Hawkesbury River - 24 November 2015


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Forthcoming kayaking events:

Tuesday 1 December 2015 - Canton Beach, Toukley. Belbowrie Street, Canton Beach 2263. Or enter by Beach Pde. Central Coast UBD Map ref 42 E15 Google map ref -33.272310, 151.543995

Thursday 3rd December 2015 - Extra Paddle
A group of us are going to have an extra paddle on Thursday 3rd December 2015 leaving from Parsley Bay Brooklyn to circumnavigate Dangar Island. We have done this trip several times before and it has been enjoyed by everyone. We plan to be on the water by 9.30am the trip will include a stop on Dangar Island for coffee and we usually take a light lunch to enjoy together back at Parsley Bay. Meeting point is the car park in George Street Parsley Bay you can either launch from the small beach close to the beginning of the southern breakwater or from the boat ramp. The distance travelled will depend on the conditions on the day. For those who just want to have coffee there is a ferry to Dangar Island and it is a pleasant place to stop and relax for an hour or so and meet your paddling friends. If you would like to come along please let Gloria Squires know on 0477936239 as we would like to be able to contact you should we encounter inclement weather.

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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.
See new Maritime NSW rules on lifejackets — Click here.
New rules apply.
Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail by clicking here. Weekly reports appear below.

Kayaking reports:
Ralph's reports - Saturday 28 November 2015
On Tuesday 17th November a group of us who wanted a Kayaking outing closer to home met at Mannering Park [Vales Point] at the usual time. Present were: Friedman (leader), Steve, Nikki, Joe, and your scribe. I hadn't been on the water for a while and had some new Kayak bits I wanted to try in comparative privacy and so was glad to join this little group.
Just prior to launching a guy came over and said "I only moved here four months ago but they tell me an aggressive Bull Shark calls this bay home. They tell me it enjoys nudging watercraft". Oh great we thought. He added "But all the local kids hang out here swimming, capsizing their craft, peeing in the water and I've never heard of an attack".
Poor Joe had an incident even before launching. He slipped on the ramp and hurt his back but carried on anyway. Thanks for testing the ramp Joe, so the rest of us didn't fall. Well I did slip because I'd forgotten it was slippery by the time we returned.
On heading off across Lake Macquarie we went under a couple of power lines and then turned left heading across a small bay towards the pipes that lead into a channel. It wasn't long before our intrepid leader was walking, having grounded. Two others followed suit. I won't mention names but Joe you stopped suddenly. Thanks Joe for showing me where the shoal was.
I declined to sand my polished bottom and prepared to wait for the others to return. Whilst looking for a place to land and get out for a stretch I discovered instead a deep channel running close to the bank and so was able to join the others in the pipe tunnels. I haven't ventured through a pipe since I was 14 and approached warily. Having got through OK without scratching anything on the Oysters that line the tunnel sides at the far end we made a hard turn to Starboard and entered a sort of watery paradise. A drowned section of terrain full of dead trees. Friede called it his fairy lake - I think.
We pressed on and the Lake soon turned into a channel with a 'T' intersection. We turned to Port up a wide channel and had a smooth paddle until my back and buttocks could take no more. (More about that later) The group kindly consented to a rest break and found a muddy good landing place. Phew, what a relief to stand up. The scenery was rather amazing comprising dead trees standing in water along with grassy knolls on tiny islands. It is obviously a favourite spot for locals to go fishing and regrettably they leave behind anything from broken chairs to fish traps and much other assorted rubbish. Too much for us to collect. Maybe one day I'll build a rubbish barge to tow behind my Kayak.
Having enjoyed a social chit-chat, along with resumed blood supply to various parts even Heineken doesn't reach, we returned the way we came until the 'T' intersection. Jo, Nikki and Steve elected to take a punt (the betting sort not a floating one) and went straight on. I was, as always, watching my bottom and opted for the tried and tested route we had come by. Accompanied by Friede we made it safely back through the tube and found the others had not only successfully navigated their channel but made slightly better time than us.
The wind and tide were against us on the return trip which made for some chop and a few green ones over the bow. Nikki opted to plot a curved course which covered more water and hugged the coastline but still beat us to the ramp. The rest of us headed as the crow flew that day. Back at the still-slippery ramp, we disembarked and were treated, if that is the correct term, to Friede having a swim. He wasn't there when the bloke told us about the Bull Shark but we did tell him. Honest.
The serenity of the parking lot was shattered by continuous mowing and blowing of Council workers. See, they aren't always on a Smoko break! It was a relief when they either ran out of grass or fuel or both and silence descended once more. Probably time for another ciggie.
Our little group broke up with none of the usual festive delights enjoyed by the main party (we lacked ring-ins for Sue and Doug) and headed home happy.

Kayak trip Tuesday 24th November. If I might add some brief footnotes to Danny's concise, detailed and factually totally correct report: On the way out towards Dangar Island Kee had warned me there were rocks in the vicinity of our route. I heeded his warning and kept a sharp lookout. Just as well because I had to jam on the nautical anchors harder than I've ever done before to prevent my Kayak hitting lines of oyster covered submerged rock. Nasty!
The scenery, company and weather were all perfect on this trip but as Danny mentioned in his report I was finding my Mirage incredibly uncomfortable to sit in after only half an hour's paddling. My seat was apparently from an early model and is so tight that when I unbolted it I could walk around with it clinging to my hips! Now remedied with a new wider seat with a lower rise at the front.
It will be interesting to see if our illustrious leader's Kompass develops a taste for Koffee whilst Kayaking. I'm carrying funds just in case.

regardez Ralph
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.
Mallacoota Trip
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.
Tuesday 30 June 2015 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi
About forty people on the water this morning, and a few more at morning tea, good turn-up! Weather was very cool, but clear air and mostly cloudy, with slight SW breeze later.
From Mackenzie Park, Budgewoi, we paddled under the footbridge into Lake Munmorah, sticking to the starboard shore, circumnavigating the whole lake in an anti-clockwise direction. We did lose a few at Elizabeth Bay, as the lake looked so large from there, with them heading for home straight across the lake. The rest of us made our way in a fashion around the shore of the lake, some keeping near the shore for a 12km paddle, others, like me cutting across from near the Diane Avenue Reserve to the deceased forest near the quarantine station, for a 10km trip.
About this time the weather deteriorated slightly with a headwind, ripply water, and a drop in temperature, from 15 to 14°C. We all got back eventually and were glad to join in the social scene, with coffee, tea and all sorts of buns, cakes and slices to keep us warm, plenty of social discourse. Always a pleasure!
Photos are here.
Tuesday 16 June and Tuesday 23 June 2015 - Gosford and Wangi, respectively
Tuesday 16th June 2015.
On a cool, overcast day out of Gosford Sailing Club, 23 paddlers hit the water, paddling toward Point Frederick. At this point 6 paddlers got nervous about the impending wind and rain and they turned back. 17 continued across Caroline Bay toward Erina Creek. Around about now, 4 more turned back. 13 now headed up past the Punt Bridge toward the Woodport Inn. 11 more turned back leaving 3 to complete the paddle to the Central Coast Highway ( The Entrance Road to most!) wall. A distance of 8km. Here Doug, Keith V and Brian N returned with the tide, but no wind, to the sailing club by 11.45. The rain was just starting and continued to build to quite heavy while morning tea/lunch was partaken. A good paddle, enjoyed by all, whichever distance they paddled. The rain was only a minor inconvenience, it never really dampens our spirit, try as it might. Photos here.

Tuesday 23rd June 2015
On a clear, sunny, mild day, well, cold at first light, but mild by the time we reached Wangi, with the water surface a mirror, 20 paddlers crossed Lake Macquarie to Pulbar Island where we circumnavigated the island in an anticlockwise direction. Half way around Pulbar we met Trevor and Jill, who had arrived late and paddled in a clockwise direction around the island – surprise! We all regrouped on the paddle back across the lake. Gail, Glenn, Chris and Bill paddled the opposite side of Wangi, to avoid the wind that didn't arrive, and they paddled in Wangi Wangi Bay and Arcadia Vale and rejoined the group for morning tea. It was a perfect day to be on the water, warm, no wind and smooth water. Hard to believe it was a "winter's day". Those that didn't come really missed a 'near perfect' paddle on the lake. Photos are here.
Sue and Doug
Tuesday 9 June 2015 - Parsley Bay, Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn
Temperature: mild, breeze: 10 knot NW, sky: sunny, attendance: 25, overall rating: 10/10.
Our kayakers were keen this morning, in the water ready to paddle at 0945am, gone at ten to. No allowance for latecomers. Off we paddled to the south, keeping close to the western shore, but the first group disappeared down the river. Past the destroyed oyster leases in Porto Bay, to the end, then back out towards Green Point, which sticks out into the middle of the river.
Nowhere to go from there but across the river to Little Wobby, stuck on the side of a rocky mountain, but a pretty little village with a ferry its only point of contact with the outside world. Nice houses, nice yachts, no cars or roads... This is what some of us did, but the others went different places. Sorry, Carol, that was Dangar Island! Then back across the mighty river to Parsley Bay, so probably about 9km, perfect timing for morning tea.
Doug and Sue didn't paddle today, but Sue made some delicious sandwiches, and Claire brung a beautiful punkin soup, from Morocco, so creamy and punkinny! Thanks everyone for bringing such lovely food, made with special care by your own hands for your friends.
By-the-way, it's one year and 4 days since we were last at Parsley Bay.
PS Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 2 June 2015 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
A chilly but sunny fine day at Speers Point, for the hardy 23 paddlers who made the pilgrimage.
Off up the creek we went, in beautiful conditions except for the cold. We had to paddle on the sunnyside of the creek to keep warm. Under the Five Islands Bridge, then the rail bridge then turn left at the fork, about 3.5km so far, then along towards the causeway on The Weir Road, Teralba. On the way Brian pointed out a fox looking fat and contented laying in the grass on the river bank. Not a gun in sight! Must be the first time we've seen one of these during a paddle.
After an inspection of the causeway we headed back downstream, passing the same things we saw on the way up, except for the fox, till we arrived back at the Creek Reserve, for what was a delicious morning tea, with not enough people to share it. We enjoyed ourselves anyway.
PS Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 26 May 2015 - Dora Creek
A perfect day at Dora Creek this morning when 46 kayakers arrived to swamp the local parking area next to the river. Sorry, locals!
At 0900 off we went westerly towards the upper reaches of the creek, turning right at the first fork then left at the next one. Plenty to see as you will observe from the amazing photos of Harry and Bob. Past the Sanitarium Food factory where we could smell the napalm. Sorry, weetbix. Continuing at a cracking pace all the way to the beginning of the creek. Under the M1 Motorway and so on, I couldn't really tell where we were mostly. I turned around at the Kestrel motor cruiser, about 6km, while the others kept on for over 7km.
Quite a lot of us had already decided to re-trace our paddles, so it was like a handicap race with everyone arriving back about the same time.
Sue held the fort for us and prepared the morning tea facilities, thanks Sue. Thanks to everyone who joined us today, including new guy Greg, without the hat.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 19 May 2015 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Bay
On a very nice morning (didn't hear any complaints about the cold) thirty kayakers presented themselves at Sunshine Park for a paddle up Ourimbah Creek.
Heading off at 9.00am we were too quick for some newbies who thought it was a 9.30 start. The creek was full of nice water after the recent rain, and we paddled up to the road bridge, then the railway bridge, before coming to the old bridge and the so-called weir. This was as far as many of us got, and I don't know where they went after that, but a few of us made it over the weir by one means or another to the fresh waters of the upper stretch. You know how there is a rocky part and a concrete wall part, well I paddled up the rocky part, and through the logjam part, to the upper, without getting out of my kayak, I was very surprised!
Those half-dozen of us left kept up the creek for a while, till I turned back, while the other tougher guys kept going, including our two photographers, so I expect some good photos. I heard somebody fall in at the weir wall but I'm not sure who it was. The photos will reveal all.
It was a good run back to the base on the downhill run. We had four new people today, and some returners, like Nigel Da S. Bill and Kerrie are back off to USA next Saturday, so it's goodbye from them. Photos are here.
Tuesday 12 May 2015 - Wyong River
With everybody back from camping, we had an attendance of 43 paddlers today. Conditions were perfect - Light W breeze, 22°C, sunny... With the SES taking up the railway side of the reserve at Wyong Bridge, we had to squeeze into the bowling club carpark and lower waterside reserve, quite a crowd!
We paddled upstream first, coming to Porters Creek and pointing our bows up there. Plenty of water today with the recent rains, so plenty of depth and fast-flowing water in this creek. We were able to paddle miles upstream, meeting a couple of obstacles on the way. The first was a small tree across the water, so Brian got his little fold-up pruning saw and inflicted some damage to the middle of the trunk, while I dragged the top end around and crushed it down so we soon had it under a few inches of water and could push over it. Further up there was a logjam, and Andy and Judy were dragging their kayak around it, but Andy then went into the fast water up to his shorts and unstacked the pile, clearing the way through for the rest of us. Well done, Andy!
We kept going upstream until it got so narrow we wouldn't be able to turn around, so we backed off a bit and came back, this time with the flow. Back at the river we continued up to the weir but couldn't paddle over it as there was a good flow over the wall and fish-ladder. By the time we got back to base, most of the others were stuck into the morning tea, and there wasn't much left, about 11.20am I got back, too late!
I'm only talking about what I and a few close associates did, no idea what happened elsewhere. But a good day out on the water never-the-less, better than anything else I can think of.
PS Harry and Bob were there taking some beaut shots which are here.
Knut's video clip for today is here.
Sunday 10 May 2015 - Camden Haven report from Doug and Sue and photos from Knut here, and a video clip from Knut here.
Tuesday 5 May 2015 - Summerland Point, Sandy Beach
With a contingent of our members away at North Haven this week our numbers were expected to be down, but in fact we had 35 kayakers front for this interesting weekly paddle. A NW breeze of about 10 knots whipped up some good chop for us, with no way around it. Conditions otherwise were sunny and mild. A team of Tidy Town volunteers were sweeping all the storm debris up when we arrived so we had to give them room for a while.
We took off towards Frying Pan Point (FPP) with the waves breaking over our bows, but well within the capabilities of our kayakers. Into FP Bay among the nice boats and up to the corner where a nice lagoon gave us shelter from the wind for a while. Once out of there the plan was to head north to Summerland Point, but most had already started over the lake towards Brightwaters 2264, so we followed. Heading straight into the wind is easier than tacking upwind, but most of us turned around about halfway and headed back towards FPP.
This was much easier than pushing against the wind and gave the false impression that the wind had dropped. We got back very early, thankful no-one had succumbed to the conditions. A couple of latecomers took even shorter routes, and some went down Chain Valley Bay towards the creek there. While we were having a cuppa a much stronger breeze of 20 knots sprang up so we were lucky not to have been in that lot.
With Doug and Sue away someone else brought the morning tea but I'm not sure who. Thanks anyway! Nice m/t and a good interesting paddle, well done all of you!
Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 28 April 2015 - Blackalls Park
Much improved conditions after last week's 60 knot storm, just short of a hurricane on the Beaufort Scale. Only 10-20 knots SSW today, sunny, cool and perfetto.
Thirty-one paddlers and a few non-paddlers made up the contingent. Across Fennell Bay we went, and under the bridge, and along the north shore of Kooroora Bay, amidst all the beautiful yachts that survived the storm. A few of them were still washed up on the shore, but there was very little damage to be seen a week after the event. At Bolton Point those in my group paddled across the bay to Toronto, and back up the western side past the township, to the bridge and back to our launch site. Those of us following Doug kayaked down Stony Creek a bit then back to Fennell Bay and home. Only about 8km today, so plenty of time for chatting at morning tea. Thanks everyone for coming and bringing delicious food, thanks to Doug and Sue for their time and trouble to keep us fed with sandwiches and supplied with hot drinks!
Next week is at Sandy Beach, Summerland Point. Today's photos are here. Cheers
PS For the motorbike lovers to whom I have mentioned my old bike photos, they are here.
Thursday 16 April 2015 - Outing to Dangar Island
The Thursday of the Dangar Island paddle was preceded by a night of wild storms and heavy rain but by daybreak the bad weather had cleared and we were looking at another bright sparkling day on the water. There was a slight breeze from the west-nor-west which caused only a slight ripple on the water, the sky was brilliant blue and the sun shone strongly. We really could not have asked for anything better especially as after an hour or so the breeze died away and we were left with flat calm conditions.
We had a nice roll-up for the paddle of Claire, David, Carmel, Knut, Fred, Doug, Viv, Geoff, Gloria and Barry with Colin, unable to paddle on Dr's orders, taking the ferry to join us for coffee on Dangar.
We made it a leisurely paddle toward the island with some taking a detour into Brooklyn Boat Harbour. The tide was, unfortunately, flowing quite strongly against us and as we approached the island we encountered some confusing turbulence that made the kayaks want to do something different to the what the paddlers wanted, but it was only temporary and we were soon back in calm water. We all landed safely and made our way to the coffee shop, meeting Colin there, and ordering our coffees and food. As always we enjoyed a convivial hour with our fellow paddlers before it was time to tackle the return journey. By the time we got back to the kayaks the tide had well and truly dropped and we had to wade through a few metres of mud to reach the water. With a calm sea and warm sun, the paddle back to base was absolutely fantastic, just gliding through the water, the beautiful Ku-Ring-Gai National Park as a backdrop.
After cleaning the kayaks and loading them on the cars we stopped for more coffee, food and chat – I am sure everyone agreed it was a great morning with beautiful weather, fantastic scenery and good friends.
Photos are by Carmel. Click here to see the photos.
Tuesday 14 April 2015 - Tuggerah Lake, The Entrance
A beautiful sunny day with 41 kayakers. Report from Robyn here:
We left Picnic point today at 9.00am .The day showed a promise of sunshine even though it was a bit cool to start with. We separated into two groups, some went down to Long Jetty and further around the lake, while others chose to go via the bridge and around the island. A few adventurous souls who shall remain nameless ventured to far into the channel, and got caught in the incoming/outgoing waters at the entrance to the ocean, which turned the water into a washing machine effect.
One person jumped ship, others struggled to shore to then drag their boats over the sand bar to calmer waters, while a couple of hardy souls managed to paddle clear. We all returned safely with very wet feet.
Sue was absent due to grandmotherly duties, so Doug was waiting on shore with a well earned cup of tea and a sugar fix. Lots of yummie food today especially the scones jam and cream.
Welcome to the new people who paddled today. All in all a very good day had by everyone.
Thursday 9 April 2015 - Kayak for sale
The Central Coast Canoe Club has a kayak for sale on the Club Notices page here.
Tuesday 7 April 2015 - Gorokan Fish Co-op, Lake Budgewoi
After all the rain and poor weather recently, today was sent from heaven - not too hot, nor cool, cloudy and sunny and no breeze at all (see Seabreeze® graph below). The lake surface was glassy, as were the eyes of the 32 kayakers who came here in search of good times.
A benefit of the rain was the higher lake level, which now includes people's backyards. We paddled north alongside Charmhaven, or many of us did, to the Wallarah Creek and up to the bridge if you were good. The scenery is much more than one would expect from this old lagoon - beautiful geological formations, nice houses and interesting gardens. And the lake itself was sublime - mirror surface, plenty of birdlife, fish splashing, this is why we love the outdoors on the Central Coast.
Sue and her helpers had a lovely barbecue lunch cooked for us, and there were nice desserts, and all the coffee you could drink. Thanks Sue!
There were no photographers with us today, so that's why I'm giving you an imaginative description, as that's all there is. Thanks for coming, everyone.
Tuesday 31 March 2015 - Valentine, Lake Macquarie
Despite the persistent rain on and off all morning, 26 hardy kayakers attended at our new venue, Hartley Point, Valentine, on beautiful Lake Mac. Three ladies decided it wasn't worth the hassle and stayed ashore and chatted.
The rest of us headed north towards Eleebana and Croudace Bay, the bay. Hundreds of nice boats moored there, but we were the only ones using the lake, for a fraction of the cost. We soon found Shepherds Creek and headed straight up it for a few hundred metres, passing all the moored vessels and backyards till we came to the end. This is where Harry thought he could finally capture us on film, but the background was shocking!
We had 3 regulars with new kayaks, and 2 new members, Geoff and John DZ, both experienced kayakers who found us on our website. So as well as my new kayak, Ray and Nikki both had new craft also. See pictures. It rained quite steadily while we were in the creek, turning Claire, Barry and Trevor off the whole idea, so they went straight back. The weather soon turned nice again as we rounded Rocky Point at Eleebana and paddled down to the over-the-water cycle path. Except for Azi who visited every place in sight on both sides of the lake.
We copped a bit more rain on the way back but by then we were wet anyway. I hit a big submerged shell-covered rock in my new Prijon Marlin, and when I backed off there were little white curlicues floating in the water. Apart from that I was very happy with my new kayak, and Doug and I had a good paddle back to base together. Sue had morning tea all ready and we tucked in to Claire's lovely blueberry donut cake and many other delicious food, like scones, jam and cream.
I'm still having problems with my new email address at Bigpond, as Microsoft decided I was a security risk and blocked me, for 5 days so far. Grrr! So delete any reference to iPrimus and wait for further advice. Harry took some nice photos and they are here.
Tuesday 24 March 2015 - Wyee Bay, Mannering Park
Beautiful day, warm 28°C, paddled down to the pipes under Ruttleys Road and explored the delights of Wyee Creek and Mannering Bay. Forty-one kayakers present.
Sorry, got called away for a few days - yeah, so, had a few paddlers who hadn't been under the pipes, some were a bit reluctant but with encouragement they all went through and never regretted the effort. Doug took us along the little channel near the road into Mannering Lake, and across the other side to the Eastern Pipes, and into another creek. Some of us were keen to see the Enchanted Forest so continued up Wyee Creek.
The creek explorers found the sudden end to the waterway and came back out, heading left to circumnavigate the lake till we got to the channel back to Wyee Creek, the one near the Coal Conveyor. We paddled back towards the Road but Doug took off on his own down our first channel towards the Eastern Pipes, as I have named them for being further east than the more westerly ones. This left him a couple of hundred metres behind everyone else, but he paddled that little kayak like fury and passed some of us again. That's why I have taken my new kayak back to the shop for a faster one.
Good to see so many people today, including Fried, Darryl, Rob, and Wayne even if he did just walk over from his house.
The usual gourmandising took place at the Picnic Tables, no, really, we were quite well behaved bringing to an end a lovely morning of kayaking with such lovely people, except for Harry, no that was another day.
PS Microsoft has locked my new email at bigpond because I took too long to use it, and it's taking a team of experts to unlock it, so sorry but your other emails to bigpond are stuck in the pipeline (a different one)
Davistown - 10 March photos now available. Click here.
Tuesday 17 March 2015 - Woy Woy
Over 35 paddlers turned up today - I didn't have time to take the roll. Conditions were perfect, even had a high tide.
We headed off towards the bridge, meeting the Davistown Ferry coming the other way, then under the bridge and into Parks Bay, gateway to Woy Woy Bay. Up into Waterfall Bay. one of our favorite destinations. Everyone was faster than me, except for Carol K, so I made the beach my destination. Others coming back pulled in there, so I had a little dip, lovely! This is a beautiful place, with the national park and everything.
On the way back we ran into the ferry again with me having to take a last minute diversion. A new guy, Bob, came, welcome Bob, see you when you retire! Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
Click here for Toukley Cycle Club trip to Myrtleford report and photos.
Tuesday 10 March 2015 - Davistown
The day started with a bit of a surprise. The toilet block at the proposed launch site is being renovated and little men in asbestos cleaning suits were working away. It was decided to move the launch to the boat ramp at the end of Restella Street. This caused a bit of confusion however we all got away and headed out the bay and around to St Huberts Island Bridge. From there some went around to the Rip Bridge, others around to Woy Woy and some did both. With the weather overcast and a light wind it was back with the breeze and current to the launch site where we launched into morning tea as usual. With the cyclists away numbers were down a little but it was still a healthy crowd.
Photos are here.
Tuesday 3 March 2015 - Berowra Waters
After a cool morning (16°C) Berowra Waters (BW) seemed just perfect, with no breeze, temperatures climbing to 27°C, cloud clearing... Thirty-eight kayakers fronted for a morning of pleasure and indulgence on the water. Yvonne and Ray turned up again from Wyngala Dam, and new guy Terry, and Fried's mate John were all there to share our wonderful sport.
For a change today we headed downstream, past many lovely houses on the water, some as many as 5 storeys high. There are some very old ramshackle ones there too. I wonder if these properties are freehold, or under a 99-year lease. They're all in the rocky mountainous bush with only water access, so it must have been a logistical nightmare getting the building materials there, including quite a few sandstone walls. Afterwards we poked our noses up some interesting bays and gullies, while some paddlers kept going to the ocean, I think.
We spread out for miles, such is the size of our venue today, but everyone came back for morning tea eventually. The attendance book must be working, as we haven't lost anyone since I started it. Did lose some before but! The facilities are excellent at BW, which comes from having a clientele of rich boat-owners. Thanks guys!
A delightful venue with the best of Australian national parks and gardens on show, and an interesting route with hairpin bends and a ferry in the deal. No photographers were present today, but we might get something from casual snappers. Thanks for coming. Next week some of us will be away, but we've left you with a nice venue. Knut has produced a nice little video. Click here http://youtu.be/whyzwQOFFuc
Tuesday 24 February 2015 - Canton Beach, Toukley
Warm and mild on the Central Coast today, as always, no breeze, cloudy - just beautiful! Nearly forty kayaking mates gathered for today's trip around Tuggerah Lake.
The Canton Beach has been recently renovated, which is why we're here, to show it off, with new sandstone retaining walls, lovely clean sandy beach and no weeds of any sort. The main group headed off down beside Wyrribalong National Park, towards North The Entrance, while a few of us paddled over to the Toukley Bridge and into Budgewoi Lake. We immediately came back to the Tuggerah side and continued around Wallarah Bay, past the similarly named Club and off towards Pipeclay Point.
We did push off from Canton dead on 9.00am so a few latecomers weren't seen at the start, but we caught up with them later. I can't say anything about the eastern-side raiders, but our small group got around Pipeclay to see Barry's house, and yes there he was waving from the balcony. So Viv and I dropped in to say hello to Baz and Lois, and have a look at his new garden, very nice, before we set sail again for the launch venue. As expected a fresh breeze had sprung up from the south, but we all managed to get back before the water turned all white-cappy later.
Straight across the lake this time, a long paddle, till we arrived at the beach and met all the people we missed the first time around. Like Sylvia, Carmel and Doug. An unbelievable morning tea was provided by everyone, with delicious sandwiches made by Sue at 5 o'clock this morning. Thanks, Sue! A very satisfying paddle and get-together with everyone. There are about 160 people who have paddled with us before over the years who luckily didn't come, but they're welcome to if they want. We all enjoyed ourselves, and anyone would.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Robyn's Excellent Adventure - February 2015
Report and photos from the kayaking holiday at Wyangla Dam. Click here.
Tuesday 17 February 2015 - Woy Woy
Almost perfect conditions today - patchy cloud, warm, no wind... Thirty-four kayakers made the trip down to Woy Woy for an interesting paddle out of the Brick Road Wharf.
Everyone seemed to know where to go, so off we went to the north and east till we rounded Saratoga Island, so it said, and continued east along the shore towards Saratoga and Yattalunga. After a while some of us turned around and headed for Tascott. The paddlers up the front were left to follow us if they could. At Tascott we turned port and headed back to Woy Woy Channel after a short trip, but a good one. It did start to blow up a bit but we were nearly home.
Thanks for coming.
PS Bob's photos are here.
Knut has a video of last Tuesday's paddle at San Remo. Click here.
There is a new double kayak for sale on the club notices page.
Tuesday 10 February 2015 - San Remo
A very warm start to the day, never getting under 25°C. At the hot water outlet at San Remo forty kayakers thronged the carpark, before we set out for Wallarah Creek, to the west. As we got into the creek the sky darkened and the temperature fell a few °, then it started raining. Such a warm light rain, nobody minded, except Annie D who tried to shelter under a tree. The rain cleared on our way back, the sun came out and we were all dry, except for Baz who insisted he had wet pants.
Some people steered to the left and went up Wallarah Creek, while the most sincere group turned right for Spring Creek and the delights of The Motorway Link Bridge. Total km was about twelve, with somebody maybe going a bit further. The dogs along Spring Creek, Blue Haven, were quite well-behaved this morning, some even nice. We saw a big water-dragon on somebody's retaining wall, hope the guys got a photo of it (nah!).
The usual stunning morning tea with a wealth of exotic food from everybody. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 3 February 2015 - Mooney Mooney
Greetings! Thirty-one kayakers eventually arrived at Deerubbin Reserve this morning, a couple woefully late, including a very nice girl with an american accent (not saying who) who had to fight her way from Batto Bay, and a guy who took the wrong exit at the roundabout only metres from his destintion and finished up back on the M1 heading for Gosford. That will add 20km to your trip!
A lovely day, cloudy to start, then warming to about 27°C, with a slight SSE breeze of 15 knots. We started out by going under the road bridges and turning left into what becomes Mooney Mooney Creek, past Spectacle Island, a huge mountain in the middle of the river, into the everglades in Mooney Mooney Bay where we had a good look around.
Still heading north in Mooney Mooney Creek, we paddled through Sunshine Bay, past beautiful Snake Island in the middle of the creek. Past Cheero Point up to Sailors Chest Point, where we turned around and headed straight back to Deerubbin Reserve, completing 10km, except for a few who paddled the other side of Spectacle Island, coming out closer to the railway bridge, and adding an extra kilometre onto their voyage.
Dianne spied some hang-glider pilots high up in the air, only to find they were really pelicans. Should've gone to SpecSavers, she said! A very nice morning tea appeared, thanks to indefatigable Sue and Doug, and all the kayakers who brought something nice. A wonderful day on the river!
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Friday 30 January 2015 - Kayakers Bike Ride
Eight kayakers met at the Lions Park at Warners Bay. The day was bright and sunny with a cooling southerly breeze blowing. Doug, Rob, Robyn, Keith, Bob, Darrell, Gail and Glenn met and took off along the lakes edge. The group followed Doug and it was off and along the over-water pathway, into Warners Bay around the top of the Lake, through Speers Point Park over the Five Islands Bridge, and into Marmong Point.
On the return journey a stop was made at Sally's By-The-Lake Coffee Shop where refreshments were taken. Then just the short ride back to the cars. Unfortunately our photographer left his camera in the car so nothing to show. A very comfortable and mainly flat ride along the lakeside.
Another Kayakers Ride will be scheduled for the end of February, so watch this space for details.
Tuesday 27 January 2015 - Booragul, Lake Macquarie (near the Five Islands bridge).
Similar to last week, it rained all night and on the drive up to Booragul, where I found half a dozen kayakers standing around shivering in the 22° stillness. In the end only a couple of girls didn't paddle, but all us blokes, plus the amazing Jill, made the trip worthwhile. It stopped raining as soon as we put our kayaks in the drink. It started raining again as soon as we got back, too.
Twelve paddlers did the trip south along the shore towards Toronto, with most going to Bolt-On Point and even beyond, taking about an hour, then returned. I turned first, being last as usual, and got back first to find Merrill and Gail in Glenn's car keeping dry. Other paddlers included Doug, Trevor, two guys called Bob, Keith, Glenn, Ray B, Digger, Harry and Ray King. As a pleasant surprise Darryl arrived to say hello, then returned later with some m/t. He has built his own house nearby of which there is a photo in the gallery.
It's a very pleasant trip down the coast of the lake there, with many nice stretches of natural bush, and interesting places. In one bushland setting there are some huge boulders from the cliffs, one with a plaque dedicated to one Daniel John Lindeboom, 1983-2011, known as Dicky. RIP.
Morning tea was held in the warm rain while we sheltered under Doug's pop-up canopy, and the gull-wing doors of Glenn's beaut new camping rig. Food was arrayed on the deck of the annex, and included popular damper with golden syrup, sent with Doug from Sue. A very cosy gathering of fifteen moist drinkers squeezed under about 4 square metres of roof. An intimate morning tea which everyone enjoyed, as we always do. Sorry if you couldn't make it today, see if you can drive to Deerubbin Reserve, Mooney Mooney, next week for an equally inspiring outdoorsy event.
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 20 January 2015 - Gwandalan
Prospects weren't good at 8 o'clock but half a dozen of us intrepid kayakers were to be found sheltering from the rain under the barbecue at Gwandalan Lions Park. All kayaks were still on the cars, but as 9.00am approached, more paddlers arrived and the sky began to clear. Doug and I decided to JUST DO IT! and unloaded our kayaks, followed immediately by the rest of the group.
Soon we were paddling around Crangan Bay down to Mangrove Gully Creek and into the quiet bushland. Then the nine of us paddled up to Browns Point, or possibly the one before that, then back across the bay to complete 5km of sublime paddling in perfect conditions - light west wind, cloudy sky and warm temperatures. Diane R from the bike club tried out Margaret's kayak to join us kayaking.
We had seven non-paddling members looking after our stuff, including Russell, who lives nearby, making sixteen of us altogether. If you were thinking of coming but couldn't be bovvered, you missed a nice day kayaking. Morning tea was shared, with Knut making a lovely flaky pizza, and Sue made lots of nice sandwiches. Knut's recipes are here.
Bob's photos are here.
Knut's videos
Knut's video of last Tuesday's Swansea paddle is here.
Tuesday 13 January 2015 - Robyn's Holiday to Wyangala Waters Dam, 9 Feb to 14 Feb. Click here.
Tuesday 13 January 2015 - Swansea
A roolly excellent day paddling this morning at Swansea. Thirty-eight paddlers and two non-paddling visitors, Arthur and Liz.
I suggested we go down the channel and under the bridge, while some went somewhere completely different in the lake area. With the tide going out it was an easy paddle down past the bridge and into Black Neds Bay. This channel opens out into a large bay surrounded by wetlands. Jack said at high tide you can drag your kayak across the sand spit and into the channel, but not in today's low tide environment. Another day maybe. At 4.3km we decided to go back the way we came, paddling against the tide. Claire said she did 9kmh down the channel but only 6 on the way back. That tells me the tide was running at only 1.5kmh, easily manageable by a human in a kayak.
Being the holidays and a beautiful day, the area was full of holiday-makers, swimming, fishing, boating... Really enjoying themselves were the speedboat drivers who went up and down the channel while we were paddling, with no regard to the wake of their boats, thanks guys! Didn't faze us though really! Children were playing in the water next to the carpark, and kayaks, paddle-boards and floaties filled the clear beautiful water. Viv even had a swim, wish I had one too!
Morning tea was an epic event enjoyed by all. All facilities were available, except the launch venue I used was a bit rocky - that's why I use a plastic kayak. Great fun, thanks everyone for coming. Viv you need to tie your kayak on better - it gets a port yaw at speed. Either kayak holders or a rope at the front to your bull-bar.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 6 January 2015 - Double Program
Evening paddle at Gosford

Any late arrival to the launch site would have been greeted by an idyllic scene of diners under the trees of Masons Parade reserve – there were some yummy curries in evidence and clearly being enjoyed. On time as planned, craft were launched from a ramp and a small 'beachlet' nearby and the swarm of about thirty paddlers headed across Broadwater and continued under the busy Rail bridge.
Avoiding the shallow bits in the low tide, the group steadily proceeded up Narara Creek leaving the rattle of the trains behind them. With the orange glow of the fading sun light coming through the trees, we progressed up the winding creek at a pace to suit. Fisherpersons were out, possibly trying for a late dinner (…or Maccas on the way home). Further up the creek we were treated to some serious race calling from the nearby racecourse – these guys sure can talk fast!
Then it was time to turn about and head back to Broad Water – just following those little lights ahead as they disappear around the next bend. Soon these lights were bobbing, swaying and weaving across the water against the backdrop of a colourfully lit funfair on the shore. Once back at the reserve there was a pleasant get-together, coffee, cakes, healthy treats and a good natter - another fine outing had been enjoyed! And the moon did finally make an appearance high above the trees.
PS Photos are here.

Morning, The Entrance
A slight southerly of <5 knots, warm (mid 20°s) and a few clouds, that was what was ordered, and given to us. About 18 kayakers arrived at Picnic Point, The Entrance, as an alternative, or even in addition, to this evening's twilight paddle at Gosford.
Carol and Viv were there on their paddle boards, looking like Amazons, plus a visitor, Cathy, who came with Chris Fairman. Chris, Cathy and Lori paddled west and up to Pelican Island, so we didn't see much of them. The rest of us headed around the point towards the bridge.
We looked quite spectacular, paddling in such a group, complete with bodyguards. Under the bridge and looking carefully at the facilities for tying up while getting coffee. Unfortunately not much on offer. With a strong incoming tide we realised that we had to paddle "up-hill" to reach the ocean gateway. Crack up the cadence a bit and we finally made it, except for Nikki, who didn't fancy it. Keith was at the front and headed straight out to sea, with the waves rolling in. Bob wasn't far behind him, and I was close behind. As soon as Keith tipped over in the waves, Bob and I turned around and headed back to the nearest sandy shore where the others were already stripped and swimming, which seemed like a better idea. I didn't bother stripping but we had a good splash about in the ocean, cool and refreshing! Keith dragged his kayak ashore and joined us.
Afterwards we paddled back to the bridge and headed across to the northern side, where the guys were doing some renovations on the substructure of the bridge. We continued along the channel, past the fishermen on the grassy shore, till we came to the Pelican Paradise, or something, where we decided to have our coffee.
This was the worst café we have ever been to, though the girls were nice and helpful, just didn't know how to make coffee, and keep the fish separate. To add to the atmosphere the lights were off to give the feeling of being cooler, and hide the squalour. Anyway, we all got served, even if Carol's waitress had two goes at making her an iced coffee, but didn't charge her for anything. We ran into Boston Bill there, fresh back from the USA, and he had to be satisfied with PepsiMax instead of his usual Diet Coke. He rode his bike to see us from Gosford.
A short paddle back to Picnic Point left everyone happy with a lovely paddle and social intercourse. Some of us may attend tonight's twilight paddle, I know Doug will. Enjoy, and select a report writer. Harry's photos are here.
Wednesday 31 December 2014 - Myall Kayak Classic
Knut's video of this September event is on his video page here.
Tuesday 30 December 2014 - Wyong River
About 37 kayakers and their mates signed on for today's paddle, from the Tacoma Footy Ground Access Road, up the river to the bridge and beyond. Some newish guys or returnees included Rob Wait in his brand new skinny red kayak, Dianne Kolstad and Greg York, and Xmas Carol who is coming to grips with the correct paddling technique.
Rolf paddled from Canton Beach, but struggled to make it across the lake in the face of the 10 knot SSW breeze. For that reason we all paddled up the river, not feeling like a struggle with the choppy lake. Kee and some others went as far upstream as Porters Creek, which he said was too shallow, but it was probably the steel shelf below the pipes. For the bridge visitors the distance was 9.4km, and for the Creek, or the weir, it would be 15 all up. A good paddle in perfect conditions, if somewhat warm. A cooling breeze on the way back helped with the temperature but not the paddling.
A very nice morning tea you guys, and a good chat with friends, thanks for coming.
Next week we're having a twilight paddle, from Gosford Sailing Club at 7.00pm - you'll need navigation lights plus any other lights you like, such as bike lights, and I know there are some beauties out there. For those unable or unwilling to paddle at night, we will still have a paddle at 0900, Picnic Point, The Entrance. See the guide above.
No photographers were present at today's kayaking, but I have a collection of captions to read so you don't get nostalgic. That's actually a fib, there aren't any captions, or photos.
Monday 29 December 2014 - Kee's video from the Xmas party paddle
Click here.
Saturday 27 December 2014 - Letter and photos from Boston Bill.
Click here.
Tuesday 23 December 2014 - Lake Macquarie, Morisset
On a day which started out overcast and then light rain, 12 paddlers hit the water and headed up Pourmalong Creek, under the road bridge into the peace and quiet of the creek.
We continued on until large logs blocked the creek. At this point it became time to shed the jackets and raincoats and put on sunnies and hats. We decided to return to the launch site, but took a detour to head toward Wyee Point and into another creek. The water became very shallow so we all agreed that coffee was calling and returned to the launch site. Distance of 10.5km today.
Sue, Jill and Trevor had morning tea all organised when we got back and John and Jan Stone arrived to boost our numbers for today. Nigel De Silva had a change in family member with him today, his son Tom.
Wishing everyone a very Merry and safe Christmas.
Doug (and Sue)
We will paddle next week, Tues 30th Dec from Tacoma Oval map 50 E10.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 16 December 2014 - Chittaway Point
Warm and a bit of everything today, rain, cloud, sunshine, 10 knot NNE breeze... About 20 kayaks hit the water, some going upstream to the weir and some heading for the lake. They were mostly back by 11.00 then the fun began.
Fifty-eight people were at the hall for our Christmas luncheon, I don't know how they organised it but there were cold meat and salads, and desserts. Lucky door prizes were awarded and the fruit punch was flowing. A great day with everyone there, some for the first time, nice to see some partners. The photos are here. Check out Kee's nice video of Mallacoota below. Cheers!
and here is JD's report of the paddling:
It was a fine and sunny morning as Kayakers, unsure of numbers, arrived at Sunshine Park eager for a paddle to build up an appetite for the annual Christmas Lunch. Mark looked very resplendent in his suit reserved especially for the Christmas paddle. Many felt underdressed in Mark's company. Most were eager to hit the water and were assembled just off-shore of the launch point well before 9am waiting for their leader to show them the way either upstream or downstream, not a hard question with a North Easterly breeze starting to ruffle up the creek.
As our trusted leader couldn't be found someone made the move to go upstream and everyone quickly followed, Viv on her speedy paddle board in the lead group. To our surprise we had a couple of very heavy short-lived showers on the way up, not sure where they came from but thankfully they didn't last long. There was plenty of bird life along the river as we paddled up with the sound of bellbirds accompanying our paddle strokes and lots of young cormorants in their nests overhanging the water in Casuarina trees. Before long we were at the weir.
Most turned back and retraced their course eager for the Christmas lunch while a few went over the weir to explore the upper reaches of the creek. For some it was a bit early to head back to shore so we headed downstream turning around when at the entrance to Tuggerah Lake. With help from the North Easterly breeze it was an easy paddle back to the launch point. A quick wash of the kayaks and everyone was ready for a splendid lunch organised by Sue with help from a very supportive group of friends.
The food was fabulous and was enjoyed by everyone with lots of second helpings of both the mains and the dessert, YUM! Everyone enjoyed the fun of opening their Lucky Door Prizes co-ordinated by Sue and Knut. Another beautiful day on the water followed by a lovely Christmas lunch with great friends. Many thanks to Sue and everyone who helped make today a very enjoyable day.
Update on Tony Hope
Heard more about Tony's recent bike crash - His handlebar got caught in a handrail on a bridge and over he went. Broken collarbone, with metal plates, broken ribs, badly dented confidence. Letter from Tony:
Hi, Received your Christmas card, and your welcomed good wishes of a speedy recovery, it was very much appreciated.
As Graham and Sharon I'm guessing related my accident to you, I can only add that I'll be more careful next time.
As I'm being admitted to hospital on Tuesday, we cannot attend the Christmas party on Tuesday 16th.
Sue and I wish everyone a great end of year get-together. While I have not attended the Tuesday paddling as much as I planned to do this year, my appreciation for the tireless work of those core people that make the "Kayak Klub" such a success is appreciated by me and I'm sure all of those who know just how much work those of you to whom I refer do.
My sincere thanks. Sue and I wish all Kayak attendees a very Merry Christmas and a healthy new year.
Regards Tony and Sue H.
Monday 15 December 2014 - Kee's video of Mallacoota
For those who do not mind a less professional video, this is my version of my holiday at Mallacoota.
For those who cannot remember what they did in November, this is proof that you had a good time. http://youtu.be/j06im9HT2Gk
Thursday 11 December 2014 - Knut's Videos
Knut's video of the Mallacoota trip is on U-Tube, (click here) along with all his other brilliant videos.
Tuesday 9 December 2014 - Patonga Creek, Patonga
Warm (26°C), cloudy and a southerly breeze of 10 knots, mostly hidden by the creek valley. Thirty-five kayakers assembled. Good to see Marcus again. Bundy and Coke came on the motorbike. Also just heard that our friend Tony Hope had a nasty fall off his bike on Friday, busting his collarbone and other bits. We're all thinking about you Tone!
Heading off upstream even before nine o'clock, the main fleet were helped by the incoming tide, which kept filling the creek well past high tide time. Latecomers were scattered all along the creek, along with another group on sit-ons, who were amazed to see so many kayaks in the creek. We had some visitors today, viz Amy who is Chris and Bill's daughter, Ursula who belongs to Nigel DaS I think, and Joshua who is Harry's grandson. Welcome to youse all!
So, up to the top of the river, with all the excitement of shallow water, mangroves and oyster leases. We did see the resident sea eagle, swooping around the tree tops, but never close enough to take a photo. When we got back to the launch site a few of us continued up to the ocean bar and over the breakers into Broken Bay. Very choppy and exciting and well worth the effort (take a bow Debbie, Doug and Danny among others, though I do think Dougal got swamped, judging by the sand and water in his kayak!). Afterwards we adjourned to the Rotunda at the entrance to Patonga where a delicious morning tea was served, and many stories swapped. Thanks everyone who attended!
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 2 December 2014 - Throsby Creek, Newcastle
This is the best venue we ever go to! About 20 kayakers met at Throsby Creek near Cowper Street Bridge after a rainy and dark morning. No rain fell on me all day, but it was cloudy and warm, with a northerly breeze of less than 10 knots.
Newcastle Harbour can be so interesting, and we had everything this morning. It semed quiet on the trip down towards Nobbys, with only a stray tugboat passing us near the Hunter River. We stuck to the south side then crossed to Stockton side at Nobbys, where Nikki and I pulled onto a little beach to stretch my legs. Nikki adjusted her pedals then I pushed her off again. While attempting to launch myself back into the water I tipped over and filled my kayak with water and sand.
On the way back the previously-seen tug re-appeared with a large bulk carrier attached to its stern, both pulling in opposite directions. The ship was winning, and the tug being towed backwards up the river. Also on the scene at that time were two Stockton ferries crossing in front of and behind the ship, another tug heading out to sea, a pilot launch and a dredge. A bit earlier we had seen a seaplane land next to us, then later it took off again into the river. While crossing the Hunter river we were attacked by a pod of dolphins, popping out of the water all around me! Amazing! How's the Wyong River looking now, eh!
The distance for me was only 11km, but some of the others paddled further, out to Nobbys Head, or further up the river. Anyway, a fabulous paddle, topped off by a delicious lunch, thanks Sue for the beautiful sangers. For those of you who declined to get out of bed, the weather always works like this - rain overnight and in the morning, then it fines up, so, fully sunny and 30°C by the time we left. A top paddle well worth an hour's drive up the highway. Thanks to all those who came.
Bob's photos are here.
Monday 1 December 2014 - Knut's photos of Mallacoota are here.
Tuesday 25 November 2014 - Budgewoi Lake
Mild cloudy morning with not much breeze. At least 25 kayakers (forgot to bring my attendance roll) with at least another half a dozen appearing for morning tea. All welcome.
We all paddled under the road bridge heading for Budgie lake but that's where we split. Some of us went left towards the golf course and most of the others kept to the starboard shore possibly heading for San Remo, or at least Buff Point. Nobody told me what happened.
Those of us heading to the golf course and the creek struck shallow water almost straight away, but we plugged on, even getting out and walking in the shallows dragging our kayaks behind us. We call this portage (we use the French pronunciation) and it's an essential part of kayak training. We finally made it to the creek where the water was deeper. Paddling upstream under the course bridge while golfers walk or drive over the top is the highlight of our week. Another 50 metres to a log which Danny and Harry climbed over and kept going (after I fell in due to a gust of wind).
Turn around and paddle/wade back to the channel, although Harry and Lori paddled all the way by a cunning route, meeting the Buff Point group on the way. We paddled only 5km while the others would have done more like 6km. Anyway it was all fun and we arrived tired but happy at the Lions Park ready for morning tea and a good chat, which we had. Thanks everyone for coming.
Next week it looks like Newcastle, namely Throsby Creek, for a paddle along the Newcastle waterfront. Today's photos are here.
Extra photos from Kee
Kee has given us some more photos from Mallacoota. They are at the end of Carol's. Click here.
Mallacoota Report - November 2014
Twenty-one Toukley Kayakers made their way to the Victorian coastal town of Mallacoota for a kayaking holiday. The Mallacoota Inlet has over 300 kilometres of shoreline so is a big body of water that enables multiple paddling options.
The weather was initially cool and a little overcast however the weather improved as the week progressed. With the majority arriving on Monday 17 November, the first paddle was scheduled for Tuesday morning. This was from the boat ramp at Mallacoota Jetty along the foreshore across the opening and back to base. A highlight of this paddle was the sighting of a New Zealand Fur Seal by some of the paddlers. The afternoon activity was a bike ride along the cycle way from Mallacoota to Karbethong. Several Koalas were spotted at the entrance to Croajingalong National Park, a first ever sighting of Koalas in the wild for several of the crew.
The Wednesday paddle started at Karbethong and went up the bottom lake into Sou'West Arm to Captain Creek Jetty. In the afternoon a walk to the same destination was organised. This was 6 kilometres each way through the National Park. More Koala sightings as well as several Lace Monitors.
Thursday saw us launch at Betka Beach for a paddle up the Betka River. This is not a long river but is devoid of any development so is in a purely natural state. The cycleway was again the venue for the afternoon activity.
On Friday the paddlers were given an option of activities. One group decided to scale Genoa Peak and the rest paddled the inlet. The Genoa Peak walk is only 1.5 kilometres but takes about 1 hour due to the steepness but once at viewing platform at the Peak the views are sensational. For the paddlers the Fur Seal made another appearance. No activity was arranged for the afternoon but a Takeaway Dinner was decided upon. There was a choice of pizza, chinese and fish and chips with a bulk order placed and collected and eaten around the camp fire. Carmel and Knut then provided a dessert of deconstructed cheese cake (yum).
Paddlers started to depart for home but on Saturday 8 paddlers drove out to Gypsy Point and entered the Genoa River and then into the Wallagaruah on a sunny day with a cooling breeze. That evening a selection of gourmet dishes were prepared and shared. The dishes included Braised Beef Cheeks, Chicken Casserole, Dumplings, Rice and Chilli Concarne. A selection of desserts included fruit and custard, chocolate salami and ginger nut treats. Then followed an aged port from Carole's cellar.
The bulk of the paddlers will have left by Monday and this will bring to a close another successful Toukley Kayakers adventure holiday. Participants are already talking about next year's trip and which camping site they will book. If you haven't been before then consider joining us in 2015.
Carole has sent in some sensational photos to whet the appetite, click here.
Tuesday 18 November 2014 - Wyong River Upper
On a day looking to be warm if not downright hot, a large group arrived at the historical Old Dairy on the Wyong River to unload their kayaks at the weir. In spite of many being away in Victoria as well as New Zealand, I counted at least 14-15 kayaks, including 2 doubles! Paddling upstream, we found no shortage of muck in the river, but also many delightful water dragons basking on logs in the middle of the river and scurrying up the banks. Once we got away from the M1 overpass, it was peaceful, pretty and there were patches of clean and calm water. Just a few 'inconsiderate' land owners pumping water out of the river, with the ensuing racket interrupting our solitude!
Harry was in his delightful element with all the lizards, photographing each and every critter he could find, being the last to get upstream. Eventually the narrowing, frequently blocked by fallen trees area of the river impeded our progress, and in dribs and drabs the kayakers turned back, making a shortish paddle of around 7km today. But not before Nikki took a spill going under a low tree branch, and wore it with a laugh, stating the cool water felt nice! Meanwhile, we were all getting a kick out of the 500 meter markers as we paddled closer to the dairy, being huge milk jugs painted in black and white cow colours! No home-grown morning tea today, we patronised the friendly café for coffee, cakes, wraps and other gourmet delicacies, while Bob had enough food delivered to feed most of us put together!
Now what happened to that photo in the gallery, I wonder! Who says you have to leave NSW to have fun? Another great day on the kayaks had by all!
From Lori B - Photos are here.
Wednesday 12 November 2014 - Knut's video from yesterday is here.
Tuesday 11 November 2014 - Hardys Bay
After a big drive from home, which took only an hour, we found ourselves at a quaint little waterfront at Hardys Bay, near Gosford, NSW. We had to park alongside the road, and negotiate a grassy bank down to the mudflats at the water. The tide was coming in, and the mud had disappeared by the time we got back from our paddle. Forty-one people arrived at one stage or another, but only about 35 paddled. A few stragglers were only sighted later.
We paddled out of Hardys Bay and into the channel from the Rip Bridge to Broken Bay. We knew to watch out for the ferry, as I had mentioned it in the program last week, and sure enough as we approached the Half-Tide Rocks, a fast ferry burst out of the scenery on the port side and across our bows, about 100 metres away. It raced over to the far side of the channel and promptly stopped dead. Then it slowly turned towards us and gunned it again, but passed not that far from us and roared up to the Rip Bridge.
As peace reigned once more we faced the turbulent water rushing into the channel, and choppiness and swell. It was quite exciting as we rocked around in our little flimsy kayaks, but we all made it safely into calmer water further on. Eventually we arrived at beautiful Lobster Beach, named after the sunbathers who frolick there. Eventually quite a group of us assembled, while a few had a good swim, and some paddled further around the head, and some did both.
We took off again towards the channel, but planned to go right to the further beach and paddle along the shore to avoid the rapids. This worked quite well, but we still had the ferry to contend with, coming back the other way. A very pleasant paddle of 9km, with plenty of interest at this new venue. Thanks to everyone who came. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Friday 7 November 2014 - Kayakers Bike Ride
Seven paddlers met at the Gosford RSL Car Park for a cycle ride. It was a cool but sunny morning and the group set off for Woy Woy on the cycleway, following Captain Doug. After going under the railway line the cycleway wends along the bank of Brisbane Water and over the bridge into Woy Woy. After coffee and a chat it was back to the cars. There were no incidents or accidents and no photographers.
PS Due to school holidays this will be the last cycle for this year. The next will probably be in early February 2015, date to be fixed.
Tuesday 4 November 2014 - Summerland Point
It looked like a very pleasant day with cloud and warmth, and no breeze. But, get away from the shelter of the peninsula and there was a good breeze of 10 knots. Seabreeze says it was NE but it felt like NW, as we found when we rounded Frying Pan Point into a good chop.
Thirty-six kayakers came, most paddled, some didn't, and a baby (Heather's) who also didn't. Nice baby too! So with Doug not paddling we weren't sure where to go so some went south around Chain Valley Bay, some went across to Manno and some went north into Frying Pan Bay. I was with this mob, and we split up again, with Nigel Schmidt for one going up to Wollstonecroft Point, and some of us (me, Carol, Brian, Knut, Sabina and crew) crossing the lake towards Sunshine, about 1500 metres away. At this point I realised how terribly slow my Prijon is, and turned back before reaching the other side. So I finished up arriving back only an hour and a quarter after I started, but it seemed enough.
I did take the attendance roll when I arrived, but forgot to mark everyone off on our return, hope you all got back safely! While we were out on the water enjoying ourselves, Doug and Sue and their willing band of helpers prepared a beautiful barbecue lunch, with chicken and beef snags, bread rolls, wraps, salad, onions and coffee.
While we were munching happily on this, Claire was organising a sweep for the Melbourne Cup, which happens to be running today. It's a lot of work, and at one stage she said she had gone off the rails, but soon had her betting sheets and numbers all sorted out. I just realised something about our group - no alcohol! Champagne would be flowing at all other Cup turns, but not the kayakers. Just as well I suppose!
Thanks to Sue and Doug, and Claire and everyone else who helped make this such an enjoyable day. Sue is selling tickets to the Xmas lunch at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay, on 16 December, so bring along some $5 next week, which is at a new venue viz Hardys Bay. See the details above.
Harry and Gloria's photos are here.
Tuesday 28 October 2014 - Dora Creek
A very warm spring morning, with little breeze, and plenty of sun on the creek. Just the 47 of us today, including a couple who didn't paddle but were there never-the-less. Finding parking and launching space is fraught at Dora creek. A local council guy says they would love to install a proper canoe launch infrastructure, and add more parking, they just need some submissions from the public. So, Darryl, you're a ratepayer, get with it!
I wanted to go out on the lake and over to beautiful Shinglesplitters Point, for a swim, but Garry was the only one interested, so we all went up the creek, and into Stockton Creek. Darryl and I stuck together and did about 11km, while others, like Doug, Glenn, Gail and Bob W paddled right up to the freeway, completing 17km of kayaking. Well done!
The quality of the water varied, and was mostly murky, at best. Plenty of fish jumping though. We saw kids at a holiday camp having fun on an abseiling set-up, and canoeing. Then they have to go back to school and study. Such fun!
We had some newish paddlers, like Nikki - brand new, and Cathy, who had to leave early for a job interview, and Carol K. David and Anastasia came back, and we had 2 Carols and 2 Nigels, and nice to see Tony Hope back.
Paddle all the way back, with kayakers spread out everywhere till we finally got back just in time for m/t. See the instructions for next week at the top. Thanks everyone for coming and making such a top day of it. The recipe for today's spicy treat from Knut is here.
Photos from Bob and Harry are here.
Saturday 25 October 2014 - Knut's video
Knut's video from Bobbin Head is here: http://youtu.be/xpr3l4xT89U
Tuesday 21 October 2014 - Bobbin Head
I almost got to Minnesota Road before I remembered my NPWS parking permit, so I had to go back home for it - 20 minutes wasted. When I got to the venue at Bobbin Head at 9.05am the other guys were still launching, so I had some help and wasn't really late. The weather was excellent for kayaking - no wind, no sun, warmish...
Seventeen kayakers made it here and we set off across the calm water into Cowan Creek. Most of this local knowledge comes from Kee so if it's wrong it's my fault for listening to him. Beautiful rocky bush mountains and giant gum trees... Some of the creek is quite shallow, but it's off-limits to motor boats, so very quiet and calm. We got up to the end where it suddenly petered out, and set off back with a 3-4 knot improvement in our downstream progress, due to the outgoing tide.
A very pleasant paddle with a delightful morning tea afterwards. Knut's recipes all appear on the cooking page here. Today he prepared tandoori tofu curry things. Thanks to those who took the trouble to come so far to paddle with us. Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 14 October 2014 - The Entrance, Tuggerah Lake
Funny day... Some rain earlier, but pretty-well cleared by the time we fronted at Picnic Point. Still too wet for Judy, so she and Andy went home while the rest of us piled in our shells and headed out. Not sunny, not cold, not raining, not windy, or hardly. Seabreeze® Graph below.
So about 25 of us embarked for a serious paddle in the mighty Tuggerah Lake. I thought about the lagoon but everyone else wanted to go south-west. We paddled down along the shore to the point, where we split into two groups, those who knew where they were going and the others. The second group, about 20 of 'em, just kept paddling in a straight line right across the lake till they came to Tumbi Creek, while the remaining five of us stuck to the shore, went under two long jetties and around a third and continued on to Saltwater Creek. Claire didn't go under the jetties but Bob, Harry, Azi and I did. We paddled down to the end of the creek, about 200 metres. We chatted with a lady whose balcony overlooked the creek and who showed much interest in our group, so we directed her to the website (this one). An interesting creek, for all its short length, but we were soon out in the lake again at half-past ten, having covered 4 kms. The other group said they did 5ks down to Tumbi, so 10 all up.
The élite group got back first, to find Sue had managed to return from other duties to organise the lunch. The breeze had a bite in it, especially if your clothes were wet, so we quickly changed and packed our stuff away and headed for the tea table. Plenty of nice tucker to keep us warm, capping off a very pleasant day on the water (that's what we're here for, right?). The Tumbi group enjoyed themselves, paddling right up the the end of the creek, about 500m they said, so probably 300.
Even a day of inclemency can be fun, as long as you're dressed right, and don't mind the odd splash of sea water. Thanks to the paddlers, and to Sue who did all that work to make sure we had a hot drink after kayaking.
Photos are here.
Friday 10 October 2014 - Kayak Club Bike Ride
Eleven paddlers met at the Lions Park, Chittaway Point with their cycles and set off for a land based trip. Most handled the strange environment, however Barry learnt that the the ground doesn't make a splash when you land on it. We cycled around to The Entrance via the bike path and found a coffee shop to rest and prepare for the return to our cars. The weather turned on a great day with cloud cover keeping the temperatures down.
Similar outings are planned with the next being a Gosford to Woy Woy ride on Friday 7/11/14. Again the ride will be on a cycle path and all paddlers are welcome to come along.
PS Photo on next Tuesday's gallery here.
Tuesday 7 October 2014 - Myuna Bay
Just the 25 of us today at this isolated and pretty spot on beautiful Lake Macquarie.The wind had been blowing northerly all night but eased off somewhat around 0900, just in time for our little paddle.
Amber was there in her new Mirage 382, purple in colour, so she's set for good! We paddled up to the inlet to Whiteheads Lagoon to have a look at the Fitness Camp, but all the kids were back at school today. One of the guys remembered coming here when he was 15, he said it was all boys then. No fun for girls!
After messing about there for a while we headed back out to the Bay and continued south past the hot water channel to Rocky Point. I couldn't see Shingle Splitters Point from there otherwise we may have headed that way, or gone to Pulbar but that was a bit far for us. Instead we turned around and paddled back into Myuna Bay, but straight across to the other side for a bit extra distance. We were back by 10.30am, packing up, getting changed ready for the main event of the day - morning tea! Although there were only 25 of us the selection of fresh and home-made delights was varied. Gloria made some beautiful lemon meringue pies which were v good, but she had to take half of them home. She suggested I take one for Marie so I did, and she's just eaten it, and gives it the housewife's seal of approval.
We missed you Sylvia, you must be working! A very enjoyable paddle anyway and the wind kept away for us, but has blown up again now, at 3.00pm.
Bob's photos are here.
Old4New life jacket upgrade - Trade in your old jacket
The NSW Lifejackets Dept. is offering information sessions about new life jackets and selling them cheap and will be visiting the area soon, viz Picnic Point The Entrance 7 December 2014 6.00am - 9.00am, Toukley Bridge 1 Feb 2015 2.00pm-5.00pm, and Budgewoi Ourringo Road 31 Jan 2015 6.00am - 9.00am. For further information see their website here.
Tuesday 30 September 2014 - Koolewong
A superb day for kayaking this morning, with 39 paddlers making the effort to come to beautiful downtown Koolewong, on the Brisbane Water. Not a bad venue, except for the toilets being 500 metres away, and no sand at all, just concrete and rocks.
But a beautiful bay to paddle on, with lots to see, and boats and Woy Woy wharf on the venue menu. So the huge fleet of kayaks, including a few new people and old lost ones returning making up the numbers.
We paddled down to Woy Woy, though Debbie did make a lunge for Woy Woy Bay under Spike Milligan Bridge, but we had to go with the main group down to Woy Woy. We paddled down Woy Woy Channel and back up Paddys Channel around Pelican Island then straight back to Koolewong, for a short pleasant paddle. Top that off with a brilliant morning tea and that was our day. I didn't paddle my Prijon as I got a better offer from Ray to join him in his tandem kayak, as Merrill took a precautionary flexi due to concerns about adverse winds. I enjoyed my turn in the big kayak, as we paddled much faster than I could ever go in the old tub.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 23 September 2014 - Lake Munmorah
A gorgeous spring morning, cool to start at 14°C then warming quickly. Thirty-five kayakers and paddleboard riders (Viv and Carol) made the effort to get out of bed and enjoy a morning of watery delights. Patrick brought along his young friend Jacob, who has never been kayaking before.
Doug pointed us towards the Colongra Wetlands and off we went, though the front markers were away by five to nine... keen! With the water surface looking like glass, we paddled firstly north-westerly then NNE right up to Colongra Point, through beautiful clear water, populated with black swans which flew away when we got closer than 200 metres to them. It's quite spectacular to see the swans all dragging themselves out of the water and struggling to get airborne, with their wings banging into the water and their little feet paddling madly to assist reaching lift-off velocity.
We had a little poke around in the Drowned Forest, with all its dead trees sticking out of the lake, but there was a lot of algae and weed of some sort in between the trees, which clung to one's rudder and generally was a pest. We reached the channel first and most of us paddled up a long way, in the serene and pretty surroundings before heading back out to the lake. While we were up the creek, a NE breeze had sprung up and gave us a 20cm chop to contend with, though mostly the wind was from the side and not too difficult. Once we got around the point again it almost became a tail wind - glad we didn't have it earlier! I found Garry moored on the big marker buoy, waiting to tell Debbie he was paddling straight back to Lizzie Bay, whence he had come earlier.
With a total mileage of about 9km we were tired and happy on our return, and really enjoyed our refreshing morning tea, with lovely sandwiches which Sue had made for us, and cakes and stuff, including Knut's chickpea pikelets with chilli yoghurt, the recipe for which will appear on our recipe page quite soon. This lovely morning makes up for the rugged conditions last week and at Woy Woy on the 19th of August (Golly, is it that long ago already?) which was nasty.
Thanks everyone for coming. Bob's photos are here. Knut's video is here.
Thursday 18 September 2014 - Hawkesbury Extra Monthly Paddle
Extra Monthly Paddle - Parsley Bay Brooklyn (Thursday, 18th September 2014)
On a sparkling Sydney spring morning six kayakers arrived at Parsley Bay Brooklyn, for what turned out to be an extraordinary paddle. The morning was sunny with flat water and only a slight breeze (to begin with). We couldn't wait to get going.
Before we made our pre-arranged circumnavigation of Dangar Island, we travelled the length of Long Island and into Sandbrook Inlet (where the large boat anchorage is). Unfortunately before we even reached the tip of Long Island the wind had come in from the west and the outgoing tide was running strongly against us. However that did not deter and we ploughed on into the tide and wind making it quite a strenuous paddle. We stopped frequently to photograph the amazing sandstone formations lining the side of the island with Knut getting out of his kayak at one point to put his head into the "mouth" of a particularly distinctive looking rock, which we described variously as an eagle's head minus beak, or the head of a lioness.
It took us a hour and 30 minutes to make it thus far and at this point the call of coffee on Dangar Island overcame us and we turned around to head back – amazingly the tide stayed with us, and the wind dropped somewhat and we accomplished the return trip in less than 30 minutes and with very little effort.
The coffee on Dangar was as good as ever and as we sat enjoying the scenery and ambience of this incredibly beautiful spot, we saw "splashing" out in the bay. A school of dolphins were enjoying the day as much as we were. We hopped back into our kayaks and went out to meet them. How to describe the next 15 minutes is impossible really; hopefully the photos and video will help explain what a magical experience it was. The dolphins stayed around us jumping and splashing through the water approaching us to probably wonder at the strange water creatures around them. They were not afraid of us and seemed to enjoy the encounter swimming alongside the kayaks at times and diving underneath.
Alas they tired before we did and made off to their next adventure and we put some effort into out paddles and arrived back at Parsley Bay just before 1pm. We had travelled just on 12 kilometres, some of it quite strenuous, had a friendly coffee together and paddled with dolphins. A wonderful end to a brilliant day kayaking.
(Paddlers today were Knut, Dennis, Bob, David, Barry and Gloria with Kee arriving with dog and bad cold to wave us off).
Photos are here. Knut's video is here.
Tuesday 16 September 2014 - Canton Beach
Warm and cloudy this morning, with 26 kayakers in play, plus me and Doug watching due to other things. A NNE breeze of 15 knots kept us sheltered, but we could see difficulties getting back from the southern end of Tuggerah Lake.
Just after the fleet got across to the State Forest near Wilfred Barrett Drive, a mini storm struck with thunder (everywhere), lightning (stage right) and rain (a few drops). Enough to send Rob/Robyn, Gloria/Barry scurrying back to the boat ramp for safety. Doug ran out with an umbrella for Robyn. Sue's report coming soon. Harry and Bob's photos are here.

Twenty-six paddlers headed off today in what started out as a beautiful sunny spring day, which very quickly changed, with thunder off to our right and threatening clouds overhead. Once on the lake, heading toward North Entrance the rain came. Not for long and not all that heavy, not really enough to dampen the spirits of most.
At this time the wind became more intense and Barry, Gloria, Rob and Robyn decided it was time to return to shore. The rest plugged on and the sun did come out to dry us off a bit, but the wind decided to stay. The majority continued on to North Entrance, turning for home at various different stages. Coming back the wind was relentless creating quite a chop in the water.
On reaching the shore we discovered a few non paddlers had turned up today – Graham, Sharon, Colin, Fred, John Daley, Danny and Doug. By the time we were all back, safe and sound, the sun was shining brightly and wind wasn't so bad on shore, back to a beautiful spring day. It was lovely to see some familiar faces today that have been missing in action ie Jenny and Graeme, Judy and Andy; Brian; Patrick and Sylvia. Welcome back guys.
Brian must have really missed his Tuesdays on the water, as he wasted no time in collecting all manner of rubbish, without paddling more that a couple of metres from the boat ramp, including a "surf ski", a plastic garden chair, a wind cheater and a milk crate, not to mention all the usual rubbish that is ever present in the lake. Good job Brian.
A great day out with good friends, good food and exercise in the fresh air – can't ask for more. Again the weather forecasters didn't deter us and those that did paddle enjoyed the experience. Near as I can figure we paddled a max. 12km (to the caravan park Nth Ent). After discussion with the group present today, in the next few weeks, we are going to plan a trip to Bobbin Head on a Tuesday, when the tides are right. It was suggested, that "if" you don't have a "National Parks & Wildlife" pass, as a concession card holder, you might like to apply for one to save the cost of $11 to drive through the park to kayak. Apparently, they only take a few days to arrive after you apply (Doug's took 3 days) and you can use them in any National Park in NSW.
Sunday 14 September 2014 - Myall Classic
Toukley Kayakers were very well represented in this year's Myall Classic, held yesterday. The morning started out perfectly, but as the morning wore on, and the races began, the wind became stronger and stronger.
In the 47km race, Claire and David came 6th in the 'mixed doubles over 50yrs' in a time of 6hrs 39min, well done guys. Bill Johnstone and his band of "woodies" competed in the 27km race finishing in 14th; 16th; 18th and Bill in 19th position in the 'over 50yrs singles'. Their times were 3hrs 29min; 3hrs 38min; with Bill and Phill almost dead heating on 3hrs 43mins. What a great effort guys, all in the kayaks they made themselves (thus "the woodies). Their training run with us the other Tuesday obviously paid dividends!
The 12km race saw Knut, Doug and Barry compete in the 'over 50yrs singles'. Knut finished 4th in 1hr 30min; Doug 5th in 1hr 40min; Barry 6th in 2hrs 02min. Again, a great result in quite trying conditions for all the paddlers. Looking at the competition before the start of the race, there were some very 'professional looking' outfits, in all shapes and sizes, but our guys weren't daunted and gave it their best and held the banner high for Toukley Kayakers, (who?!?!, well you might ask!). Again, great result, well done all of you. Knut's video is here.
Tuesday 9 September 2014 - Cams Wharf
A perfect Spring day! Sunny, warm, slight breeze... Thirty-six kayakers assembled at Cams Wharf for a morning of adventure and excitement. The venue is excellent with plenty of grass, parking, water on tap, pebbly beach and miles of beautiful lake.
We all set off westerly with Pulbar Island in our sights, into a north-westerly breeze which whipped up a little chop to break over our bows, and sometimes into our cockpits. We soon became totally strung-out, with the fast ones out of sight and the sloggers like me struggling at the back. I suspect that not everyone made it around the island, some turning back or going elsewhere. I, for one, headed to the southern side of the island to meet the others coming the other way. This did indeed happen, so I turned around and joined them, at the western end of the island.
In the meantime (so that would be 11.00am as per the Seabreeze chart below) the breeze died away to nothing and the water calmed nicely. There were still plenty of paddlers behind me and they straggled in over many minutes in various stages of collapse, after a ten kilometre paddle.
Worthy of mention is Claire who paddled from home on Chain Valley Bay at Summerland Point to Cams Wharf, then around Pulbar, back to Cams Wharf then home again, a distance of 33km. Well done Claire! Also worthy of acknowledgement is Darryl who made it to kayaking for the first time in six months.
A good turn-up and a reminder to some to check the destination above before leaving home (not Nords Wharf). Lovely morning tea and a beautiful day out on the water!
Harry and Bob's photos are here, and check out the Seabreeze® chart below.
Tuesday 2 September 2014 - Ourimbah Creek
On a mild day, with intermittent showers – Jacket on, jacket off – 20 kayakers hit the river, including our guests for the day, Harry's daughter and son-in-law from Ingham Nth Qld. Welcome! We also had 3 "irregular' paddlers today and 3 that chose to stay onshore and Merrill who arrived just in time, bringing her scones for morning tea.
We paddled up to the weir for a regroup and photos, then returned to the boat ramp. 7.5km paddled. Bill J, Kee, Phil and Steve continued out to the lake, as training for the 27.5km Myall Classic in a fortnight. This group paddled 12.5km today. Morning tea again was a delicious mixture of Knut's savoury 'eggplant pickles' slice and Merrill's fresh baked scones, jam and cream, and everything else in between. We really are spoilt! The heavy rain was very kind and held off until morning tea was over and most had already left for home. Once more, if you believe the weather forecasts, you would never leave the house and miss out on some really good paddles. Luckily, this group have learnt to decide for themselves, on the morning, at the venue.
Next week will be from Nords Wharf, Newcastle map 185 Q14 with the thought of doing the Pulbar Island circuit, weather and wind permitting.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 26 August 2014 - Wyong River
On a day when, apparently, it only rains on the east side of the railway line, 15 kayaks turned up, but only 14 hit the water. We paddled up to Porters Creek only to be turned back by fast water over the concrete pipeline support. Self preservation and staying dry, was priority for those that ventured up the creek.
We returned to the river and then on up to the weir for a regroup and chat. It didn't rain while we were paddling, until we hit the east side of the bridge on our return. We returned to the launch site, however some brave souls paddled east of the bridge in light rain toward Tacoma and back – approx. 8.5km paddled all up.
Morning tea again proved popular with 6 non-paddlers joining the group huddled under the picnic shelter and standing under the sun shelter for extra protection. Great to see Gail and Glenn and Sharon and Graham back from their travels, even if it was just a fleeting glimpse, as Gail and Glenn head off again this week – safe journey guys!
It was noted Danny made a quick visit this morning, but disappeared home again before getting his tail feathers wet.
Next week, dare we say, wet or fine, will be at Sunshine Park, Chittaway.
Bob's photos are here.
Thursday 21 August 2014 - Knut video
Click here for the video clip from Bobbin Head/Cowan Creek on 14 August.
Tuesday 19 August 2014 - Woy Woy
Cold, wet, windy... Wonder if anyone was brave/stupid enough to front this morning. Awaiting a report. And photos.

Hey, hang on! Here we are! Well done, Sue!
Hello . . . . .hello? Anyone there? Not at Woy Woy you're not. We left home in quite heavy rain, with occasional light rain on the F3/M1 only to arrive at Woy Woy to large blue patches of sky and sunshine. I cannot tell a lie, it didn't last long, before the rain came across the water and it was quite heavy too. The "3 paddlers" that did turn up were "Doug, himself, and him". I wasn't even contemplating it! He had a discussion with himself and decided against it, just in time too, as that is when the rain hit.
We waited until just after 9am, and surprisingly, not a soul turned up. So we headed for home in a mixture of weather and decided to stop at Bateau Bay Stockland for a coffee, funny, as we had a car full of "coffee makings" but nowhere to stop and make one out of the weather. This is only the 4th time we haven't had some sort of paddle on a Tuesday, not bad as the group has been going for 6 years in November. Ahhh, the "Weather Gods", not always kind. As luck would have it, Gosford Council had closed the only toilet block for renovations, which could have been awkward had we all turned up. We will try again next week, but at Wyong River, next to the Wyong Bowling Club.
Thursday 14 August 2014 - Cowan Creek
Extra Paddle to Bobbin Head
Twelve paddlers arrived bright and early for our Thursday Extra Paddle and assembled at the Canoe/Kayak access ramp on Cockle Creek at Bobbin Head. It was a clear, calm, sunny morning with the promise of a nice few hours paddling on the beautiful waters of Cowan Creek. We headed up Cockle Creek and into the wider Cowan Creek and proceeded in a northerly direction passing many small bays and promising inlets, which we left for another day's exploration, until after 4.5 klms we turned in a north-easterly direction toward Cottage Point.
To this point the tide was with us and we moved along at a nice pace on smooth calm water marvelling at the incredible sandstone formations that lined the cliffs above us. The tenacity of the gum trees that cling to these cliffs has to be seen to be believed. Cottage Point is on the confluence of Cowan Creek and Cole and Candle creeks and is a small collection of homes and a restaurant clinging to the side of the cliffs that dominate this part of the Sydney Basin. Some homes are small modest cottages that line the water's edge while others are towering pole homes that hover in the shimmering bush. The restaurant's tables were lined with lovely white clothes no doubt ready for some elegant dining but not for us, sadly.
At Cottage Point, after 7.5klms, some of us turned back ready to tackle the paddle back against the tide and a rising wind. A good proportion of the party went on for another 1klm are so and then turned for home base. The paddle back was a little more strenuous due to the wind and tide until we turned the corner and headed in a more southerly direction when the wind seem to die and we had a delightful paddle along the beautiful Cowan Creek. Distances travelled were 15klms for the early returnees and 16.5 for the others not a bad days paddle on a lovely waterway and through the stunning Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
After landing we had morning tea/lunch, thank you Claire for the delightful and warm zucchini slice and Doug for the hot water, where we all agreed it had been a most enjoyable day. We have some photos. They are here.
Tuesday 12 August 2014 - Hawkesbury River, Mooney Mooney
The weather forecast was unfavourable, yet, undaunted, 11 paddlers arrived at Deerubbun Point where it was c c c cold, but fine. Kayaks were quickly unloaded and all were ready to hit the water by 8.50am, by which time we figured no one else was going to arrive. Gloria and Sue decided it best if they stayed behind and mind a spot for morning tea or we could sit in the warmth of the car and wait 'til the paddlers returned. Guess which option we chose?!
The paddle exited the boat ramp and paddled past Peat Island on the inside channel to the HMAS Parramatta hull. They regrouped there and pondered the wreck or what is left of it, and watched two pair of Eagles overhead. They continued on to Bar Point wharf where the decision was made to turn back. Across to Prickley Point, through Milson Passage, they then followed the shoreline to Olga Bay then across the river back to the boat ramp. The water was quite glassy up to the 'Parramatta' and there they encountered a slight wind. A pleasant glassy return made for a very enjoyable paddle indeed. A paddle which nearly didn't eventuate, but, we have learnt to ignore weather forecasts and decide at the venue on the morning and this method hasn't failed us yet. Morning tea was ready and waiting and a nice hot cuppa was appreciated by all. A great outing with good friends, how lucky are we?!?
A total of 11.2km was paddled today. Oh, and no, it didn't rain! Bob's photos are here.
Next week – Woy Woy Lions Park, Brickwharf Road, Woy Woy - to paddle toward Saratoga for a change.
Myall Shores Winter Camp - August 2014
There was a consensus amongst us (Debbie & Gary, Sue & Doug, Gloria & Barry, Carmel & Knut), that the Myall Shores Winter Camp was an unqualified success.
We could not have wished for better weather and only those arriving on Saturday 2nd August experiencing the real bite of the cold. Otherwise we had beautiful sunny days with very little wind to worry us. Evenings were cool, of course, but with our warm clothes and one patio heater we managed to keep the cold at bay – the gluhwein (made by Knut) also helped.
As a kayaking venue, Myall Shores Holiday Park offered everything you could wish for; having access to the Broadwater on one side and Two Mile Lake on the other. The launching areas were sandy with some gravel, but not too much to worry us. Throughout the main group's stay we did 5 paddles over the four days and the distances were fairly consistent with Monday's, seeing two paddles, one of 11kms in the morning and for some of us another 6kms in the afternoon. This was the more difficult Kayak, as the wind had come up by this time. On Tuesday we achieved another 11kms, heading south and paddling parallel to Mungo Brush Road.
On Wednesday we managed a mammoth (for some of us) 12.2kms, going westward toward the entrance to the Myall River, as it comes from Bulahdelah. This was especially exciting for Carmel, as it was her longest paddle yet and as she is our most recent paddler, quite an achievement. This paddle was famous for its idyllic conditions, glassy water with stunning reflections all-round and not a breath of wind; only a power boat and our paddles causing ripples.
On Thursday morning, going home day, only the boys went kayaking. The paddlers went up into Two Mile Lake, but had a more difficult time of it as the wind had come up. Nevertheless in the short time they were gone they managed to paddle 7.6kms.
It was with some reluctance that we turned for home from Myall Shores. It a place we all want to return to. Given the beautiful clear waters, this would be ideal for swimming in warmer weather and as such become a possible venue for a camp later in the year.
Photos are here. Knut's lovely video is here.
Tuesday 5 August 2014 - Budgewoi - Bob's Report:
Approximately 25 kayakers met for a serene paddle in idyllic August conditions from Budgewoi Creek to the Hammond Canal power station inlet channel.
We paddled past Green Point, Buff Point, Mandalong Point and Ourringo Point, arriving at the inlet after paddling for 5.7 klms. The wind was a mere wisp on the outward journey with a perfect blue cloudless sky however on the return leg we were accompanied by a slight breeze creating small ripples on an otherwise placid surface.
We were joined by some new people and a friend of Amber's from the United States whose name I think was Chris. Sorry for forgetting the other names however we did seem to have a surfeit of Bobs new and old amongst the inveterate throng. Morning tea was greatly appreciated after our paddle.

Robyn's Report
Hi Danny report as follows
Twenty five enthusiastic paddlers departed from McKenzie Park Budgewoi, destination the hot water channel. It was a cool but sunny day with water so calm you could see your own reflection in it, which was only disturbed by the movement of the paddles. We made a colourful picture in our various vests and kayaks as we paddled the eleven kilometre return journey. (Though some of us just paddled around and enjoyed the sunshine.) I asked Mark our fearless leader what was the wind direction he sagely replied "it depends on which way you are pointed" enough said.
The paddle today was enjoyed by all, and those of you who went shopping or stayed in bed you missed a great day. A lot of our regulars were away at Myall Lakes for the winter camp, hope it's not too cold.
We had three new members and Amber's friend Chris from the USA join us today. Welcome.
A big thank you to Mark for leading and briefing. Jill for the morning tea and all who supplied the extra goodies (we missed our good cooks) Fred for counting heads. As usual Tuesday turned out once again to be one of the best days of the week, water, sunshine, good company and food. Happy Paddling,
PS Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 - Summerland Point, Sandy Beach
A little cool for some, but really a nice sunny day, with a NW breeze (see Seabreeze© Graph below) and a cloudy sky. Actually a very beautiful cloud arrangement on the way back, hope Bob saw it.
Forty-two kayakers, plus Maisie The Dog, with many regulars away, as is always the case. Mark S and Wally started somewhere else, but caught up with us on the way over. Some new paddlers, including my old mate Fried, who paddled a sit-on and did very well, catching up with me on the way back. Fried usually paddles out around Birdie Island, so knows his way around the sea, being an old sailor and everything.
Ian and Jeff came back for another go, and new Pete came with his paddleboard, of which he is somewhat of a champion, having won his division of the Hawkesbury Classic - 110km standing up! Today he kept up with everyone, even in the strong headwind, and beat most people, well done!
We started off going across the top of Chain Valley Bay to Mannering Park, then down the coast past the power station. I never forget the time when the substation blew up a few years ago - glad we weren't nearby then, it went off with a hell of a bang. Darcy's wife shit herself, living nearby as they did!
At the bottom of the Bay we mostly turned around and paddled straight back to Black Neds Point, which took a while, in the wind. Mark went up the creek at Chain Valley Bay South (CVBS), but got caught in the stronger breeze later. After what seemed like a marathon paddle, but was shorter than going down to CVBS, we got back to the very nice venue of Sandy Beach. Sue as usual organised the morning tea and we tucked in like ravenous vultures, at least I did!
A very pleasant morning kayaking with friends, thanks to all who attended. Next week we'll go to Budgewoi for a quiet splash around. Maybe the week after we'll go to the Hawkesbury again. Talk next week. Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 22 July 2014 - Mannering Park/Wyee Creek
Forgot to count everyone today but I think about 30 paddlers, plus a couple of non-paddling support staff, like Jan Stone and Wendall. It was quite cold to start but sunny and scattered cloud. It sooned warmed up in the tepid waters of Wyee Bay, so we saw a few jackets being wrenched off by the pipes.
Not much to say about this paddle except it is always lovely, especially the Enchanted Lake, with all its dead trees. Very quiet and peaceful, but the guys who went right up to the top did see some azure kingfishers, always a delight! We all worked up a good thirst and appetite by the time we got back. Luckily everyone brought heaps of delicious food, and Sue supplied the tea, coffee and Milo, as usual, thanks Sue, not to mention the sandwiches which she makes every Tuesday morning.
We had some new people today, viz Jeff and Ian, from down Budgewoi and Wamberal respectively, who found our website, and many old friends, nice to see you all again, thanks for coming! Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 15 July 2014 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie
This venue is tricky to find, not helped by my forgetting to put the name of the street here last week. However 21 kayakers finished up arriving, on a beautiful morning, bits of sun and blue sky but mostly cloud, 16°C, no wind at all so glassy lake surface all morning - fabulous!
We were here only on 3 June, paddling south, so today we headed north today to Silverwater and Balcolyn, as far as Shinglesplitters Point, where I turned around while the rest of them hugged the coast to Bonnells Bay, another 500 metres. They found many interesting things in the water, including a shark, while I saw nothing. But I did go wide into the lake and finished up paddling across to Point Wollstonecroft Recreation Area, getting back to the boat ramp with the others. The water was so smooth and quiet it was like being on a little pond, not a huge lake. Linda and Chris Fairman came a bit later, and, not being able to find us, paddled over to Pulbar Island for a circumnavigation.
Morning tea then ensued, a happy gathering munching away on the lovely food, including Knut's specialty, and Sue's yummy sandwiches. A very pleasant day out kayaking with our wonderful club. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Thursday 10 July 2014 - Mangrove Creek paddle
Monthly Paddle – Five hardy souls turned up on a sparkling winter's morning for a paddle from Spencer. Although the night had been blustery and the wind, on occasions, had howled when morning came it had died down and the result was a clean windswept day with blue skies and bright sunlight we could not say it was warm but the temperature was warmer than the two mornings before and we had no trouble imagining a delightful winter day paddle. Spencer is a very small town which boasts a shop, a caravan park, public wharf and boat ramp. On driving past the caravan park we noticed the lighted sign which advertised boat launching so we went in to enquire and sure enough for the sum of $10 we were able to use the facilities offered there, the proprietor assured us our cars would be watched over, and if needed, we only had to call him and a rescue boat would be sent to our assistance (the latter we were not too keen to take advantage of).
Besides a very wide boat ramp the caravan park offered what appeared to be a small sandy beach enough for all five kayaks to be beached at the same time so it was off with the kayaks and on with our winter paddling gear. As we had missed the tide (high) we were advised to go up Mangrove Creek as conditions would be easier there. The creek was very wide and lined either side with mangroves (hence the name) the water was somewhat muddy and at times quite shallow but we managed to avoid the ignominy of having to walk. Against the tide and occasional wind gusts it was a slow paddle upstream but we were not in a hurry and the day was too pleasant to rush. We consoled ourselves that the return trip with tide and wind with us would be like a run downhill.
We paddled on until we reached Popran Creek just under 5kms from the start at this point the wind started to make itself seriously felt and paddling against it and the tide required hard work besides which we had set ourselves a goal of 5kms so we turned around to start back for homebase. For the first kilometre we had no need to paddle the wind at our backs and on our paddles sped us along at a fantastic pace. After this of course it died off and returned only to blow in our faces and make it a much more strenuous paddle than we had anticipated. Nevertheless we all thoroughly enjoyed our day on the water and pronounced the day a great success.
On returning to our nice little beach we discovered it was only a couple of metres of sand and with the tide now well down the 'beach' had become mud into which we sank to mid calf – however we all got out safely and then spent some time washing the mud from kayaks and boots this being the only negative part about the day and what is a little mud between friends or on kayaks!
After the washing and tying of kayaks back on to cars we retired to Lorraine's farm for soup, sandwiches and coffee and a rehash of the day's events. A great day enjoyed by Knut, Bob, Lorraine, Barry and Gloria. (Photos are here.)

Hi Gloria and Danny,
Our recent trip to Spencer for an additional kayak/paddle, once a month, also resulted in a little video.
The report, which Gloria wrote, gives a good indication of the fun and enjoyment we five had on the day.
Hope that for the next outing in August, some more kayakers decide to join us. Anyway, here is the link for the video from Spencer and Mangrove Creek.
Many thanks,
Tuesday 8 July 2014 - Croudace Bay, Lake Macquarie
A brilliant morning at home, barely a breeze and cool, to arrive to a very cold strong wind and white caps across the bay. Hmm, time for a rethink and change of venue. So off we all headed to Thomas H Halton Park at Eleebana, only a couple of kms around the bend but a completely different scenario. Still cold but the wind was less and the water was much calmer. Twenty-four paddlers headed up Shepherds Creek through all the boats moored there to Hartley Point. At that stage most returned for coffee and 6 continued across the bay to Boughton Point paddling along the shoreline to Awaba Bay returning across the lake to Rocky Point and on to the boat ramp.
Morning tea had all the usual trimmings and delights, especially the hot Pumpkin Soup provided by Fred and Colin, which was very much appreciated after battling the cold wind. We had 4 non paddlers and 2 enquiries from interested locals today. Those paddlers that went the extra distance paddled 8.7km, a bit of a loss for the coffee junkies that headed back early. Pretty good day considering at 8.30am it looked like a non event.
At morning tea Sue presented Gloria with a canvas print photo for her 70th birthday, which was yesterday. Happy Birthday Gloria.
Both our resident photographers, Harry and Bob, were present today, so we should have some good photos from the day. Next week we are heading to Sunshine – not Sunshine Park – Sunshine Newcastle map 184 L7.
Photos are here.
Tuesday 1 July 2014 - Ourimbah Creek, Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay
Just the 27 paddlers and supporters today, including 3 boys on holidays. It was cool of course, but the sunbshine and otherwise perfect conditions prevailed.
We all paddled upstream to the weir, with nearly everyone going over the top. This took quite a bit of work to get everyone safely over the weir or rocks. Recent floods have brought down more dead trees and nearly blocked one of our routes upstream near the weir. We all learned the skills to drag oneself out of the kayak and onto the wall, and get back in without getting wet. Mark Os had his great nephew in the front seat, Cody, 8, and he put in the effort to paddle upstream. He never had to get out, even though Mark was out all the time, even falling in the river at one stage. But on the way back Cody flaked out and only his head was above the gunwale. My mistake - looking at the photos I see he did disembark at the weir on the way back.
After the weir there were a couple of good obstructions which most of us surmounted. Nigel finally made it over the weir, when I wasn't watching him, but called it quits at the first logjam. Quite a lot of us made it all the way, and felt it was worth the effort. Then we had to do them all over again on the way down, but it always seems easier going back down, as the water was actually flowing above the weir. Plus there was a slight tailwind downstream too, plus it's downhill.
We missed Doug and Sue, as they were coming back from Queensland, but Jill and Trevor did a good job with the morning tea. We didn't miss anyone else as we can't remember who they are. A top day paddling in the sunshine and fresh air, thanks to everyone who came.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 1 July 2014 - Letter from Chris Fairman
Hi to all the PPPPs! Having a great time over the other side. Some fantastic water to paddle on. The water below is still a bit hard. And above is the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, and has 48 ft tides. Not sure I would like to paddle there as the water moves at a very high speed in and out.
Hope Sue gets well soon. See you all again in a couple of weeks. See photos here.
Tuesday 24 June 2014 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo
Winter started today, with temperatures from 11°C to 16°, and westerly winds blowing dogs off chains. Twenty-two paddlers made the effort, plus Jill who came but didn't go in the water. We also saw Garry on the creek, but he launched at the wrong place, and went back there afterwards, not coming to m/t. Some notable attendees were Jim and Judy, with their dog Maisie, who travelled in a little hut on the back of Judy's kayak. Both Harry and Bob were there so we should have some good photos today. Lori came and brought Ken with her, welcome to all the newbies!
Despite the cool conditions and the wind, the sky was sunny and the creek valley is well-protected from the wind, so we paddled up to the confluence with Spring Creek, though I think everyone went left with Wallarah Creek. Not far up there is a little tributary which most of us paddled up, to the end, a few hundred meters, then up the next fork which goes further, before coming back and continuing up Wallarah, many kayakers making it to the obstacles. Doug had gone straight up there and muscled his way over the logs to have a look around, but as no-one else was there he came back, for safety. Quite a few of us hadn't been up here before, so it was a novelty for them.
We saw a few azure kingfishers, one of the country's most beautiful birds, but they're too quick to photograph. No other birds were seen, except for a few ducks at the bridge. We did see an unusual plant of the most amazing colour in the water, but it turned out to be plastic, in a pot in the water. Should be a photo there.
Last week Wally and Mark Steele paddled from Belmont, but on the way back they were hit by a big wind change, which made it very interesting for them. No remote launchers today apart from Gaz, and that was a mistake.
Jill and Col set up the morning tea for us, thanks guys, so we had the stuff all ready for our return. Sue was too ill to come kayaking today, but got up early and made boxes of sangers for our lunch for Doug to bring before retiring again. Thanks so much Sue, greatly appreciated! Apart from some banana bread, there were no sweeties today, just delicious savoury things, like Knut's falafels and minted yoghurt, and dips and cheese and sandwiches of course. So all you geezers who thought it was too yucky to get out of bed - you missed a top day! Harry and Bob's photos are here.
PS Mark has done a top job renovating my Prijon. The after-sales service is fantastic! Check out the Seabreeze graph for today
Tuesday 17 June 2014 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
Another beautiful morning today, a bit better than last week, with cool temperatures and a gentle breeze. Twenty-seven souls on board, one not paddling.
I wanted to go along the lake shore to Warners Bay, but I wasn't allowed, so we all went up the creek. After we got to the junction of the Brush Creek and Cockle Ck most of us went via the latter, while Doug and someone else went up Brushy, to the right. I turned around here and paddled back with Col, as we had paddled far enough. I took the right fork at the island and paddled around under the bridges and out onto Lake Macquarie, a total of about 8km. Those who paddled up Cockle Creek turned around before the end, going about 10km, according to Bob.
Eventually everyone came back safely (I had their names recorded in case), and Sue put on a superb morning tea, with the help of our generous members. We are very lucky to have someone like Sue, and Dougie too. And me. Mark St Eele and Wally launched at Belmont and paddled an extra 12km to the start. And back again afterwards, kayaking about 35km for the day. They met strong breezes and choppy conditions at the early start, Mark copping a wave right in the chest - lucky he had his apron on! Mark Osb was also there, making himself useful helping out. He took my Prijon home to do some maintenance on it, thanks Mark! Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 10 June 2014 - Gosford
A few early showers deterred many people from coming, but for those of us who came anyway, it was worth the effort.
Yes, a bit wet before 8.45am, but the weather then cleared to a still, cloudy/sunny morning, so we all piled in our kayaks and took off across the Broad Water. The main contingent was way ahead of me,but Dennis kept me company in the chase group, thanks Dennis. I stopped at Tascott to get my apron sorted, and Mark and Chris Mason caught up. Mark then continued on after the others, on the way to Woy Woy, while Chris and I went back, paddling over to Point Fred first. The Woy Woy group were hassled by dolphins near the islands!
Mark deserves a whole report of his own, so amazing was his feat. He got up at 1.30 this morning, left home by two, drove to Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, and launched his kayak there at 4.00am. He stopped at Lion Island for half an hour around six, as he couldn't see anything. Then he continued to Gosford, arriving at about 8.45am. I offered him a lift back to Parsley Bay in the Pajero, but he insisted on paddling back the next 26-30km himself. Up to 60km! I was happy with about 10, so was Chris.
Everybody got back OK, loaded up their shit and we had a lovely m/t, with sandwiches by Sue, thanks Sue, and coffee and everything. Very pleasant, and only the smallest rain showers during the paddle, clearing up for the packing up. Although Harry was there, he didn't have his camera, so there are no photos.
Monday 9 June 2014 - New videos from Knut
Knut has made some new videos of the Summerland Point outing and Parsley Bay last week. Click here. Also, new kayak rack for small sedan on sale at Club Notices.
Thursday 5 June 2014 - Parsley Bay
Eight intrepid adventurers met under a cloudy sky at Parsley Bay Boat ramp - some had driven through overcast conditions to get there while others had endured pouring rain and hair-raising semi drivers on the M1.
After a brief board meeting it was decided that we should paddle but maybe the picnic on the beach was a little too much to ask for under the current weather conditions. There was little wind, and the brief glimpses of blue sky gave us confidence in the decision to get the boats wet. We set off in the direction of Mullet Creek with the intention of exploring it to some extent, but after about half a kilometre the danger from unmarked submerged oyster beds and a sky that now had no blue but had become an ominous grey, with long strands extending into the hills, caused an impromptu committee meeting, and a decision to explore the opportunity of a open coffee shop on Dangar Island.
Within minutes of turning back toward Dangar, the rain began, and we completed the distance in a heavy shower. Fortunately the coffee shop was open and Claire had money (the only one who did) so we retired there for a hot coffee to fortify us for our journey back. The coffee shop was very welcoming with no discrimination for our dishevelled appearance and dripping clothes. The only down side to our stop was that when we got back into our kayaks, we had to sit in puddles of rainwater - not a pleasant sensation at all!
The rain had stopped by the time we restarted our paddle and, encouraged by the wisps of lighter sky, we decided to go the long way back around the island, however it was only a brief hiatus and, within minutes of setting off, the rain started again in a steady downpour that showed no signs of stopping; the bright strip of sky completely gone. Barry, who had forgotten to take either a hat or a rain jacket, led the push and rushed to finish the paddle, arms working like pistons to get out of the rain. Our bedraggled group arrived at the shore dripping wet but with enthusiasm and spirits undampened. There was no washing of kayaks on this occasion but a rush to load up and tie down and then we repaired to a shelter for hot mushroom soup (provided by Claire) rolls, coffee (fish and chips for one lucky member) and much laughter and talk of our next special event. Combatants were Colin, Fred, Claire, Kee, Dennis, Knut, Barry, Gloria. Distance travelled was just shy of 10 kilometres (we added one for the rain). Photos are here. Knut's video is here.
Chris's trip to Alaska
Hi Danny
Thought you might like a couple of pictures from our Alaska/Canada trip.
At a waterfall at the foot of Mendenhal Glacier, Alaska . We paddled 5 miles in a 30 ft 10 man canoe powered by only 3 men and 3 women none of whom had paddled before apart from the guide, so it was a fair workout, especially as you get closer to the glacier and you get a strong headwind off the glacier that puts up 1 ft waves. The water is only 1°C and the air is 2°C, with a wind chill that makes it feel like minus 10 (I think).
I went for a kayak paddle at Ketchikan (much better than a 10 man canoe). Got in off a wharf - never even got wet! Paddled 50m and right in front of us a humpback whale surfaced, much to everybody's delight. We were all so taken aback that nobody got a photo. Went on to see bald eagle catch a salmon and take it back to the nest. Also saw seals and otters. All very exciting.
Below is an iceberg we passed on the way. Glacier face 250 feet high. Photos are here.
Bye for now and happy paddling.
Tuesday 3 June 2014 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie
A new venue today, so we had a few kayakers get a bit lost on the way in, but it was worth any effort to join in this fantastic day of paddling in beautiful Lake Macquarie. Conditions were superb, given that it's winter - sunny, light breeze, 21°C, water sparkling clear...
Thirty-two kayakers made their way to Sunshine Park (not to be confused with that other one at Chittaway - no comparison!), most by car but a couple (Wally and Mark St Eel) paddled from Cams Wharf, past Pulbar Island. Mark has a beautiful new Prijon Marlin - see the photos! Claire could have paddled across from nearby Summerland Point, but she would have done an extra 20km in the process.
To top off the perfect conditions, many kayakers saw some dolphins near the yachts at Sunshine - breathtaking! We paddled down past Casuarina Point, hugged the shore around Hampsons Bay, and around Fishery Point, where that well-known road goes to. Into Mirrabooka and circumnavigate Sugar Bar, with millions of dollars worth of boats moored there, south around another not named peninsular and into Bardens Bay.
Bardens Bay is quite big, but we paddled around it as well, to the interesting Lake Petite and adjoining creek. I paddled straight across Bardens Bay to my friends Keith and Barb's house, but they weren't there anyway.
Heading back was easier, except for the headwind, as we paddled straight across the mouths of the bays instead of exploring every last inch of them. We were most of us back about 2 hours after we started, with about 11 or 12 kilometres under our hulls.
Morning tea was particularly delicious with a wide range of savoury and indulgent food, thanks to everyone who brought something! Such a delightful day on the water, we are so lucky to have this place and this sport!
Harry and Bob's pictures are here.
Message from Linda
Weather fantastic. Water warm for swimming. Camper going good. Just spent 3 days in Karijini NP camping. Lots of spectacular scenery - gorges, canyons, swimming holes and waterfalls. We walked, waded, and swam through 4 canyons/gorges. Took lots of photos. Before that we had 3 days kayaking/camping/snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range NP. We slept on the beaches in tents, kayaked out to the reef, dropped anchor and snorkelled with thousands of fish, turtles and small reef sharks. We also did a day trip on a boat to snorkel with the whale sharks. That was awesome, the biggest one we saw was 10 metres long and we were swimming along beside it. Heading for Broome tomorrow.
Tuesday 27 May 2014 - The Entrance
This could be the last of the warm days, so we didn't waste it. Thirty-five people assembled at North The Entrance, including Col who stayed in the carpark looking after our stuff.
Several destinations were decided on, mostly Tumbi Tumbi Creek, to paddle under the new bike path bridge. Other guys just went onto the lagoon under the entrance bridge and out to sea (Glenn). It was a long haul out to Tumbi, so I gave up after 45 minutes and headed back, but it still took me an hour to get back, via the lagoon. Others were more dedicated and went the whole way, as you will see from Harry's photos, including Jill who was the last to get back, about an hour after me. The north-easterly sprang up to give the late returners something to remember.
There was some jerk on a jet-ski who finished up rushing Fred in her kayak, then scrambling for a quick departure when they realised it was a bad idea, but not before Fred and Col got their vehicle number, so we'll see what happens with that. Arseholes!
Doug's brother and sister-in-law, and their mate, joined us for m/t, and Lori brought Ken to paddle with us. Very sociable! A nice safe day on the water.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Harry got some more shots of darters feeding. Fantastic! Just slide your cursor over these thumbnails to see bigger picture

Three at once

Baby feeding baby?
Tuesday 20 May 2014 - Wyong River
Good to see Trevor at the river today - arm all cast up and in a sling, with a bad cut. About 25 other kayakers were also there. Some of our clan are up at Forster on other kayaking business.
A beautiful day for the end of May, 23°C, no breeze in the river valley, cloudy... Nothing too exciting today, just paddle down to the lake and back. Round trip - 12km. Some keener paddlers set off for The Entrance and they all came back except Mark Steele who was still missing when I left, but I'm sure he's fine!
Funny thing about paddling, or any sport, it's tough to get going but eventually the endorphins kick in (that's the word, Amber!) and it all feels easier and you can keep going for ages. Well, 12km seems ages. New lady Diane was with us again, while her fiancé Chris went down to C-Kayaks and picked up his new kayak. Hasn't got it wet yet, but. A very pleasant kayaking day with no pressure to compete, just do your own thing.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Monday 19 May 2014 - Jenny & Graeme
Hi Danny, It's been a while since we last wrote - we have had a busy time kayaking, cycling swimming and now bush walking.
The kayaking group we joined have been great as we have been able to explore the area with people with local knowledge. At a weekend camp out of Noosa we got the vibe that they would prefer if we knew how to get out of our double in the event that it rolled over - rolled over our sturdy/stable kayak? - no way - yes way - big time and fairly easy. We mastered the "wet exit" technique while upside down in the water and learned how to get back into the kayak which was full of water. The main reason for knowing how to do this "wet exit" is because mostly the group paddles in Morton Bay which can be get very rough with 1 to 2 metre waves and 25 knot wind very quickly. It is very handy to know how to do this with skirts on, as how quickly things on the water can change.
We have paddled to North Stradbroke Island from the mainland, the Noosa River for a three day camp, and around several islands in the bay. We haven't even been to places such as the Gold Coast paddling yet as there is so much around the Brisbane area to do. We have yet to finish sections of the Brisbane River, which we will do over the next few weeks with the kayak group.
We cycled the Gateway Bridge a couple of weeks ago - this was a bit of an anti-climax as we thought that this would be a massive uphill push, but it wasn't - it was relatively easy. The cycle paths are great, even the on-road sections which are fairly wide. The new legislation of the 1 metre under 60kph and 1.5 metre over 60kph works a treat up here with all, bar one motorist, giving heaps of room.
We got around 5 weeks to go up here and still have heaps to do and see and will be out and about as much as possible.
Cheers for now.
Graeme & Jennifer.
Tuesday 13 May 2014 - Summerland Point
Another perfect day, 22°C, no breeze... I did call in at Sandy beach on the way to see if anyone went to the wrong venue - Harry was there, staring into his phone, so my trip wasn't wasted.
About 35 kayakers were present, but I didn't mark the roll as we were spread over two carparks and it would have taken too long. We got going a couple of minutes before nine, by accident, so a couple of latecomers were left high and dry - Garry and Keith included.
A couple of us went across to Brightwater for their paddle, while the rest of us wove our way through all the nice boats heading north to Point Wollstonecroft and Pulbar Island. Some of us paddled up Bonny Boy Gully, which is a nice creek, but it gets narrow and we had to reverse out till we could turn around. It's a fair hike, especially when you haven't paddled at all for 6 weeks. I went ashore at the beach at the point, noting that it's not much of a beach, just shells like an ancient aboriginal midden, but at least somewhere to stand if you need to stretch your legs. Getting back in though I had a slight mishap and sat in the water, with my kayak upside down beside me. With Bill Atko's help we got the water out of the craft and he held it while I got back in again. What a nice young man!
Some keen paddlers went around Pulbar Island, and a couple went across the south face to meet the others, thereby adding a few ks to their total for the day. About 11.5km for the Pointers, and up to 14 odd for the islanders. Two guys called Mark went round the island and saw dolphins on the other side! A great day on the water! You really appreciate it when you are forced to miss a few days.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 6 May 2014 - Myuna Bay
On a crisp clear morning we arrived at Myuna Bay to be greeted by crystal clear water looking like glass – not a breath of breeze. Soon after we arrived Claire, Fred and Mark arrived, having set off from Summerland Point and paddling across to meet the group (9.5km). 25 kayaks (30 paddlers) travelled along the shoreline to Wangi Wangi in perfect conditions. It wasn't very long before jackets were being taken off as it really was quite warm on the water. After a regroup at this point about 50% decided to return to Myuna Bay as we had paddled for an hour at this stage. The rest of the group went on to Wangi Wangi Point where the consensus was to return to Myuna Bay, except for Doug and Wally, who decided to circumnavigate Pulbar Island. Fred and Mark had paddled around the island in the opposite direction without going to Wangi Wangi Point. When Doug and Wally returned morning tea was well underway with all the usual delights and some very long social chats. No one seemed to be in a rush to leave today as the temperature had really warmed up by then and it was just so pleasant in the sun. Total for the "long paddle" today was 15.35. Mark, Fred and Claire would have done much more kms by the time the got back to Summerland Point, and everyone else did around 9 – 12km depending on far far around the point they went. Another great day with great friends on beautiful Lake Macquarie.
Sue & Doug
Photos are here.
Tuesday 29 April 2014 - Tuggerah Lake, Gorokan
Gorokan Co-op was the venue today. A fine clear day with an almost mirror finish on the lake. 36 kayaks headed toward Wyong River. Wally paddled up from The Entrance to join the group, Nigel joined us for his first paddle with the group, paddling from the Toukley Sea Rescue. Welcome Nigel (you've come to the dark side). Mark loaned his kayak to Amber to try, while he and Wendall shopped for prawns. Calm warm conditions on the lake for our 11.5km paddle. Perfect day for it.
On returning to the Co op, Sue and her band of helpers – Gail, Chris J and Keith had the BBQ underway. We had 8 non-paddlers attending today including Danny after his op and Keith Hornery with his new knees (6 weeks today, well done!). I think we had 48 people in total. It's amazing how they come out of the woodwork when you mention a BBQ, but on a perfect Autumn day like today, who could blame them. A great social gathering.
Next week's paddle is Myuna Bay. Today's photos from Harry and Bob are here.
Tuesday 22 April 2014 - Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn
Paddling Report – 22nd April 2014 - The Hawkesbury River from Parsley Bay.
A beautiful calm, cool and sunny morning greeted the 35 paddlers who paddled The Hawkesbury today. Many of us thought it was one of the best paddles we (Toukley Kayakers) have done. There were quite a few doubles today (about 28 kayaks in total) and some of the more energetic paddlers started at Patonga and met us at Parsley Bay.
We headed for Brooklyn first and a leisurely paddle past the local pool and marina. We followed the causeway at Brooklyn for a while and then headed off to Dangar Island. At this point Kee peeled off and joined his "other" group at Hawkesbury Railway Bridge. Apparently, this group cannot believe the numbers Toukley attracts. I pointed out that this was because we have more fun! We circumnavigated Dangar Island, passing some beautiful and some just plain interesting homes along the water's edge. Gloria and I were tempted to stop for coffee at a cute café on the island but decided that should wait for another day.
After completing the circumnavigation we headed across the water to Alison Point, Wondabyne. Here we experienced the quintessential Hawkesbury River landscape; beautiful sandstone rock formations, enormous sheer cliff faces, twisted red–trunked Angophoras and Grass Trees in flower. We detoured into Tank Cove where there is a bit of a waterfall. We also saw a pair of stunning Sea Eagles near here (I hope Harry's photos turn out!). Continuing along this shoreline we paddled past Little Wobbly Beach and some more fascinating housing to Croppy Point, then headed back to Parsley Bay. A total of 11.5km paddled today.
As usual a scrumptious morning tea awaited – including Easter Eggs! Thanks again to Sue and Doug for providing tea and coffee. It was also lovely for me to catch up with everyone today. Happy Paddling! Photos for today are here.
Lorri H
A team of us (Mark, Amber, Fred, Colin, Mark Steele) paddled from Patonga to Parsley Bay to join the others. To see a map of their route, slide your cursor over the thumbnail below.
Tuesday 15 April 2014 - Swansea
With grey skies, but not raining, we headed off to Swansea, where the heavens opened as we all got out of our cars. Nice! A quick decision was made to head around to the eastern side launch area (Coon Island) where there is an under cover BBQ. This decision was made whilst huddled under the awning of the toilets, (not a venue of choice, but any port in a storm) the only shelter on this side of the bay.
Around at the barbecue area, the tea, coffee and morning tea delights all appeared and a 'pow wow with refreshments' was soon underway as to "if, when and what is the plan of action". By 9.30, nine (9) of the 22 present decided it was now or never, as the rain had momentarily ceased. They paddled from Coon Island to Pelican inlet and the boat channel, returning via Swan Bay, around a couple of islands, returning to Coon Island all with the outgoing tide.
Even on a grey day like today, the water was clear and varying in shades of blue, from a deep blue to almost turquoise in shallower sections over the white sand. A beautiful expanse of water. A total of 7.5km was paddled on what was very nearly a "no paddle day". When the paddlers returned, only four (4) people had stayed to welcome them back to 'not so dry land', the rest opting to return home out of the rain and the surprising cool.
The second sitting of morning tea commenced at 11am, with a couple of late arrivals providing some extra goodies for our hardy souls that braved the weather. And, yes, it did rain while they were out on the water, but no one seemed to be too perturbed about the fact they had been rained on.
Today, despite the weather, we had 24 people turn up, nine (9) paddled. Clearly, it takes a bit more than rain to stop you having fun, even if it is just to have morning tea and a chat. Well done guys!
Next weeks paddle is at Parsley Bay, on the Hawkesbury River, Sydney map 56; K 11. Go to Brooklyn, turn right at the pub.
Doug & Sue
PS - Mark, our 'Water Warrior', paddled from Speers Point, at 6.00am, to meet the group at Swansea. Needless to say he was there waiting for us when we arrived. Wendall was one of our late arrivals to morning tea, but his main aim was to take Mark home after the paddle. Nice to have a support crew, thanks Wendall.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 8 April 2014 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi
On a beautiful sunny day 33 kayakers showed up at McKenzie Park Reserve, Budgewoi, to indulge in their preferred water sport.
Launching into Lake Munmorah, they showed their independence by heading in different directions, not to see each other till they got back. Half a dozen paddlers turned right and took the anti-clockwise route around the lake to Elizabeth Bay (the planned route), then to a further point before paddling back across the lake towards Budgewoi.
The other group of 24 kayakers turned left and paddled up to Colongra Bay wetlands and through the canals there. Everybody had lots of fun and all returned safely back to Budgewoi where they were met by the other group and a few ring-ins who didn't paddle (me included). Another enjoyable day out on the water with mates!
New style photo display is here!
Tuesday 1 April 2014 - Sunshine Park, Ourimbah Creek
Thirty-five kayakers appeared at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay, this morning, for a paddle up a nice creek, after many outings on Lake Macquarie. Conditions were divine as usual, with no wind, cloudy sunshine and warm air.
We all opted for the trip upstream, with everyone paddling up to the weir about 3.2km west of our starting place. Those who made it over the weir kept going as far as they could, with some making it to a big obstruction of a wooden nature too hard and too late to attack today. Bring a good saw next time. This made a total of about 10km which seemed like enough. Nothing much happened luckily, so we all went back to the park for morning tea and a chat.
Thanks everyone for coming and being part of a very pleasant morning kayaking with friends.
PS Bob's photos are here.
See Knut's video of the recent Pulbah Island trip, click here. All Knut's videos are on his video page here.
Tuesday 25 March 2014 - Toronto
Seventeen kayakers presented themselves today at the Toronto Lions Park just south of the Fennell Bay Bridge. Conditions could not be improved upon - sunny/cloudy, no breeze, glassy water, beautiful venue...
Just as we were about to launch our kayaks, Darryl got a phone call to help someone unload something at his house, so he left his kayak on the ground and took off. The rest of us got going, heading straight across Kooroora Bay to Bolton Point, where we turned right and headed around the point. I told Dazza this earlier, but he forgot, so when he came back to join us, he paddled under Fennell Bay bridge and frolicked around there for a while.
When we had gone to the next point we had a re-group and a discussion about our next stage. Claire suggested we cross a vast expanse of water to some moored yachts. Everybody agreed except me as I had an appointment at the Wyong Hospital at 1.00pm and didn't want to go that far. So they all headed off to this distant spot while I paddled back across the lake towards Carey Bay, about 1km south of the Toronto CBD. After a pleasant paddle across the lake and down to Princes Bay, I returned to base along the coast past Toronto, getting worried about how long I was taking. I couldn't see the others or Darryl until I had nearly reached the Lions Park again, and there they all were ahead of me. How did that happen? And when I look on the map now, I have no idea where these other guys went. None of it makes any sense! It always looks so different on the lake.
Anyway, I had plenty of time and we all had a nice morning tea with coffee and everything, and a good chat, and there were enough seats for us to sit down. Another beautiful paddle on Lake Macquarie, thanks to everyone who came.
Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 18 March 2014 - Cams Wharf to Pulbah Island
A cool start today waking to about 14°C, but it soon rose to 28° by lunchtime. No cloud, no wind - divine!
Not so good for me as I remembered to bring my paddle only as I reached the pedestrian bridge at Lake Munmorah, so back home I went, turning an early day into a late one. By the time I was ready to go, there was only Rolf to paddle with, him also being late. We paddled northwards for a while then across the pristine water to Pulbah Island. Paul got a bit behind, so Rolf went back and steered him to the other side of the island so he could meet us coming the other way. Rolf then went off to Sunshine or somewhere, while Lyn paddled up to Swansea after circimnavigating the island.
Mark tried to give us a demo of an eskimo roll, but it was more of a chiko roll! See the photos.
I didn't have time to count everyone this morning but I guess about 25 kayakers made the trip. To summarise, a perfect day for paddling on a perfect lake. About 11km all up. Nice!
Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 11 March 2014 - Gwandalan, Crangan Bay.
This morning at 8.30 Mark arrived at the Lions Park Gwandalan and had his breakfast after an hour and a half paddle getting there. His breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee as you see from the pics. He had an elaborate set up just for a cup of coffee. No weetbix or iron man food for him!
Twenty four of us set out in 17 kayaks (at my imperfect count) and oh! also Allan's K1 which we left there for rides upon our return.
Turning to starboard we paddled down Crangan Bay and then down Mangrove Gully Creek. Finding logs sealing off the end prematurely, we headed back up the east side of the bay and crossed near Wolstoncroft Point and then down by Gwandalan Bowling Club and home to a well earned cuppa. We travelled on average 8.5 km - some more, some less.
Allan had his K1 with him so he dashed off after the paddle to show us how it is done. Mark had a go twice but found it so tippy he fell out. Please refer to Bob and Harry's pics for a graphic blow-by-blow account of Mark's embarrassing disaster!
Jill made up for it with sandwiches and someone brought the hot water. Kerrie made some ham and avocado wraps which were yummy and healthy and Clare brought her famous orange and blueberry cake. It must have been healthy too as it made you feel good all over. Brian provided healthy chocolate and coffee nut slice recommended by Dr Feel Good! Others brought an assortment so we had our usual feast - but we did miss Sue and Doug's touch.
Photos are here.
See Sue's report on the Tucker Tours trip to Myall Lakes. Click here.
Tuesday 4 March 2014 - Lake Macquarie at Croudace Bay
A strong contender for the most beautiful day award - temperature up to 25°C, breeze 2-4 knots SE, sunny with a few clouds, say no more!
Thomas Halton Park is a nice green stretch between the road and the lake, with all facilities, even if you have to walk a few hundred metres to the dunny. Concrete boat ramp with pebble surrounds and plenty of parking. There were 27 of us today, a barely noticeable shortfall with some members away somewhere else.
We set off turning left and soon found ourselves in civilisation, with many nice boats moored, and an interesting creek, Sheppards Creek, leading us away east and south into Croudace Bay the suburb, again with many boats moored, and interesting nautical back yards. On our way out we met Boston Bill and Kerrie who were late arriving, from East Gosford no wonder! They made the mistake of continuing to the end of the creek before turning around to follow us into the lake. Meanwhile we had continued south easterly and were lost among all the fine vessels parked in the bay, where we stopped and watched a salvage team try and raise a sunken speedboat. That kept our interest for about 10 minutes while we sat very still, meaning that Bill and Kez could not see us there and they headed back towards Warners Bay, and we didn't see them till we all got back.
The rest of us continued along the coast towards Belmont till we got sick of it, then turned around and paddled straight back to base, like tired little teddy bears. Morning tea was different this morning, but what happens at morning tea stays in morning tea, although I will say some kayakers have disgusting personal habits, involving crinkle-cut chips. Anyway, we all had a thoroughly good time in perfect conditions, and are looking forward to doing it again at Gwandalan next Tuesday, hopefully with some coffee. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
We have a small album of Chris's home-made timber kayak project.
Click here!
For reports from May 2013 to February 2014, 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.