Website created on 9 Jan 2009. Last updated on 11 October 2016 1650hrs
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|Welcome to our Website. |
Forthcoming kayaking events:
10% off Seniors Rate for Kayak Klub members
|To see all our venues and their addresses, click here! Opens in new window. Feel free to suggest new ones or choose your favorite.
Click here for Knut's Yummy Recipes.
Knut's Youtube videos are here!
| We are an informal group of friends who like the outdoors and a healthy
lifestyle. This page provides a Notice Board where we can display our kayaking
program, and any other information we might want to share, and some photographs
of our activities.
We meet on Tuesdays. Launch time is 0900, so if you want to join us arrive by 0845 please. We have morning tea/lunch afterwards. Bring something nice to eat if you can, and a couple of dollars to cover the tea, coffee, milk etc.
We paddle in all lakes, lagoons, creeks and rivers from Berowra to Clarence Town, and everywhere in between.
We generally paddle for 2 - 3 hours and travel between 6 and 12 km, at a gentle pace.
|Disclaimer - As we are not a club, just a group of individuals who go kayaking together now and then, we have no responsibilities as an organisation, and no organisational status. Anyone who decides to join us on our outings does so on the understanding that they are responsible for their own welfare and safety. We 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.|
Tuesday 27 September 2016 - Woy Woy
Cool and cloudy day with a stiff NW breeze, about 30 kayakers and supporters attended Brick Wharf Road, Woy Woy. I forgot to take the roll or count everyone, been a bit distracted lately.
The breeze was worst in Woy Woy Channel, but surprisingly quieter in Woy Woy Bay, as this is more protected from the NW direction. We paddled under the triple bridge into Parks Bay, home of the famous Parks Bay Yacht Club (a rundown shed with a big sign on it).
Then into Woy Woy Bay and up into Waterfall Bay, with plenty of water to paddle in, it being high tide at that time. The water had dropped 30 or 40cm by the time we got back. Not much water coming down the falls, but at least you could see it and hear it. After a short rest next to the falls, most of us paddled around the opposite headland into the other arm of Woy Woy Bay, and up the the charming little creek for some skirmishing.
Then it was full steam home with a good tailwind. After washing and packing up our kayaks we relaxed and chatted around the campfire while we shared some billy tea. Another excellent morning on the water, thanks everyone who could make it. Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 20 September 2016 - Swansea
The morning had all our hopes high, sunny and warm, that is until we arrived at Swansea and there was a very cold breeze coming straight across the bay to where we were gathered, which took us all by surprise.
Twenty-four paddlers today, including Ray’s grandkids visiting from Qld, Jade and Diesel. Welcome kids. We all then donned our wind jackets and hit the water. With a little tuition for Jade and Diesel, we headed off in the incoming tide, which meant a little more work than usual. Once on the water, it wasn’t very long before all the jackets were removed and the water was surprisingly flat, so all good all round.
We paddled from Coon Island Point across the channel, around Swan Bay past Marks Point to Village Bay and Cave Point. We then paddled on to Cold Tea Creek where we turned to return across the bay on the outside of Pelican and Spectacle Islands, where some paddlers found the sandbars an inconvenience.
Swansea is the most beautiful clean waterway to show visitors from Qld. Morning tea was well appreciated after crossing the bay against the tide. By morning tea, the wind had gone, the sun had stayed and it was very pleasant dining on the shore of Lake Macquarie. 9.5km paddled today. Click here for Bob's photos.
Next week – Woy Woy Lions Park, Brickwharf Road Woy Woy.
|Myall Classic Sat 17 Sept 2016|
It was that time of year again and Toukley Kayakers were well represented this year with 5 paddlers taking part. It was a picture perfect day, not too hot, not too cold with lots of sunshine and a slight breeze. We set up “camp” again among the “big boys”, where we feel every part of the event.
This year we had Mark and Fred in their double for the 27kms; Rolf, Ray K; and Bob C in singles in the 12km. The land crew/support team consisted of Colin, Keith A, Wendell, Doug and Sue.
Mark and Fred finished in 3hrs 12 min placing 4th
Rolf finished in 1hr 28min placing 5th
Ray K finished in 1hr 37min placing 9th
Bob C finished in 1hr 43min placing 10th
Andrew Kucyper (paddling for Brisbane Water) was also in the 27km finishing in 3hrs 08min placing 13th and John Wood (paddling for Central Coast) in the 12km finishing in 1hr 30 min placing 6th.
What a fantastic effort all of you. You all did Toukley Kayakers proud. You never know, next year we might be able to entice a few more paddlers to take part. A great day out with good results.
Tuesday 13 September 2016 - Picnic Point, The Entrance
A beautiful spring morning, but just the 20 kayakers today. Another gaggle of non-paddlers also attended, to say high, or have a cuppa. Cloudy, 20°C and a slight southerly breeze (see Seabreeze© graph below), but all the water flowing out to sea, at one knot.
The channel in which we launch was flowing towards the lagoon, so that's where we headed. Under the bridge, but at that stage we started to split up, and never got back together, till morning tea. A few of us paddled right down to the ocean, as it looked quite benign, going right to the sandbar. Keith Valour pushed on into the big waves, but eventually came unstuck and capsized. I don't know how he managed to get ashore and empty his kayak, but he did.
We all, in a long drawn-out line, paddled back under the bridge, near the caravan park, and up the channel on the east side (right-hand side, Di) all the way up past all the little islands and eventually we turned left and out into the middle of the lake. There were issues with not enough depth, as there is everywhere on this lake now, with Ralph getting stuck by not keeping to starboard, necessitating a walk in the mud.
By this time there were kayaks everywhere, all heading across to Pelican Island, with some cutting the corner and paddling east back along the north side (sorry, Di) of the muddy little deposit, and most of us completing the loop around Pello and continuing towards Long Jetty. More kayaks appeared out of the gloom of my eyesight from Tumbi way, but we all finally got into the channel to Picnic Point (PP) and cruised along there till we got back to our start point, with between 7 and 11 kms accounted for. Except Keith, who didn't get the memo, and came straight across to PP from Pello, in the shallow and pelican-infested sandbars, but he found a hole in the barrier and made it back, to our relief.
By this time the breeze had dropped (see the turbulence between 10.00 and 11.30am on the graph?) and we enjoyed our m/t in the park with all our mates. Thanks for coming those boys and girls! Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 6 September 2016 - Patonga
Perfect conditions today at Patonga Creek, everything good! Twenty-five paddlers made the long trip south to this secluded wonderland, well worth the trip.
With the tide flowing in we headed upstream, past all the beautiful nature stuff, past the pesky oyster leases, with their hidden hazards, the sand-bars (I saw at least one kayakers walking his boat in the middle of the stream), till we got to the top. There we found the tide was not big enough nor early enough for us to safely navigate all the way to whatever is there. Rolf made a brave attempt, wading through knee-deep mud in his quest to go the furthest.
The highlight of the morning was seeing Harry chasing a sea eagle down the creek, then back up, to get a shot of it eating the big fish he was carrying. Should be in the photos today. Paddle all the way back (we need a creek where you don't have to backtrack to get back to were you started, like a circular creek).
Back at the start, most of us continued on to the bar to try our luck, looking for some excitement. We paddled over the bar into Broken Bay, with all that ocean and waves, but it wasn't challenging really, still good fun! Morning tea was held in Meroo Street, so, handy to our cars, not around at the beach fortifications. A wonderful day on the water, thanks everyone for coming, and bringing nice offerings for morning tea. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 30 August 2016 - Tuggerah Lake (Gorokan Fish Co-op)
Stunning weather conditions this morning - 18°C, no breeze, sunny, glassy water on the lakes... Twenty-eight kayakers fronted up, including 3 newbies, viz Milan and Nancy, and Kate. Welcome y'all, especially if you brought freshly-baked banana cake.
As per the plan, we paddled out under the Toukley Bridge and into Wallarah Bay, past Stan's house (not home) and the eponymous club, across said bay to Pipeclay Point. I noticed that there is a lot of very interesting rocks on that point, all different colours, possibly giving the name pipeclay. Around the point, being careful to avoid getting hung up on the very shallow rocky ground there, past Barry's place (he came out to wave at us) and past Craigie Park. It looked quite spectacular with all the kayaks and the pristine water. Hope someone got a photo of it.
It's a bit hard identifying all the rocky outcrops along that shore. We were heading to Rocky Point, but not sure if all of us got that far. Anyway, when we had had enough paddling south we headed back towards the middle of the beautiful Tuggerah Lake and set our sights on the bridge. It's a big difference paddling along in and out of the interesting bays and coves, where you don't notice the distance, and being in the middle of the lake with the bridge so far away you can't even see it. It seemed to take ages to paddle back, but it was divine anyway, given the perfect conditions.
Thanks everyone for bringing such nice stuff for m/t, some of you have gone to a lot of trouble. Well done!
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 23 August 2016 - Budgewoi Lake|
As you can see from the photo, a lovely sunny morning, about 14°C, with a slight breeze from somewhere (see Seabreeze® graph). Twenty-five kayakers eventually turned up at MacKenzie Park, Budgewoi, including the late contingent, with a plan to paddle on Budgewoi Lake, after travelling down the canal and under the road bridge.
The water was choppier than expected, with a stiff in-face aspect to it. Most of us paddled towards the hot water outlet at San Remo, and a couple went their own way. Fried headed across to Charmhaven and returned with an umbrella as a spinnaker. I followed Fried across the lake, but never got close enough to see who it was, or that it was even a kayaker. I then turned around and headed back to Budgewoi, while Fried sailed back across the lake.
Mark Os and Fred started at The North Entrance, with a round trip of 27km, arriving back at Mac Park in Mark's tiny car in time for some sausage sangers and chicken kebabs. Those of us who paddled to San Remo did about 11km. Once we got back we wondered what happened to the coldness, but we still had our jackets on in the shade of the barbecue.
A very pleasant day out in the open air with some good exercise and mateship thrown in. Thanks for coming!
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 16 August 2016 - Summerland Point, Frying Pan Bay Another glorious winter's morning, warming to an amazing 22°C. Twenty-nine kayakers took to the water, and another half a dozen visitors came to m/t.
Once we left Frying Pan Bay we split up somewhat, with a few heading over to Fishery Point, Sunshine, then up to Casuarina Point, after having a quiet cruise through Hampsons Bay, before joining the others on the point. Another contingent headed straight up the east side by the Wolstoncroft peninsula to the point, and five of them paddled right around Pulbar Island, like Andrew and Rolf. Those who went around the island did 14km, while the Wolly Point subscribers did ten and the Sunshine visitors paddled about eleven kilometres. So well done all of us.
Conditions were sublime with glassy surface and no breeze, such a pleasure to be out on the beautiful lake today. We eventually cruised back to Summers and enjoyed a lovely m/t with all our buddies. Lovely to see Sabina with her Mum Helga, Jill, Debbie, John Stone and Col for starters, plus all the kayakers. What a wonderful non-club!
Bob's photos are here.
|Thursday 11 August 2016 - Kayak for sale|
A 4-man kayak is for sale on our Club notices page here. Also Knut's recipe of last Tuesday's delight is here.
Tuesday 9 August 2016 - Morisset Hospital
An absolutely beautiful winter's morning saw 22 kayakers find their way to Eucalyptus Drive, Morisset, on the foreshore to the fabulous Lake Macquarie.
Bob and Harry were both there so there should be some great photos later. A new guy, Tom, is welcomed to our group. We paddled out onto the glass-surfaced lake towards Wyee Point and kept generally to the western shore. For those who don't know their cardinal points I'm sorry. I followed a flotilla into a little bay on the right, but it was very shallow, and we nearly got stuck in the mud. Paddling out of there we went around Wyee Point Point and down the very pleasant coast.
Eventually some of us found a little creek, Cobra Creek, just before the retirement villages. It looks hopeless, but you could get into it and travel about 400 meters towards Government Road bridge, which was as far as we could go. Next problem was turning my long kayak around in the little creek, but eventually I managed to find a spot that was ten centimetres wider than the length of my Prijon. There were a few little obstacles to make the creek interesting, but nothing too hard.
Finally we had had enough and headed back to base where Sue had set up a very pleasant table on which we placed all our offerings. Nice sangers, Sue, and thanks to you and Dougal for the hot water and makings. We are very lucky to have you in our group. Thanks everyone for coming and sharing such a gorgeous day on the water.
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 2 August 2016 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
A perfect start to this morning's paddle - no wind, no rain, not too cool... Sevnteen kayakers fronted for today's outing in the limpid waters of Cockle Creek, and Cockle Bay, into which the creek flows.
We all headed up the creek, but I soon tired of featureless views and returned to the bay, where I found Bede, happily pottering around the Five Islands on his little Hobie. From there I paddled down the Booragul shore to Marmong Point, then back across the bay to Speers Point Park, where we started. I got back about 10.20am, and had to wait another hour before the main flotilla returned from their adventures up to the weir, a round trip of over 14km. They were a tired-out group of pensioners that's for sure.
By then the wind had picked up somewhat and turned cold, about 17°C, so we had to dress up for morning tea. See the Seabreeze® graph below for the proof. No photographers were present today, so no pictures, except for the one above found in the archives from last year. Pretty close to spot-on.
Thanks for coming, and bringing your nice food, including Sue's famous samwidges.
|Trevor's Ocky sit-on for sale|
Click here for details.
|Two small kayaks for sale|
See Rob n Robyn's ad on the Club Notices page. Click here.
|Invitation to join Linda and friends on a kayaking holiday in Indonesia. See Club Notices page.|
Tuesday 26 July 2016 - Vales Point (Manno)
A chilly but fine morning, normal for this time of year, with a steady 20 knot NWesterly breeze. About 23 kayakers fronted, as well as a few non-paddlers for morning tea, thanks for the ham and cheese toasties Judy.
It was a very pleasant and easy paddle down to the pipes under Rutleys Road, with the strong tail wind. Not looking forward to the trip back! Under the pipes without any problems, and plough on up Wyee Creek to the Enchanted Forest, where we had a rest, and Carol took some photos with her phone. Hope they come out alright. A few kayakers headed further up the creek, but most of us headed back towards Rutleys Rd, thinking of the struggle ahead of us going across Wyee Bay against the wind. The kickers-on soon re-joined us for the paddle across Mannering Bay to the other pipes at Mannering Inlet. These are good pipes, if you pick the right ones, up the right-hand end, big fat pipes in which I can sit up straight in my kayak and still not hit my head on the top.
Into Wyee Bay again for the paddle up to Vales Point, but it was not as bad as we had feared, a bit choppy, but quite manageable. The Seabreeze© Graph below suggests a stiffer wind than we got, but I reckon it was about 12 knots, with white caps just forming.
We all got back OK and after packing up our stuff we enjoyed a lovely morning tea, with lots of delicious tucker and hot drinks.
Thanks for coming with us you fellas, lovely to see you again. Cheers
Wallarah Creek, San Remo - 19 July 2016
Lovely little paddle today, so much more relaxing than last week's drama. About 25 paddlers, and a few visitors for m/t, conditions cloudy, warm, no breeze...
Head upstream to the fork, left up Wallarah Creek and keep on going as far as we can. Pretty soon come to a huge obstacle, a tree down completely covering the creek. Not being easily deterred we smashed our way through the sticks and twigs and continued to the next obstacle, a low log. Under that one and onwards, overcoming all till we hit a big log low on the water, too low, too high and too wide, so we turned around there and paddled back to San Remo for an 8km trip. A few of us didn't go all the way, but we all had a good time, eh!
Nikki didn't quite get under the low log on the way back, and got chucked in for her trouble (not by us but by the log). Nice pic of her all wet in the album.
Lovely to catch up with everyone, some of whom have been AWOL for a while. Thanks for coming. Thanks Sue and Doug for organising the hot drinks, and those who brung stuff to eat.
PS Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 12 July 2016 - Gosford/Erina Creek
What an amazing morning! Temperature at 0630 was 17°, so it seemed like a perfect day. I didn't even take a jacket to the Gosford venue. Wind a pleasant 10 knots NW. The forecast big wind not due till after noon, so off we went down to Point Frederick and into Caroline Bay and Erina Creek. Twenty kayakers were present, namely me, Doug, Bede, Knut, new girl Leanne, Ray, Bob C, Keith A, Ian Moonie, Brian, Nikki, Carol, Judy and Andy, Barry Sql, Andrew, Alan and Sandra, Joe X and Keith V.
So down to Erina Creek, which I went only partly up then turned around knowing there was a slight headwind to come back into, Bede and Leanne in their little sit-ons just went into Caroline Bay (around the corner from Pt Fred), while a few went right up the creek. Only problem was, the forecast wind arrived about 3 hours early, around 10 o'clock blowing at 25 to 35 knots NW. See Seabreeze© graph below, good for Gosford too. I could barely make way across Caroline Bay, Bob headed across the wind, bad move, as he doesn't have a rudder. If you didn't have a rudder today you were in trouble.
Bede and Leanne made it back to Pt Fred, but Bede fell off his kayak before reaching the shore, leaving the new girl to stand alone on the rocky shore while Bede, hanging onto his little kayak, drifted ahead of the howling wind right across towards Rocky Point/Green Point. Joe also fell out of his craft, and Bob fell in while trying to rescue Joe, but amazingly swam his boat back to the point where he collapsed, but didn't require any treatment. Carol called the police and they sent a car and an ambulance, and the marine rescue boat.
Joe was found clinging to the front of Knut's kayak, like a bow ornament, till he too collapsed on the rugged shore, freezing cold, then stripped to his togs, shivering and groaning. The police came, and the nice police lady gave Joe her jacket, and a couple of guys, whom I took to be rescue personnel, but were in fact NBN technicians who happened to be nearby, also gave Joe a jacket. The Marine Rescue boat found Bede and his kayak, and Joe's kayak, and brought them all back to the sailing club. The ambulance took Bede and Joe to the hospital, where they still are as I write this. Bede is well, but Joe has a crook gut and is getting X-rays.
Leanne walked back to the sailing club and got her car, and Sue Tucker took her car and trailer down to the point to bring back all the kayaks and paddlers. A few of us tuff guys paddled back into the 35 knot wind, with very choppy waves, to the start. I could hardly make any headway at times, it was very hard, but my pacemaker kept me going.
A few friends, including Mark O on his new motorbike, turned up to give us support. Thanks to everyone who helped in this traumatic time. The best laid plans of mice and men, eh!
PS, Keith Vallard took some photos for us, and they are here.
Tuesday 5 July 2016 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
It rained during the night and looked pretty bleak at 0800, but as per our rules, 12 of us turned up at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, with our kayaks. After a stern lecture we got them off our cars and into the water. Nikki already had hers in the creek, no stopping her!
A fine rain fell on us for a while, but soon cleared into a beautiful sunny day. No breeze was detected in the creek valley. We had Ray's two grandsons with us, in Doug's double sit-on, and they had a ball. Bare feet on the concrete - no worries! See the photos.
We all headed off upstream, but a couple didn't go over the weir and paddled down to the lake, which they said was beautiful. The rain had stopped completely by the time we reached the weir. Everybody found a way over the weir, either over the rocks, or up the concrete wall. We then paddled another 1500 meters into the bush before turning around, then negotiating the weir again.
We soon got back to Sunshine Park where Doug was waiting to help us get disembarked, and to ply us with hot drinks. Col and Fred were there, as well as Jill and Trevor, all warm and dry.
Rolf discovered he had lost his keys which were on a string around his neck. As you will see from the photos, he still had them at the weir coming back, so who knows what happened to them. I had to give him and his kayak a lift back home, to Buff Point, and Jill and Trev were going to take him back to his car later, after he got the locksmith to open his house. Bummer!
A pleasant if light morning tea was served, thanks everyone, rounding off a beaut morning on the creek, shame you other guys didn't give it a try. I know the boys are waiting for these photos, so I'll get on with it. They are here.
Tuesday 28 June 2016 - Tacoma, Wyong River
A bit warmer than the last few days, at 10°C. Twenty-six paddlers and a few hangers-on congregated at the grass between the Wyong River and Wolseley Road, where the horses swim. Hope you knew where that was. Welcome to new guy Nick!
Some kayakers launched from the grass, otherwise there was the concrete boat ramp. Most paddlers headed upstream towards the Wyong bridge, and further in some cases to Porters Creek, or even the Old Milk Factory weir. Rolf and I cruised down to the lake, Tuggerah, as it looked so inviting from the river, and was fairly close. Once the cold wind hit us on the open water, we had a re-think and turned upstream, Rolf going all the way to the weir, and me just circumnavigating Charlton Island and returning to the horse baths, still about an hour 45. On his way Rolf found a small pigeon in the water, being threatened by some seagulls, so he rescued it. He's a good guy!
When we arrived I remember Jill saying how cloudy it was, but it soon cleared into a sunny chilly day, with a breeze (see Seabreeze® graph below). In case you're wondering why I use the Seabreeze Nobbys graph, and not the Norah Head version, it's because of where the weather station is at NH, sheltered from the westerly breeze, so useless.
I didn't see most people during the paddle so I don't have any interesting stories. The photos by Harry and Bob are good, though, and you can form your own story from them. See the photos of the day here. Thanks for coming everyone.
|Tuesday 21 June 2016 - Patonga|
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 – Patonga Creek, Patonga
Just about 10 eager kayakers fronted for a paddle at Patonga today. It was probably the weather forecast, which kept most the Toukley Kayakers away.
On site we encountered a light wind only. No waves, no ripples, no whitecaps, no heavy headwind, no rain – only the best (if somewhat cool) kayaking condition. And the tide was high.
Very easy kayak up the creek and over the oyster leases into the very narrow part of the creek, where a fallen tree eventually stopped our progress (no one had thought of bringing a chainsaw, of course).
On our return, about halfway back, some paddlers came to the help of a “stranded” barefooted young man asking for directions. He appeared from the bush and was clearly disoriented. How he got to where he was in the first place, no one knows. He claimed to have walked from Patonga and had lost direction... Anyway the Police were contacted and they were sending someone to collect him.
Doug and Sue were waiting for us with coffee and morning tea and we all enjoyed our usual fine spread.
Next week’s kayak venue is in Tacoma, “where the horses swim” on Wolseley Ave, about halfway between the Fish Co-Op and Tacoma Oval and just past the boat ramp there.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 14 June 2016 - Crangan Bay Gwandalan|
Forty kayakers fronted for today's paddle, great response everyone! Plus half a dozen non-paddlers, like me, walking wounded.
Arthur and Liz were there, after a long absence. Liz fell and hit her head in Iceland last year, I think, and broke her neck (C6, C7). She is now a partial quadriplegic, in a chair, but has prospects of further recovery. Still smiling and cheery, good on you, Liz!
Conditions were cool to start, but by 1100 it had warmed nicely, sunny, not much NW breeze. That's all I can tell you as I didn't paddle (got a note from my mum). Sue and Doug will dream up a report and we should have it soon. Harry's and Bob's photos are here. Cheers, Danny
So, apparently the memo didn’t go out to advise it is winter. Our numbers always drop off in winter, but today we had 40 paddlers! Well done all of you. What a fantastic roll up! We also had some special visitors, Liz and Arthur Love and Liz’s sister, Merrilyn. How wonderful to see Liz finally home from hospital and out and about. Liz has made amazing progress given her initial prognosis and is continuing to very gradually improve, we all wish her well. Danny also paid us a visit in time for morning tea. With the 40 paddlers and 6 “land crew” we must have had a “winter” record. I’ll have to reassess the hot water for next week, with so many turning out today, we drank the air pots dry. Any complaints to be in writing to the Committee, 3 weeks in advance please. The majority of the group paddled toward Point Wolstoncroft and return although a few decided to paddle further on and around Pulbar Island. A smaller group decided to stick to the shoreline and paddle to the east and the north. The weather was just perfect, with a tail breeze on the way back. Morning tea was a very social affair which seemed to be enjoyed by everyone in the warm winter sun. The group paddled between 10km and 16.5kms. Next week – Patonga Creek.
Doug and Sue
|Tuesday 7 June 2016 - Blackalls Park|
What a difference a day makes! After the dreadful weather we endured all weekend, it was such a wonderful surprise to arrive at Blackalls Park with clear sunny skies and not overly cold. Twenty-two paddlers and a couple of land lovers, ie Colin and John Stone. With the wind coming from the NW, we paddled down Muddy Creek and under the first road bridge in beautiful paddling conditions, no wind and the warmth of the sun. We reached the next couple of bridges but with the lake up after the weekend’s rain and high tides, we couldn’t fit under, so we turned around and headed to Stony Creek.
When we hit the open lake it was a bit windy and the water was a bit choppy, but back into the bay and creek and no wind and flat water. As we headed down Stony creek we came across a huge colony of bats, literally thousands of them, hanging through the trees and some taking flight. Boy, were they noisy when an “unnamed” paddler decided to clap their hands really loudly. They didn’t take kindly to their sleep time being disturbed.
As we all arrived back for morning tea, Danny arrived with a “guest”, Col Fowler, to join us. Shirley and Frank were very generous and invited us all back to their place, just a few doors up from the launch spot, and had prepared all the tea, coffee, hot water etc and homemade scones, cream and jam, warm from the oven. Just look at us, being spoilt with Devonshire Teas in the luxury of Shirley and Frank’s home, out of the wind, which by now had increased, instead of standing around in the park exposed to the elements. Thank you so much Shirley and Frank for your hospitality. Paul’s wife Shirley arrived in time to join us for morning tea, but unfortunately, neither Paul nor Shirley could stay due to family commitments. It was also nice to see a familiar face after a long spell of absence, Mark. I hope we see you again soon.
Oh yes, the paddle, well, we all seemed to do a bit of our own thing today, with the distraction of the bats, some paddled on, some sat and watched, so between 8–10kms would be a reasonable guess.
As we didn’t supply the tea and coffee etc, Shirley and Frank very kindly did, we have sent “thank you & get well” flowers to Shirley and Frank, purchased with today’s tea and coffee donations.
Next week – Gwandalan
Sue and Doug
Bob's photos are here.
Have just completed a brief (and not smelly at all) video impression of the bat colony at Stony Creek, as encountered by some of us paddlers this morning. Please post on the web site for all to find and enjoy. Click here.
|Tuesday 31 May 2016 - San Remo, Wallarah Creek|
The forecast was for rain, but that didn’t deter us, as usual, or the other 24 paddlers that turned up. It didn’t rain, nor did it even threaten to and it was nowhere near as cold as Monday morning, so all in all a great start to the day.
Twenty-three kayakers paddled out into Budgewoi Lake where it was surprisingly calm, paddling around the shore to Toukley Bridge. A few took a break at the Co op before returning to Charmhaven. An uneventful paddle but very pleasant. Three more paddlers chose to paddle up Wallarah Creek. Not too sure how that paddle turned out, but Brian, as usual, returned with a load of rubbish.
Fred and Colin joined us for morning tea, as did Trevor and Jill. Fred and Colin are OK after their motor vehicle accident in SA on their way home from holidays, sadly not the same can be said for their car, caravan and kayaks.
Jill is powering on after her recent surgery and Trevor was in hospital yesterday having a “jump start”, hopefully they will both be back on the water soon. We all wish Danny a speedy recovery after his recent hospital stint where he received a “rewire” and “battery backup”. Take care Danny and we hope to see you back on the water and your bike soon.
11.3km was paddled today.
Next week’s paddle is at Blackalls Park.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 24 May 2016 - Avoca Lagoon|
A heavenly morning at Avoca Beach, cool to start, no breeze (see graph below). Twenty-one paddlers came, and a few more at m/t (Trevor and Jill and Carmel).
Into the limpid waters and around the whole lagoon, anti-clockwise, including up any creek we found, and under the road bridge and around that big lake. Viv was on her paddleboard, and pretty good she is too. Rolf had a go later on Viv's board, and made a good try of it, falling off only once. Pretty good effort, Rolf!
It was Knut's birthday today, so we had a lovely birthday cake which he himself cooked, and we ate most of it.
We had a new girl today, a friend of Gloria's I think, Alison, who, as a young person, had no trouble with anything. Welcome to our group, Alison!
This lagoon is such a lovely place, with miles of shoreline, and beautiful lakeside scenery, and a nice beach at our venue. Coming back we could see the sandy bank keeping all the water in the lagoon, with occasional huge plumes of spray flying over the horizon as the big waves crashed ashore. Surreal!
Thanks for coming you guys, and for bringing such nice stuff for m/t. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 17 May 2016 - Gosford|
Still blowing a north-westerly at about 10 knots, sunny and warming up. About 27 kayakers turned up at Gosford sailing club for a morning on the water.
With no undue haste, we paddled across the Broad Water towards the railway bridge, and into Fagans Bay. There we found our cycling friend Roy Collins fishing in his kayak. Roy led us on a ride on Sunday from Cowan down to Crossland Reserve, and back out to Hornsby. Roy rode his bike from the bottom of the Berowra Creek Valley to the top without stopping. He is 79 years old. Well done, Roy!
Up Narara Creek we went, with the front runners making it to the end of the navigable section before returning, having covered over 15km. I didn't go half that far, turning around when I met Garry coming back the other way, so we then paddled out on to Brisbane Water and down to Point Claire, looking at the nice yachts there, before crossing the Water to Point Frederick, and back to the start.
There followed a delicious morning tea with a wide variety of yummy tucker. Thanks for coming everyone, a very enjoyable paddle!
Bob's photos are here. I notice on the website hit counter we have just clicked over 90000 hits.
|Tuesday 10 May 2016 - Hardys Bay|
Today was the same as all the other days recently, 21°C, sunny/cloudy but with heaps of wind, see seabreeze© graph below (Newcastle graph but the same as Ettalong, because the Norah Head graph doesn't work in a westerly).
Seventeen keen paddlers arrived to try their luck, with the water quite choppy in the 25 knot NWesterly. Knut got off to a good start, forgetting his beautifully created savoury snacks, his water bottle and his shirt. Our new guys, Efim and Andreij, signed up for a new life with the Kayakers.
A largish bay lay ahead of us, so we headed off downwind towards the east end, along the shore then back up the other side. By then some of us had had enough and paddled back to base. The water was very choppy and windy, Bob C fell in and had to be rescued in the deep water, well done Bob! Lori and a couple of others hugged the north shore, past the oyster leases, and came out near the Rip Bridge. I went up the middle to the starboard marker next to the main channel, and that was enough for me. Others, including Bob W and Harry, went down the channel towards Half-Tide Rocks, and didn't come back for another hour or more. Real gumption, you guys!
Eventually we all made it back safely, and after changing and loading our kayaks, we indulged in morning tea which Sue had lovingly prepared, thanks Sue! All up this was an interesting experience which we will remember for a while, maybe 5 years, depending on the onset of something or other. Thanks for coming. Next week we will have a look at Narara Creek, so come and join us. Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 3 May 2016 - 1. Canton Beach, Tuggerah Lake and 2. Clarence Town|
1. An incredibly beautiful morning at Canton Beach - 22°C, 2 knot easterly breeze, no clouds hardly, just divine! With half our kayakers gone up to Clarence Town, we still managed 17 paddlers for the local event.
With no pushy types, we relaxed and waited for our usual late-comers, then we all paddled off together, heading west towards the Toukley bridge. With the surface of the water like glass, only softer, we cruised up to the bridge, then paddled under it to taste the delights of Budgewoi Lake. Some of us decided to stay there, while the rest of us went back under and glided towards the Wallarah Bay Club and around the bay of that name.
After passing Pipeclay Point, and no sign of Barry, we continued across the lake to Wyongah. At about this time we decided this was far enough, it was 10.00am after all, and turned back towards our launch venue near the caravan park. At this stage we had paddled 5km, and the trip back was only half a km shorter, so 9.5km for the day. Viv was on her paddle board, and she was a bit worried about forecast westerlies due later in the morning. Sure enough, as soon as we turned for home, the wind shifted to give us a good tail wind, the clouds rolled over, and it even rained a smidgin. And the glassy smooth water turned choppy.
Sue came along, with her new root canal work, to drop off Diane's lovely photo on canvas for her big 0 birthday. Despite the normal tea/coffee stuff being up at Clarence Town, we made a good substitute, with plenty of chocolate cake and bikkies and cheese. A new guy joined us today, Efim, on his 5.82m Mirage, and hopes to join us again next week at Hardys Bay. See his photo in the gallery. Thanks for coming. Harry's photos are here, followed by Bob's pictures of Clarence Town kayaking.
2. Thirteen paddlers arrived at Clarence Town. The day started badly with Shirley slipping and falling on the boat ramp when launching their double kayak but credit to her, she managed to continue on. The paddle up the river was a little labored with some fresh rain water, but the scenery made it very pleasurable. Up to Wells Falls where 6 hardy paddlers scaled the rocks to enjoy the ride down the fast water. We then returned with the current to the boat ramp. With a reduced number from our usual morning tea crowd, it was still sumptuous and very enjoyable company. Thanks to those that took the journey north for a very pleasant and fun paddle.
|Tuesday 26 April 2016 - Chittaway Point (CP)|
A warm sunny morning for our visit to Sunshine Park in CP. Thirty-five kayakers rolled up, including a newbie, Andrew.
Everybody waited till nine o'clock, all pointing upstream, before starting a leisurely paddle up to the weir, thanks everyone! Some tough guys went over the weir, not me. There are photos of them. It's only six km up to the weir and back, but the adventurers did another couple into the wilderness.
Jill and Trevor came to morning tea, Jill with a walking stick, after falling off her bike last week and bust-ing her femur. One hip replacement later and she's already walking around. Amazing!
Sue and her helpers put on a wonderful lunch of buns, onions, snags and salad, much appreciated by the hoi polloi. Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 19 April 2016 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie|
Another beautiful autumn morning in paradise, no, not exaggerating! Sea Seabreeze graph © below, mostly sunny and up to 23°C. Dozens of kayakers failed to turn up, but 24 did manage to find their way to this isolated beauty spot. Morrie was too late to join us heading south, so he paddled over to Point Wolstoncroft and the west end of Pulbar, not a bad move. The rest of us, including newbie Jacqueline, set off in placid waters to Casuarina Point, where no she-oaks were seen, to Fishery Point and on in a generally south-western direction.
We paddled right around Hampsons Bay and Sugar Bay before circumnavigating Bardens Bay, with its nice boats and a good creek at Lake Petite, and it is quite small. Bob and I had a look at Trinity Point, a new residential estate with a huge marina under construction. After a drink, a cough and a good look round, we all headed back straight past those previously interesting bays to our little shelter at Sunshine Park.
Most of us paddled about 10-12 kms, and were rewarded with a self-supplied morning tea with both indulgent and nutritious food, and coffee and tea. Thanks for coming you guys, and Harry's photos are here.
|Woy Woy - 12 April 2016|
A cloudy morning punctuated by rain would have forced a few would-be kayakers to reconsider their plans. However, twenty-five paddlers still turned up and enjoyed a virtually rain-free morning of fun and excitement. Not kidding!
We try to vary our outings where we can, and today we paddled right out around Pelican Island along Paddys Channel and around the oyster leases before we paddled under the triple bridge array. Only a couple of us managed to stick to the plan, going right out around the oysters, with the rest of succumbing to temptation and trying to paddle right through the leases, with less-than-successful results. We eventually found our way through and all finished up in Woy Woy Bay on the other side of the bridges.
The weather looked bleak and cold, but it was about 22°C with no breeze and only the tiniest rainfall, well only a sprinkle really. We paddled up to Waterfall Bay, but as the tide was out, we couldn't get anywhere near the falls. We drifted around for a few minutes, then retired to the lovely beach nearby, which we haven't named yet, for a swim and a stretch of the legs. Keith Vall decided to do some self-rescue practice, but couldn't quite get his taut body back into the kayak. I joined him alongside and held the kayak steady so he could try an assisted recovery, which he did quite well. Good on you Keith for having a go! See the photos.
On the way back we all paddled along Woy Woy Channel by the road, where we were overtaken by a huge ferry which luckily didn't sink any of us, but could have. Once at the wharf, we saw the Saratoga Ferry at the wharf departing imminently, and John Wood loitering around nearby. His plan was to sneak in behind the catamaran vessel and enjoy a free ride back to the launch spot. He's done this before I reckon, as he cruised along behind the ferry at the same speed, hardly paddling, just surfing on the wake. Well done John! See the photo.
Sue turned up, with a few other non-paddlers, bringing the coffee stuff, and everybody brought something delicious, so we had another one of our famous morning teas. Thanks everyone for coming. Harry's and bob's photos are here.
|The Entrance - 5 April 2016|
I was too late to mark the roll, but I counted about 35 kayakers today, well done!
Weather was warm and sunny with a N breeze (see Seabreeze graph® below). Despite early plans to head towards Long Jetty, everybody went straight to the bridge, but surprisingly most didn't go under it, but kept heading north through the channels.
A few of us found an unconrollable urge to have a look at the sea, even to taste it, so we headed down the lagoon channel to the entrance (named after the town) where we had a quick look then paddled up the north side of the lagoon to follow the others.
Some kayakers kept going north into the stiffish breeze, but I turned as soon as I had passed the last island, then we all came back around Pelican Island and back to base, except Mike who went to Long Jetty with his spinnaker.
Rolf paddled all the way from Buff Point, a round trip of 36km, sorry, make that 44km, glad you made it back OK Rolf!
There was a lovely bunch of people today, and they brought some exquisite food, thanks guys.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Lake Munmorah - 29 March 2016|
Warm, low 20°s, SW breeze <10 knots, cloudy with a bit of hot sun - that was the recipe for 36 kayakers this morning on Lake Munmorah at McKenzie Park.
As usual we couldn't hold them back, so by 9 o'clock start time there was nobody left on shore. Darryl came 10 minutes late, and if Col wasn't there with directions he would not have found us, paddling as we were around the south shore towards Elizabeth Bay.
So most of the kayakers I didn't see on the paddle as they were well ahead. It was a very pleasant paddle, with a slight tail-wind to get us going. Most of us went as far as the far shore then headed back for a total paddle of about 8 or 9 km. I didn't make it to the Lizzie Bay beach as I met some kids coming back so I joined them, not wanting to be left behind if I went the whole way. Speaking of kids, we had one visitor, Tahj, Ray's grandson, about ten I reckon. Welcome Tahj!
The trip back was interesting, with the slight headwind, but not hard, so still good fun.
Thanks everyone for coming. Next week is Picnic Point, The Entrance, with Long Jetty in mind. Bob's photos are here.
|Davistown - 22 March 2016|
About 20 paddlers braved the rainy weather – or so they thought. Rain was forecast alright, but the one and only threatening cloud moved north/east and we all had a most enjoyable kayak at high tide. We could get into all the little creeks and so forth.
Two groups formed right at our launch, going in opposite directions. We each had a photographer with us, so the pics should be interesting. A group of 7 kayakers headed east along the shoreline and through Cockle Channel and then around into Kincumber Broadwater. We explored three creeks including Kincumber Creek. A very stiff head-on breeze made the return journey somewhat challenging across the open waters. This was bravely treated as a workout and all arrived back to base safe and sound. Bob was our personal photographic chronicler.
The second group, about 13, headed west to circumnavigate St Huberts Island and then cut across into Blackwall Bay and followed the shore to Woy Woy. Return trip via the channel between Rileys Island and St Huberts Island. This group’s personal photographic diarist was Harry. They arrived first and made away with all the morning tea goodies...only kidding...
Sumptuous foods awaited us all and Sue had set up the goodies table, including a windbreak sheet. (Such “mothering”) The first group’s km tally was 13, or 12.9 to be precise. Not sure about the other group.
Our next week’s kayaking event is scheduled to be McKenzie Reserve in Budgewoi. We can decide on the day, whether we like the conditions on Budgewoi Lake, or those on Lake Munmorah.
Hope to see you all there!
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 15 March 2016 - Valentine, Lake Macquarie|
Not a very promising day, raining all the way up to Valentine, windy but not cold. Only a select few made the effort, with Jill and Trevor also making the effort, but failing to remember the directions and arriving too late to join us. So only nine actual kayakers, and some support staff.
The rain had stopped by the time we launched our vessels. We could see there was a stiff breeze (15 to 28 knots SSE, see Seabreeze® graph below) so for some reason we decided to head into it, with the promise of a tailwind coming back. We pushed into the waves and spray for about 1800 metres, then turned around and surfed back to Valentine CBD, with waves about 40cm high throwing us around.
We passed our launch site and, out of the wind, weaved our way through the moored yachts and past the infrastructure to Sheppards Creek, a nice calm waterway taking us a few hundred metres into boat heaven, with beautiful houses and nice motorboats, moored and on slipways, till we reached the end (see photos). A good paddle back to the boatramp at Hartley Point gave us a trip reading of about 9km, not bad on such a day.
Sue had arranged the morning tea as usual, with Col and Fred helping out, and Jill and Trev there also. Missed all the goodies that the ladies usually bring, but the company was good. See you all next week at Davistown. Bob Wark's photos are here.
|Tuesday 8 March 2016 - Speers Point|
A perfect kayaking day, sunny, 29°C, 8 knot easterly breeze...
Only 25 kayakers today, but still a quorum. I thought we were all going down the coast of Lake Macquarie to Warners Bay, but when I looked behind me, there were only 7 of us. Once we came around Speers Point the headland, we copped the full breeze, which made Nikki have second thoughts about her mission, so she turned around and headed back to Cockle Creek, where all the others had gone, out of the wind. I couldn't keep up with the others, Andy, Judy, Knut and Paul Allen, so when I got to North Creek and they had passed it, that's where I paddled. Meanwhile Knut and the tandem went up South Creek, both creeks are very pleasant by-the-way, and Paul went to Warners Bay for coffee, I went up North Creek to the viaduct (a rocky crossing held together by wire netting), and back to the lake, one mile.
The others weren't far behind me as I paddled back to Creek Reserve Road, Speers Point, the park. The Cockle Creek adventurers had a few more kms to paddle so they were in a bit later, along with Bob who took all the photos, leaving the Warners Bay crowd pictureless.
We had some international visitors, Mark and Sheila, from the UK somewhere, who are travelling around the world trying out all the kayaking and cycling venues as they go, with their twin-hull inflatable kayak, hope there's a picture Bob! A very nice m/t thanks everyone for coming and bringing stuff.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 1 March 2016 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway|
A perfect cloudy warm day with no breeze to notice. I left my attendance record at home, but I think there were about 35 kayakers today, and a few more non-paddlers attended morning tea afterwards, and that's fine as long as they bring something nice to eat.
Only a handful (five) of kayakers went upstream to the weir, and the rest of us paddled down to the lake and across the calm and shining water to Long Jetty. After a re-group we headed back to the Ourimbah Creek delta and back up the pleasant creek, past all the nice houses and boats, and a few barking dogs, with over 11 kms under our hulls. An hour each way, good work!
Morning tea was a delight of course, with many lovingly created dishes, thanks to the kind-hearted friends, and thanks for coming. Bob and John were there with their cameras, and the pictures are here.
|Tuesday 23 February 2016 - Twilight paddle, Wyee Creek|
On a beautiful warm, clear evening with the impending full moon to appear it was ideal conditions for a paddle.
On arriving at 6pm it was already necessary to double park to fit us all in. By 7pm, 24 kayaks were ready to paddle. Six visitors joined us, Ray King’s grandsons and son in law and two locals. We also had a cameo appearance from Mark Osbourne. With the breeze in the tree tops we followed the shoreline to the hot water outlet where the water became very lumpy. Everybody managed to cross the bay and then we headed to the pipes to go onto the sunken forest. The kids were a little anxious and loud going through the pipes or was that Mark, not sure, either way they all re emerged unscathed.
Eighteen kayakers returned back to the boat ramp, eight brave bods continued up into the dark of Wyee Creek to arrive back to the boat ramp some 40 minutes later with the breeze getting stronger as they came across the middle. Supper again was ample with some hot treats supplied by the six non-paddlers who joined us after the 9.5 – 12km paddle. Fantastic conditions and great company. Thanks everyone, well done. No photos despite Harry being there, camera fault!
Next week - Sunshine Park – Ourimbah Creek.
|Swansea - 16 February 2016|
Thirty kayakers fronted at Swansea this morning for an excellent paddle on Lake Macquarie. Warm and humid with 20 knot southerlies (see Seabreeze® Graph below), and a strong outgoing tide, making for a carefully considered paddling plan. Most people headed south into the wind for a visit to Murrays Beach and Galgabee Creek. Dennis, Viv and I wanted to see the wrecked building complex at Pelican, so we paddled downwind and with the outgoing tide, till we crossed the channell, surprisingly calm in view of the currents. After a look at the collapsing wreckage of a building we kept on north against the tide to Swan Bay anbd out the top. Can't recognise it on my old 2008 UBD. Then west around a few sandy islands and back down to the start. A few of the others appeared, including Morrie who was so late he didn't even know which way we had gone.
It was very pleasant out on those islands, with us going ashore on one of them. We all made it back OK, thanks for coming everyone. Next week is a twilight paddle at Mannering Park, see the details above. No photos this week as both our photographers were absent. Managed to steal an old one for the banner at the top.
Our paddling friend, Debbie, buried her young son, Bradley, aged 23, today, after a fatal accident at the Somersby Falls last Sunday 7 February. Several kayakers were at the funeral to represent the Toukley Kayakers, along with about 300 other people. Hope to see you back paddling with us soon, Debbie, with love from all of us.
|Tuesday 9 February 2016 - Dora Creek|
Even 30 kayakers just about filled Dora Creek, the village, with cars, and Dora Creek, the river, with kayaks.
On a warm and cloudy humid morning we paddled down to Lake Macquarie, where we split up with Jill, Diane and Carol K heading down the western shore towards Bonnells Bay, where they encountered late-starters Rolf and Keith Vall. Nikki and others paddled into Eraring Lake, which she claimed was as big as Munmorah, but further research shows it's half the size of that more southerly lake.
The rest of us went across to Shingle Splitters Point (SSP), that very attractive lump of land at Balcolyn, about 1400 metres from Dora Creek, the creek. Conditions were perfect, persuading a few of us to cavort in the clear water in our skin.
Visitors Karen, Peter Holt's daughter, and her friend Tony, on holiday from UK, in borrowed kayaks, paddled around in the creek, but Tony at least made it to the lake, in Doug's green tub, then headed back, wisely. At 9.5km for the SSP adventurers this was an easy paddle in a beautiful place on earth. Thanks for coming. We had a competing event at Myall Lake, so this was quite a respectable turn-up for the day.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Our member and friend, Shirley Bleechmore, is an accomplished artist. She is having an exhibition at the Shorethyme Restaurant, 9 Mitchell Street, Norah Head, on 1st March. Click here for details.|
|Thursday 4 February 2016 - Car racks for sale|
Geoff Broome's car racks, for kayaks, are for sale, hardly used. Click here!
|Tuesday 2 February 2016 - Mooney Mooney, Hawkesbury River|
A superb morning at Deerubbun Reserve, Mooney Mooney, for the 26 kayakers who attended. A slight SSW breeze, warm and sunny...
With the tide flowing out to sea, we headed upstream against the flow, along the northern shore of the beautiful Hawkesbury River, past Peat Island, past Cheero Point (couldn't see anything there), past all the gorgeous sandstone and eucalypt forest and massive rock faces. It seemed to take ages, to me, 65 minutes to reach the old Parramatta wreck, but only 45 to get back to base. Most of the others with faster kayaks, or arms, went across the river and around Milson Island, before cruising back to the launch venue. A lot of maritime activity on the river, with fishing boats, construction barges, tinnies and cabin cruisers on the water. I'm trying to make it sound interesting, but you had to be there.
Bob was there with his trusty camera, so his photos are here. Check out Gloria's report on the kayak lessons below.
|Thursday 28 January 2016 - Kayak Lessons|
Gloria's report on the kayak lessons, with photos, are here.
|Tuesday 26 January 2016 - Myuna Bay (MB)|
A gorgeous Australia Day for kayaking - warm, cloudy, 10 knot NE breeze... Twenty-eight kayakers brought their boats to Myuna Bay for a pleasant trip over to Wangi Beach.
Doug and Sue were also there to help and bring our morning tea, thanks guys! There is plenty of parking at MB, just spread along 500 metres of service road.
With the breeze from the NE we decided to head north east to get a tailwind back later. The water was a bit choppy, but it was warm and lovely. We stuck to the shoreline, around Goonda Point and on to Pebbly Beach, or at least a pebbly beach at Wangi Wangi, where picnickers were frolicking, paddling, floating, jet-skiing, swimming and watersliding , not to mention having barbecues and picnics. Good fun on Australia Day! After a respectable period we re-boarded our light watercraft and paddled back to Myuna Bay, with the breeze behind us, making us very warm with no cooling system. A great day paddling with friends, for 8-10km, depending on where we stopped. Debbie and Frank pushed on to the end of the peninsula. Harry and bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 19 January 2016 - Summerland Point|
Only 42 kayakers today, so down a bit on last week. We decided on turning left at the Sandy Beach, and paddled towards Tiembula Creek down in Chain Valley Bay (CVB). Further on right in CVBS there is another creek, with a footbridge over it, called Karignan Creek. For some reason we can never remember the catchy names of these creeks.
Everyone went up the first creek, forgot the name again, about 250 metres before a fallen tree blocked our way. Turn around and paddle back to the lake. Everybody is heading south towards CVBS, so off I go trying to catch them. About halfway across the bay I give up and follow Daryl and Knut back towards our base. Don't know where the advance contingent went, somebody tell me. We all got back to Sandy Beach safely, thanks god, and enjoyed a super morning tea, I'm not even going to attempt to describe the offerings, including hot sausage rolls from resident kayaker Claire, and lattice slices from Shirley, oh bugger, now I've told you! Knut brought a nice meat and vege slice too. All his recipes are here.
To the first creek and back was about 8.5km and any deviation added to that total. Well done those boys! And girls. Harry's photos are here. Thanks for coming!
E-mail from Kee
I think I screw up again on the Launching venue. Waited until 9.30 am. No other person turned up. So I had a solo paddle for about 4 km. It was very tidal and windy.
View of expensive houses but horrible sight of crappy jetties and boardwalks. Much prefer views of Deerubbun Reserve. But then these houses at Broadbeach, Gold Coast have nice views from their living rooms. [Gold Coast, you tricker!]
See you guys in a couple of weeks.
|Knut's video from last Tuesday 12 Jan is here http://youtu.be/hL8Na9xBw3Y.
||Tuesday 12 January 2016 - Toukley, Coast Guard HQ|
Quite different from last week, at the same place - very warm, no breeze, sunny. Forty-four kayakers turned up for the first paddle of the year.
With a week's rain in the lake, it was quite full of water, allowing Budgewoi Lake to be completely navigable, usually there are sandbars everywhere. Launching was easy, just drop your kayak at the edge and climb in! At 0900 we set off towards the Golf Club in perfect conditions, heading towards the far south-east corner of the lake, where there is a little creek and golf happening.
At the footbridge we saw how high the water was as no kayak could fit underneath the bridge. The lively ones disembarked and dragged the vessels to the upstream side of the bridge and embarked on another adventure up the flooded creek. It soon became too narrow, and several skippers decided it was too hard, and backtracked. I went further, but got stuck trying to turn my long kayak around, with help from Rolf who looked after the stern. Harry was ahead and he and Rolf headed further up, dealing with each hazard as it manifested.
I waited ages for them at the bridge, and eventually they came back, beaming with excitement at their adventure. All back on the lake, we turned for home, to find many young water-sprites at the Coastguard ski-ing, paddling and wakeboarding. I'm told our distance was 6kms, seemed more.
This venue is well served with toilets, parking, playground (where we had our m/t) and water, and is especially good after heavy rain. Thanks everyone for coming, a near record number of us for a local venue. Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Harry's Report on sortie into golf course.
Nicky led us into the wilderness (picture 1) after we went round the bridge at the golf club. We went 100 metres and the stream was too narrow so she deferred to my smaller kayak. I went another 50 metres and then came to a bank, hauled my kayak out and started again on the other side, paddled 50 meters, came to a swamp and crashed through about 30 metres, then hauled the kayak out again and in to another body of water. Came to a tree crossing the stream and again a portage, then onto a longer stream (picture 2) for about 100 metres. Then came a dead end that I am sure was not there last time we travelled this stream. There was a man-made embankment. It was at the foot of the main fairway of the golf course. Could see the restaurant and was about to get out and have lunch but realised I was not suitably dressed. Then returned on another branch of the stream beside the fairway (picture 5), came to a levee bank and dead end. Portage to main stream and paddled back to find faithful kayak companions Rolf and Danny, waiting for me.
|Tuesday 5 January 2016 - Toukley, Lake Budgewoi|
Happy New Year! Due to persistent heavy rain and 20-25 knot E breeze (see Seabreeze graph below), nobody was interested in paddling today.
Bob and Lorraine turned up first, bringing their kayaks which they had loaded last night, but not their kit. I turned up at 0820 fully equipped for paddling, but without any enthusiasm. Vivince soon arrived complete with all her gear, choking back tears when she was told - No paddling today, Viv! Keith Arno soon put in an appearence, minus his kayak, and Linda just walked from home to see which idiots had come on such a shocking day.
Nobody was interested even in adjourning to a café for a hot drink and cake. I decided I would be better off at home rinsing my socks, so I headed for the door. As I drove out of the Volunteer Coast Guard grounds, Doug and Sue rolled in, with instructions to leave the venue the same for next week, followed closely by John D who also came for a squiz.
The only thing I can say good about the weather is that it wasn't that cold (19°C), and that at least I could go home and watch the cricket, looking forward to that! Aaarrgh!
PS Bob's stunning photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 December 2015 - Tacoma|
A nice morning at Wolseley Road, Tacoma, about 22°C warming up, a southerly of 15 knots which we only felt returning to the launch venue, and cloudy. Twenty-eight souls parked up on the side of the road, or down at the footy oval, and we all headed upstream somewhere. Rolf paddled all the way from Buff Point, later heading home into who knows what sort of chop on the lake.
From our launch spot to the railway bridge is 5km, which is where most people turned around, but some went further, and one fell short (me). So, between 9 and probably 14km for the day. A lovely spot is McKenzie Island, with its pleasant channel separating it from the Australian mainland. There was plenty of traffic on the Wyong River today, other kayakers, recreational boaties and fishermen (I checked them out - all guys!). So lots of wavy water to break our rhythm.
Had a new guy today, Wayne, who knew nothing about our famous morning tea, welcome Wayne. Margie J was there again, hi, and many of the old familiar faces, no offence meant.
Harry and Bob were both there banging off snaps, sorry, and they are here. Thanks everyone for coming, this is the best morning out, in the shire.
|Tuesday 22 December 2015 - Vales Point, Mannering Park|
My report is short today. Yesterday I washed my Pajero, then parked it back in the carport, got out but left the handbrake off, and the car rolled back while I jumped in and firmly pressed on the clutch, instead of the brake, while the door hit the post and bent it forward. Shut the door with some effort, then couldn't open it. So this morning I had to visit my local panelbeater who temporarily fixed it. I had unloaded my kayak by then, and as it was raining quite hard, at half past nine, I headed off to Manno, only to change my mind and go home, thinking there would be no-one there anyway. Wrong! Suddenly this afternoon photos started arriving in my e-mail box, so we have pictures!
I'm hoping somebody writes a report, but anyway I have Harry's and Bob's photos, they are here.
Doug gave a verbal report - Yeah, rained all morning, got heavy later. We did 10km. Couldn't find the channel because of all the steam. John Stone came down for m/t. And, ah, yeah!
|Tuesday 15 December 2015 - Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point|
A warm cloudy day for our Xmas Party, with a shortish paddle to start. No weather at all, just a nice 26°C. I didn't paddle, so the paddle story will be a bit short on detail.
It looked like everyone enjoyed their kayaking up to the weir, and back, and no mishaps mentioned. Bob and Harry's photos will tell the full sordid story, and they are coming.
Afterwards we all congregated in the Chittaway Point Community Hall which had been transformed into a wonderhouse of food and gifts. Doug and Sue with their little helpers provided a party of the year - cold meat and salads, lollies, dessert (pavlova and trifle) and gallons of delicious punch. We all did our best to wolf it all down, but there was plenty left. Thanks again to all who made this happen. This is not even mentioning the lucky door prizes, for every lucky participant. Each recipient drew the next ticket, and my wife in front of me drew my ticket. Barry was speechless!
Thanks to everyone for coming, and it was wonderful to see the other halves who generally don't come, there enjoying themselves.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 8 December 2015 - Gosford Brisbane Water|
Not as hot this week, 27°C with a cool NE breeze of 8 knots. Nice going downwind, and refreshing coming back! Over 37 paddlers today, keen to get going, pushing off at ten to nine. This means the backmarkers can never catch up. If you are going to leave early, could you please have a re-group after half an hour so we can get back together.
Just divine on the water this morning, passing Iguana Joe's, across Broad Water and down the west coast, past Point Claire and Tascott to Koolewong, where we had a re-group, thanks. The plan was to paddle across to the eastern shore of Brissy Water, but it looked so far away I said, just head for Point Fred. Arriving at Point Frederick quite early most of us decided to go around it and paddle into Caroline Bay, which was very pleasant. There are some fantastic boats moored down the west side of the point, must be worth $millions.
Even though we extended our paddle to about 9km, we still got back quite early, about 10.45am. It was lovely to see everybody this morning, especially some who've been missing for a while. Thanks for coming, and thanks to those who brought the scrumptious morning tea, and to Sue and Doug for bringing all the coffee and furniture. We really appreciate it!
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 1 December 2015 - Canton Beach, Tuggerah Lake|
First day of summer: hot! Thirty-five paddlers came to Canton Beach to enjoy the clear skies, light breeze and hot sun. At Lake Haven at 12.30pm it was 37°C! Still, lovely on the lake!
We paddled west towards the Toukley Bridge. Some people went under the bridge, but most of us kept paddling down past the Wallarah Club and into Wallarah Bay. The Wyong Council has done a brilliant job on the lake and Canton Beach - no weed or muck, just beautiful clear water and sandy beaches! I commend them!
Then across the bay to Pipeclay Point and around into Dalnott Reserve, where Barry and Lois live. One shout from me, and Baz wanders out to see us and avva chat. There is a large expanse of sandy-looking material around this area, but it's all sandstone rock! Bob and I disembarked from our small craft and threw ourselves in the limpid waters on the lake side. Divine!
Paddlers then wandered off towards Canton Beach with total distances travelled (see Strava) between 8 and 13 kilometres. It was so pleasant paddling back across the lake into a nice cool breeze (5 knots N).
Back at the ranch, morning tea happened with a lovely range of delicious and/or nourishing food (take your pick). A couple of extras arrived to join in (JD and Merrill), then we had birthdays, with Carol and Doug both celebrating their 70th this week. Carol was presented with a lovely photo on canvas of herself kayaking, and Doug received, at his request, a nice coffee mug with a similar photo somehow stuck on it. To show her appreciation for all the work Doug and Sue do towards the kayakers, Shirley painted a beautiful picture for their loungeroom, on our behalf, and I presented it, as Shirley is too shy, but don't tell her that. See it in the photos. Thanks everyone for coming, and enjoy the photos by our two resident snappers. We really do appreciate having you guys too! Today's photos are here!
|Ralph's report - Friday 27 November 2015|
|Tuesday 24 November 2015 - Parsley Bay, Brooklyn NSW|
Twenty-three kayakers attended today's session at Parsley Bay. Conditions were very suave with a light NE breeze and cloudy skies. The tide was on the way out, so some places on the Hawkesbury River were quite choppy with the turbulence.
So we paddled north out of the Bay towards Dangar Island (DI) of which, to be truthful, I didn't know the location. Quite a few of us had been there (it's about 400 metres from the launch site) so Kee led us across the river to the east side of the island where we admired all the civilisation that exists in the middle of the river. We kept going past DI and Kee suggested Mullet Creek to add some value to the day. Mullet Creek (named after the locals' favorite hair style) runs longside the railway line, and I know exactly where it goes, as I have gazed at this creek for years as I travelled by train to the city in the old days.
As we entered the limpid waters of the creek, Ralph complained about his crook back, so Harry, Graeme and I offered to help him back home. I offered to let him have a try in my kayak, so we looked for a beach to do the swap, and lo-and-behold there was a beach just there on Dangar Island. As we stretched our legs Harry mentioned that the café was only 100 metres away, so despite my protests they dragged me there and we had a cuppa, to get us back home safely. Luckily we had some money.
After we watched the others paddle back by the railway bridge, we set off ourselves back to Parsley Bay. Near DI there was a large choppy area caused by the tide and the island. Shirley said later she was a bit scared there, as she sits at the front of her double kayak and can't see much but water ahead of her.
A lovely day's paddling, thanks to everyone who came, and to the Daleys who brought the makings, and those who supplied the delicious food. By-the-way, don't forget the Xmas Party, to be held at Chittaway Point Hall, Sunshine Park, Geoffrey Road, on 15 December.
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 17 November 2015 - Waterfall Bay
Conditions were perfect for today's paddle at Woy Woy - sunny, warm, no breeze to start, building to a NE of 10 knots by 11.00.
Over 30 kayakers rolled up at Brick Wharf Road and we headed off towards the wharf, noticing that the tide was so low the canal through the islands was just flat mud. Plenty of water in Parks Bay, under the railway/bike/road bridge, and up into Waterfall Bay. It was so pleasant on the water, just cruising along!
Up at the waterfall the low tide came back to bite us - couldn't get near the falls! So we hung around for a few minutes, then paddled back to the little famous beach where I had a swim, and some of the others stretched their legs. Some of us then paddled across to Woy Woy Bay for some extra distance. At no time did we go near Phegans Bay, or even Fagans Bay, it's back around corner up Woy Woy Inlet. Check your map.
Some newish faces today, like Jane, who rides with us on Sundays, Pamela and Morrie, whom we haven't seen for years, Cyril, who has been AWOL for 18 months... Back to a wonderful morning tea, where Sue presented John Stone with a beautiful canvas photo and a kayaking mug for his 75th bd, congratulations John! And thanks to Sue for the effort she goes to for our birthday people, and everything else. Thanks everyone for coming to our little kayaking group.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 10 November 2015 - Bonnells Bay|
Perfect morning on beautiful Lake Macquarie - no cloud, no breeze, only bliss! Over 33 kayakers attended at Pendlebury Park, where we soon found the short-comings of this venue, viz not enough parking and only rocky launch access. Nice as it is in the water, I think we won't come back here. Also a busy fishing boat port and a lot of cars and trailers in their special parking spots.
We headed out before nine o'clock, thereby missing a kayaker or two, paddling up the east side of the bay towards Shingle-splitters Point. Having reached there in about 30 minutes, we floated around waiting for direction, as Doug wasn't there to tell us. Some people headed off for Myuna Bay, but luckily turned around before reaching the distant shore. The rest of us struck out for Dora Creek, the creek, not far away across the lake.
Having reached Dora Creek we took a port heading and paddled back to Bonnells Bay. Dora Creek flows out of a long delta built up over many millenia, but you don't see that when you're on the lake, it looks very different on the map. So we finished up just paddling back to our launch site, covering only about 8.5km, except for the Myuna Bay guys who did about 2km further.
I didn't know what was going to happen for morning tea, but Sue suddenly appeared with all the coffee and tea, and everybody trotted out their specialties, so we had an abundance of stuff to eat. Thanks everyone for bringing everything. A really nice day on the lake, thanks for coming. Photos are here.
|Tuesday 3 November 2013 (Melbourne Cup Day) - Picnic Point, The Entrance|
Weather conditions were not much better than last week, except it wasn't cold, just rainy and windy. About 22 kayakers turned up, a lot of them even bringing their kayaks, and a few of whom even paddled. I think we had about eleven paddlers today, while the others came merely to cheer us on, or go in Claire's sweep, or join in the morning tea. Anyway, it was nice to see us all there.
It didn't actually rain while we were paddling, but there was a stiff southerly of 15-20 knots. While we were sheltered in the lagoon we didn't even notice it. We started off paddling down to the lagoon from our launch site on Picnic Point, and under the bridge. There is a lot of work going on there, with dredging sand and painting the bridge, not to mention re-concreting the piers which seem to have suffered concrete cancer.
We paddled down the lagoon towards the ocean, with a few of us actually reaching the turbulent sea. By the time Harry, Bill A and I paddled back into the swiftly draining lake, the others had disappeared, under the bridge and to points north towards the caravan park, to go around the islands and back to base.
Lori decided not to go down the channel but headed back towards Picnic Point and beyond, towards Long Jetty. She was out of sight, but Harry followed her towards the jetty. I thought he was going to Tumbi Umbi, so I waited about halfway down. Rolf happened by so we set off together for Long Jetty, but we met Harry coming back the other way, and we all paddled with a strong tail wind back to the launch site. Lori arrived back after us, so everyone was accounted for and we got stuck into the beautiful m/t. A few other guys rocked up with food, so they were made very welcome. It rained lightly during this time but we had the picnic shelters so everything stayed dry. Claire organised the Cup Sweep, but we all went home before the race was held.
Thanks for coming, those who could make it. Next week back to Bonnells Bay, where I hope it will be a nice day and we can all have a paddle in the limpid waters of Lake Macquarie.
Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 27 October 2015 - Bonnells Bay|
Rain and strong wind welcomed the day, so already doubt is in our minds. Doug and Sue loaded the morning tea supplies, but not their kayaks, and headed to Bonnells Bay. When we arrived, there were 4 miserable faces there to greet us, Trevor, Jill, Bob W and Nikki who had already unloaded her kayak. Trevor, Jill and Bob were huddled in their cars. After a quick chat and surveying where we could set up the coffee gear, Nikki decided to paddle anyway and took off onto the lake. The rest of us headed to the only table with a shelter and attached a tarp to try and protect us from the wind and the rain. We had morning tea and a chat and then Nikki reappeared after her valiant solo paddle. Nikki joined us for morning tea and then we all decided to head for home. A non-event in kayaking terms, except for Nikki. Morning tea was nice and the hot tea and coffee were appreciated. .
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 20 October 2015 - San Remo|
On a perfect day, no breeze and flat water, 27 paddlers headed toward Wallarah Creek. At the junction of the creek the group split with most taking the left arm to Wallarah Creek, the others went right up Spring Creek. A pleasant leisurely paddle back to the car park, with just the slightest breeze to give a little relief from the heat. For a day on the lake, where invariably the trip back is always harder, it was event free - no swell, no wind. Probably one of the best days we have had on the lake in a very long time. Nice to see Ian back. Morning tea was held under the shade of the trees which was very pleasant.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 13 October 2015 - Gosford, Narara Creek|
Cloudy threatening weather, with some rain and a southerly breeze, otherwise warm and pleasant. With most of the Toukley cyclists away on holiday at Wagga Wagga, we had only fourteen kayakers rocked up at Gosford Sailing Club for a wander up the Narara Creek.
The Broad Water was quite choppy in the southerly, but we all managed to get across to the railway bridge and slip into something more comfortable, ie Fagans Bay. Conditions immediately improved so we paddled on up the creek for miles, 6.25km for some and 7.5 for the fast guys. Double that and you have our elapsed distance for the day, 12.5 and 15km. Well done everyone!
Coming back the weather turned nasty again once we got under the rail bridge, funny that, and we ploughed across the Broad Water, against the waves and breeze, to our safe haven near the sailing club. Keith had brought the morning tea stuff, and there was bikkies, cheese and yummy chocolate cake, so we didn't miss out on anything. Next week will be at San Remo, but I won't be there, as I'll be at Airlie Beach FNQ. See you when I get back. No reports or photos next week. This week's photos are here.
|Saturday 10 October 2015 - Essay from Ralph|
Ralph has written a report on his first outing in a double kayak. Click here to read.
|Tuesday 6 October 2015 - Chain Valley Bay South|
Another very hot day but 28 paddlers showed up anyway for a nice morning on the beautiful CVB.
Lori was a bit late as she got lost again. Saw her at morning tea. Andy and Judy paddled down from Manno, and Russell also arrived, but not by kayak. Bit far from Gwandalan! Hopefully most of the participants will appear in today's photos from Bob and Harry.
So first thing we paddled around the corner into Karignan Creek, where some cut it short, like Debbie, while Harry and Russell made a day of it, porting their kayaks over two concrete barriers till they ran out of water (to paddle in). See the photos. The rest of us carried on up the eastern shore of the Bay, some like me not so close to the shore, till we rounded the Black Neds Point marker and headed across to the power station. As we paddled up the shore Bob C said to me how beautiful and quiet it was here. I said what about the dull roar from the power station? But apparently he has lived and worked within earshot of the station all his life, so takes it as normal background noise on the lake.
There was no wind at all on the water, or anywhere, and it was cooler on the lake than off it, so it was a very pleasant experience kayaking today with all our friends.
There are quite a few people who would love to paddle with us, but can't attend on a weekday, due to work commitments, whatever that is, so Paul M and Lyn McK have proposed a Saturday paddle from Woy Woy, on the first Saturday of every month. Meeting at the Brick Road Wharf, on North Burge Road, Woy Woy at 9.00am (be there by 8.30 preferably). If you are interested, drop us a line on our club e-mail address [email protected] and we will be in touch. Not a hard paddle, but something like Davistown or Waterfall Bay, about 10km.
A lovely morning tea followed the outing this morning, thanks to all the contributors, including Sue for the yummy sangers. Thanks everyone for coming!
PS The photos for today are here.
|Tuesday 29 September 2015 - Wyong River, Wyong|
Not far to travel today, just Wyong River near the bridge. About 28 kayakers rolled up for a paddle on this beautiful spring morning. A few more non-paddlers arrived for morning tea, some with warm food - thanks Fred!
Right on nine o'clock we all headed west up the mighty Wyong River, towards the headwaters in the snow country near Mangrove Mountain. Most of us only got as far as the weir at the Old Milk Factory, but new John Wood, Alan, Sandra and I ported over the weir and kept going to the pumping station. John kept going and I was fearful for him, but he turned up at m/t to my relief. Sandra, Alan and I paddled gently back to the weir where there were a few people fishing, boating, sunbathing etc, and a very nice lady called Lisa, the Milk Factory Superintendent, helped this poor old gentleman out of his kayak, and carried it to the plastic boat ramp on the downstream side and launched me off. Thanks Lisa!
Most paddlers seemed to be already back at base when we arrived, so I would say we paddled about 6km on average for the day. A couple more for the upstream adventurers. Porters Creek was a dead loss due to lack of water, so probably they got stuck at the pipes where the metal plate needs extra water. Those who've been there will know what I mean.
Next week Harry reaches his 75th birthday. We would have made a fuss but Sue was away so it didn't happen. All the best Harry, and thanks for today's photos. Sorry about last week's photos but I forgot them after going to Geoff's funeral.
It came over all warm like as we were out in the sun, so a lovely day on the river. Thanks for being there!
Harry's photos are here, and last week's pictures are here.
|Knut's video of Myall Classic is here.||Tuesday 22 September 2015 - Budgewoi, Lake Munmorah
A coolish morning with a slight breeze, until the big southerly kicked in (see Seabreeze® Graph below. Twenty-three eager kayakers fronted for a morning of exploration and exercise.|
We headed down the west side of Lake Munmorah towards the Colongra Wetlands. A very pleasant paddle with the breeze behind us and fairly calm water. Down to the flooded forest then up the canal to the end.
Back out onto the lake, the northern half, still quite pleasant, but when we reached Colongra Point we could see the water churning with white caps and waves in our faces. Some kayakers stuck to the shore, much longer, while the rest of us pushed against the wind and waves straight across the lake, seemed to take hours, probably 40 minutes. Quite a challenge, but invigorating as well.
We all made it back, including our new mates John and Diane K, from Belmont, and it was a relief to see them safe and dry. Thanks everyone for giving it a try, and thanks to all the non-paddlers who joined us for m/t, including JD who cycled down from home. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Myall Classic 2015|
Toukley Kayakers was very well represented again this year with six paddlers in the Myall Classic. Claire tackled the 27km; Keith A, Rolf, Knut, Barry and Doug the 12km. It was an absolutely perfect day, so much so we even had an abundance of "land crew" for the event. Gloria, Carmel, Anne (Carmel's cousin), Fred, Colin, David (Claire's husband), Bob, Mark and myself. This year we were a little better organised with the sun shelter, table, tea, coffee, air pots etc and our impressive banner, so we could mix it with the 'big boys'. We all had on our Toukley Kayakers shirts, and really did look the part on and off the water. We looked very impressive, even if I do say so myself.
Our paddlers did extremely well again this year, Claire came 2nd in her category in a time of 3hrs 44min; Keith came 5th in 1hr 30min; Rolf 8th in 1hr 33min; Knut 9th in 1hr 35min; Doug 11th in 1 hr 41min; Barry 13th in 2hr 16min. At 80 years of age, Barry was the star at the finish line with a video camera focused on him and a microphone interview. We were all so proud to say he is one of our paddlers. Fantastic result Barry!
Keith overcame adversity to paddle so well in the race. On the trip up, the straps holding his brand new kayak to his roof rack snapped and the kayak and the Pacific Highway had a very sudden and unpleasant coming together. His paddle was snapped in half and his kayak is quite a bit lighter with all the chunks out of it. I think a lot of us would have done a u-turn and just headed home. Well done Keith! Rolf won a lucky draw prize too. Maybe next year we can entice a few more of our paddlers to what is a really good event that is not too far from home.
On a sadder note, unfortunately, we now know why the 14th entrant didn't start in the 12km event, that entrant was Geoff. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
|Tuesday 15 September 2015 - Blackalls Park, Lake Macquarie|
The warmest day since last summer, reaching 28°C, with a stiff NW breeze (see Seabreeze© below). Twenty-seven kayakers made it to Blackalls Park, up past Toronto NSW, plus Darryl who is recovering from a trigger-finger operation.
With the wind quite strong we headed for Stony Creek's protected banks. We launched in Edmunds Bay, on the right-hand side of the park, to keep out of the wind, but had to poke our noses into the open waters of Fennell Bay before ducking down the western arm of Stony Creek. This proved to be a small mistake as it is only 10 centimetres deep so some paddlers had to disembark and drag their and others kayaks over the worst. Most of us returned by the eastern arm, though I did see some kayaks of the sit-on variety breeze over the sand on the way back.
It's amazing to see the marine industry well-established on the bank of this little creek, with big motor launches and yachts all moored or on racks in the shipwrights' yards. We kept paddling upstream with only an occasional sniff of the strong breeze till we reached a pretty convincing rock shelf which deterred most of us from proceeding any further. Some kayakers, including our intrepid photographers, weren't totally convinced so continued another 3 or 4 hundred meters upstream, well done guys!
I was disappointed to find that we had paddled only about 8km for the day, as it felt further. Just me I think!
Back at the park we were invited by Frank and Shirley to their beautiful house on the shores of Fennell Bay for morning tea. Apparently it has 6 bedrooms and several bathrooms, but the rear deck was magnificent with a view to get sick for. Shirley supplied hot sausage rolls so sadly not all of Sue's sangers were eaten, but we did our best. Thanks very much to F & S for their hospitality, and to everyone who brought nice stuff to eat. A beaut morning's paddle.
We are all pretty shocked by Geoff's untimely death and wait to hear more, thanks Georgie!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Monday 14 September 2014 - Geoff Broome|
Sadly I must report the sudden death of our friend Geoff, at home, on Saturday 12/9/15. The circumstances are unknown at this point. Will keep you all informed as soon as we hear.
|Tuesday 8 September 2015 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point|
A cool sunny Spring morning with a slight westerly breeze, nice. Twenty-four enthusiasts rolled up for a pleasant paddle up the creek to the weir (I don't think anybody went over it today) and back towards the lake. Some did the lake first - Doug paddled over to The Entrance and struggled back against the wind, which persisted up the wide creek valley. We got scattered all over the creek, with kayakers travelling at different speeds, but we all came back together for morning tea, thanks Sue and Doug, joined by a few rings-in, like Carmel, Lyn, Col and Fred among them. Lovely to have them there.
Last week I lost my hard drive, so most of my data and programs went west, so if things look a bit different that's why. Bob's photos are here.
|Wyong Shire GOALL magazine
Attached is a copy of this excellent magazine, with reports from the Bike Club and the Kayakers, with the emphasis on the not-so-young. Click here to read.
Go to Club Notices for details.
|Tuesday 25 August 2015 - Nords Wharf, Lake Macquarie
Cloudy, warm, no wind at all, really nice! Sixteen kayakers fronted at Nords Wharf for a pleasant morning on the lake. Claire paddled around from next week's venue, so about 27km for her today, plus whatever she does in the afternoon. Welcome back Rolf, remember Rolf?
We headed south into Crangan Bay, sticking to the eastern shore. We looked for a creek, eventually we found a small one, could have been either Crangan Creek or Mangrove Gully Creek, but in either case it was useless, so we kept on around the shore till we came to Gwandalan. No sign of Russell even though we called out for ages. A bit further north up this west coast shore, then back across the bay to our base. Very nice élite group, nice m/t. A breeze blew up later and increased all day. But we were home by then.
Thanks for coming, those boys and girls, good choice! Bob and Harry's photos are here. Cheers!
|Tuesday 18 August 2015 - Pelican, Lake Macquarie
A glorious morning, not even cold, but sunny and a light breeze. I counted at least 35 kayakers, but I was too late to mark the roll so I don't know who they all were.
By the time I got in the water, many of us had started heading north towards Marks Point the township, past the aerodrome, Swan Bay and Marks Point the point, into Village Bay with all its wonderful yachts and houses. There were a lot of swans on the water and they all took off, making magical patterns with their white wing flashes. I said 'incoming swans' and Col said they have to divert, Fred said 'they're not allowed to land at Pelican, they have to go to Swan!'. It seemed funny at the time.
It seemed quite easy paddling north, with the tide. We kept going past Cane Point, Belmont South and up as far as the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club jetty. By then it was ten o'clock so we headed back south, to find that the tide was now flowing against us. Some smart guys, like Doug and Fried, looped right out near the islands and missed the tidal flow, and got back much sooner. At about 3kmh the tide cut our forward progress down to about 2kmh, very slow and hard work.
A few of us were overtaken by a big barge fitted out with cranes and a pile-driver, making only slightly faster time than us. There was a lot of turbulence in the water, but nobody tipped out, thanks god. Eventually we all made it back to our base where Sue and the ladies had a lovely morning tea waiting for us, thanks guys! There were so many of us, people kept stopping to ask who we were, so we said - look at the website for details. Thanks for coming kayaking with us!
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 11 August 2015 - Bobbin Head
It's a long way to Bobbin Head (BH) from Toukley (90km), but worth it. With the conditions all in our favour, we made the most of the beautiful day kayaking the limpid waters of Cowan Creek. Twenty-four kayakers paddled down towards Broken Bay, turning around after 5 or 7 kms, and getting back to BH around 11 o'clock. Lovely calm water with spectacular National Park all round.
Kee said he was going further and we wouldn't see him again, and we didn't. Keith V was a worry, not returning till nearly everyone had left for home, only Sue and Doug waited for him. Nice to see some people again, like Frank and Shirley, and David and Anastasia, and Lori. Carmel and friends visited us at the kayak and canoe launching spot, hi guys!
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 4 August 2015 - Morisset, Lake Macquarie
Although we had a cloudy sky and a slight sprinkle of rain at home, when we arrived at Morisset, it was a little cloudy, no rain and slightly cooler than at home, all in all, pretty good.
Today we launched at Morisset Hospital and headed toward Pourmalong Creek. We paddled until the Silky Oak Road bridge and decided the water was too shallow for us to venture across the half-exposed pipe. Alan and Sandra powered up the supercharger and went for it and made it unscathed to the other side, well done you two, but the rest of us decided against attempting it. The decision was then made that we would head out of the creek and around the foreshore to Lake Petite. Once we rounded the corner there was no breeze and the sun decided to pop out occasionally, warming things considerably.
On the trip back to the launch area, the wind decided to return and the water at times was a bit choppy, but not unpleasant. We paddled 11.5km today. Morning tea was very pleasant as the wind didn't reach the shore, it was only out on the lake, which was very considerate. 16 paddlers today and two more joined us for morning tea. Unlike our morning teas here in the past, we had no kangaroos visit, until we were all heading out, but instead we had, of all things, pigeons! I think they were worse than the kangaroos, as they kept flying onto the table, at least the kangaroos aren't quite so pushy.
A very pleasant morning with good company. Thanks everyone for taking the drive up and for Greg paddling across from home. Once again, it proves you can never tell what the weather is going to be, until you get to the venue.
Doug and Sue
Today's photos are here.
|Tuesday 28 July 2015 - Tacoma paddle
A cool sunny morning at Tacoma greeted 34 kayakers, and some non-paddling security staff, including some newbies - Ivan, Kiwi Richard and Merle, who has been following us on the website.
Very poor launching facilities here into the Wyong River, but we managed anyway. Once on the river we headed down to Lake Tuggerah and turned left towards Rocky Point. The little bay there we found to be too shallow even for kayaks, so we skirted around it, past Rocky Point and onwards north towards Karraganbah Point, way in the distance. We were aided by a pleasant tailwind and a smooth lake surface, and finally reached a point at which we realised it was nearly ten o'clock, so we turned around. About then a stronger south-westerly sprang up, chopping up the water and cooling us down, at the same time warming us with the extra effort needed to make headway back to the river.
All the same, it was a refreshing experience, paddling on the lake, communing with nature. Luckily no-one communed too much, as it was too cold to get wet. Tuggerah Lake is a very pretty lake in most places, so if the Nords Wharf group want to come down on Friday you should enjoy it. Or you could join us next Tuesday at Morisset, just paddle across the lake from Nords.
A very nice morning tea was served by the staff, thanks very much everyone. All up a pleasant 10km paddle with all our friends.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 28 July 2015 - News from Iceland
Below is a face book message from Arthur Love regards an accident in Iceland, concerning Liz (from today, Sunday, 26 July 2015):
To bring everybody up to date I will go through what has happened so far. We were staying at a Hotel about 2 hours northwest of Reykjavik and just finished a meal of halibut and Liz decided to go to bed and read a book. I stayed in the lounge looking at some Icelandic History books. When Liz opened the door to our room she overbalanced and stumbled off a 3m wide low porch and fell on the edge of the porch and onto the ground. Nobody saw this and she shouted out for assistance but nobody heard her for some time. I came out at the same time that they were looking for me. Liz had no feeling in her legs and lower body.
An ambulance was on the way and a paramedic who was staying at the hotel helped until the ambulance arrived. They put her on a stretcher and transported her to a medical centre where a doctor stabilized her for the 1.5hrs trip to Reykjavik Hospital.
After initial appraisal in Emergency Liz was transferred to ICU and the Neurologist Specialist came in and assessed that there was a displacement of the spine at the C5-C6 vertebrae. Liz had no feeling below chest level and could move her arms but not her fingers. Liz was put into traction to see if the spine could be brought back into alignment. At midday a new scan indicated that the alignment was much improved with only 1 to 2mm more required to be aligned satisfactorily. The neurologist still thinks that an operation is still required to fix the alignment. With the alignment repaired there is a chance that Liz will have some feeling and possibly movement in the lower body.
It is too early to say with any confidence on the outcome.
The doctors and staff at the Hospital are very experienced and professional.
We all hope that Liz recovers.
We are all a bit shattered at the present time but our holidays are on hold/ cancelled for the time being.
Liz needs all your support.
|Tuesday 21 July 2015 - Davistown
On a clear morning, without the hint of a breeze and quite a pleasant temperature, we arrived at our usual spot at Davistown, only to be welcomed by a couple of confused faces, but only a couple, as everyone else was trying to park at some other venue, where there is not enough parking, even for the reduced number we had today, and the water was 30 metres from shore. As we always launch at Restella Ave, I am bemused why Pine Ave was chosen.
After we relocated everyone back to Restella Ave, we launched onto glass like water. We had 20 paddlers today, which was a surprisingly low number considering it was such a picture-perfect day. The majority headed from Davistown to Veterans Hall, then on to Woy Woy Lions Park, along the foreshore to Blackwall, then across to Daleys Point, under St Huberts Island road bridge and back to Davistown.
The water today was crystal clear. Unfortunately, when crossing from Blackwall to Daleys Point, Jeff went too close to the rip and was tossed out of his boat. He managed to get back in with help of the other paddlers close by. So all was good. Thank goodness it was warmer today for Jeff's unplanned dip. Bill, Chris and Keith V chose to paddle to Kincumber inlet for a change of scenery.
A beautiful day, great company, perfect conditions for kayaking, whichever direction you chose to paddle. We apologise to anyone who couldn't find the group today, and to the couple of paddlers who joined us quite late, after their tour of Davistown.
Doug and Sue
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 14 July 2015 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo
This chilly sunny winter morn with temperatures about 10°C and a strong westerly breeze saw 18 kayakers roll up, and a few more just come to watch but not get wet. Similar conditions to last week, but with shelter from the wind, not like last week's ordeal.
I got there early and ran over a hairdresser's razor blade and flattened my tyre, so I had something to fill in my spare time. Bob and Brian helped, so we didn't have to call the NRMA. That Brian is a strong bloke! Thanks guys!
We were soon on our way up the Wallarah Creek to the fork, where we took the right into Spring Creek, having heard that there was a tree down over the other creek. Doug checked it out later, and it was true, but someone had cut a couple of meters off the trunk to allow passage for light vessels. Up past the barking dogs into the bush, eventually reaching the Motorway Link, but luckily there is a bridge over the creek, so we kept going. We soon came to the end and turned back after having paddled 4km. Greg turned up late, having worked nightshift the previous evening. We haven't seen him for a year, due to surgery on his shoulder. Seems to be fixed now.
With a tailwind going back we soon arrived at the sparse facilities of Brudenell Avenue (there are none really) and swarmed over the bike path while we had m/t. A cyclist came through with a beam on his bike that he bought from Bunnings up the road. I gave him a piece of pineapple for his trouble. Many of the non-paddlers brought delicious food, so they were welcome. Claire brought hot party pies and sauce. Yum!
A lovely paddle and good to get some fresh air. Thanks for coming everyone!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 7 July 2015 - Tuggerah Lake, The Entrance
Cold, sunny with a 8 knot westerly rising later to 20 knots. Seemed OK at first, but as the 30 of us headed down the eastern shore towards Tumbi it got colder, the wind stronger and the waves bigger.
After passing the Long Jetty, I decided I had somewhere else I had to go and turned back. About ten others thought the same so we were back at Picnic Point before 10 o'clock. The remaining crew kept going towards Tumbi and we didn't see them for over another hour. Gradually they straggled back until someone said 'we have paddlers down in the lake!'. Fortunately I was keeping my roll up to date and knew who the missing six were. Debbie quickly paddled up to the boat ramp looking for fishermen in a tinnie, whom she found and despatched southwards.
It was a big ask but the fisherguys perservered out into the lake, which by now had whitecaps and half-metre waves blowing in from the SW, plus it was freezing. From the shore, with Rob's binoculars, we could see several kayaks, including one upside down being towed by Doug. The fishermen found the other kayaks, including Andy and Judy's which had Nikki hanging off the back, unable to get back in her kayak, She spent an hour in the water, at least, before being rescued by those tinnie sailors who, fortunately, had a fold-down ladder at the back of their boat, which Nik was able to kneel on before falling aboard. Anyway, see the photos for a full appreciation of the scene.
Meanwhile Sue had been cooking up a heap of snags and kebabs to keep us all warm. After Nikki was looked after and finally dried and dressed she returned to the lunch but couldn't eat anything. It was also her birthday, a significant one, so she qualified for a photo on canvas as a memento of her awful day, and a rousing song, possibly Happy Birthday. One good thing she did was to wear a full wetsuit while kayaking, so that would have helped.
The rest of us were just glad to have got back safely and to be warm and dry. Thanks to everyone who helped with Nikki and who came out on such a cold day. On the way home it rained heavily, so it could have been worse.
Photos are here.
PS By next day Nikki was fully recovered from her ordeal.
| For reports from May 2013 to June 2015, click here.
For reports from May 2011 to April 2013 - click here.
All older reports (pre May 2011) and the old Photo Album are gone.