Swansea - 15 April 2014


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Website created on 9 Jan 2009. Last updated on 16 April 2014 1400hrs

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Tuesday 22 April 2014 - Parsley Bay, Hawkesbury River. George Street via Bridge Street, Brooklyn, park in the car park at McKell Park, Brooklyn. Sydney UBD map 56 K11

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Welcome to our Website.
We are an informal group of friends who like the outdoors and a healthy lifestyle. This page provides a Notice Board where we can display our kayaking program, and any other information we might want to share, and some photographs of our activities.
We meet on Tuesdays. Launch time is 0900, so if you want to join us arrive by 0845 please. We have morning tea/lunch afterwards. Bring something nice to eat if you can, and a couple of dollars to cover the tea, coffee, milk etc.
We paddle in all lakes, lagoons, creeks and rivers from Berowra to Clarence Town, and everywhere in between.
We generally paddle for 2 - 3 hours and travel between 6 and 12 km, at a gentle pace.
Disclaimer - As we are not a club, just a group of individuals who go kayaking together now and then, we have no responsibilities as an organisation, and no organisational status. Anyone who decides to join us on our outings does so on the understanding that they are responsible for their own welfare and safety. People will provide all assistance and advice to visitors, but take no responsibility. Joining our group is on that understanding, and you will be asked to sign confirmation of that fact. We have no insurance - you should provide your own.
Both the above businesses support our club and will give special discounts to our members.
Click on the logos to go to their websites.
See new Maritime NSW rules on lifejackets — Click here.
To summarise: Wear a lifejacket at all times except in enclosed waters (rivers/lakes) within 100 metres of the shore.
Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail by clicking here. Weekly reports appear below.

For cycling reports and forthcoming rides click here

Kayaking reports:
Tuesday 15 April 2014 - Swansea
With grey skies, but not raining, we headed off to Swansea, where the heavens opened as we all got out of our cars. Nice! A quick decision was made to head around to the eastern side launch area (Coon Island) where there is an under cover BBQ. This decision was made whilst huddled under the awning of the toilets, (not a venue of choice, but any port in a storm) the only shelter on this side of the bay.
Around at the barbecue area, the tea, coffee and morning tea delights all appeared and a 'pow wow with refreshments' was soon underway as to "if, when and what is the plan of action". By 9.30, nine (9) of the 22 present decided it was now or never, as the rain had momentarily ceased. They paddled from Coon Island to Pelican inlet and the boat channel, returning via Swan Bay, around a couple of islands, returning to Coon Island all with the outgoing tide.
Even on a grey day like today, the water was clear and varying in shades of blue, from a deep blue to almost turquoise in shallower sections over the white sand. A beautiful expanse of water. A total of 7.5km was paddled on what was very nearly a "no paddle day". When the paddlers returned, only four (4) people had stayed to welcome them back to 'not so dry land', the rest opting to return home out of the rain and the surprising cool.
The second sitting of morning tea commenced at 11am, with a couple of late arrivals providing some extra goodies for our hardy souls that braved the weather. And, yes, it did rain while they were out on the water, but no one seemed to be too perturbed about the fact they had been rained on.
Today, despite the weather, we had 24 people turn up, nine (9) paddled. Clearly, it takes a bit more than rain to stop you having fun, even if it is just to have morning tea and a chat. Well done guys!
Next weeks paddle is at Parsley Bay, on the Hawkesbury River, Sydney map 56; K 11. Go to Brooklyn, turn right at the pub.
Doug & Sue
PS - Mark, our 'Water Warrior', paddled from Speers Point, at 6.00am, to meet the group at Swansea. Needless to say he was there waiting for us when we arrived. Wendall was one of our late arrivals to morning tea, but his main aim was to take Mark home after the paddle. Nice to have a support crew, thanks Wendall.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 8 April 2014 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi
On a beautiful sunny day 33 kayakers showed up at McKenzie Park Reserve, Budgewoi, to indulge in their preferred water sport.
Launching into Lake Munmorah, they showed their independence by heading in different directions, not to see each other till they got back. Half a dozen paddlers turned right and took the anti-clockwise route around the lake to Elizabeth Bay (the planned route), then to a further point before paddling back across the lake towards Budgewoi.
The other group of 24 kayakers turned left and paddled up to Colongra Bay wetlands and through the canals there. Everybody had lots of fun and all returned safely back to Budgewoi where they were met by the other group and a few ring-ins who didn't paddle (me included). Another enjoyable day out on the water with mates!
New style photo display is here!
Tuesday 1 April 2014 - Sunshine Park, Ourimbah Creek
Thirty-five kayakers appeared at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay, this morning, for a paddle up a nice creek, after many outings on Lake Macquarie. Conditions were divine as usual, with no wind, cloudy sunshine and warm air.
We all opted for the trip upstream, with everyone paddling up to the weir about 3.2km west of our starting place. Those who made it over the weir kept going as far as they could, with some making it to a big obstruction of a wooden nature too hard and too late to attack today. Bring a good saw next time. This made a total of about 10km which seemed like enough. Nothing much happened luckily, so we all went back to the park for morning tea and a chat.
Thanks everyone for coming and being part of a very pleasant morning kayaking with friends.
PS Bob's photos are here.
See Knut's video of the recent Pulbah Island trip, click here. All Knut's videos are on his video page here.
Tuesday 25 March 2014 - Toronto
Seventeen kayakers presented themselves today at the Toronto Lions Park just south of the Fennell Bay Bridge. Conditions could not be improved upon - sunny/cloudy, no breeze, glassy water, beautiful venue...
Just as we were about to launch our kayaks, Darryl got a phone call to help someone unload something at his house, so he left his kayak on the ground and took off. The rest of us got going, heading straight across Kooroora Bay to Bolton Point, where we turned right and headed around the point. I told Dazza this earlier, but he forgot, so when he came back to join us, he paddled under Fennell Bay bridge and frolicked around there for a while.
When we had gone to the next point we had a re-group and a discussion about our next stage. Claire suggested we cross a vast expanse of water to some moored yachts. Everybody agreed except me as I had an appointment at the Wyong Hospital at 1.00pm and didn't want to go that far. So they all headed off to this distant spot while I paddled back across the lake towards Carey Bay, about 1km south of the Toronto CBD. After a pleasant paddle across the lake and down to Princes Bay, I returned to base along the coast past Toronto, getting worried about how long I was taking. I couldn't see the others or Darryl until I had nearly reached the Lions Park again, and there they all were ahead of me. How did that happen? And when I look on the map now, I have no idea where these other guys went. None of it makes any sense! It always looks so different on the lake.
Anyway, I had plenty of time and we all had a nice morning tea with coffee and everything, and a good chat, and there were enough seats for us to sit down. Another beautiful paddle on Lake Macquarie, thanks to everyone who came.
Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 18 March 2014 - Cams Wharf to Pulbah Island
A cool start today waking to about 14°C, but it soon rose to 28° by lunchtime. No cloud, no wind - divine!
Not so good for me as I remembered to bring my paddle only as I reached the pedestrian bridge at Lake Munmorah, so back home I went, turning an early day into a late one. By the time I was ready to go, there was only Rolf to paddle with, him also being late. We paddled northwards for a while then across the pristine water to Pulbah Island. Paul got a bit behind, so Rolf went back and steered him to the other side of the island so he could meet us coming the other way. Rolf then went off to Sunshine or somewhere, while Lyn paddled up to Swansea after circimnavigating the island.
Mark tried to give us a demo of an eskimo roll, but it was more of a chiko roll! See the photos.
I didn't have time to count everyone this morning but I guess about 25 kayakers made the trip. To summarise, a perfect day for paddling on a perfect lake. About 11km all up. Nice!
Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 11 March 2014 - Gwandalan, Crangan Bay.
This morning at 8.30 Mark arrived at the Lions Park Gwandalan and had his breakfast after an hour and a half paddle getting there. His breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee as you see from the pics. He had an elaborate set up just for a cup of coffee. No weetbix or iron man food for him!
Twenty four of us set out in 17 kayaks (at my imperfect count) and oh! also Allan's K1 which we left there for rides upon our return.
Turning to starboard we paddled down Crangan Bay and then down Mangrove Gully Creek. Finding logs sealing off the end prematurely, we headed back up the east side of the bay and crossed near Wolstoncroft Point and then down by Gwandalan Bowling Club and home to a well earned cuppa. We travelled on average 8.5 km - some more, some less.
Allan had his K1 with him so he dashed off after the paddle to show us how it is done. Mark had a go twice but found it so tippy he fell out. Please refer to Bob and Harry's pics for a graphic blow-by-blow account of Mark's embarrassing disaster!
Jill made up for it with sandwiches and someone brought the hot water. Kerrie made some ham and avocado wraps which were yummy and healthy and Clare brought her famous orange and blueberry cake. It must have been healthy too as it made you feel good all over. Brian provided healthy chocolate and coffee nut slice recommended by Dr Feel Good! Others brought an assortment so we had our usual feast - but we did miss Sue and Doug's touch.
Photos are here.
See Sue's report on the Tucker Tours trip to Myall Lakes. Click here.
Tuesday 4 March 2014 - Lake Macquarie at Croudace Bay
A strong contender for the most beautiful day award - temperature up to 25°C, breeze 2-4 knots SE, sunny with a few clouds, say no more!
Thomas Halton Park is a nice green stretch between the road and the lake, with all facilities, even if you have to walk a few hundred metres to the dunny. Concrete boat ramp with pebble surrounds and plenty of parking. There were 27 of us today, a barely noticeable shortfall with some members away somewhere else.
We set off turning left and soon found ourselves in civilisation, with many nice boats moored, and an interesting creek, Sheppards Creek, leading us away east and south into Croudace Bay the suburb, again with many boats moored, and interesting nautical back yards. On our way out we met Boston Bill and Kerrie who were late arriving, from East Gosford no wonder! They made the mistake of continuing to the end of the creek before turning around to follow us into the lake. Meanwhile we had continued south easterly and were lost among all the fine vessels parked in the bay, where we stopped and watched a salvage team try and raise a sunken speedboat. That kept our interest for about 10 minutes while we sat very still, meaning that Bill and Kez could not see us there and they headed back towards Warners Bay, and we didn't see them till we all got back.
The rest of us continued along the coast towards Belmont till we got sick of it, then turned around and paddled straight back to base, like tired little teddy bears. Morning tea was different this morning, but what happens at morning tea stays in morning tea, although I will say some kayakers have disgusting personal habits, involving crinkle-cut chips. Anyway, we all had a thoroughly good time in perfect conditions, and are looking forward to doing it again at Gwandalan next Tuesday, hopefully with some coffee. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
We have a small album of Chris's home-made timber kayak project.
Click here!
There is a wonderful art show coming soon. Click here to see the flyer.
Tuesday 25 February 2014 - Wyong River
I got to Wyong River a bit late, so I didn't have time to take the roll, but I think there were at least 36 kayakers today. The weather was sublime - sunny, mild, a southerly breeze of 10 knots which we couldn't even feel...
Off we all went upstream towards the weir, with some paddlers taking the Porters Creek option, and the rest turning around at the weir or climbing over it and paddling right to the very limits, in all the fallen trees and narrow creek.
There is plenty of wildlife in this river, we saw a diamond-backed python, water dragons, and a few azure kingfishers in Porters Creek - beautiful! Unfortunately Harry didn't have his camera ready for the birds or reptiles, but there are plenty of kayakers.
Those who went over the weir and kept going were quite late back, but seeing I didn't have their names I didn't bother to look for them. I'm pretty sure everyone turned up for coffee. Knut's wife Carmel was there, with her equally appealing cousin Anne, from across the Irish Sea. Sylvest came back for another go in Doug's spare kayak, forcing visitor Margit to go home dry and sad. I see from the photos now that Karen and Greg were there, but I never saw them at all! Otherwise it was a top day for us, finishing with morning tea to die from, with all our best cooks bringing their finest wares.
Here are Harry's photos.
Tuesday 18 February 2014 - Waterfall Bay
Still a good turn-up despite the cloudy damp conditions. Thirty-three kayakers came to the Brick Wharf Road in Woy Woy and only two failed to go in the water.
A lesson to be remembered from today is that you reach the railway bridge via the wharf, don't go around the islands, because there are oyster leases and shallow water there. We managed to meet a ferry going out and a Starship Cruiser on the way back. Conditions were, as I said, damp, with occasional rain and lots of falling mist, but it was never cold or windy, and lots of fun for outdoorsy people.
We paddled right up to the waterfall after going under the railway bridge, and some of us called in to the lovely beach on the way back, but no-one was tempted to go for a swim except you-know-who (me). Welcome to newby John Le S, and welcome back Alan M and Sylvest. A lovely morning tea followed, thanks to everyone who brought offerings.
No photos today due to the absence of our photographers.

Tuesday 11 February 2014 - Patonga
What a top morning for kayaking! Thirty kayakers split between the ocean beach and Meroo Avenue at the creek.
Mark, Barry and Gloria, Keith, Jay, Chris and Gary paddled from the beach around Lion Island and over to West Head, then up to the sandy beach before coming straight back across Broken Bay. The rest of us headed upstream in Patonga Creek, enjoying the tranquil waters and peaceful bush on the way. We saw a few sea eagles, and I think Harry got a photo of them.
We paddled back through the oyster leases to the start, but four of us decided to try our luck at the bar. Bob, Rolf, Danny and Trevor paddled out into Broken Bay, with little waves around us (Trevor got flooded by one), then back into the creek with fun for all! Lori came to see what was happening and had a go in the waves too.
We all met for m/t at the rotunda by the beach where people had brought beautiful food, and Sue and Doug had organised coffee for us all - thanks guys! A super day on the water.
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 4 February 2014 - Blackalls Park
Warm, cloudy, windy, just the formula for sticking to the creek at Blackalls Park, to avoid the breeze. Thirty-five paddlers arrived at the very well-appointed park with all facilities.
Rolf and Fred went out under Fennell Bay Bridge into Kooroora Bay and down to Toronto. Having a look at the map I see it's no further than going the whole way up Stony Creek, which is what the rest of us did. Probably shorter! They had a good surf back on the waves ahead of the southerly breeze of 10-15 knots. We paddled up to the end of the Stony Creek and back to Blackalls Park, taking about an hour and a half, just enough for most of us.
A new guy today was Ian, and we made him welcome. Cheers!
Bob's and Harry's photos are here.

Tuesday 28 January 2014 - Davistown
A warm day (28°C), 10-15 knot NE breeze and sunny! Many people flocked to Davistown for the kayaks, 49 in all, some not paddling, two in a speedboat, but a record turnout for the non-club.
Doug had said we'll paddle up the coast from Davistown, so I told Keith we were going to Saratoga, so that's where he went, all on his own! Other people went different ways but most of us turned left and paddled down to Kincumber Broadwater, and eventually into Kinky Creek. Others of us cut the voyage short and got back early, like half past ten, but still a good paddle. Rolf arrived last, and by the time he got his vessel in the water, everyone had disappeared! I know what that's like. He paddled towards Saratoga, then around St Huberts Island, then under the Rip bridge and out towards Ocean Beach! Naturally he was last back by miles.
A very interesting kayak day, followed by the usual feast plus a sausage sizzle and salads - arranged by Sue, thanks so much! A few new people, so welcome to you, you know who you are, and so do I - Marilyn, Tom, Jan, John, Alan...
A nice open water paddle with some creek exploration thrown in, plus a good breeze to toughen you up. Well done everyone! Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 21 January 2014 - Belmont
Such a nice day - Cloudy, misty, 22°C, SE breeze of 10-15 knots. Gloomy enough to keep the attendance down to 25, but very nice for the kayakers.
We pushed off from the South Belmont boat ramp towards Belmont, weaving between all the moored yachts and other interesting vessels, past the 16' Yacht Club and into the mild blue yonder. It was quite easy paddling as we had the wind behind us, though we didn't know that yet, till we got to turn around, at Black Jacks Point, or Cardiff Point, couldn't tell which, where most of us turned around into a stiffish breeze and a 30cm chop. Some paddlers followed the shoreline back to the boat ramp, and some of us took the shortcut across the open lake, bracing the choppy conditions. Quite invigorating!
Rolf, for one, went to Valentines and arrived back somewhat later, along with other keener kayakers. Then we all enjoyed a delicious morning tea/lunch that was greatly appreciated by all. Thanks to all those who brought stuff, especially if you made it with your own little mitts. Very pleasant morning's outing!
PS Bob's and Harry's photos are here.

Tuesday 14 January 2014 - Vales Point, Mannering Park, twilight paddle
With a full moon due tonight, we scheduled our annual twilight cruise from Vales Point down to Rutleys Road and under the pipes to Wyee Creek.
Unfortunately a fresh northerly breeze sprang up about 6 pm and freshened throughout the evening (see Seabreeze graph © below), so as we got out of our cars we suddenly discovered the weather wasn't as good as we hoped. Nevertheless the top end of Wyee Bay being sheltered by Vales Point looked quite calm. Most of the forty odd people who had arrived decided to give it a go and pushed off into the fresh warm tailwind towards Rutleys Road. We stuck to the shoreline, but coming across the bottom of the bay it got quite rough, with waves breaking into our kayak, soaking our legs with warm water, coming as it does from the cooling system of the Vales Point power station.
As we had come via the eastern shoreline, we got a bit lost and many kayakers, led by Doug, went through the pipes at Mannering Inlet into Mannering Bay (trust me, I'm looking at the map!). The rest of us perservered towards Wyee Creek and used the pipes there, nearly getting swamped in the process by the waves coming down the bay. We all met up again at the junction of the creek and the bay, just short of the coal conveyer, and decided to call it quits and head back to the pipes at the bottom of the creek again.
This is where the hard work began, as we struggled against the 15 knot breeze and the oncoming chop. But it was all warm and fuzzy as we finally reached the boat ramp, in the dying moments of the day, so we all were kitted out with our navigation and assorted lights, but not much darkness. Everybody stayed for supper, which was magnificent, and enjoyed the good friendship on offer. Thanks to Doug and Sue for providing all the comforts of home, like hot water, and cups and beverages. A fabulous evening!
See older twilight paddles, click here for January 2012 and here for January 2010. Just close pages after viewing.
Harry's photos are here.

Tuesday 7 January 2014 - Dora Creek
Slightly dodgy-looking weather with 10-20 knot easterly breeze, some rain about, and cloudy. Never-the-less 45 paddlers massed at Doree Place to kayak in the beautiful Dora Creek.
With that many kayakers it's hard to see where they all went, but mostly downstream I think. At the mouth of the creek one had the choice of going left into Eraring Lake, or along the coast north-easterly, or across Bonnells Bay to Shingle Splitters Point (SSP), a beautiful headland with nice trees and stuff. Seven of us paddled across to SSP into a stiff breeze and choppy waves designed to test one's resolve, but not too hard once you got started. For me, a slow-poke, it took only 50 minutes to paddle from Doree Place to SSP, and less to return.
Others went into Eraring Lake, which is quite big, but there's nothing much to see. Others who were new at kayaking didn't even leave the creek.
There were quite a few newbies today, viz. Norm and June from Richmond way, who have been following our adventures on this website for 12 months and now have the opportunity to join us, Peter H from the bike club came for the first time and brought his daughter from England for a new experience for both of them. Some old mates have come back, but quite a few of our regulars were absent. I can see us easily getting to 50 kayakers on a good day!
Morning tea was fabulous, thanks everyone, especially Sue who made heaps of nice sandwiches. So many delicious titbits to eat!
Next week is a twilight paddle, so bring your lights to Manno for something really special. A brilliant paddle today, thanks to all who came! Harry's and Bob's photos are here.

For reports from May 2011 to April 2013 - click here.
For reports from May 2013 to September 2013, click here.

For all older reports (pre May 2011) and the old Photo Album,
go back to the very old website.