Budgewoi - 23 September 2014
Website created on 9 Jan 2009. Last updated on 23 September 2014 1630hrs
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Forthcoming kayaking events (for cycling events, click here) —
Tuesday 30 September 2014 - 9.00am - Koolewong boat ramp, Brisbane Water Drive, UBD map ref 96K4, Google maps ref -33.461711, 151.314225
Click here for Knut's Yummy Recipes.
Knut's Youtube videos are here!
|Welcome to our Website.|
We are an informal group of friends who like the outdoors and a healthy
lifestyle. This page provides a Notice Board where we can display our kayaking
program, and any other information we might want to share, and some photographs
of our activities.
We meet on Tuesdays. Launch time is 0900, so if you want to join us arrive by 0845 please. We have morning tea/lunch afterwards. Bring something nice to eat if you can, and a couple of dollars to cover the tea, coffee, milk etc.
We paddle in all lakes, lagoons, creeks and rivers from Berowra to Clarence Town, and everywhere in between.
We generally paddle for 2 - 3 hours and travel between 6 and 12 km, at a gentle pace.
|Disclaimer - As we are not a club, just a group of individuals who go kayaking together now and then, we have no responsibilities as an organisation, and no organisational status. Anyone who decides to join us on our outings does so on the understanding that they are responsible for their own welfare and safety. People will provide all assistance and advice to visitors, but take no responsibility. Joining our group is on that understanding, and you will be asked to sign confirmation of that fact. We have no insurance - you should provide your own.|
Both the above businesses support our club and will give special discounts to our members.
Click on the logos to go to their websites.
| See new Maritime NSW rules on lifejackets
— Click here.
To summarise: Wear a lifejacket at all times except in enclosed waters (rivers/lakes) within 100 metres of the shore.
|Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail by clicking here. Weekly reports appear below.|
For cycling reports and forthcoming rides click here
|Tuesday 23 September 2014 - Lake Munmorah
A gorgeous spring morning, cool to start at 14°C then warming quickly. Thirty-five kayakers and paddleboard riders (Viv and Carol) made the effort to get out of bed and enjoy a morning of watery delights. Patrick brought along his young friend Jacob, who has never been kayaking before.
Doug pointed us towards the Colongra Wetlands and off we went, though the front markers were away by five to nine... keen! With the water surface looking like glass, we paddled firstly north-westerly then NNE right up to Colongra Point, through beautiful clear water, populated with black swans which flew away when we got closer than 200 metres to them. It's quite spectacular to see the swans all dragging themselves out of the water and struggling to get airborne, with their wings banging into the water and their little feet paddling madly to assist reaching lift-off velocity.
We had a little poke around in the Drowned Forest, with all its dead trees sticking out of the lake, but there was a lot of algae and weed of some sort in between the trees, which clung to one's rudder and generally was a pest. We reached the channel first and most of us paddled up a long way, in the serene and pretty surroundings before heading back out to the lake. While we were up the creek, a NE breeze had sprung up and gave us a 20cm chop to contend with, though mostly the wind was from the side and not too difficult. Once we got around the point again it almost became a tail wind - glad we didn't have it earlier! I found Garry moored on the big marker buoy, waiting to tell Debbie he was paddling straight back to Lizzie Bay, whence he had come earlier.
With a total mileage of about 9km we were tired and happy on our return, and really enjoyed our refreshing morning tea, with lovely sandwiches which Sue had made for us, and cakes and stuff, including Knut's chickpea pikelets with chilli yoghurt, the recipe for which will appear on our recipe page quite soon. This lovely morning makes up for the rugged conditions last week and at Woy Woy on the 19th of August (Golly, is it that long ago already?) which was nasty.
Thanks everyone for coming. Bob's photos are here. Knut's video is here.
|Thursday 18 September 2014 - Hawkesbury Extra Monthly Paddle|
Extra Monthly Paddle - Parsley Bay Brooklyn (Thursday, 18th September 2014)
On a sparkling Sydney spring morning six kayakers arrived at Parsley Bay Brooklyn, for what turned out to be an extraordinary paddle. The morning was sunny with flat water and only a slight breeze (to begin with). We couldn't wait to get going.
Before we made our pre-arranged circumnavigation of Dangar Island, we travelled the length of Long Island and into Sandbrook Inlet (where the large boat anchorage is). Unfortunately before we even reached the tip of Long Island the wind had come in from the west and the outgoing tide was running strongly against us. However that did not deter and we ploughed on into the tide and wind making it quite a strenuous paddle. We stopped frequently to photograph the amazing sandstone formations lining the side of the island with Knut getting out of his kayak at one point to put his head into the "mouth" of a particularly distinctive looking rock, which we described variously as an eagle's head minus beak, or the head of a lioness.
It took us a hour and 30 minutes to make it thus far and at this point the call of coffee on Dangar Island overcame us and we turned around to head back amazingly the tide stayed with us, and the wind dropped somewhat and we accomplished the return trip in less than 30 minutes and with very little effort.
The coffee on Dangar was as good as ever and as we sat enjoying the scenery and ambience of this incredibly beautiful spot, we saw "splashing" out in the bay. A school of dolphins were enjoying the day as much as we were. We hopped back into our kayaks and went out to meet them. How to describe the next 15 minutes is impossible really; hopefully the photos and video will help explain what a magical experience it was. The dolphins stayed around us jumping and splashing through the water approaching us to probably wonder at the strange water creatures around them. They were not afraid of us and seemed to enjoy the encounter swimming alongside the kayaks at times and diving underneath.
Alas they tired before we did and made off to their next adventure and we put some effort into out paddles and arrived back at Parsley Bay just before 1pm. We had travelled just on 12 kilometres, some of it quite strenuous, had a friendly coffee together and paddled with dolphins. A wonderful end to a brilliant day kayaking.
(Paddlers today were Knut, Dennis, Bob, David, Barry and Gloria with Kee arriving with dog and bad cold to wave us off).
Photos are here. Knut's video is here.
|Tuesday 16 September 2014 - Canton Beach|
Warm and cloudy this morning, with 26 kayakers in play, plus me and Doug watching due to other things. A NNE breeze of 15 knots kept us sheltered, but we could see difficulties getting back from the southern end of Tuggerah Lake.
Just after the fleet got across to the State Forest near Wilfred Barrett Drive, a mini storm struck with thunder (everywhere), lightning (stage right) and rain (a few drops). Enough to send Rob/Robyn, Gloria/Barry scurrying back to the boat ramp for safety. Doug ran out with an umbrella for Robyn. Sue's report coming soon. Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Twenty-six paddlers headed off today in what started out as a beautiful sunny spring day, which very quickly changed, with thunder off to our right and threatening clouds overhead. Once on the lake, heading toward North Entrance the rain came. Not for long and not all that heavy, not really enough to dampen the spirits of most.
At this time the wind became more intense and Barry, Gloria, Rob and Robyn decided it was time to return to shore. The rest plugged on and the sun did come out to dry us off a bit, but the wind decided to stay. The majority continued on to North Entrance, turning for home at various different stages. Coming back the wind was relentless creating quite a chop in the water.
On reaching the shore we discovered a few non paddlers had turned up today Graham, Sharon, Colin, Fred, John Daley, Danny and Doug. By the time we were all back, safe and sound, the sun was shining brightly and wind wasn't so bad on shore, back to a beautiful spring day. It was lovely to see some familiar faces today that have been missing in action ie Jenny and Graeme, Judy and Andy; Brian; Patrick and Sylvia. Welcome back guys.
Brian must have really missed his Tuesdays on the water, as he wasted no time in collecting all manner of rubbish, without paddling more that a couple of metres from the boat ramp, including a "surf ski", a plastic garden chair, a wind cheater and a milk crate, not to mention all the usual rubbish that is ever present in the lake. Good job Brian.
A great day out with good friends, good food and exercise in the fresh air can't ask for more. Again the weather forecasters didn't deter us and those that did paddle enjoyed the experience. Near as I can figure we paddled a max. 12km (to the caravan park Nth Ent). After discussion with the group present today, in the next few weeks, we are going to plan a trip to Bobbin Head on a Tuesday, when the tides are right. It was suggested, that "if" you don't have a "National Parks & Wildlife" pass, as a concession card holder, you might like to apply for one to save the cost of $11 to drive through the park to kayak. Apparently, they only take a few days to arrive after you apply (Doug's took 3 days) and you can use them in any National Park in NSW.
|Sunday 14 September 2014 - Myall Classic|
Toukley Kayakers were very well represented in this year's Myall Classic, held yesterday. The morning started out perfectly, but as the morning wore on, and the races began, the wind became stronger and stronger.
In the 47km race, Claire and David came 6th in the 'mixed doubles over 50yrs' in a time of 6hrs 39min, well done guys. Bill Johnstone and his band of "woodies" competed in the 27km race finishing in 14th; 16th; 18th and Bill in 19th position in the 'over 50yrs singles'. Their times were 3hrs 29min; 3hrs 38min; with Bill and Phill almost dead heating on 3hrs 43mins. What a great effort guys, all in the kayaks they made themselves (thus "the woodies). Their training run with us the other Tuesday obviously paid dividends!
The 12km race saw Knut, Doug and Barry compete in the 'over 50yrs singles'. Knut finished 4th in 1hr 30min; Doug 5th in 1hr 40min; Barry 6th in 2hrs 02min. Again, a great result in quite trying conditions for all the paddlers. Looking at the competition before the start of the race, there were some very 'professional looking' outfits, in all shapes and sizes, but our guys weren't daunted and gave it their best and held the banner high for Toukley Kayakers, (who?!?!, well you might ask!). Again, great result, well done all of you.
|Tuesday 9 September 2014 - Cams Wharf|
A perfect Spring day! Sunny, warm, slight breeze... Thirty-six kayakers assembled at Cams Wharf for a morning of adventure and excitement. The venue is excellent with plenty of grass, parking, water on tap, pebbly beach and miles of beautiful lake.
We all set off westerly with Pulbar Island in our sights, into a north-westerly breeze which whipped up a little chop to break over our bows, and sometimes into our cockpits. We soon became totally strung-out, with the fast ones out of sight and the sloggers like me struggling at the back. I suspect that not everyone made it around the island, some turning back or going elsewhere. I, for one, headed to the southern side of the island to meet the others coming the other way. This did indeed happen, so I turned around and joined them, at the western end of the island.
In the meantime (so that would be 11.00am as per the Seabreeze chart below) the breeze died away to nothing and the water calmed nicely. There were still plenty of paddlers behind me and they straggled in over many minutes in various stages of collapse, after a ten kilometre paddle.
Worthy of mention is Claire who paddled from home on Chain Valley Bay at Summerland Point to Cams Wharf, then around Pulbar, back to Cams Wharf then home again, a distance of 33km. Well done Claire! Also worthy of acknowledgement is Darryl who made it to kayaking for the first time in six months.
A good turn-up and a reminder to some to check the destination above before leaving home (not Nords Wharf). Lovely morning tea and a beautiful day out on the water!
Harry and Bob's photos are here, and check out the Seabreeze® chart below.
|Tuesday 2 September 2014 - Ourimbah Creek|
On a mild day, with intermittent showers Jacket on, jacket off 20 kayakers hit the river, including our guests for the day, Harry's daughter and son-in-law from Ingham Nth Qld. Welcome! We also had 3 "irregular' paddlers today and 3 that chose to stay onshore and Merrill who arrived just in time, bringing her scones for morning tea.
We paddled up to the weir for a regroup and photos, then returned to the boat ramp. 7.5km paddled. Bill J, Kee, Phil and Steve continued out to the lake, as training for the 27.5km Myall Classic in a fortnight. This group paddled 12.5km today. Morning tea again was a delicious mixture of Knut's savoury 'eggplant pickles' slice and Merrill's fresh baked scones, jam and cream, and everything else in between. We really are spoilt! The heavy rain was very kind and held off until morning tea was over and most had already left for home. Once more, if you believe the weather forecasts, you would never leave the house and miss out on some really good paddles. Luckily, this group have learnt to decide for themselves, on the morning, at the venue.
Next week will be from Nords Wharf, Newcastle map 185 Q14 with the thought of doing the Pulbar Island circuit, weather and wind permitting.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 26 August 2014 - Wyong River|
On a day when, apparently, it only rains on the east side of the railway line, 15 kayaks turned up, but only 14 hit the water. We paddled up to Porters Creek only to be turned back by fast water over the concrete pipeline support. Self preservation and staying dry, was priority for those that ventured up the creek.
We returned to the river and then on up to the weir for a regroup and chat. It didn't rain while we were paddling, until we hit the east side of the bridge on our return. We returned to the launch site, however some brave souls paddled east of the bridge in light rain toward Tacoma and back approx. 8.5km paddled all up.
Morning tea again proved popular with 6 non-paddlers joining the group huddled under the picnic shelter and standing under the sun shelter for extra protection. Great to see Gail and Glenn and Sharon and Graham back from their travels, even if it was just a fleeting glimpse, as Gail and Glenn head off again this week safe journey guys!
It was noted Danny made a quick visit this morning, but disappeared home again before getting his tail feathers wet.
Next week, dare we say, wet or fine, will be at Sunshine Park, Chittaway.
Bob's photos are here.
|Thursday 21 August 2014 - Knut video|
Click here for the video clip from Bobbin Head/Cowan Creek on 14 August.
|Tuesday 19 August 2014 - Woy Woy|
Cold, wet, windy... Wonder if anyone was brave/stupid enough to front this morning. Awaiting a report. And photos.
Hey, hang on! Here we are! Well done, Sue!
Hello . . . . .hello? Anyone there? Not at Woy Woy you're not. We left home in quite heavy rain, with occasional light rain on the F3/M1 only to arrive at Woy Woy to large blue patches of sky and sunshine. I cannot tell a lie, it didn't last long, before the rain came across the water and it was quite heavy too. The "3 paddlers" that did turn up were "Doug, himself, and him". I wasn't even contemplating it! He had a discussion with himself and decided against it, just in time too, as that is when the rain hit.
We waited until just after 9am, and surprisingly, not a soul turned up. So we headed for home in a mixture of weather and decided to stop at Bateau Bay Stockland for a coffee, funny, as we had a car full of "coffee makings" but nowhere to stop and make one out of the weather. This is only the 4th time we haven't had some sort of paddle on a Tuesday, not bad as the group has been going for 6 years in November. Ahhh, the "Weather Gods", not always kind. As luck would have it, Gosford Council had closed the only toilet block for renovations, which could have been awkward had we all turned up. We will try again next week, but at Wyong River, next to the Wyong Bowling Club.
|Thursday 14 August 2014 - Cowan Creek
Extra Paddle to Bobbin Head
Twelve paddlers arrived bright and early for our Thursday Extra Paddle and assembled at the Canoe/Kayak access ramp on Cockle Creek at Bobbin Head. It was a clear, calm, sunny morning with the promise of a nice few hours paddling on the beautiful waters of Cowan Creek. We headed up Cockle Creek and into the wider Cowan Creek and proceeded in a northerly direction passing many small bays and promising inlets, which we left for another day's exploration, until after 4.5 klms we turned in a north-easterly direction toward Cottage Point.
To this point the tide was with us and we moved along at a nice pace on smooth calm water marvelling at the incredible sandstone formations that lined the cliffs above us. The tenacity of the gum trees that cling to these cliffs has to be seen to be believed. Cottage Point is on the confluence of Cowan Creek and Cole and Candle creeks and is a small collection of homes and a restaurant clinging to the side of the cliffs that dominate this part of the Sydney Basin. Some homes are small modest cottages that line the water's edge while others are towering pole homes that hover in the shimmering bush. The restaurant's tables were lined with lovely white clothes no doubt ready for some elegant dining but not for us, sadly.
At Cottage Point, after 7.5klms, some of us turned back ready to tackle the paddle back against the tide and a rising wind. A good proportion of the party went on for another 1klm are so and then turned for home base. The paddle back was a little more strenuous due to the wind and tide until we turned the corner and headed in a more southerly direction when the wind seem to die and we had a delightful paddle along the beautiful Cowan Creek. Distances travelled were 15klms for the early returnees and 16.5 for the others not a bad days paddle on a lovely waterway and through the stunning Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
After landing we had morning tea/lunch, thank you Claire for the delightful and warm zucchini slice and Doug for the hot water, where we all agreed it had been a most enjoyable day. We have some photos. They are here.
|Tuesday 12 August 2014 - Hawkesbury River, Mooney Mooney|
The weather forecast was unfavourable, yet, undaunted, 11 paddlers arrived at Deerubbun Point where it was c c c cold, but fine. Kayaks were quickly unloaded and all were ready to hit the water by 8.50am, by which time we figured no one else was going to arrive. Gloria and Sue decided it best if they stayed behind and mind a spot for morning tea or we could sit in the warmth of the car and wait 'til the paddlers returned. Guess which option we chose?!
The paddle exited the boat ramp and paddled past Peat Island on the inside channel to the HMAS Parramatta hull. They regrouped there and pondered the wreck or what is left of it, and watched two pair of Eagles overhead. They continued on to Bar Point wharf where the decision was made to turn back. Across to Prickley Point, through Milson Passage, they then followed the shoreline to Olga Bay then across the river back to the boat ramp. The water was quite glassy up to the 'Parramatta' and there they encountered a slight wind. A pleasant glassy return made for a very enjoyable paddle indeed. A paddle which nearly didn't eventuate, but, we have learnt to ignore weather forecasts and decide at the venue on the morning and this method hasn't failed us yet. Morning tea was ready and waiting and a nice hot cuppa was appreciated by all. A great outing with good friends, how lucky are we?!?
A total of 11.2km was paddled today. Oh, and no, it didn't rain! Bob's photos are here.
Next week Woy Woy Lions Park, Brickwharf Road, Woy Woy - to paddle toward Saratoga for a change.
|Myall Shores Winter Camp - August 2014|
There was a consensus amongst us (Debbie & Gary, Sue & Doug, Gloria & Barry, Carmel & Knut), that the Myall Shores Winter Camp was an unqualified success.
We could not have wished for better weather and only those arriving on Saturday 2nd August experiencing the real bite of the cold. Otherwise we had beautiful sunny days with very little wind to worry us. Evenings were cool, of course, but with our warm clothes and one patio heater we managed to keep the cold at bay the gluhwein (made by Knut) also helped.
As a kayaking venue, Myall Shores Holiday Park offered everything you could wish for; having access to the Broadwater on one side and Two Mile Lake on the other. The launching areas were sandy with some gravel, but not too much to worry us. Throughout the main group's stay we did 5 paddles over the four days and the distances were fairly consistent with Monday's, seeing two paddles, one of 11kms in the morning and for some of us another 6kms in the afternoon. This was the more difficult Kayak, as the wind had come up by this time. On Tuesday we achieved another 11kms, heading south and paddling parallel to Mungo Brush Road.
On Wednesday we managed a mammoth (for some of us) 12.2kms, going westward toward the entrance to the Myall River, as it comes from Bulahdelah. This was especially exciting for Carmel, as it was her longest paddle yet and as she is our most recent paddler, quite an achievement. This paddle was famous for its idyllic conditions, glassy water with stunning reflections all-round and not a breath of wind; only a power boat and our paddles causing ripples.
On Thursday morning, going home day, only the boys went kayaking. The paddlers went up into Two Mile Lake, but had a more difficult time of it as the wind had come up. Nevertheless in the short time they were gone they managed to paddle 7.6kms.
It was with some reluctance that we turned for home from Myall Shores. It a place we all want to return to. Given the beautiful clear waters, this would be ideal for swimming in warmer weather and as such become a possible venue for a camp later in the year.
Photos are here. Knut's lovely video is here.
|Tuesday 5 August 2014 - Budgewoi - Bob's Report:|
Approximately 25 kayakers met for a serene paddle in idyllic August conditions from Budgewoi Creek to the Hammond Canal power station inlet channel.
We paddled past Green Point, Buff Point, Mandalong Point and Ourringo Point, arriving at the inlet after paddling for 5.7 klms. The wind was a mere wisp on the outward journey with a perfect blue cloudless sky however on the return leg we were accompanied by a slight breeze creating small ripples on an otherwise placid surface.
We were joined by some new people and a friend of Amber's from the United States whose name I think was Chris. Sorry for forgetting the other names however we did seem to have a surfeit of Bobs new and old amongst the inveterate throng. Morning tea was greatly appreciated after our paddle.
Hi Danny report as follows
Twenty five enthusiastic paddlers departed from McKenzie Park Budgewoi, destination the hot water channel. It was a cool but sunny day with water so calm you could see your own reflection in it, which was only disturbed by the movement of the paddles. We made a colourful picture in our various vests and kayaks as we paddled the eleven kilometre return journey. (Though some of us just paddled around and enjoyed the sunshine.) I asked Mark our fearless leader what was the wind direction he sagely replied "it depends on which way you are pointed" enough said.
The paddle today was enjoyed by all, and those of you who went shopping or stayed in bed you missed a great day. A lot of our regulars were away at Myall Lakes for the winter camp, hope it's not too cold.
We had three new members and Amber's friend Chris from the USA join us today. Welcome.
A big thank you to Mark for leading and briefing. Jill for the morning tea and all who supplied the extra goodies (we missed our good cooks) Fred for counting heads. As usual Tuesday turned out once again to be one of the best days of the week, water, sunshine, good company and food. Happy Paddling,
PS Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 July 2014 - Summerland Point, Sandy Beach|
A little cool for some, but really a nice sunny day, with a NW breeze (see Seabreeze© Graph below) and a cloudy sky. Actually a very beautiful cloud arrangement on the way back, hope Bob saw it.
Forty-two kayakers, plus Maisie The Dog, with many regulars away, as is always the case. Mark S and Wally started somewhere else, but caught up with us on the way over. Some new paddlers, including my old mate Fried, who paddled a sit-on and did very well, catching up with me on the way back. Fried usually paddles out around Birdie Island, so knows his way around the sea, being an old sailor and everything.
Ian and Jeff came back for another go, and new Pete came with his paddleboard, of which he is somewhat of a champion, having won his division of the Hawkesbury Classic - 110km standing up! Today he kept up with everyone, even in the strong headwind, and beat most people, well done!
We started off going across the top of Chain Valley Bay to Mannering Park, then down the coast past the power station. I never forget the time when the substation blew up a few years ago - glad we weren't nearby then, it went off with a hell of a bang. Darcy's wife shit herself, living nearby as they did!
At the bottom of the Bay we mostly turned around and paddled straight back to Black Neds Point, which took a while, in the wind. Mark went up the creek at Chain Valley Bay South (CVBS), but got caught in the stronger breeze later. After what seemed like a marathon paddle, but was shorter than going down to CVBS, we got back to the very nice venue of Sandy Beach. Sue as usual organised the morning tea and we tucked in like ravenous vultures, at least I did!
A very pleasant morning kayaking with friends, thanks to all who attended. Next week we'll go to Budgewoi for a quiet splash around. Maybe the week after we'll go to the Hawkesbury again. Talk next week. Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 22 July 2014 - Mannering Park/Wyee Creek|
Forgot to count everyone today but I think about 30 paddlers, plus a couple of non-paddling support staff, like Jan Stone and Wendall. It was quite cold to start but sunny and scattered cloud. It sooned warmed up in the tepid waters of Wyee Bay, so we saw a few jackets being wrenched off by the pipes.
Not much to say about this paddle except it is always lovely, especially the Enchanted Lake, with all its dead trees. Very quiet and peaceful, but the guys who went right up to the top did see some azure kingfishers, always a delight! We all worked up a good thirst and appetite by the time we got back. Luckily everyone brought heaps of delicious food, and Sue supplied the tea, coffee and Milo, as usual, thanks Sue, not to mention the sandwiches which she makes every Tuesday morning.
We had some new people today, viz Jeff and Ian, from down Budgewoi and Wamberal respectively, who found our website, and many old friends, nice to see you all again, thanks for coming! Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 15 July 2014 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie|
This venue is tricky to find, not helped by my forgetting to put the name of the street here last week. However 21 kayakers finished up arriving, on a beautiful morning, bits of sun and blue sky but mostly cloud, 16°C, no wind at all so glassy lake surface all morning - fabulous!
We were here only on 3 June, paddling south, so today we headed north today to Silverwater and Balcolyn, as far as Shinglesplitters Point, where I turned around while the rest of them hugged the coast to Bonnells Bay, another 500 metres. They found many interesting things in the water, including a shark, while I saw nothing. But I did go wide into the lake and finished up paddling across to Point Wollstonecroft Recreation Area, getting back to the boat ramp with the others. The water was so smooth and quiet it was like being on a little pond, not a huge lake. Linda and Chris Fairman came a bit later, and, not being able to find us, paddled over to Pulbar Island for a circumnavigation.
Morning tea then ensued, a happy gathering munching away on the lovely food, including Knut's specialty, and Sue's yummy sandwiches. A very pleasant day out kayaking with our wonderful club. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Thursday 10 July 2014 - Mangrove Creek paddle|
Monthly Paddle Five hardy souls turned up on a sparkling winter's morning for a paddle from Spencer. Although the night had been blustery and the wind, on occasions, had howled when morning came it had died down and the result was a clean windswept day with blue skies and bright sunlight we could not say it was warm but the temperature was warmer than the two mornings before and we had no trouble imagining a delightful winter day paddle. Spencer is a very small town which boasts a shop, a caravan park, public wharf and boat ramp. On driving past the caravan park we noticed the lighted sign which advertised boat launching so we went in to enquire and sure enough for the sum of $10 we were able to use the facilities offered there, the proprietor assured us our cars would be watched over, and if needed, we only had to call him and a rescue boat would be sent to our assistance (the latter we were not too keen to take advantage of).
Besides a very wide boat ramp the caravan park offered what appeared to be a small sandy beach enough for all five kayaks to be beached at the same time so it was off with the kayaks and on with our winter paddling gear. As we had missed the tide (high) we were advised to go up Mangrove Creek as conditions would be easier there. The creek was very wide and lined either side with mangroves (hence the name) the water was somewhat muddy and at times quite shallow but we managed to avoid the ignominy of having to walk. Against the tide and occasional wind gusts it was a slow paddle upstream but we were not in a hurry and the day was too pleasant to rush. We consoled ourselves that the return trip with tide and wind with us would be like a run downhill.
We paddled on until we reached Popran Creek just under 5kms from the start at this point the wind started to make itself seriously felt and paddling against it and the tide required hard work besides which we had set ourselves a goal of 5kms so we turned around to start back for homebase. For the first kilometre we had no need to paddle the wind at our backs and on our paddles sped us along at a fantastic pace. After this of course it died off and returned only to blow in our faces and make it a much more strenuous paddle than we had anticipated. Nevertheless we all thoroughly enjoyed our day on the water and pronounced the day a great success.
On returning to our nice little beach we discovered it was only a couple of metres of sand and with the tide now well down the 'beach' had become mud into which we sank to mid calf however we all got out safely and then spent some time washing the mud from kayaks and boots this being the only negative part about the day and what is a little mud between friends or on kayaks!
After the washing and tying of kayaks back on to cars we retired to Lorraine's farm for soup, sandwiches and coffee and a rehash of the day's events. A great day enjoyed by Knut, Bob, Lorraine, Barry and Gloria. (Photos are here.)
Hi Gloria and Danny,
Our recent trip to Spencer for an additional kayak/paddle, once a month, also resulted in a little video.
The report, which Gloria wrote, gives a good indication of the fun and enjoyment we five had on the day.
Hope that for the next outing in August, some more kayakers decide to join us. Anyway, here is the link for the video from Spencer and Mangrove Creek.
|Tuesday 8 July 2014 - Croudace Bay, Lake Macquarie|
A brilliant morning at home, barely a breeze and cool, to arrive to a very cold strong wind and white caps across the bay. Hmm, time for a rethink and change of venue. So off we all headed to Thomas H Halton Park at Eleebana, only a couple of kms around the bend but a completely different scenario. Still cold but the wind was less and the water was much calmer. Twenty-four paddlers headed up Shepherds Creek through all the boats moored there to Hartley Point. At that stage most returned for coffee and 6 continued across the bay to Boughton Point paddling along the shoreline to Awaba Bay returning across the lake to Rocky Point and on to the boat ramp.
Morning tea had all the usual trimmings and delights, especially the hot Pumpkin Soup provided by Fred and Colin, which was very much appreciated after battling the cold wind. We had 4 non paddlers and 2 enquiries from interested locals today. Those paddlers that went the extra distance paddled 8.7km, a bit of a loss for the coffee junkies that headed back early. Pretty good day considering at 8.30am it looked like a non event.
At morning tea Sue presented Gloria with a canvas print photo for her 70th birthday, which was yesterday. Happy Birthday Gloria.
Both our resident photographers, Harry and Bob, were present today, so we should have some good photos from the day. Next week we are heading to Sunshine not Sunshine Park Sunshine Newcastle map 184 L7.
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 1 July 2014 - Ourimbah Creek, Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay|
Just the 27 paddlers and supporters today, including 3 boys on holidays. It was cool of course, but the sunbshine and otherwise perfect conditions prevailed.
We all paddled upstream to the weir, with nearly everyone going over the top. This took quite a bit of work to get everyone safely over the weir or rocks. Recent floods have brought down more dead trees and nearly blocked one of our routes upstream near the weir. We all learned the skills to drag oneself out of the kayak and onto the wall, and get back in without getting wet. Mark Os had his great nephew in the front seat, Cody, 8, and he put in the effort to paddle upstream. He never had to get out, even though Mark was out all the time, even falling in the river at one stage. But on the way back Cody flaked out and only his head was above the gunwale. My mistake - looking at the photos I see he did disembark at the weir on the way back.
After the weir there were a couple of good obstructions which most of us surmounted. Nigel finally made it over the weir, when I wasn't watching him, but called it quits at the first logjam. Quite a lot of us made it all the way, and felt it was worth the effort. Then we had to do them all over again on the way down, but it always seems easier going back down, as the water was actually flowing above the weir. Plus there was a slight tailwind downstream too, plus it's downhill.
We missed Doug and Sue, as they were coming back from Queensland, but Jill and Trevor did a good job with the morning tea. We didn't miss anyone else as we can't remember who they are. A top day paddling in the sunshine and fresh air, thanks to everyone who came.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 1 July 2014 - Letter from Chris Fairman|
Hi to all the PPPPs! Having a great time over the other side. Some fantastic water to paddle on. The water below is still a bit hard. And above is the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, and has 48 ft tides. Not sure I would like to paddle there as the water moves at a very high speed in and out.
Hope Sue gets well soon. See you all again in a couple of weeks. See photos here.
|Diane Rhedey's Ride to Conquer Cancer|
Diane is a member of the bike club and is riding in this charity ride in October to help conquer cancer. She is a 68 y-o cancer survivor and a great lady. The ride involves a 200km ride over 2 days on 11 & 12 October. If you want to find out more about the ride or even donate some money towards her goal, then click here.
|Tuesday 24 June 2014 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo|
Winter started today, with temperatures from 11°C to 16°, and westerly winds blowing dogs off chains. Twenty-two paddlers made the effort, plus Jill who came but didn't go in the water. We also saw Garry on the creek, but he launched at the wrong place, and went back there afterwards, not coming to m/t. Some notable attendees were Jim and Judy, with their dog Maisie, who travelled in a little hut on the back of Judy's kayak. Both Harry and Bob were there so we should have some good photos today. Lori came and brought Ken with her, welcome to all the newbies!
Despite the cool conditions and the wind, the sky was sunny and the creek valley is well-protected from the wind, so we paddled up to the confluence with Spring Creek, though I think everyone went left with Wallarah Creek. Not far up there is a little tributary which most of us paddled up, to the end, a few hundred meters, then up the next fork which goes further, before coming back and continuing up Wallarah, many kayakers making it to the obstacles. Doug had gone straight up there and muscled his way over the logs to have a look around, but as no-one else was there he came back, for safety. Quite a few of us hadn't been up here before, so it was a novelty for them.
We saw a few azure kingfishers, one of the country's most beautiful birds, but they're too quick to photograph. No other birds were seen, except for a few ducks at the bridge. We did see an unusual plant of the most amazing colour in the water, but it turned out to be plastic, in a pot in the water. Should be a photo there.
Last week Wally and Mark Steele paddled from Belmont, but on the way back they were hit by a big wind change, which made it very interesting for them. No remote launchers today apart from Gaz, and that was a mistake.
Jill and Col set up the morning tea for us, thanks guys, so we had the stuff all ready for our return. Sue was too ill to come kayaking today, but got up early and made boxes of sangers for our lunch for Doug to bring before retiring again. Thanks so much Sue, greatly appreciated! Apart from some banana bread, there were no sweeties today, just delicious savoury things, like Knut's falafels and minted yoghurt, and dips and cheese and sandwiches of course. So all you geezers who thought it was too yucky to get out of bed - you missed a top day! Harry and Bob's photos are here.
PS Mark has done a top job renovating my Prijon. The after-sales service is fantastic! Check out the Seabreeze graph for today
|Tuesday 17 June 2014 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point|
Another beautiful morning today, a bit better than last week, with cool temperatures and a gentle breeze. Twenty-seven souls on board, one not paddling.
I wanted to go along the lake shore to Warners Bay, but I wasn't allowed, so we all went up the creek. After we got to the junction of the Brush Creek and Cockle Ck most of us went via the latter, while Doug and someone else went up Brushy, to the right. I turned around here and paddled back with Col, as we had paddled far enough. I took the right fork at the island and paddled around under the bridges and out onto Lake Macquarie, a total of about 8km. Those who paddled up Cockle Creek turned around before the end, going about 10km, according to Bob.
Eventually everyone came back safely (I had their names recorded in case), and Sue put on a superb morning tea, with the help of our generous members. We are very lucky to have someone like Sue, and Dougie too. And me. Mark St Eele and Wally launched at Belmont and paddled an extra 12km to the start. And back again afterwards, kayaking about 35km for the day. They met strong breezes and choppy conditions at the early start, Mark copping a wave right in the chest - lucky he had his apron on! Mark Osb was also there, making himself useful helping out. He took my Prijon home to do some maintenance on it, thanks Mark! Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 10 June 2014 - Gosford|
A few early showers deterred many people from coming, but for those of us who came anyway, it was worth the effort.
Yes, a bit wet before 8.45am, but the weather then cleared to a still, cloudy/sunny morning, so we all piled in our kayaks and took off across the Broad Water. The main contingent was way ahead of me,but Dennis kept me company in the chase group, thanks Dennis. I stopped at Tascott to get my apron sorted, and Mark and Chris Mason caught up. Mark then continued on after the others, on the way to Woy Woy, while Chris and I went back, paddling over to Point Fred first. The Woy Woy group were hassled by dolphins near the islands!
Mark deserves a whole report of his own, so amazing was his feat. He got up at 1.30 this morning, left home by two, drove to Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, and launched his kayak there at 4.00am. He stopped at Lion Island for half an hour around six, as he couldn't see anything. Then he continued to Gosford, arriving at about 8.45am. I offered him a lift back to Parsley Bay in the Pajero, but he insisted on paddling back the next 26-30km himself. Up to 60km! I was happy with about 10, so was Chris.
Everybody got back OK, loaded up their shit and we had a lovely m/t, with sandwiches by Sue, thanks Sue, and coffee and everything. Very pleasant, and only the smallest rain showers during the paddle, clearing up for the packing up. Although Harry was there, he didn't have his camera, so there are no photos.
|Monday 9 June 2014 - New videos from Knut|
Knut has made some new videos of the Summerland Point outing and Parsley Bay last week. Click here. Also, new kayak rack for small sedan on sale at Club Notices.
|Thursday 5 June 2014 - Parsley Bay|
Eight intrepid adventurers met under a cloudy sky at Parsley Bay Boat ramp - some had driven through overcast conditions to get there while others had endured pouring rain and hair-raising semi drivers on the M1.
After a brief board meeting it was decided that we should paddle but maybe the picnic on the beach was a little too much to ask for under the current weather conditions. There was little wind, and the brief glimpses of blue sky gave us confidence in the decision to get the boats wet. We set off in the direction of Mullet Creek with the intention of exploring it to some extent, but after about half a kilometre the danger from unmarked submerged oyster beds and a sky that now had no blue but had become an ominous grey, with long strands extending into the hills, caused an impromptu committee meeting, and a decision to explore the opportunity of a open coffee shop on Dangar Island.
Within minutes of turning back toward Dangar, the rain began, and we completed the distance in a heavy shower. Fortunately the coffee shop was open and Claire had money (the only one who did) so we retired there for a hot coffee to fortify us for our journey back. The coffee shop was very welcoming with no discrimination for our dishevelled appearance and dripping clothes. The only down side to our stop was that when we got back into our kayaks, we had to sit in puddles of rainwater - not a pleasant sensation at all!
The rain had stopped by the time we restarted our paddle and, encouraged by the wisps of lighter sky, we decided to go the long way back around the island, however it was only a brief hiatus and, within minutes of setting off, the rain started again in a steady downpour that showed no signs of stopping; the bright strip of sky completely gone. Barry, who had forgotten to take either a hat or a rain jacket, led the push and rushed to finish the paddle, arms working like pistons to get out of the rain. Our bedraggled group arrived at the shore dripping wet but with enthusiasm and spirits undampened. There was no washing of kayaks on this occasion but a rush to load up and tie down and then we repaired to a shelter for hot mushroom soup (provided by Claire) rolls, coffee (fish and chips for one lucky member) and much laughter and talk of our next special event. Combatants were Colin, Fred, Claire, Kee, Dennis, Knut, Barry, Gloria. Distance travelled was just shy of 10 kilometres (we added one for the rain). Photos are here. Knut's video is here.
|Chris's trip to Alaska|
Thought you might like a couple of pictures from our Alaska/Canada trip.
At a waterfall at the foot of Mendenhal Glacier, Alaska . We paddled 5 miles in a 30 ft 10 man canoe powered by only 3 men and 3 women none of whom had paddled before apart from the guide, so it was a fair workout, especially as you get closer to the glacier and you get a strong headwind off the glacier that puts up 1 ft waves. The water is only 1°C and the air is 2°C, with a wind chill that makes it feel like minus 10 (I think).
I went for a kayak paddle at Ketchikan (much better than a 10 man canoe). Got in off a wharf - never even got wet! Paddled 50m and right in front of us a humpback whale surfaced, much to everybody's delight. We were all so taken aback that nobody got a photo. Went on to see bald eagle catch a salmon and take it back to the nest. Also saw seals and otters. All very exciting.
Below is an iceberg we passed on the way. Glacier face 250 feet high. Photos are here.
Bye for now and happy paddling.
|Tuesday 3 June 2014 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie|
A new venue today, so we had a few kayakers get a bit lost on the way in, but it was worth any effort to join in this fantastic day of paddling in beautiful Lake Macquarie. Conditions were superb, given that it's winter - sunny, light breeze, 21°C, water sparkling clear...
Thirty-two kayakers made their way to Sunshine Park (not to be confused with that other one at Chittaway - no comparison!), most by car but a couple (Wally and Mark St Eel) paddled from Cams Wharf, past Pulbar Island. Mark has a beautiful new Prijon Marlin - see the photos! Claire could have paddled across from nearby Summerland Point, but she would have done an extra 20km in the process.
To top off the perfect conditions, many kayakers saw some dolphins near the yachts at Sunshine - breathtaking! We paddled down past Casuarina Point, hugged the shore around Hampsons Bay, and around Fishery Point, where that well-known road goes to. Into Mirrabooka and circumnavigate Sugar Bar, with millions of dollars worth of boats moored there, south around another not named peninsular and into Bardens Bay.
Bardens Bay is quite big, but we paddled around it as well, to the interesting Lake Petite and adjoining creek. I paddled straight across Bardens Bay to my friends Keith and Barb's house, but they weren't there anyway.
Heading back was easier, except for the headwind, as we paddled straight across the mouths of the bays instead of exploring every last inch of them. We were most of us back about 2 hours after we started, with about 11 or 12 kilometres under our hulls.
Morning tea was particularly delicious with a wide range of savoury and indulgent food, thanks to everyone who brought something! Such a delightful day on the water, we are so lucky to have this place and this sport!
Harry and Bob's pictures are here.
|Message from Linda|
Weather fantastic. Water warm for swimming. Camper going good. Just spent 3 days in Karijini NP camping. Lots of spectacular scenery - gorges, canyons, swimming holes and waterfalls. We walked, waded, and swam through 4 canyons/gorges. Took lots of photos. Before that we had 3 days kayaking/camping/snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range NP. We slept on the beaches in tents, kayaked out to the reef, dropped anchor and snorkelled with thousands of fish, turtles and small reef sharks. We also did a day trip on a boat to snorkel with the whale sharks. That was awesome, the biggest one we saw was 10 metres long and we were swimming along beside it. Heading for Broome tomorrow.
|Tuesday 27 May 2014 - The Entrance|
This could be the last of the warm days, so we didn't waste it. Thirty-five people assembled at North The Entrance, including Col who stayed in the carpark looking after our stuff.
Several destinations were decided on, mostly Tumbi Tumbi Creek, to paddle under the new bike path bridge. Other guys just went onto the lagoon under the entrance bridge and out to sea (Glenn). It was a long haul out to Tumbi, so I gave up after 45 minutes and headed back, but it still took me an hour to get back, via the lagoon. Others were more dedicated and went the whole way, as you will see from Harry's photos, including Jill who was the last to get back, about an hour after me. The north-easterly sprang up to give the late returners something to remember.
There was some jerk on a jet-ski who finished up rushing Fred in her kayak, then scrambling for a quick departure when they realised it was a bad idea, but not before Fred and Col got their vehicle number, so we'll see what happens with that. Arseholes!
Doug's brother and sister-in-law, and their mate, joined us for m/t, and Lori brought Ken to paddle with us. Very sociable! A nice safe day on the water.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Harry got some more shots of darters feeding. Fantastic! Just slide your cursor over these thumbnails to see bigger picture|
Three at once
Baby feeding baby?
|Tuesday 20 May 2014 - Wyong River|
Good to see Trevor at the river today - arm all cast up and in a sling, with a bad cut. About 25 other kayakers were also there. Some of our clan are up at Forster on other kayaking business.
A beautiful day for the end of May, 23°C, no breeze in the river valley, cloudy... Nothing too exciting today, just paddle down to the lake and back. Round trip - 12km. Some keener paddlers set off for The Entrance and they all came back except Mark Steele who was still missing when I left, but I'm sure he's fine!
Funny thing about paddling, or any sport, it's tough to get going but eventually the endorphins kick in (that's the word, Amber!) and it all feels easier and you can keep going for ages. Well, 12km seems ages. New lady Diane was with us again, while her fiancé Chris went down to C-Kayaks and picked up his new kayak. Hasn't got it wet yet, but. A very pleasant kayaking day with no pressure to compete, just do your own thing.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Monday 19 May 2014 - Jenny & Graeme|
Hi Danny, It's been a while since we last wrote - we have had a busy time kayaking, cycling swimming and now bush walking.
The kayaking group we joined have been great as we have been able to explore the area with people with local knowledge. At a weekend camp out of Noosa we got the vibe that they would prefer if we knew how to get out of our double in the event that it rolled over - rolled over our sturdy/stable kayak? - no way - yes way - big time and fairly easy. We mastered the "wet exit" technique while upside down in the water and learned how to get back into the kayak which was full of water. The main reason for knowing how to do this "wet exit" is because mostly the group paddles in Morton Bay which can be get very rough with 1 to 2 metre waves and 25 knot wind very quickly. It is very handy to know how to do this with skirts on, as how quickly things on the water can change.
We have paddled to North Stradbroke Island from the mainland, the Noosa River for a three day camp, and around several islands in the bay. We haven't even been to places such as the Gold Coast paddling yet as there is so much around the Brisbane area to do. We have yet to finish sections of the Brisbane River, which we will do over the next few weeks with the kayak group.
We cycled the Gateway Bridge a couple of weeks ago - this was a bit of an anti-climax as we thought that this would be a massive uphill push, but it wasn't - it was relatively easy. The cycle paths are great, even the on-road sections which are fairly wide. The new legislation of the 1 metre under 60kph and 1.5 metre over 60kph works a treat up here with all, bar one motorist, giving heaps of room.
We got around 5 weeks to go up here and still have heaps to do and see and will be out and about as much as possible.
Cheers for now.
Graeme & Jennifer.
|Tuesday 13 May 2014 - Summerland Point|
Another perfect day, 22°C, no breeze... I did call in at Sandy beach on the way to see if anyone went to the wrong venue - Harry was there, staring into his phone, so my trip wasn't wasted.
About 35 kayakers were present, but I didn't mark the roll as we were spread over two carparks and it would have taken too long. We got going a couple of minutes before nine, by accident, so a couple of latecomers were left high and dry - Garry and Keith included.
A couple of us went across to Brightwater for their paddle, while the rest of us wove our way through all the nice boats heading north to Point Wollstonecroft and Pulbar Island. Some of us paddled up Bonny Boy Gully, which is a nice creek, but it gets narrow and we had to reverse out till we could turn around. It's a fair hike, especially when you haven't paddled at all for 6 weeks. I went ashore at the beach at the point, noting that it's not much of a beach, just shells like an ancient aboriginal midden, but at least somewhere to stand if you need to stretch your legs. Getting back in though I had a slight mishap and sat in the water, with my kayak upside down beside me. With Bill Atko's help we got the water out of the craft and he held it while I got back in again. What a nice young man!
Some keen paddlers went around Pulbar Island, and a couple went across the south face to meet the others, thereby adding a few ks to their total for the day. About 11.5km for the Pointers, and up to 14 odd for the islanders. Two guys called Mark went round the island and saw dolphins on the other side! A great day on the water! You really appreciate it when you are forced to miss a few days.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 6 May 2014 - Myuna Bay|
On a crisp clear morning we arrived at Myuna Bay to be greeted by crystal clear water looking like glass not a breath of breeze. Soon after we arrived Claire, Fred and Mark arrived, having set off from Summerland Point and paddling across to meet the group (9.5km). 25 kayaks (30 paddlers) travelled along the shoreline to Wangi Wangi in perfect conditions. It wasn't very long before jackets were being taken off as it really was quite warm on the water. After a regroup at this point about 50% decided to return to Myuna Bay as we had paddled for an hour at this stage. The rest of the group went on to Wangi Wangi Point where the consensus was to return to Myuna Bay, except for Doug and Wally, who decided to circumnavigate Pulbar Island. Fred and Mark had paddled around the island in the opposite direction without going to Wangi Wangi Point. When Doug and Wally returned morning tea was well underway with all the usual delights and some very long social chats. No one seemed to be in a rush to leave today as the temperature had really warmed up by then and it was just so pleasant in the sun. Total for the "long paddle" today was 15.35. Mark, Fred and Claire would have done much more kms by the time the got back to Summerland Point, and everyone else did around 9 12km depending on far far around the point they went. Another great day with great friends on beautiful Lake Macquarie.
Sue & Doug
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 April 2014 - Tuggerah Lake, Gorokan|
Gorokan Co-op was the venue today. A fine clear day with an almost mirror finish on the lake. 36 kayaks headed toward Wyong River. Wally paddled up from The Entrance to join the group, Nigel joined us for his first paddle with the group, paddling from the Toukley Sea Rescue. Welcome Nigel (you've come to the dark side). Mark loaned his kayak to Amber to try, while he and Wendall shopped for prawns. Calm warm conditions on the lake for our 11.5km paddle. Perfect day for it.
On returning to the Co op, Sue and her band of helpers Gail, Chris J and Keith had the BBQ underway. We had 8 non-paddlers attending today including Danny after his op and Keith Hornery with his new knees (6 weeks today, well done!). I think we had 48 people in total. It's amazing how they come out of the woodwork when you mention a BBQ, but on a perfect Autumn day like today, who could blame them. A great social gathering.
Next week's paddle is Myuna Bay. Today's photos from Harry and Bob are here.
|Tuesday 22 April 2014 - Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn|
Paddling Report 22nd April 2014 - The Hawkesbury River from Parsley Bay.
A beautiful calm, cool and sunny morning greeted the 35 paddlers who paddled The Hawkesbury today. Many of us thought it was one of the best paddles we (Toukley Kayakers) have done. There were quite a few doubles today (about 28 kayaks in total) and some of the more energetic paddlers started at Patonga and met us at Parsley Bay.
We headed for Brooklyn first and a leisurely paddle past the local pool and marina. We followed the causeway at Brooklyn for a while and then headed off to Dangar Island. At this point Kee peeled off and joined his "other" group at Hawkesbury Railway Bridge. Apparently, this group cannot believe the numbers Toukley attracts. I pointed out that this was because we have more fun! We circumnavigated Dangar Island, passing some beautiful and some just plain interesting homes along the water's edge. Gloria and I were tempted to stop for coffee at a cute café on the island but decided that should wait for another day.
After completing the circumnavigation we headed across the water to Alison Point, Wondabyne. Here we experienced the quintessential Hawkesbury River landscape; beautiful sandstone rock formations, enormous sheer cliff faces, twisted redtrunked Angophoras and Grass Trees in flower. We detoured into Tank Cove where there is a bit of a waterfall. We also saw a pair of stunning Sea Eagles near here (I hope Harry's photos turn out!). Continuing along this shoreline we paddled past Little Wobbly Beach and some more fascinating housing to Croppy Point, then headed back to Parsley Bay. A total of 11.5km paddled today.
As usual a scrumptious morning tea awaited including Easter Eggs! Thanks again to Sue and Doug for providing tea and coffee. It was also lovely for me to catch up with everyone today. Happy Paddling! Photos for today are here.
A team of us (Mark, Amber, Fred, Colin, Mark Steele) paddled from Patonga to Parsley Bay to join the others. To see a map of their route, slide your cursor over the thumbnail below.
|Tuesday 15 April 2014 - Swansea|
With grey skies, but not raining, we headed off to Swansea, where the heavens opened as we all got out of our cars. Nice! A quick decision was made to head around to the eastern side launch area (Coon Island) where there is an under cover BBQ. This decision was made whilst huddled under the awning of the toilets, (not a venue of choice, but any port in a storm) the only shelter on this side of the bay.
Around at the barbecue area, the tea, coffee and morning tea delights all appeared and a 'pow wow with refreshments' was soon underway as to "if, when and what is the plan of action". By 9.30, nine (9) of the 22 present decided it was now or never, as the rain had momentarily ceased. They paddled from Coon Island to Pelican inlet and the boat channel, returning via Swan Bay, around a couple of islands, returning to Coon Island all with the outgoing tide.
Even on a grey day like today, the water was clear and varying in shades of blue, from a deep blue to almost turquoise in shallower sections over the white sand. A beautiful expanse of water. A total of 7.5km was paddled on what was very nearly a "no paddle day". When the paddlers returned, only four (4) people had stayed to welcome them back to 'not so dry land', the rest opting to return home out of the rain and the surprising cool.
The second sitting of morning tea commenced at 11am, with a couple of late arrivals providing some extra goodies for our hardy souls that braved the weather. And, yes, it did rain while they were out on the water, but no one seemed to be too perturbed about the fact they had been rained on.
Today, despite the weather, we had 24 people turn up, nine (9) paddled. Clearly, it takes a bit more than rain to stop you having fun, even if it is just to have morning tea and a chat. Well done guys!
Next weeks paddle is at Parsley Bay, on the Hawkesbury River, Sydney map 56; K 11. Go to Brooklyn, turn right at the pub.
Doug & Sue
PS - Mark, our 'Water Warrior', paddled from Speers Point, at 6.00am, to meet the group at Swansea. Needless to say he was there waiting for us when we arrived. Wendall was one of our late arrivals to morning tea, but his main aim was to take Mark home after the paddle. Nice to have a support crew, thanks Wendall.
Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 8 April 2014 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi|
On a beautiful sunny day 33 kayakers showed up at McKenzie Park Reserve, Budgewoi, to indulge in their preferred water sport.
Launching into Lake Munmorah, they showed their independence by heading in different directions, not to see each other till they got back. Half a dozen paddlers turned right and took the anti-clockwise route around the lake to Elizabeth Bay (the planned route), then to a further point before paddling back across the lake towards Budgewoi.
The other group of 24 kayakers turned left and paddled up to Colongra Bay wetlands and through the canals there. Everybody had lots of fun and all returned safely back to Budgewoi where they were met by the other group and a few ring-ins who didn't paddle (me included). Another enjoyable day out on the water with mates!
New style photo display is here!
|Tuesday 1 April 2014 - Sunshine Park, Ourimbah Creek|
Thirty-five kayakers appeared at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Bay, this morning, for a paddle up a nice creek, after many outings on Lake Macquarie. Conditions were divine as usual, with no wind, cloudy sunshine and warm air.
We all opted for the trip upstream, with everyone paddling up to the weir about 3.2km west of our starting place. Those who made it over the weir kept going as far as they could, with some making it to a big obstruction of a wooden nature too hard and too late to attack today. Bring a good saw next time. This made a total of about 10km which seemed like enough. Nothing much happened luckily, so we all went back to the park for morning tea and a chat.
Thanks everyone for coming and being part of a very pleasant morning kayaking with friends.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|See Knut's video of the recent Pulbah Island trip, click here. All Knut's videos are on his video page here.|
|Tuesday 25 March 2014 - Toronto|
Seventeen kayakers presented themselves today at the Toronto Lions Park just south of the Fennell Bay Bridge. Conditions could not be improved upon - sunny/cloudy, no breeze, glassy water, beautiful venue...
Just as we were about to launch our kayaks, Darryl got a phone call to help someone unload something at his house, so he left his kayak on the ground and took off. The rest of us got going, heading straight across Kooroora Bay to Bolton Point, where we turned right and headed around the point. I told Dazza this earlier, but he forgot, so when he came back to join us, he paddled under Fennell Bay bridge and frolicked around there for a while.
When we had gone to the next point we had a re-group and a discussion about our next stage. Claire suggested we cross a vast expanse of water to some moored yachts. Everybody agreed except me as I had an appointment at the Wyong Hospital at 1.00pm and didn't want to go that far. So they all headed off to this distant spot while I paddled back across the lake towards Carey Bay, about 1km south of the Toronto CBD. After a pleasant paddle across the lake and down to Princes Bay, I returned to base along the coast past Toronto, getting worried about how long I was taking. I couldn't see the others or Darryl until I had nearly reached the Lions Park again, and there they all were ahead of me. How did that happen? And when I look on the map now, I have no idea where these other guys went. None of it makes any sense! It always looks so different on the lake.
Anyway, I had plenty of time and we all had a nice morning tea with coffee and everything, and a good chat, and there were enough seats for us to sit down. Another beautiful paddle on Lake Macquarie, thanks to everyone who came.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 18 March 2014 - Cams Wharf to Pulbah Island|
A cool start today waking to about 14°C, but it soon rose to 28° by lunchtime. No cloud, no wind - divine!
Not so good for me as I remembered to bring my paddle only as I reached the pedestrian bridge at Lake Munmorah, so back home I went, turning an early day into a late one. By the time I was ready to go, there was only Rolf to paddle with, him also being late. We paddled northwards for a while then across the pristine water to Pulbah Island. Paul got a bit behind, so Rolf went back and steered him to the other side of the island so he could meet us coming the other way. Rolf then went off to Sunshine or somewhere, while Lyn paddled up to Swansea after circimnavigating the island.
Mark tried to give us a demo of an eskimo roll, but it was more of a chiko roll! See the photos.
I didn't have time to count everyone this morning but I guess about 25 kayakers made the trip. To summarise, a perfect day for paddling on a perfect lake. About 11km all up. Nice!
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 11 March 2014 - Gwandalan, Crangan Bay.|
This morning at 8.30 Mark arrived at the Lions Park Gwandalan and had his breakfast after an hour and a half paddle getting there. His breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee as you see from the pics. He had an elaborate set up just for a cup of coffee. No weetbix or iron man food for him!
Twenty four of us set out in 17 kayaks (at my imperfect count) and oh! also Allan's K1 which we left there for rides upon our return.
Turning to starboard we paddled down Crangan Bay and then down Mangrove Gully Creek. Finding logs sealing off the end prematurely, we headed back up the east side of the bay and crossed near Wolstoncroft Point and then down by Gwandalan Bowling Club and home to a well earned cuppa. We travelled on average 8.5 km - some more, some less.
Allan had his K1 with him so he dashed off after the paddle to show us how it is done. Mark had a go twice but found it so tippy he fell out. Please refer to Bob and Harry's pics for a graphic blow-by-blow account of Mark's embarrassing disaster!
Jill made up for it with sandwiches and someone brought the hot water. Kerrie made some ham and avocado wraps which were yummy and healthy and Clare brought her famous orange and blueberry cake. It must have been healthy too as it made you feel good all over. Brian provided healthy chocolate and coffee nut slice recommended by Dr Feel Good! Others brought an assortment so we had our usual feast - but we did miss Sue and Doug's touch.
Photos are here.
|See Sue's report on the Tucker Tours trip to Myall Lakes. Click here.|
|Tuesday 4 March 2014 - Lake Macquarie at Croudace Bay|
A strong contender for the most beautiful day award - temperature up to 25°C, breeze 2-4 knots SE, sunny with a few clouds, say no more!
Thomas Halton Park is a nice green stretch between the road and the lake, with all facilities, even if you have to walk a few hundred metres to the dunny. Concrete boat ramp with pebble surrounds and plenty of parking. There were 27 of us today, a barely noticeable shortfall with some members away somewhere else.
We set off turning left and soon found ourselves in civilisation, with many nice boats moored, and an interesting creek, Sheppards Creek, leading us away east and south into Croudace Bay the suburb, again with many boats moored, and interesting nautical back yards. On our way out we met Boston Bill and Kerrie who were late arriving, from East Gosford no wonder! They made the mistake of continuing to the end of the creek before turning around to follow us into the lake. Meanwhile we had continued south easterly and were lost among all the fine vessels parked in the bay, where we stopped and watched a salvage team try and raise a sunken speedboat. That kept our interest for about 10 minutes while we sat very still, meaning that Bill and Kez could not see us there and they headed back towards Warners Bay, and we didn't see them till we all got back.
The rest of us continued along the coast towards Belmont till we got sick of it, then turned around and paddled straight back to base, like tired little teddy bears. Morning tea was different this morning, but what happens at morning tea stays in morning tea, although I will say some kayakers have disgusting personal habits, involving crinkle-cut chips. Anyway, we all had a thoroughly good time in perfect conditions, and are looking forward to doing it again at Gwandalan next Tuesday, hopefully with some coffee. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|We have a small album of Chris's home-made timber kayak project.|
| For reports from May 2013 to February 2014, click here.
For reports from May 2011 to April 2013 - click here.
All older reports (pre May 2011) and the old Photo Album are gone.