Greg on his outrigger - 21 May 2013
Website created on 9 Jan 2009. Last updated on 22 May 2013 1630hrs
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| Forthcoming kayaking events (for cycling
events, click here) —
Tuesday 28 May 2013 - Davistown - Restella Avenue boat ramp and all facilities. UBD map ref 97 M15. Google maps ref (-33.486239,151.35848), paste into Get Directions Line B.
Click here for Knut's Yummy Recipes.
|Knut's Youtube videos|
Swansea 21 May 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2F9KWHKqwI
Brisbane Water, Gosford 7 May 2013 http://youtu.be/AgXTfPge3B0
Summerland Point 30 April 2013 http://youtu.be/DZPtwZDXKJs
Bonnells Bay 23 April 2013 http://youtu.be/6-h4Loe48mk
Narara Creek 08.01.2013: www.youtu.be/ilwXlC26-Zc
Blackalls Park/Stony Creek 15.01.2013: www.youtu.be/3zzp4qwWmSk
Mooney Mooney 22 January 2013: http://youtu.be/9Ttb9I73yKM
Ourimbah Creek 5 February 2013: www.youtu.be/bCRZKqLOgJ8
Clarencetown Mills Falls 12 Feb 2013: http://youtu.be/ZzASW29AoQU.
Clarencetown 12 Feb 2013: http://youtu.be/2Zq5Xk77AWA
Ettalong Beach 19 February 2013 http://youtu.be/FsCkaruy0CA
Summerland Point 26 February 2013 http://youtu.be/JzC_E47dbrQ
Canton Beach 5 March 2013 http://youtu.be/Jxzt2t9T-74
From Kee - Narara Creek 7 Feb 2012 http://youtu.be/YAd36B7He9Q
Wallarah Creek, San Remo - 12 March 2013 - (Peter Dunn) http://youtu.be/EZk3C2yaOkE, (Knut) http://youtu.be/7z4MI1JqwF4
Parsley Bay 19 Feb 2013: (Peter Dunn)http://youtu.be/KMRrvSBFofM (Knut)http://youtu.be/BxxwOCpXAtw
Lake Tuggerah 26 March 2013 http://youtu.be/yz0dGRIEb5k
Don't forget Knut's latest recipes here.
|Welcome to our Website.
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.|
Both the above businesses support our club and will give special discounts to our members.
Click on the logos to go to their websites.
| See new Maritime NSW rules on lifejackets
— Click here.
To summarise: Wear a lifejacket at all times except in enclosed waters (rivers/lakes) within 100 metres of the shore.
|Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail by clicking here. Weekly reports appear below.|
For cycling reports and forthcoming rides click here
|Tuesday 21 May 2013 - Swansea|
Message from Rolf:
No idea how many souls today, about 35 I think. When I got there, all kayaks were still on their cars, however we soon persuaded the kayakers to unload and get ready for a trip on beautiful Lake Macquarie.
The tide was flowing out, and getting stronger by the minute, but we didn't notice as we headed up through the islands and across to Marks Point. We split up before that, and the others went all over the place, like under the Swansea bridge, or over to Wangi Wangi. Myself, I went with Rolf down towards the bridge, but then I got scared and headed back after Carol and Viv passed us going the other way. I couldn't keep up with them, and soon Bill and sandra passed me too. Rolf kept going under the bridge with Linda, so they had a long struggle back. The tide was flowing out at about 4kmh up the channel, so I barely made headway. Up the top of the peninsula I appeared to stop for a minute, paddling furiously all the time.
I finally got around the top and saw Cindy coming back from Wangi, with John and Debbie in the double. We all finally made it, but it was hard work battling the tide. There was a 15 knot NW wind to challenge us as well, which meant that you had to paddle at 6kmh just to stand still! Temperature was about 20°C.
Anyway, it was all good fun and great exercise. Thanks to everyone who brought such delicious food and added to the social occasion. Photos are here!
|Tuesday 14 May 2013 - Gorokan, Budgewoi Lake|
Not a nice day really. Cool, cloudy, rainy, but no breeze. We had about 30 people attending, with about 20 hitting the water. All the others helped Sue with the barbecue.
Most paddlers headed north or east into Budgewoi Lake, but Brian, Vivienne and I went under the Toukley Bridge and turned right, while Doug went left towards Canton Beach. The three of us paddled across Wallarah Bay and around Pipeclay Point in gloomy conditions with rain falling. Heading south from Pipeclay towards Wyongah, we realised how far it was to anywhere ahead, and decided to go across the lake towards Canton Beach. Near Canton we found Doug coming back from his excursion down the Wyrrabalong Forest shore and joined together for the journey back to the bridge. Near the Toukley Bridge we came across Rolf wandering around. Rolf launched at 5.30am and paddled in the dark down to Berkeley Vale and back, so he had been 5 hours on the water at that stage. I don't know why.
When we paddled under Toukley Bridge we saw kayaks all over the lake, some had gone all the way to Wallarah Creek highway bridge, others went to Buff Point. I was quite chilly by this time, not having a jacket, only a rashy and a PFD, so was quite keen to get ashore and into some warm, dry clothes. Lunch was ready on the bbq (10.45am) so we all tucked in and warmed up.
People had come quite a distance not realising it was going to be raining, eg Dennis from Richmond, where it was sunny. I'm sure everybody did exactly what they wanted to do, so had a fulfilling morning and were home in time for lunch.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 7 May 2013 - Gosford|
I was delayed somewhat, so by the time I arrived at the Sailing Club, all paddlers were on the water and gone (10.20am). Barry and Gloria were there, as I had their kayaks, and Col. So we decided to stay put, with the first of the paddlers already arriving back home. A few had gone south around Frederick Point, while most of them had gone up Narara Creek.
I counted at least 30 kayakers but there could have been more. The day was cloudy, but mild temp and a slight breeze, so pretty good for kayaking. Some people paddled as far as they could go up the creek, which is a long way.
This kayaking day is as much about socialising as paddling, so we spent the same amount of time over morning tea as we did kayaking, which seems really fair. A good day out with our friends!
Harry and Bob's photos are here. There are a couple of mistakes in the captions, Title 6 is really Ian, and Title 11 is Bill with the ducks. I can't fix them myself!
For those interested in my health, I have been revealed to have a very slow heartbeat rate, about 30-35 at rest. This put me in hospital on the weekend when the medicos discovered this, but in fact there is nothing wrong with me. Much. The cardiologist has put me on Warfarin but the GP is hoping to get me off it. More to come.
|Tuesday 30 April 2013 - Summerland Point|
Another fabulous day in Wonderland - temp about 22°C, but with heavy cloud and SSW breeze of 12-15 knots, but it got sunny later. So most of us headed north around Frying Pan Point and through the lovely little bays of Summerland Point and up towards the Point Wollstonecroft Sport and Rec Centre.
Some paddlers bucked the trend and headed over to Morisset, while Rolf and Fred paddled right up to Pulbar Island. Some of us kayaked up Bonny Boy Gully (true!) for a couple of hundred metres, and flushed out a helicopter which was hiding in the bush. You could see two choppers from the lake, and a temporary looking structure and landing pad. Very exciting as it started up and took off only about 40 metres from us!
Coming back into the stiff breeze was hard work, and it seemed miles from the boatshed to Frying Pan Point, but is only about 3km! So despite all that paddling for nearly two hours, I still only did about 8km! It's good to see kayakers going wherever they want and not following the leader, because we don't have one.
I counted about 37 paddlers this morning, but they're not the same 37 paddlers we have had recently. We had at least 3 newbies today, and many from last week weren't here today. Sue keeps a record, and we have had about 170 different paddlers since we started, so I hope they don't all decide to come on the same day! Anyway, a top day for everyone, except Trevor who got sick. Hope you're feeling better soon Trev! Photos here!
|Tuesday 23 April 2013 - Bonnells Bay|
Sorry about the directions for today, I made a mistake! However, about 36 paddlers showed up for a splash in Bonnells Bay. Considering the weather lately, we had a top morning in a perfect place.
We were all on the water by nine o'clock and headed around Hungary Point, Bonnells Bay, in a clockwise direction. Hugging the shore, we passed the Henry Kendall Retirement Village, where no doubt a few of us are booked in, and had a little go up Freshwater Creek, and Fullers Creek on the other side of the village. Not much satisfaction there, so we pushed on up past the water treatment plant to what very few of us realised was Dora Creek's south bank. Mark has fitted a mount for a GPS on my kayak, thanks Mark, and he gave me a GPS for the day, so I could watch my speed and direction. Downwind I could manage 8.6kmh but usually I paddled at about 5.5 to 6.5. At the end he told me I had paddled only 7 odd kays! Cindy and other younger fitter kayakers went up to Splingle Shitters Point, but were late back for tea. Probably about 14km for them.
So at times we had kayaks scattered all over the bay. Kerrie and Bill came back early because of Kerrie's sore shoulder. I'm sure many of us have injuries we carry, but love to go kayaking all the same. We've been here only once before, in September, 2011. A top day!
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 16 April 2013 - Wangi Wangi - Sue's Report|
Wangi Wangi was the venue for today's paddle, however, when the undaunted paddlers turned up at our usual spot on the southern side of Wangi it was quite windy and raining. At this stage we had 13 people, (even Bob the Whippet gave it a miss), but the decision was to go down to the northern boat launching area (across the road really), except Mark and Fred who took off toward Pulbar Island. Keith showed up shortly after we changed launch sites. By the time the others had launched there were 9 paddlers in the water heading to Wangi Point to meet up with Mark and Fred. There was only a slight shower of rain, and, apparently the sun even made an appearance for a short time. Danny, Colin and Sue stayed on (not so) dry land. At morning tea, Jill and Trevor arrived to join us, so in total we had 16 people present, 11 braved the conditions and paddled. The distance paddled today was approx 9km. Well done guys and girls, it certainly didn't look too promising when we arrived, but as usual, turned out well. Photos are here.
|Tuesday 9 April 2013 - Dora Creek - Lorraine's report|
The autumn sun shone for our sortie on Dora Creek today. Clouds threatened and there were a few drops of rain but nothing to deter us from our mission. Numbers were a bit down this week as many of the gang were in Canberra on a "bikers' excursion". We paddled up Dora Creek heading toward Cooranbong. At the junction of Dora and Stockton Creeks it was a huge decision whether to go left or right. So the group split almost in half; some going up Stockton and some of us up Dora. Stockton was less residential but some paddlers reported oil on the water surface. However, those with excellent eye sight spotted insectivorous bats roosting on the underneath of one of the bridges – that would have been something to see! My group paddled up Dora, past reserves, camps, under the expressway and past the Sanitarium factory where the smell of weetbix gave us energy to continue on! Along Dora, we spotted ducks and water dragons. The paddle was 11-12 km today (depending on whose GPS you trust!) and we were all ready for morning tea on our return. In the absence of Sue and Doug, Robyn provided tea and coffee. Thank you for your preparation so early in the morning Robyn! Photos are here.
PS On a personal note, I am really going to miss Tuesday's adventures when I return to full time work in a couple of weeks. I would like to thank you all for always being so welcoming and sharing a laugh and good conversation on our sojourns. I will of course continue to paddle in the school holidays so see you then!
|Tuesday 2 April 2013 - Lake Munmorah, Elizabeth Bay|
Just the 40 paddlers here today. Twenty-one of our regulars are missing, so I hope they don't all turn up on one day! Beautiful weather, 25°C, Breeze was a southerly of 5-10 knots, so there was a bit of texture on the surface.
We paddled out of the bay heading north, and followed the shore, at some distance, right round to the creek at Colongra Wetlands. This was quite pleasant, but it stopped suddenly. We then tried the canal with the barrier, but this was a bad joke. The next creek was also pleasant, going for about 500 metres before suddenly stopping.
We continued around the lake to the flooded forest, all dead now, which is quite fascinating and eery. All of a sudden we felt the need for morning tea and headed out back across the lake to the launch spot about 2km away. Our total distance paddled was about 9km.
Thanks to Sue and Doug for their efficient provision of all the facilities we take for granted, and for the sangers. Thanks to everyone else for the food.
PS Photos are here. Some of Carol's photos are in next week's album.
|Tuesday 26 March 2013 - Tuggerah Lake|
Tacoma footy ground is quite a good venue for kayaking. Plenty of parking, fresh water, toilets. Bit squeezy on the river bank that's all! Weather was perfect - no breeze all morning, cloudy, warm...
About 40 of us paddled out of the river and across to The Entrance, a distance of about 12 km round trip. There were lots of fishing boats on the water, but they kept out of our way. Once we were there, several of us with pockets and money climbed up to the hotel and ordered coffee. The rest of us waited for the group morning tea. Doug and Sue had other duties so were late to the venue, but provided superb makings, while everyone brought nice food to eat.
A lovely day out on the water with friends!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 19 March 2013 - Brooklyn, Hawkesbury River |
It does mean an early rise, but it's worth it! Hawkesbury River at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, has everything: excellent parking, toilets, a choice of launch sites, the most spectacular scenery in NSW... I can't say enough about the scenery, so I won't even try. Look at the pictures.
Paddling out into this vast expanse of water at 9 o'clock, silky smooth surface, no breeze at all - surreal! Everywhere we went was breathtaking, divine little beaches, towering mountains peppered with outcrops of sandstone boulders and rocky bluffs... There was the occasional holiday-maker in a boat of some sort, all friendly and waving, at least I think they were.
Some kayakers paddled across the entry to Cowan Water to America Bay or somewhere near Challenger Head. Kee paddled about 19km but most of us only did about 12km. There were about 40 paddlers at morning tea, so you can't shake 'em off! Absolute top day rounded out with a superb morning tea back at Parsley Bay.
Photos from Merrill, Carol and Harry are here.
|Tuesday 12 March 2013 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo|
Thirty-eight kayakers made the trip to Wallarah Creek, San Remo, on this brilliant day for the sport. No breeze, 27°C, sunny... Bliss!
So, we all just put our kayaks in the river and paddled as far as we felt like, in my case for 45 minutes till I reached a log across the whole creek, then we paddled back. Some adventurous types went up a tributary, or down to the lake, and good on 'em! Rolf and Peter paddled from Toukley somewhere, couldn't quite understand what Peter said, and we met them way up the creek. Their round trip would be more than 20km I'm sure. Good on them too!
Afterwards we congregated around a rickety table loaded with massive amounts of amazing chow, all of which we did our best to eat.
Another wonderful day out with friends! Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 5 March 2013 - Canton Beach|
On a beautiful warm sunny day, about 28 kayakers assembled at Canton Beach for a paddle down towards The Entrance. A NW breeze of 10-15 knots helped carry us downhill, but offered resistance coming back, just when we didn't need it.
Carol was there on her stand-up board, which she paddled all the way, keeping up with the back markers. It was an excellent effort on a difficult craft, showing just how much progress Carol has made since she started on the board. Superwoman effort, really! Merle and Don did a long trip too, amazing for an age of 160 years between them! It was nice to see Jenny and Graeme again too, though I didn't have any time to chat with them.
My Pajero shat itself when I arrived, leaving a puddle of engine oil on the roadway, so I had to cut my paddle short, and my lunch, so I could ring the NRMA and leave with the towtruck. Diagnosis - front crankshaft seal - $460! Just glad Rob noticed it so early!
Sue had a barbecue sizzling on our return, so in addition to the yummy treats provided by the members of this non-club, we had a lovely sausage sizzle for lunch. Debbie made an apple slice which was delicious, and Claire brought two trays of mouth-watering mango custard tarts. Knut made some of his divine savoury treats too (Curried vegetable tartlets), the recipe for which is on our Recipe page now (click here). Thanks everyone for your efforts to keep us from starving. You've succeeded beyond imagination! Photos are here.
|Tuesday 26 February 2013 - Summerland Point|
Sandy Beach Reserve, Summerland Point is a delightful venue with all facilities and a nice sandy beach from which to launch. Hopefully Bob's photos will show it. Thirty-five paddlers (+/-2) joined us in perfect conditions, with a 10 knot E or NE breeze. This made it inadvisable to paddle around to Frying Pan Bay where the water was very choppy.
So we headed left towards Chain Valley Bay, which is very pleasant but there's not much to see. Past Black Neds Point into CVB we paddled, strung out like Brown's cows. Finally we reached Tiembula Creek, which I think we have accessed before, but from the CVB end of the bay. It's a very pleasant creek and goes several hundred metres before tapering out. Some paddlers went further south but mostly we went straight back to Sandy Beach for a total distance of 8.5km for the day. It took about 100 minutes and was enough exercise for most of us. Mark and Fred had already gone up to Pulbar Island earlier, and Claire had made an excursion north of Summerland Point.
We spent longer having morning tea than we did kayaking, but that's probably about right for us. Doug and Sue turned up for tea after returning from Qld. Sabina and John's daughter Caroline joined us today, with her in the tandem with her father while Sabina had to paddle the little sit-on, and get a tow back behind the bigger boat. Caroline is a dialysis nurse at Sutherland, and is a part-time Firey as well, wearing her smart firey's cap.
A top day out on the water!
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Knut's latest videos from Clarencetown and Ettalong Beach have been added 22 Feb. See list above.|
|Tuesday 19 February 2013 - Ettalong Beach|
Ettalong Beach is a long way from home, but this didn't stop 40 people making the trip. Jeanne-Marie looked after the fort while the rest of us headed out to sea, over Half Tide Rocks and around towards Lobster Beach.
At this point the water was smooth and there was no perceptable breeze, but a challenge came from the sea - the Palm Beach Ferry! We were right in its path, and we scrambled to clear the channel to let it through. Luckily the ferry skipper was considerate and slowed right down. We came ashore on the beautiful Lobster Beach and stretched our legs, having paddled at least 1000 metres from the start point. Some of us went for a swim, including Russell who stripped to his Speedos and swam out to a distant channel marker. He stayed there while the ferry came back only 20 metres from him.
As we turned to go back towards Brisbane Water a 15 knot NE breeze sprang up to give us some resistance. Also against us was the tide, flowing out at about 4-5 knots (my guess). Not realising this, we just paddled along then noticed the rocks below us were not moving. So we had to paddle hard to creep up the eastern side of the bay, then make a dash across to the other side while not getting washed back out to sea.
Doug and Mike had a good exploration of everywhere around Wagstaffe and Pretty Beach so were late back. We finally dragged ourselves ashore at Ettalong Beach after an exhausting paddle of nearly 6km. One of our shortest trips yet! Doug and Mike did 11km. As the tide was out we had to drag our kayaks over acres of wet sand to the shore.
Lots of fun and quite different to our usual creek/lake venues.
Bob's photos are here. Knut's videos on youTube are listed above. They are all excellent! Select Full Screen after starting. (Bottom right hand corner of screen)
|Carol's new photos of Clarencetown are here!|
|Tuesday 12 Feb 2013 - Clarencetown Report |
I am more than a little apprehensive to write this report after reading Ray's detailed monologue from Tuesday's paddle out of Budgewoi. I could say, "If you weren't there, you missed it" - but that would be mean. So here we go. Some of our more avid paddlers arrived at Clarence Town last week in preparation for Tuesday's paddle, some arrived at various stages over the weekend, and several more arrived on Monday. Even though it was pouring with rain on the Central Coast on Monday, people still made the trek northward.
Monday night was a very pleasant gathering, commencing with Happy Hour, which blended into dinner and then supper. No rain to speak of, only the occasional misty shower. A head count revealed we had 46 people in our group, including 3 non-paddlers. Mandy (Kee's wife), Carmel (Knut's wife) and Anne (Carmel's cousin over here on holidays from Ireland). We also had another visitor, Maureen, Dennis' wife. Russell and Suzanne, along with Sabina and John had another couple with them for the two days as well, sorry, I have forgotten their names, but someone will remember. Bill and Chris' son Matt and his wife arrived on Tuesday afternoon and camped the night.
On Monday, 15 paddlers went in various directions along the Williams River, in a warm up for Tuesday. Tuesday morning saw the early arrival of Harry and then Linda and Peter. Trevor and Jill also arrived, bringing with them all the tea and coffee makings for morning tea.
When we all hit the water, Doug decided a group photo would be appropriate, since there were so many paddlers on the water at once, 40 in total. Easier said than done, it was like herding cats! Some paddlers, who had gone upstream on Monday, headed down stream, but the rest of us headed up toward Mill Falls. A delightful paddle, as always, past pretty undergrowth, paddocks and the local cattle, until it decided to pour with rain, didn't last long, just long enough to soak most of us through. We continued on toward Mill Falls, and then down came the rain again – what is going on it's Tuesday!! It doesn't rain on Tuesdays! Undaunted, wet, but undaunted, we paddled on. When we arrived at Mill Falls, there was much discussion as to who was going to try and come down it, and, if they were going to, how. Doug decided to go to the bank, walk his boat to beyond the white water and try his luck at riding the rapids. He was very successful and came out the other side unscathed. Mark, however, was in the water when Doug reached the still water, and, he had, apparently, been body surfing down the rapids - that's our boy!
We then all headed back to camp for some dry clothes, morning tea and a well earned rest. We paddled 12.1km today. That night, for dinner, 30 of the group headed to the Clarence Town Bowling Club, where they were greeted by the Secretary Manager, who thanked them for patronising their club. A very nice time was had by all.
There was a slight shower of rain overnight, but next morning was fine, so 17 kayaks (19 paddlers) headed down stream where they paddled 11.5km. After the paddle quite a few headed off home, leaving about 8 or so people in camp. From one very crowded camp site to a sparsely occupied one in the blink of an eye.
All in all, a very successful trip – no dramas, no accidents, no one lost. All round a great couple of days, with good company and good paddling. We will have to pencil this trip in for a repeat visit. Gail and Glenn have headed north to volunteer with "Blaze Aid" for about 10 days. What a great cause to be involved in, Jenny and Graeme have also volunteered in the past. Stay safe guys!
Harry's photos are here. His giant banner photos are here.
|Tuesday 12 February 2013 - Lake Munmorah. Ray's report|
After overnight thunderstorms and heavy rain on the Central Coast the morning dawned with overcast skies but fine weather. Dense black storm clouds to the south threatened to rain on our kayak activity but this did not eventuate.
Merrill and I arrived at MacKenzies reserve, Budgewoi at about 8.30 am to find the car park empty. Had we misread the alternate venue for today's paddle? We knew that many of the usual crowd were headed for Clarencetown for this week's paddle but surely we weren't the only kayakers left on the Central Coast? At about 8.45 am John drove in and confirmed that this was indeed the location for today's paddle. Richard arrived soon after and this small gathering formed the total congregation for today's outing. Four paddlers in three boats.
Based on his extensive pre-trip research (he'd consulted a map) Richard offered his recommendation for our route. We would paddle north, around the eastern shoreline of Lake Munmorah so that we'd be sheltered from the expected south-easterly blow. The surface conditions on the lake were glass-like as we paddled out from the vicinity of the car park, under the footbridge and turned east (right) into Lake Munmorah along the shore adjoining the caravan park. The going was easy and we moved along at a moderate pace discussing many topics as the four of us chatted away.
The water level of the lake was up but debris on shore indicated that it had been higher in recent times. As we paddled north along the eastern shore of Lake Munmorah State Conservation Area we encountered many water birds whom seemed less concerned about the approach of our small group than is often the case when our usual Tuesday kayak flotilla is on the water. After 50 minutes or so we approached Elizabeth Bay in the north-east corner of the lake where the ancient sea cliffs form a headland separating the beaches of Tom Burke Reserve, to the west, and the more recent (geologically speaking) sand deposition known as Budgewoi Peninsula. As we approached The Salvation Army's School for Youth Leadership we turned right (east) towards the boat ramp in the corner of the bay. The clear water, smooth surface and clean sandy lake bed make this a pleasant swimming location. Richard was in the lead as we approached Elizabeth Beach and to our surprise the head of a large Marlin appeared in front of him and off to his left, moving south. It travelled steadily past the bow of his kayak before disappearing below the surface as it reached the reed bank at the southern end of the beach. An amazing experience!
Richard went ashore here to check out the amenities whilst John, Merrill and I rested beside the shore in our kayaks. We decided to retrace our route along the eastern shoreline and set of at a very leisurely pace. Richard was paddling close to the shoreline, leading the other two kayaks back to the car park in the south. At a concrete survey/navigation marker on the shoreline John, Merrill and I elected to head straight across the lake towards the clearly visible footbridge beside the car park where we'd begun our journey. Richard decided that he would not 'cheat' and he continued on the longer route around the shoreline.
As our two vessels, which had crossed the lake, neared the channel leading under the footbridge, Richard rocketed across our bows, past the channel markers and heading for the more western exit from the lake. Whether he was moving too fast to make a safe turn into the first channel, whether he feared passing under the footbridge again (the lake WAS up) or whether he just wished to circumnavigate the island we did not know.
John, Merrill and I returned to the cars after some two hours of enjoyable paddling and Richard rounded the southern end of the island just moments later. As we pulled our kayaks out of he water so a steady south-easterly wind began to blow through the park. It had been a well-timed return to land.
Since Sue was not present with hot water and the makings for tea or coffee we decided to take our morning tea offerings along to The Lakes Beach Café. Here we purchased coffees and had a pleasant chat about the morning's activity before The Awesome Foursome split and departed for our respective homes. En-route to Norah Head Merrill and I drove into light rain. Perfect timing, yet again.
We now await news of those intrepid travellers who paddled at Clarencetown today. Photos are here.
[I vote Ray write all the reports from now on. Danny]
|Tuesday 5 February 2013 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway|
Perfect kayaking conditions today - 25°C, sunny... Too many people to count, but around 37-39. All new landscaping at Sunshine Park, new bitumen, parking areas, barriers - very civilised. You do have to carry your kayak further as there is no parking next to the creek.
Before nine o'clock some people had started paddling down to the lake, and we didn't see them again till lunchtime. The rest of us battled upstream in search of adventure. Some found it, some didn't! At the little weir the floodwater was over the barriers (heavy rain last week), so we were able (most of us) to paddle between the hazards - rocks and logs - to the interesting upstream section. Coming back over the weir was easy, just hang on!
The usual snags and fallen vegetation made the trip challenging, until we came to a complex of fallen logs that required a low profile, about 30cm, which some of us could not manage. As Doug took a contingent further upstream, Brian, Bob and I got out of our boats and attacked the timber maze. We managed to break or lift most of it out of the way, sometimes up to our armpits in the brown water, leaving an easy return by those who got through it on the way upstream. Boys' Own Adventures!
We all made it safely back by midday, having covered 11km or so for the weir-crossers. Great fun and great people! Bob's photos are here. I did all the captions once and it fell over, so I'm not doing them again. Sorry!
See the link to Knut's video of today above.
|Thursday 31 January 2013 - Tuesday's photos|
Bob's sunset photos are here!
|Tuesday 29 January 2013 - Twilight paddle at Mannering Park|
Weather, what weather?!?! That was the opinion of the 9 paddlers that arrived at Mannering Park tonight for our "Moonlight/Twilight Paddle". Andy, Judy, Ray, Digger, Azzie, Bob, Knut, Doug and Sue made up the numbers (just like the old days really, only 9 paddlers!).
The weather was perfect. A balmy night, not a cloud in the sky, hardly a breath of breeze, and glassy water. We waited until 7.10pm before heading into the water "in case" some others decided to turn up last minute, but no!
So, we headed off along the bank southward toward the Power Station outlet and then continued around the shore until we reached the pipes under the eastern end of Rutleys Road. As the water wasn't anywhere near the torrent we had seen earlier in the day, Doug decided to try his luck and go through. The rest of us didn't realise he was just seeing if it was possible to go through and we all followed. No dramas at all! We then paddled in a side channel of Wyee Creek to the usual pipes under Rutleys and again the water was no longer the torrent we saw this morning, so we went through those pipes back into the lake. Mind you, as the water level is much higher than we have ever experienced there on previous paddles, only one pipe was suitable to go through, without having to lie flat in your boat to fit through.
We then headed straight across the lake to the bank on the eastern side and paddled back to the car park, arriving just after 8.30pm, as it was getting dark. We all enjoyed a very nice supper and chat, (with enough hot water to supply an army!) As we were finishing up, the beautiful full moon put in an appearance. We had it all tonight, great company, perfect weather and water conditions and a full moon – couldn't have planned it better. We paddled about 6km tonight. Bob's photos are here, preceded by a few Doug took this morning in the flood. Next week's paddle will be at Sunshine Park, Chittaway.
|Tuesday 22 January 2013 - Mooney Mooney|
Superb kayaking and socialising today in perfect conditions - up to 30°C, no breeze, sunny. The only setback was the carpark at Moonee Moonee, filled with construction sites, workers' vehicles and boat trailers. We filled the carpark, then lined both sides of the road into the park. We had a bit further to walk, but we coped.
We had 43 kayakers, give or take a couple. This made a spectacular sight on the river with about 37 brightly-coloured kayaks all over the river. We paddled upstream against an out-going tide, to the wreck of the Parramatta. After a rest there, with nowhere to get out, we just paddled back again, about 10km by the feel of it, but my UBD suggests about half that. Need GPS data! Oh, thanks, Doug, 9.6km for the day!
There were a few visitors today, Joyce, wife of John with the beard and friends of Carol's, Carmen's son Christian, from London, who took a photo of all of us together, and many whom we haven't seen for sometime, such as Boston Bill. Welcome back to Tony Hope who has been lucky to survive the last year, after major surgery. Great to see everybody there. And thanks for the wonderful morning tea everybody, lovely sangers, fruit, cakes and savouries! Sadly the caramel slices melted away into a puddle. It was quite hot by then, but the river is not suitable for swimming, due to mud, rocks and oyster shells. Shame! Wonderful day otherwise.
Harry's photos are here. Sorry about the different slide show effects, I'm still learning the best options.
Here is Knut's video of the day http://youtu.be/9Ttb9I73yKM
|Tuesday 15 January 2013 - Blackalls Park/Stony Creek|
On a glorious morning, not too hot, not too cold or even wet, 35 paddlers in 29 kayaks hit the water at Blackalls Park. We headed up Stony Creek for a change of scenery today. This is a pretty creek, lots of water and a beautiful day to be on the water. We paddled a very easy pace, for 8.85kms.
Mark and Fred had paddled from Swansea as part of their training, where they met us at Blackalls Park, then paddled with the rest of us, had lunch and then paddled back to Swansea, giving them a total of around 28kms for their little outing. Jack brought along a "newby" today, Lewis or maybe Louis (forgive me, I didn't check the spelling, but he knows who he is) who, when we reached the turn around point was feeling a little worse for the experience, but once back on land and after having some lunch and a cuppa he was sparking again and asking all the relevant questions for future paddles - that's what we like to hear. Possibly, a little ambitious for his first time out, but credit to him, he did it. Hopefully, it didn't deter him and he will join us again soon.
Barry Squires had some excitement when a big mullett (the fish, not the haircut) landed in his kayak. He didn't have the heart to keep it long enough for Harry to take a photo. The photos Harry did take are here.
Next week, 22nd Jan, we are paddling out of Mooney Mooney, map 113; N5. This time we are planning to paddle up the Hawkesbury River to the wreck of HMAS Parramatta.
|Tuesday 8 January 2013 - Narara Creek|
Report from Sue
The threat of the third hottest day on record didn't deter 20 paddlers, including a visitor, Ben, who had the day off work and has been keeping an eye on our website. Also "Boston Bill" made a return today (hell of a way to thaw out from an American winter!), welcome back Bill (and Kerrie).
The gusts of wind onshore, covering the car park in clouds of dust and dirt, weren't present when we hit the water. In fact, on the water, paddling in and out of the shadows from the overhanging trees with a breeze, made for a very pleasant paddle indeed. We went as far as a felled tree across the creek. Six or 7 of our more adventurous paddlers got out of their boats and climbed over and around the tree, disappointingly, only managing a further 20 - 30 metres. When we arrived back to the cars, we had be joined by Mark, Fred and Colin who had paddled from Gosford Sailing Club, and then Gloria and Barry joined us for morning tea, making 25 all up.
We didn't need the sun shelter when we first started morning tea, but, as the sun moved and our shade from the trees diminished, it was definitely time for the sun shelter. Most had left by midday and when we drove home the temperature gauge in our car read 41 degrees, yep, that's hot! We paddled 7km today, pretty good considering the extreme conditions. Well done everyone who made the effort.
Next week's paddle is at Blackalls Park. Newcastle map: 161, E 6
Harry and Bob sent me some photos which are here.
| Tuesday 1 January 2013 - Wyong River|
Our gamble picking New Year's Day for the Old Milk Factory paid off as the whole place was shut so we had all the parking to ourselves. The toilets were open thanks god. Starting off as a warm day reaching temperatures about 30°C made the upper reaches of the Wyong River a nice place to be, what with all the water and shady trees and stuff. About 15 of us fronted for what turned out to be a relaxed shortish paddle up to the serious obstacles.
This takes the form of a narrow channel terminating in an impenetrable tangle of fallen branches then 3 logs across the channel exit. We have done this many times before but it's never been easy and was enough to deter all but Doug and me from going any further up this section. Most of the others turned back but Harry knows the area and climbed the adjacent bank dragging his kayak over to the upstream section avoiding the obstructions.
Doug and I worked on the logs for a while, then he produced a handy bow-saw which I used to cut a few thickish branches to clear the way. We eventually managed to free one pesky log and drag it clear. Doug decided to explore the alternative branch back downstream which he managed to navigate despite having to portage his boat over a serious log. Meanwhile I kept working on the logs and succeeded in re-arranging them so the next time we, or anyone, comes up here they will find the passage considerably easier to get through. I also cut away the tangled branches in the middle of this tricky section.
By the time I finished all this, including wading through chest-deep creek water, everyone else seemed to have gone, so I paddled back alone. In fact, Harry had continued upstream till he reached a non-negotiable log, looking for suitable camera subjects. He returned a bit later but we all had a good time, even if we paddled only 6km. I was knackered after cutting and shifting tons of firewood.
A great day in the outdoors, very enjoyable! Harry's photos are ready. The photos are on our new Xpose Gallery slideshow. There are controls on the page and thumbnails. You can see the captions if you put your cursor on the top of the photo. I'm still learning so it could get better. The albums will always open in a new window. Just use the 'close window' link to come back here. Click here.
Don't forget Trevor and Jill's Foxxy kayaks for sale on our club notices page.
reports from May 2011 to December 2012- click
For all older reports (pre May 2011) and the old Photo Album, go back to the old website.