaking terms, except for Nikki. Morning tea was nice and the hot tea and coffee were appreciated. .
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 20 October 2015 - San Remo|
On a perfect day, no breeze and flat water, 27 paddlers headed toward Wallarah Creek. At the junction of the creek the group split with most taking the left arm to Wallarah Creek, the others went right up Spring Creek. A pleasant leisurely paddle back to the car park, with just the slightest breeze to give a little relief from the heat. For a day on the lake, where invariably the trip back is always harder, it was event free - no swell, no wind. Probably one of the best days we have had on the lake in a very long time. Nice to see Ian back. Morning tea was held under the shade of the trees which was very pleasant.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 13 October 2015 - Gosford, Narara Creek|
Cloudy threatening weather, with some rain and a southerly breeze, otherwise warm and pleasant. With most of the Toukley cyclists away on holiday at Wagga Wagga, we had only fourteen kayakers rocked up at Gosford Sailing Club for a wander up the Narara Creek.
The Broad Water was quite choppy in the southerly, but we all managed to get across to the railway bridge and slip into something more comfortable, ie Fagans Bay. Conditions immediately improved so we paddled on up the creek for miles, 6.25km for some and 7.5 for the fast guys. Double that and you have our elapsed distance for the day, 12.5 and 15km. Well done everyone!
Coming back the weather turned nasty again once we got under the rail bridge, funny that, and we ploughed across the Broad Water, against the waves and breeze, to our safe haven near the sailing club. Keith had brought the morning tea stuff, and there was bikkies, cheese and yummy chocolate cake, so we didn't miss out on anything. Next week will be at San Remo, but I won't be there, as I'll be at Airlie Beach FNQ. See you when I get back. No reports or photos next week. This week's photos are here.
|Saturday 10 October 2015 - Essay from Ralph|
Ralph has written a report on his first outing in a double kayak. Click here to read.
|Tuesday 6 October 2015 - Chain Valley Bay South|
Another very hot day but 28 paddlers showed up anyway for a nice morning on the beautiful CVB.
Lori was a bit late as she got lost again. Saw her at morning tea. Andy and Judy paddled down from Manno, and Russell also arrived, but not by kayak. Bit far from Gwandalan! Hopefully most of the participants will appear in today's photos from Bob and Harry.
So first thing we paddled around the corner into Karignan Creek, where some cut it short, like Debbie, while Harry and Russell made a day of it, porting their kayaks over two concrete barriers till they ran out of water (to paddle in). See the photos. The rest of us carried on up the eastern shore of the Bay, some like me not so close to the shore, till we rounded the Black Neds Point marker and headed across to the power station. As we paddled up the shore Bob C said to me how beautiful and quiet it was here. I said what about the dull roar from the power station? But apparently he has lived and worked within earshot of the station all his life, so takes it as normal background noise on the lake.
There was no wind at all on the water, or anywhere, and it was cooler on the lake than off it, so it was a very pleasant experience kayaking today with all our friends.
There are quite a few people who would love to paddle with us, but can't attend on a weekday, due to work commitments, whatever that is, so Paul M and Lyn McK have proposed a Saturday paddle from Woy Woy, on the first Saturday of every month. Meeting at the Brick Road Wharf, on North Burge Road, Woy Woy at 9.00am (be there by 8.30 preferably). If you are interested, drop us a line on our club e-mail address [email protected] and we will be in touch. Not a hard paddle, but something like Davistown or Waterfall Bay, about 10km.
A lovely morning tea followed the outing this morning, thanks to all the contributors, including Sue for the yummy sangers. Thanks everyone for coming!
PS The photos for today are here.
|Tuesday 29 September 2015 - Wyong River, Wyong|
Not far to travel today, just Wyong River near the bridge. About 28 kayakers rolled up for a paddle on this beautiful spring morning. A few more non-paddlers arrived for morning tea, some with warm food - thanks Fred!
Right on nine o'clock we all headed west up the mighty Wyong River, towards the headwaters in the snow country near Mangrove Mountain. Most of us only got as far as the weir at the Old Milk Factory, but new John Wood, Alan, Sandra and I ported over the weir and kept going to the pumping station. John kept going and I was fearful for him, but he turned up at m/t to my relief. Sandra, Alan and I paddled gently back to the weir where there were a few people fishing, boating, sunbathing etc, and a very nice lady called Lisa, the Milk Factory Superintendent, helped this poor old gentleman out of his kayak, and carried it to the plastic boat ramp on the downstream side and launched me off. Thanks Lisa!
Most paddlers seemed to be already back at base when we arrived, so I would say we paddled about 6km on average for the day. A couple more for the upstream adventurers. Porters Creek was a dead loss due to lack of water, so probably they got stuck at the pipes where the metal plate needs extra water. Those who've been there will know what I mean.
Next week Harry reaches his 75th birthday. We would have made a fuss but Sue was away so it didn't happen. All the best Harry, and thanks for today's photos. Sorry about last week's photos but I forgot them after going to Geoff's funeral.
It came over all warm like as we were out in the sun, so a lovely day on the river. Thanks for being there!
Harry's photos are here, and last week's pictures are here.
|Knut's video of Myall Classic is here.||Tuesday 22 September 2015 - Budgewoi, Lake Munmorah
A coolish morning with a slight breeze, until the big southerly kicked in (see Seabreeze® Graph below. Twenty-three eager kayakers fronted for a morning of exploration and exercise.|
We headed down the west side of Lake Munmorah towards the Colongra Wetlands. A very pleasant paddle with the breeze behind us and fairly calm water. Down to the flooded forest then up the canal to the end.
Back out onto the lake, the northern half, still quite pleasant, but when we reached Colongra Point we could see the water churning with white caps and waves in our faces. Some kayakers stuck to the shore, much longer, while the rest of us pushed against the wind and waves straight across the lake, seemed to take hours, probably 40 minutes. Quite a challenge, but invigorating as well.
We all made it back, including our new mates John and Diane K, from Belmont, and it was a relief to see them safe and dry. Thanks everyone for giving it a try, and thanks to all the non-paddlers who joined us for m/t, including JD who cycled down from home. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Myall Classic 2015|
Toukley Kayakers was very well represented again this year with six paddlers in the Myall Classic. Claire tackled the 27km; Keith A, Rolf, Knut, Barry and Doug the 12km. It was an absolutely perfect day, so much so we even had an abundance of "land crew" for the event. Gloria, Carmel, Anne (Carmel's cousin), Fred, Colin, David (Claire's husband), Bob, Mark and myself. This year we were a little better organised with the sun shelter, table, tea, coffee, air pots etc and our impressive banner, so we could mix it with the 'big boys'. We all had on our Toukley Kayakers shirts, and really did look the part on and off the water. We looked very impressive, even if I do say so myself.
Our paddlers did extremely well again this year, Claire came 2nd in her category in a time of 3hrs 44min; Keith came 5th in 1hr 30min; Rolf 8th in 1hr 33min; Knut 9th in 1hr 35min; Doug 11th in 1 hr 41min; Barry 13th in 2hr 16min. At 80 years of age, Barry was the star at the finish line with a video camera focused on him and a microphone interview. We were all so proud to say he is one of our paddlers. Fantastic result Barry!
Keith overcame adversity to paddle so well in the race. On the trip up, the straps holding his brand new kayak to his roof rack snapped and the kayak and the Pacific Highway had a very sudden and unpleasant coming together. His paddle was snapped in half and his kayak is quite a bit lighter with all the chunks out of it. I think a lot of us would have done a u-turn and just headed home. Well done Keith! Rolf won a lucky draw prize too. Maybe next year we can entice a few more of our paddlers to what is a really good event that is not too far from home.
On a sadder note, unfortunately, we now know why the 14th entrant didn't start in the 12km event, that entrant was Geoff. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
|Tuesday 15 September 2015 - Blackalls Park, Lake Macquarie|
The warmest day since last summer, reaching 28°C, with a stiff NW breeze (see Seabreeze© below). Twenty-seven kayakers made it to Blackalls Park, up past Toronto NSW, plus Darryl who is recovering from a trigger-finger operation.
With the wind quite strong we headed for Stony Creek's protected banks. We launched in Edmunds Bay, on the right-hand side of the park, to keep out of the wind, but had to poke our noses into the open waters of Fennell Bay before ducking down the western arm of Stony Creek. This proved to be a small mistake as it is only 10 centimetres deep so some paddlers had to disembark and drag their and others kayaks over the worst. Most of us returned by the eastern arm, though I did see some kayaks of the sit-on variety breeze over the sand on the way back.
It's amazing to see the marine industry well-established on the bank of this little creek, with big motor launches and yachts all moored or on racks in the shipwrights' yards. We kept paddling upstream with only an occasional sniff of the strong breeze till we reached a pretty convincing rock shelf which deterred most of us from proceeding any further. Some kayakers, including our intrepid photographers, weren't totally convinced so continued another 3 or 4 hundred meters upstream, well done guys!
I was disappointed to find that we had paddled only about 8km for the day, as it felt further. Just me I think!
Back at the park we were invited by Frank and Shirley to their beautiful house on the shores of Fennell Bay for morning tea. Apparently it has 6 bedrooms and several bathrooms, but the rear deck was magnificent with a view to get sick for. Shirley supplied hot sausage rolls so sadly not all of Sue's sangers were eaten, but we did our best. Thanks very much to F & S for their hospitality, and to everyone who brought nice stuff to eat. A beaut morning's paddle.
We are all pretty shocked by Geoff's untimely death and wait to hear more, thanks Georgie!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Monday 14 September 2014 - Geoff Broome|
Sadly I must report the sudden death of our friend Geoff, at home, on Saturday 12/9/15. The circumstances are unknown at this point. Will keep you all informed as soon as we hear.
|Tuesday 8 September 2015 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point|
A cool sunny Spring morning with a slight westerly breeze, nice. Twenty-four enthusiasts rolled up for a pleasant paddle up the creek to the weir (I don't think anybody went over it today) and back towards the lake. Some did the lake first - Doug paddled over to The Entrance and struggled back against the wind, which persisted up the wide creek valley. We got scattered all over the creek, with kayakers travelling at different speeds, but we all came back together for morning tea, thanks Sue and Doug, joined by a few rings-in, like Carmel, Lyn, Col and Fred among them. Lovely to have them there.
Last week I lost my hard drive, so most of my data and programs went west, so if things look a bit different that's why. Bob's photos are here.
|Wyong Shire GOALL magazine
Attached is a copy of this excellent magazine, with reports from the Bike Club and the Kayakers, with the emphasis on the not-so-young. Click here to read.
Go to Club Notices for details.
|Tuesday 25 August 2015 - Nords Wharf, Lake Macquarie
Cloudy, warm, no wind at all, really nice! Sixteen kayakers fronted at Nords Wharf for a pleasant morning on the lake. Claire paddled around from next week's venue, so about 27km for her today, plus whatever she does in the afternoon. Welcome back Rolf, remember Rolf?
We headed south into Crangan Bay, sticking to the eastern shore. We looked for a creek, eventually we found a small one, could have been either Crangan Creek or Mangrove Gully Creek, but in either case it was useless, so we kept on around the shore till we came to Gwandalan. No sign of Russell even though we called out for ages. A bit further north up this west coast shore, then back across the bay to our base. Very nice élite group, nice m/t. A breeze blew up later and increased all day. But we were home by then.
Thanks for coming, those boys and girls, good choice! Bob and Harry's photos are here. Cheers!
|Tuesday 18 August 2015 - Pelican, Lake Macquarie
A glorious morning, not even cold, but sunny and a light breeze. I counted at least 35 kayakers, but I was too late to mark the roll so I don't know who they all were.
By the time I got in the water, many of us had started heading north towards Marks Point the township, past the aerodrome, Swan Bay and Marks Point the point, into Village Bay with all its wonderful yachts and houses. There were a lot of swans on the water and they all took off, making magical patterns with their white wing flashes. I said 'incoming swans' and Col said they have to divert, Fred said 'they're not allowed to land at Pelican, they have to go to Swan!'. It seemed funny at the time.
It seemed quite easy paddling north, with the tide. We kept going past Cane Point, Belmont South and up as far as the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club jetty. By then it was ten o'clock so we headed back south, to find that the tide was now flowing against us. Some smart guys, like Doug and Fried, looped right out near the islands and missed the tidal flow, and got back much sooner. At about 3kmh the tide cut our forward progress down to about 2kmh, very slow and hard work.
A few of us were overtaken by a big barge fitted out with cranes and a pile-driver, making only slightly faster time than us. There was a lot of turbulence in the water, but nobody tipped out, thanks god. Eventually we all made it back to our base where Sue and the ladies had a lovely morning tea waiting for us, thanks guys! There were so many of us, people kept stopping to ask who we were, so we said - look at the website for details. Thanks for coming kayaking with us!
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 11 August 2015 - Bobbin Head
It's a long way to Bobbin Head (BH) from Toukley (90km), but worth it. With the conditions all in our favour, we made the most of the beautiful day kayaking the limpid waters of Cowan Creek. Twenty-four kayakers paddled down towards Broken Bay, turning around after 5 or 7 kms, and getting back to BH around 11 o'clock. Lovely calm water with spectacular National Park all round.
Kee said he was going further and we wouldn't see him again, and we didn't. Keith V was a worry, not returning till nearly everyone had left for home, only Sue and Doug waited for him. Nice to see some people again, like Frank and Shirley, and David and Anastasia, and Lori. Carmel and friends visited us at the kayak and canoe launching spot, hi guys!
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 4 August 2015 - Morisset, Lake Macquarie
Although we had a cloudy sky and a slight sprinkle of rain at home, when we arrived at Morisset, it was a little cloudy, no rain and slightly cooler than at home, all in all, pretty good.
Today we launched at Morisset Hospital and headed toward Pourmalong Creek. We paddled until the Silky Oak Road bridge and decided the water was too shallow for us to venture across the half-exposed pipe. Alan and Sandra powered up the supercharger and went for it and made it unscathed to the other side, well done you two, but the rest of us decided against attempting it. The decision was then made that we would head out of the creek and around the foreshore to Lake Petite. Once we rounded the corner there was no breeze and the sun decided to pop out occasionally, warming things considerably.
On the trip back to the launch area, the wind decided to return and the water at times was a bit choppy, but not unpleasant. We paddled 11.5km today. Morning tea was very pleasant as the wind didn't reach the shore, it was only out on the lake, which was very considerate. 16 paddlers today and two more joined us for morning tea. Unlike our morning teas here in the past, we had no kangaroos visit, until we were all heading out, but instead we had, of all things, pigeons! I think they were worse than the kangaroos, as they kept flying onto the table, at least the kangaroos aren't quite so pushy.
A very pleasant morning with good company. Thanks everyone for taking the drive up and for Greg paddling across from home. Once again, it proves you can never tell what the weather is going to be, until you get to the venue.
Doug and Sue
Today's photos are here.
|Tuesday 28 July 2015 - Tacoma paddle
A cool sunny morning at Tacoma greeted 34 kayakers, and some non-paddling security staff, including some newbies - Ivan, Kiwi Richard and Merle, who has been following us on the website.
Very poor launching facilities here into the Wyong River, but we managed anyway. Once on the river we headed down to Lake Tuggerah and turned left towards Rocky Point. The little bay there we found to be too shallow even for kayaks, so we skirted around it, past Rocky Point and onwards north towards Karraganbah Point, way in the distance. We were aided by a pleasant tailwind and a smooth lake surface, and finally reached a point at which we realised it was nearly ten o'clock, so we turned around. About then a stronger south-westerly sprang up, chopping up the water and cooling us down, at the same time warming us with the extra effort needed to make headway back to the river.
All the same, it was a refreshing experience, paddling on the lake, communing with nature. Luckily no-one communed too much, as it was too cold to get wet. Tuggerah Lake is a very pretty lake in most places, so if the Nords Wharf group want to come down on Friday you should enjoy it. Or you could join us next Tuesday at Morisset, just paddle across the lake from Nords.
A very nice morning tea was served by the staff, thanks very much everyone. All up a pleasant 10km paddle with all our friends.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 28 July 2015 - News from Iceland
Below is a face book message from Arthur Love regards an accident in Iceland, concerning Liz (from today, Sunday, 26 July 2015):
To bring everybody up to date I will go through what has happened so far. We were staying at a Hotel about 2 hours northwest of Reykjavik and just finished a meal of halibut and Liz decided to go to bed and read a book. I stayed in the lounge looking at some Icelandic History books. When Liz opened the door to our room she overbalanced and stumbled off a 3m wide low porch and fell on the edge of the porch and onto the ground. Nobody saw this and she shouted out for assistance but nobody heard her for some time. I came out at the same time that they were looking for me. Liz had no feeling in her legs and lower body.
An ambulance was on the way and a paramedic who was staying at the hotel helped until the ambulance arrived. They put her on a stretcher and transported her to a medical centre where a doctor stabilized her for the 1.5hrs trip to Reykjavik Hospital.
After initial appraisal in Emergency Liz was transferred to ICU and the Neurologist Specialist came in and assessed that there was a displacement of the spine at the C5-C6 vertebrae. Liz had no feeling below chest level and could move her arms but not her fingers. Liz was put into traction to see if the spine could be brought back into alignment. At midday a new scan indicated that the alignment was much improved with only 1 to 2mm more required to be aligned satisfactorily. The neurologist still thinks that an operation is still required to fix the alignment. With the alignment repaired there is a chance that Liz will have some feeling and possibly movement in the lower body.
It is too early to say with any confidence on the outcome.
The doctors and staff at the Hospital are very experienced and professional.
We all hope that Liz recovers.
We are all a bit shattered at the present time but our holidays are on hold/ cancelled for the time being.
Liz needs all your support.
|Tuesday 21 July 2015 - Davistown
On a clear morning, without the hint of a breeze and quite a pleasant temperature, we arrived at our usual spot at Davistown, only to be welcomed by a couple of confused faces, but only a couple, as everyone else was trying to park at some other venue, where there is not enough parking, even for the reduced number we had today, and the water was 30 metres from shore. As we always launch at Restella Ave, I am bemused why Pine Ave was chosen.
After we relocated everyone back to Restella Ave, we launched onto glass like water. We had 20 paddlers today, which was a surprisingly low number considering it was such a picture-perfect day. The majority headed from Davistown to Veterans Hall, then on to Woy Woy Lions Park, along the foreshore to Blackwall, then across to Daleys Point, under St Huberts Island road bridge and back to Davistown.
The water today was crystal clear. Unfortunately, when crossing from Blackwall to Daleys Point, Jeff went too close to the rip and was tossed out of his boat. He managed to get back in with help of the other paddlers close by. So all was good. Thank goodness it was warmer today for Jeff's unplanned dip. Bill, Chris and Keith V chose to paddle to Kincumber inlet for a change of scenery.
A beautiful day, great company, perfect conditions for kayaking, whichever direction you chose to paddle. We apologise to anyone who couldn't find the group today, and to the couple of paddlers who joined us quite late, after their tour of Davistown.
Doug and Sue
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 14 July 2015 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo
This chilly sunny winter morn with temperatures about 10°C and a strong westerly breeze saw 18 kayakers roll up, and a few more just come to watch but not get wet. Similar conditions to last week, but with shelter from the wind, not like last week's ordeal.
I got there early and ran over a hairdresser's razor blade and flattened my tyre, so I had something to fill in my spare time. Bob and Brian helped, so we didn't have to call the NRMA. That Brian is a strong bloke! Thanks guys!
We were soon on our way up the Wallarah Creek to the fork, where we took the right into Spring Creek, having heard that there was a tree down over the other creek. Doug checked it out later, and it was true, but someone had cut a couple of meters off the trunk to allow passage for light vessels. Up past the barking dogs into the bush, eventually reaching the Motorway Link, but luckily there is a bridge over the creek, so we kept going. We soon came to the end and turned back after having paddled 4km. Greg turned up late, having worked nightshift the previous evening. We haven't seen him for a year, due to surgery on his shoulder. Seems to be fixed now.
With a tailwind going back we soon arrived at the sparse facilities of Brudenell Avenue (there are none really) and swarmed over the bike path while we had m/t. A cyclist came through with a beam on his bike that he bought from Bunnings up the road. I gave him a piece of pineapple for his trouble. Many of the non-paddlers brought delicious food, so they were welcome. Claire brought hot party pies and sauce. Yum!
A lovely paddle and good to get some fresh air. Thanks for coming everyone!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 7 July 2015 - Tuggerah Lake, The Entrance
Cold, sunny with a 8 knot westerly rising later to 20 knots. Seemed OK at first, but as the 30 of us headed down the eastern shore towards Tumbi it got colder, the wind stronger and the waves bigger.
After passing the Long Jetty, I decided I had somewhere else I had to go and turned back. About ten others thought the same so we were back at Picnic Point before 10 o'clock. The remaining crew kept going towards Tumbi and we didn't see them for over another hour. Gradually they straggled back until someone said 'we have paddlers down in the lake!'. Fortunately I was keeping my roll up to date and knew who the missing six were. Debbie quickly paddled up to the boat ramp looking for fishermen in a tinnie, whom she found and despatched southwards.
It was a big ask but the fisherguys perservered out into the lake, which by now had whitecaps and half-metre waves blowing in from the SW, plus it was freezing. From the shore, with Rob's binoculars, we could see several kayaks, including one upside down being towed by Doug. The fishermen found the other kayaks, including Andy and Judy's which had Nikki hanging off the back, unable to get back in her kayak, She spent an hour in the water, at least, before being rescued by those tinnie sailors who, fortunately, had a fold-down ladder at the back of their boat, which Nik was able to kneel on before falling aboard. Anyway, see the photos for a full appreciation of the scene.
Meanwhile Sue had been cooking up a heap of snags and kebabs to keep us all warm. After Nikki was looked after and finally dried and dressed she returned to the lunch but couldn't eat anything. It was also her birthday, a significant one, so she qualified for a photo on canvas as a memento of her awful day, and a rousing song, possibly Happy Birthday. One good thing she did was to wear a full wetsuit while kayaking, so that would have helped.
The rest of us were just glad to have got back safely and to be warm and dry. Thanks to everyone who helped with Nikki and who came out on such a cold day. On the way home it rained heavily, so it could have been worse.
Photos are here.
PS By next day Nikki was fully recovered from her ordeal.
| For reports from May 2013 to June 2015, click here.
For reports from May 2011 to April 2013 - click here.
All older reports (pre May 2011) and the old Photo Album are gone.