|Tuesday 30 April 2013 - Summerland Point|
Another fabulous day in Wonderland - temp about 22°C, but with heavy cloud and SSW breeze of 12-15 knots, but it got sunny later. So most of us headed north around Frying Pan Point and through the lovely little bays of Summerland Point and up towards the Point Wollstonecroft Sport and Rec Centre.
Some paddlers bucked the trend and headed over to Morisset, while Rolf and Fred paddled right up to Pulbar Island. Some of us kayaked up Bonny Boy Gully (true!) for a couple of hundred metres, and flushed out a helicopter which was hiding in the bush. You could see two choppers from the lake, and a temporary looking structure and landing pad. Very exciting as it started up and took off only about 40 metres from us!
Coming back into the stiff breeze was hard work, and it seemed miles from the boatshed to Frying Pan Point, but is only about 3km! So despite all that paddling for nearly two hours, I still only did about 8km! It's good to see kayakers going wherever they want and not following the leader, because we don't have one.
I counted about 37 paddlers this morning, but they're not the same 37 paddlers we have had recently. We had at least 3 newbies today, and many from last week weren't here today. Sue keeps a record, and we have had about 170 different paddlers since we started, so I hope they don't all decide to come on the same day! Anyway, a top day for everyone, except Trevor who got sick. Hope you're feeling better soon Trev! Photos here!
|Tuesday 23 April 2013 - Bonnells Bay|
Sorry about the directions for today, I made a mistake! However, about 36 paddlers showed up for a splash in Bonnells Bay. Considering the weather lately, we had a top morning in a perfect place.
We were all on the water by nine o'clock and headed around Hungary Point, Bonnells Bay, in a clockwise direction. Hugging the shore, we passed the Henry Kendall Retirement Village, where no doubt a few of us are booked in, and had a little go up Freshwater Creek, and Fullers Creek on the other side of the village. Not much satisfaction there, so we pushed on up past the water treatment plant to what very few of us realised was Dora Creek's south bank. Mark has fitted a mount for a GPS on my kayak, thanks Mark, and he gave me a GPS for the day, so I could watch my speed and direction. Downwind I could manage 8.6kmh but usually I paddled at about 5.5 to 6.5. At the end he told me I had paddled only 7 odd kays! Cindy and other younger fitter kayakers went up to Splingle Shitters Point, but were late back for tea. Probably about 14km for them.
So at times we had kayaks scattered all over the bay. Kerrie and Bill came back early because of Kerrie's sore shoulder. I'm sure many of us have injuries we carry, but love to go kayaking all the same. We've been here only once before, in September, 2011. A top day!
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 16 April 2013 - Wangi Wangi - Sue's Report|
Wangi Wangi was the venue for today's paddle, however, when the undaunted paddlers turned up at our usual spot on the southern side of Wangi it was quite windy and raining. At this stage we had 13 people, (even Bob the Whippet gave it a miss), but the decision was to go down to the northern boat launching area (across the road really), except Mark and Fred who took off toward Pulbar Island. Keith showed up shortly after we changed launch sites. By the time the others had launched there were 9 paddlers in the water heading to Wangi Point to meet up with Mark and Fred. There was only a slight shower of rain, and, apparently the sun even made an appearance for a short time. Danny, Colin and Sue stayed on (not so) dry land. At morning tea, Jill and Trevor arrived to join us, so in total we had 16 people present, 11 braved the conditions and paddled. The distance paddled today was approx 9km. Well done guys and girls, it certainly didn't look too promising when we arrived, but as usual, turned out well. Photos are here.
|Tuesday 9 April 2013 - Dora Creek - Lorraine's report|
The autumn sun shone for our sortie on Dora Creek today. Clouds threatened and there were a few drops of rain but nothing to deter us from our mission. Numbers were a bit down this week as many of the gang were in Canberra on a "bikers' excursion". We paddled up Dora Creek heading toward Cooranbong. At the junction of Dora and Stockton Creeks it was a huge decision whether to go left or right. So the group split almost in half; some going up Stockton and some of us up Dora. Stockton was less residential but some paddlers reported oil on the water surface. However, those with excellent eye sight spotted insectivorous bats roosting on the underneath of one of the bridges – that would have been something to see! My group paddled up Dora, past reserves, camps, under the expressway and past the Sanitarium factory where the smell of weetbix gave us energy to continue on! Along Dora, we spotted ducks and water dragons. The paddle was 11-12 km today (depending on whose GPS you trust!) and we were all ready for morning tea on our return. In the absence of Sue and Doug, Robyn provided tea and coffee. Thank you for your preparation so early in the morning Robyn! Photos are here.
PS On a personal note, I am really going to miss Tuesday's adventures when I return to full time work in a couple of weeks. I would like to thank you all for always being so welcoming and sharing a laugh and good conversation on our sojourns. I will of course continue to paddle in the school holidays so see you then!
|Tuesday 2 April 2013 - Lake Munmorah, Elizabeth Bay|
Just the 40 paddlers here today. Twenty-one of our regulars are missing, so I hope they don't all turn up on one day! Beautiful weather, 25°C, Breeze was a southerly of 5-10 knots, so there was a bit of texture on the surface.
We paddled out of the bay heading north, and followed the shore, at some distance, right round to the creek at Colongra Wetlands. This was quite pleasant, but it stopped suddenly. We then tried the canal with the barrier, but this was a bad joke. The next creek was also pleasant, going for about 500 metres before suddenly stopping.
We continued around the lake to the flooded forest, all dead now, which is quite fascinating and eery. All of a sudden we felt the need for morning tea and headed out back across the lake to the launch spot about 2km away. Our total distance paddled was about 9km.
Thanks to Sue and Doug for their efficient provision of all the facilities we take for granted, and for the sangers. Thanks to everyone else for the food.
PS Photos are here. Some of Carol's photos are in next week's album.
|Tuesday 26 March 2013 - Tuggerah Lake|
Tacoma footy ground is quite a good venue for kayaking. Plenty of parking, fresh water, toilets. Bit squeezy on the river bank that's all! Weather was perfect - no breeze all morning, cloudy, warm...
About 40 of us paddled out of the river and across to The Entrance, a distance of about 12 km round trip. There were lots of fishing boats on the water, but they kept out of our way. Once we were there, several of us with pockets and money climbed up to the hotel and ordered coffee. The rest of us waited for the group morning tea. Doug and Sue had other duties so were late to the venue, but provided superb makings, while everyone brought nice food to eat.
A lovely day out on the water with friends!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 19 March 2013 - Brooklyn, Hawkesbury River |
It does mean an early rise, but it's worth it! Hawkesbury River at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, has everything: excellent parking, toilets, a choice of launch sites, the most spectacular scenery in NSW... I can't say enough about the scenery, so I won't even try. Look at the pictures.
Paddling out into this vast expanse of water at 9 o'clock, silky smooth surface, no breeze at all - surreal! Everywhere we went was breathtaking, divine little beaches, towering mountains peppered with outcrops of sandstone boulders and rocky bluffs... There was the occasional holiday-maker in a boat of some sort, all friendly and waving, at least I think they were.
Some kayakers paddled across the entry to Cowan Water to America Bay or somewhere near Challenger Head. Kee paddled about 19km but most of us only did about 12km. There were about 40 paddlers at morning tea, so you can't shake 'em off! Absolute top day rounded out with a superb morning tea back at Parsley Bay.
Photos from Merrill, Carol and Harry are here.
|Tuesday 12 March 2013 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo|
Thirty-eight kayakers made the trip to Wallarah Creek, San Remo, on this brilliant day for the sport. No breeze, 27°C, sunny... Bliss!
So, we all just put our kayaks in the river and paddled as far as we felt like, in my case for 45 minutes till I reached a log across the whole creek, then we paddled back. Some adventurous types went up a tributary, or down to the lake, and good on 'em! Rolf and Peter paddled from Toukley somewhere, couldn't quite understand what Peter said, and we met them way up the creek. Their round trip would be more than 20km I'm sure. Good on them too!
Afterwards we congregated around a rickety table loaded with massive amounts of amazing chow, all of which we did our best to eat.
Another wonderful day out with friends! Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 5 March 2013 - Canton Beach|
On a beautiful warm sunny day, about 28 kayakers assembled at Canton Beach for a paddle down towards The Entrance. A NW breeze of 10-15 knots helped carry us downhill, but offered resistance coming back, just when we didn't need it.
Carol was there on her stand-up board, which she paddled all the way, keeping up with the back markers. It was an excellent effort on a difficult craft, showing just how much progress Carol has made since she started on the board. Superwoman effort, really! Merle and Don did a long trip too, amazing for an age of 160 years between them! It was nice to see Jenny and Graeme again too, though I didn't have any time to chat with them.
My Pajero shat itself when I arrived, leaving a puddle of engine oil on the roadway, so I had to cut my paddle short, and my lunch, so I could ring the NRMA and leave with the towtruck. Diagnosis - front crankshaft seal - $460! Just glad Rob noticed it so early!
Sue had a barbecue sizzling on our return, so in addition to the yummy treats provided by the members of this non-club, we had a lovely sausage sizzle for lunch. Debbie made an apple slice which was delicious, and Claire brought two trays of mouth-watering mango custard tarts. Knut made some of his divine savoury treats too (Curried vegetable tartlets), the recipe for which is on our Recipe page now (click here). Thanks everyone for your efforts to keep us from starving. You've succeeded beyond imagination! Photos are here.
|Tuesday 26 February 2013 - Summerland Point|
Sandy Beach Reserve, Summerland Point is a delightful venue with all facilities and a nice sandy beach from which to launch. Hopefully Bob's photos will show it. Thirty-five paddlers (+/-2) joined us in perfect conditions, with a 10 knot E or NE breeze. This made it inadvisable to paddle around to Frying Pan Bay where the water was very choppy.
So we headed left towards Chain Valley Bay, which is very pleasant but there's not much to see. Past Black Neds Point into CVB we paddled, strung out like Brown's cows. Finally we reached Tiembula Creek, which I think we have accessed before, but from the CVB end of the bay. It's a very pleasant creek and goes several hundred metres before tapering out. Some paddlers went further south but mostly we went straight back to Sandy Beach for a total distance of 8.5km for the day. It took about 100 minutes and was enough exercise for most of us. Mark and Fred had already gone up to Pulbar Island earlier, and Claire had made an excursion north of Summerland Point.
We spent longer having morning tea than we did kayaking, but that's probably about right for us. Doug and Sue turned up for tea after returning from Qld. Sabina and John's daughter Caroline joined us today, with her in the tandem with her father while Sabina had to paddle the little sit-on, and get a tow back behind the bigger boat. Caroline is a dialysis nurse at Sutherland, and is a part-time Firey as well, wearing her smart firey's cap.
A top day out on the water!
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Knut's latest videos from Clarencetown and Ettalong Beach have been added 22 Feb. See list above.|
|Tuesday 19 February 2013 - Ettalong Beach|
Ettalong Beach is a long way from home, but this didn't stop 40 people making the trip. Jeanne-Marie looked after the fort while the rest of us headed out to sea, over Half Tide Rocks and around towards Lobster Beach.
At this point the water was smooth and there was no perceptable breeze, but a challenge came from the sea - the Palm Beach Ferry! We were right in its path, and we scrambled to clear the channel to let it through. Luckily the ferry skipper was considerate and slowed right down. We came ashore on the beautiful Lobster Beach and stretched our legs, having paddled at least 1000 metres from the start point. Some of us went for a swim, including Russell who stripped to his Speedos and swam out to a distant channel marker. He stayed there while the ferry came back only 20 metres from him.
As we turned to go back towards Brisbane Water a 15 knot NE breeze sprang up to give us some resistance. Also against us was the tide, flowing out at about 4-5 knots (my guess). Not realising this, we just paddled along then noticed the rocks below us were not moving. So we had to paddle hard to creep up the eastern side of the bay, then make a dash across to the other side while not getting washed back out to sea.
Doug and Mike had a good exploration of everywhere around Wagstaffe and Pretty Beach so were late back. We finally dragged ourselves ashore at Ettalong Beach after an exhausting paddle of nearly 6km. One of our shortest trips yet! Doug and Mike did 11km. As the tide was out we had to drag our kayaks over acres of wet sand to the shore.
Lots of fun and quite different to our usual creek/lake venues.
Bob's photos are here. Knut's videos on youTube are listed above. They are all excellent! Select Full Screen after starting. (Bottom right hand corner of screen)
|Carol's new photos of Clarencetown are here!|
|Tuesday 12 Feb 2013 - Clarencetown Report |
I am more than a little apprehensive to write this report after reading Ray's detailed monologue from Tuesday's paddle out of Budgewoi. I could say, "If you weren't there, you missed it" - but that would be mean. So here we go. Some of our more avid paddlers arrived at Clarence Town last week in preparation for Tuesday's paddle, some arrived at various stages over the weekend, and several more arrived on Monday. Even though it was pouring with rain on the Central Coast on Monday, people still made the trek northward.
Monday night was a very pleasant gathering, commencing with Happy Hour, which blended into dinner and then supper. No rain to speak of, only the occasional misty shower. A head count revealed we had 46 people in our group, including 3 non-paddlers. Mandy (Kee's wife), Carmel (Knut's wife) and Anne (Carmel's cousin over here on holidays from Ireland). We also had another visitor, Maureen, Dennis' wife. Russell and Suzanne, along with Sabina and John had another couple with them for the two days as well, sorry, I have forgotten their names, but someone will remember. Bill and Chris' son Matt and his wife arrived on Tuesday afternoon and camped the night.
On Monday, 15 paddlers went in various directions along the Williams River, in a warm up for Tuesday. Tuesday morning saw the early arrival of Harry and then Linda and Peter. Trevor and Jill also arrived, bringing with them all the tea and coffee makings for morning tea.
When we all hit the water, Doug decided a group photo would be appropriate, since there were so many paddlers on the water at once, 40 in total. Easier said than done, it was like herding cats! Some paddlers, who had gone upstream on Monday, headed down stream, but the rest of us headed up toward Mill Falls. A delightful paddle, as always, past pretty undergrowth, paddocks and the local cattle, until it decided to pour with rain, didn't last long, just long enough to soak most of us through. We continued on toward Mill Falls, and then down came the rain again – what is going on it's Tuesday!! It doesn't rain on Tuesdays! Undaunted, wet, but undaunted, we paddled on. When we arrived at Mill Falls, there was much discussion as to who was going to try and come down it, and, if they were going to, how. Doug decided to go to the bank, walk his boat to beyond the white water and try his luck at riding the rapids. He was very successful and came out the other side unscathed. Mark, however, was in the water when Doug reached the still water, and, he had, apparently, been body surfing down the rapids - that's our boy!
We then all headed back to camp for some dry clothes, morning tea and a well earned rest. We paddled 12.1km today. That night, for dinner, 30 of the group headed to the Clarence Town Bowling Club, where they were greeted by the Secretary Manager, who thanked them for patronising their club. A very nice time was had by all.
There was a slight shower of rain overnight, but next morning was fine, so 17 kayaks (19 paddlers) headed down stream where they paddled 11.5km. After the paddle quite a few headed off home, leaving about 8 or so people in camp. From one very crowded camp site to a sparsely occupied one in the blink of an eye.
All in all, a very successful trip – no dramas, no accidents, no one lost. All round a great couple of days, with good company and good paddling. We will have to pencil this trip in for a repeat visit. Gail and Glenn have headed north to volunteer with "Blaze Aid" for about 10 days. What a great cause to be involved in, Jenny and Graeme have also volunteered in the past. Stay safe guys!
Harry's photos are here. His giant banner photos are here.
|Tuesday 12 February 2013 - Lake Munmorah. Ray's report|
After overnight thunderstorms and heavy rain on the Central Coast the morning dawned with overcast skies but fine weather. Dense black storm clouds to the south threatened to rain on our kayak activity but this did not eventuate.
Merrill and I arrived at MacKenzies reserve, Budgewoi at about 8.30 am to find the car park empty. Had we misread the alternate venue for today's paddle? We knew that many of the usual crowd were headed for Clarencetown for this week's paddle but surely we weren't the only kayakers left on the Central Coast? At about 8.45 am John drove in and confirmed that this was indeed the location for today's paddle. Richard arrived soon after and this small gathering formed the total congregation for today's outing. Four paddlers in three boats.
Based on his extensive pre-trip research (he'd consulted a map) Richard offered his recommendation for our route. We would paddle north, around the eastern shoreline of Lake Munmorah so that we'd be sheltered from the expected south-easterly blow. The surface conditions on the lake were glass-like as we paddled out from the vicinity of the car park, under the footbridge and turned east (right) into Lake Munmorah along the shore adjoining the caravan park. The going was easy and we moved along at a moderate pace discussing many topics as the four of us chatted away.
The water level of the lake was up but debris on shore indicated that it had been higher in recent times. As we paddled north along the eastern shore of Lake Munmorah State Conservation Area we encountered many water birds whom seemed less concerned about the approach of our small group than is often the case when our usual Tuesday kayak flotilla is on the water. After 50 minutes or so we approached Elizabeth Bay in the north-east corner of the lake where the ancient sea cliffs form a headland separating the beaches of Tom Burke Reserve, to the west, and the more recent (geologically speaking) sand deposition known as Budgewoi Peninsula. As we approached The Salvation Army's School for Youth Leadership we turned right (east) towards the boat ramp in the corner of the bay. The clear water, smooth surface and clean sandy lake bed make this a pleasant swimming location. Richard was in the lead as we approached Elizabeth Beach and to our surprise the head of a large Marlin appeared in front of him and off to his left, moving south. It travelled steadily past the bow of his kayak before disappearing below the surface as it reached the reed bank at the southern end of the beach. An amazing experience!
Richard went ashore here to check out the amenities whilst John, Merrill and I rested beside the shore in our kayaks. We decided to retrace our route along the eastern shoreline and set of at a very leisurely pace. Richard was paddling close to the shoreline, leading the other two kayaks back to the car park in the south. At a concrete survey/navigation marker on the shoreline John, Merrill and I elected to head straight across the lake towards the clearly visible footbridge beside the car park where we'd begun our journey. Richard decided that he would not 'cheat' and he continued on the longer route around the shoreline.
As our two vessels, which had crossed the lake, neared the channel leading under the footbridge, Richard rocketed across our bows, past the channel markers and heading for the more western exit from the lake. Whether he was moving too fast to make a safe turn into the first channel, whether he feared passing under the footbridge again (the lake WAS up) or whether he just wished to circumnavigate the island we did not know.
John, Merrill and I returned to the cars after some two hours of enjoyable paddling and Richard rounded the southern end of the island just moments later. As we pulled our kayaks out of he water so a steady south-easterly wind began to blow through the park. It had been a well-timed return to land.
Since Sue was not present with hot water and the makings for tea or coffee we decided to take our morning tea offerings along to The Lakes Beach Café. Here we purchased coffees and had a pleasant chat about the morning's activity before The Awesome Foursome split and departed for our respective homes. En-route to Norah Head Merrill and I drove into light rain. Perfect timing, yet again.
We now await news of those intrepid travellers who paddled at Clarencetown today. Photos are here.
[I vote Ray write all the reports from now on. Danny]
|Tuesday 5 February 2013 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway|
Perfect kayaking conditions today - 25°C, sunny... Too many people to count, but around 37-39. All new landscaping at Sunshine Park, new bitumen, parking areas, barriers - very civilised. You do have to carry your kayak further as there is no parking next to the creek.
Before nine o'clock some people had started paddling down to the lake, and we didn't see them again till lunchtime. The rest of us battled upstream in search of adventure. Some found it, some didn't! At the little weir the floodwater was over the barriers (heavy rain last week), so we were able (most of us) to paddle between the hazards - rocks and logs - to the interesting upstream section. Coming back over the weir was easy, just hang on!
The usual snags and fallen vegetation made the trip challenging, until we came to a complex of fallen logs that required a low profile, about 30cm, which some of us could not manage. As Doug took a contingent further upstream, Brian, Bob and I got out of our boats and attacked the timber maze. We managed to break or lift most of it out of the way, sometimes up to our armpits in the brown water, leaving an easy return by those who got through it on the way upstream. Boys' Own Adventures!
We all made it safely back by midday, having covered 11km or so for the weir-crossers. Great fun and great people! Bob's photos are here. I did all the captions once and it fell over, so I'm not doing them again. Sorry!
See the link to Knut's video of today above.
|Thursday 31 January 2013 - Tuesday's photos|
Bob's sunset photos are here!
|Tuesday 29 January 2013 - Twilight paddle at Mannering Park|
Weather, what weather?!?! That was the opinion of the 9 paddlers that arrived at Mannering Park tonight for our "Moonlight/Twilight Paddle". Andy, Judy, Ray, Digger, Azzie, Bob, Knut, Doug and Sue made up the numbers (just like the old days really, only 9 paddlers!).
The weather was perfect. A balmy night, not a cloud in the sky, hardly a breath of breeze, and glassy water. We waited until 7.10pm before heading into the water "in case" some others decided to turn up last minute, but no!
So, we headed off along the bank southward toward the Power Station outlet and then continued around the shore until we reached the pipes under the eastern end of Rutleys Road. As the water wasn't anywhere near the torrent we had seen earlier in the day, Doug decided to try his luck and go through. The rest of us didn't realise he was just seeing if it was possible to go through and we all followed. No dramas at all! We then paddled in a side channel of Wyee Creek to the usual pipes under Rutleys and again the water was no longer the torrent we saw this morning, so we went through those pipes back into the lake. Mind you, as the water level is much higher than we have ever experienced there on previous paddles, only one pipe was suitable to go through, without having to lie flat in your boat to fit through.
We then headed straight across the lake to the bank on the eastern side and paddled back to the car park, arriving just after 8.30pm, as it was getting dark. We all enjoyed a very nice supper and chat, (with enough hot water to supply an army!) As we were finishing up, the beautiful full moon put in an appearance. We had it all tonight, great company, perfect weather and water conditions and a full moon – couldn't have planned it better. We paddled about 6km tonight. Bob's photos are here, preceded by a few Doug took this morning in the flood. Next week's paddle will be at Sunshine Park, Chittaway.
|Tuesday 22 January 2013 - Mooney Mooney|
Superb kayaking and socialising today in perfect conditions - up to 30°C, no breeze, sunny. The only setback was the carpark at Moonee Moonee, filled with construction sites, workers' vehicles and boat trailers. We filled the carpark, then lined both sides of the road into the park. We had a bit further to walk, but we coped.
We had 43 kayakers, give or take a couple. This made a spectacular sight on the river with about 37 brightly-coloured kayaks all over the river. We paddled upstream against an out-going tide, to the wreck of the Parramatta. After a rest there, with nowhere to get out, we just paddled back again, about 10km by the feel of it, but my UBD suggests about half that. Need GPS data! Oh, thanks, Doug, 9.6km for the day!
There were a few visitors today, Joyce, wife of John with the beard and friends of Carol's, Carmen's son Christian, from London, who took a photo of all of us together, and many whom we haven't seen for sometime, such as Boston Bill. Welcome back to Tony Hope who has been lucky to survive the last year, after major surgery. Great to see everybody there. And thanks for the wonderful morning tea everybody, lovely sangers, fruit, cakes and savouries! Sadly the caramel slices melted away into a puddle. It was quite hot by then, but the river is not suitable for swimming, due to mud, rocks and oyster shells. Shame! Wonderful day otherwise.
Harry's photos are here. Sorry about the different slide show effects, I'm still learning the best options.
Here is Knut's video of the day http://youtu.be/9Ttb9I73yKM
|Tuesday 15 January 2013 - Blackalls Park/Stony Creek|
On a glorious morning, not too hot, not too cold or even wet, 35 paddlers in 29 kayaks hit the water at Blackalls Park. We headed up Stony Creek for a change of scenery today. This is a pretty creek, lots of water and a beautiful day to be on the water. We paddled a very easy pace, for 8.85kms.
Mark and Fred had paddled from Swansea as part of their training, where they met us at Blackalls Park, then paddled with the rest of us, had lunch and then paddled back to Swansea, giving them a total of around 28kms for their little outing. Jack brought along a "newby" today, Lewis or maybe Louis (forgive me, I didn't check the spelling, but he knows who he is) who, when we reached the turn around point was feeling a little worse for the experience, but once back on land and after having some lunch and a cuppa he was sparking again and asking all the relevant questions for future paddles - that's what we like to hear. Possibly, a little ambitious for his first time out, but credit to him, he did it. Hopefully, it didn't deter him and he will join us again soon.
Barry Squires had some excitement when a big mullett (the fish, not the haircut) landed in his kayak. He didn't have the heart to keep it long enough for Harry to take a photo. The photos Harry did take are here.
Next week, 22nd Jan, we are paddling out of Mooney Mooney, map 113; N5. This time we are planning to paddle up the Hawkesbury River to the wreck of HMAS Parramatta.
|Tuesday 8 January 2013 - Narara Creek|
Report from Sue
The threat of the third hottest day on record didn't deter 20 paddlers, including a visitor, Ben, who had the day off work and has been keeping an eye on our website. Also "Boston" Bill made a return today (hell of a way to thaw out from an American winter!), welcome back Bill (and Kerrie).
The gusts of wind onshore, covering the car park in clouds of dust and dirt, weren't present when we hit the water. In fact, on the water, paddling in and out of the shadows from the overhanging trees with a breeze, made for a very pleasant paddle indeed. We went as far as a felled tree across the creek. Six or 7 of our more adventurous paddlers got out of their boats and climbed over and around the tree, disappointingly, only managing a further 20 - 30 metres. When we arrived back to the cars, we had be joined by Mark, Fred and Colin who had paddled from Gosford Sailing Club, and then Gloria and Barry joined us for morning tea, making 25 all up.
We didn't need the sun shelter when we first started morning tea, but, as the sun moved and our shade from the trees diminished, it was definitely time for the sun shelter. Most had left by midday and when we drove home the temperature gauge in our car read 41 degrees, yep, that's hot! We paddled 7km today, pretty good considering the extreme conditions. Well done everyone who made the effort.
Next week's paddle is at Blackalls Park. Newcastle map: 161, E 6
Harry and Bob sent me some photos which are here.
| Tuesday 1 January 2013 - Wyong River|
Our gamble picking New Year's Day for the Old Milk Factory paid off as the whole place was shut so we had all the parking to ourselves. The toilets were open thanks god. Starting off as a warm day reaching temperatures about 30°C made the upper reaches of the Wyong River a nice place to be, what with all the water and shady trees and stuff. About 15 of us fronted for what turned out to be a relaxed shortish paddle up to the serious obstacles.
This takes the form of a narrow channel terminating in an impenetrable tangle of fallen branches then 3 logs across the channel exit. We have done this many times before but it's never been easy and was enough to deter all but Doug and me from going any further up this section. Most of the others turned back but Harry knows the area and climbed the adjacent bank dragging his kayak over to the upstream section avoiding the obstructions.
Doug and I worked on the logs for a while, then he produced a handy bow-saw which I used to cut a few thickish branches to clear the way. We eventually managed to free one pesky log and drag it clear. Doug decided to explore the alternative branch back downstream which he managed to navigate despite having to portage his boat over a serious log. Meanwhile I kept working on the logs and succeeded in re-arranging them so the next time we, or anyone, comes up here they will find the passage considerably easier to get through. I also cut away the tangled branches in the middle of this tricky section.
By the time I finished all this, including wading through chest-deep creek water, everyone else seemed to have gone, so I paddled back alone. In fact, Harry had continued upstream till he reached a non-negotiable log, looking for suitable camera subjects. He returned a bit later but we all had a good time, even if we paddled only 6km. I was knackered after cutting and shifting tons of firewood.
A great day in the outdoors, very enjoyable! Harry's photos are ready. The photos are on our new Xpose Gallery slideshow. There are controls on the page and thumbnails. You can see the captions if you put your cursor on the top of the photo. I'm still learning so it could get better. The albums will always open in a new window. Just use the 'close window' link to come back here. Click here.
|Monday 31 December 2012 - See Knut's video of the Patonga Paddle here.|
|Tuesday 25 December 2012 (Xmas Day)|
Merry xmas to you all. 4 hardy souls turned up at Sunshine Park (Glenn and Gail, Bill and his son Matthew). It was cool and overcast and after unloading the kayaks a slight drizzle came upon us. Undeterred we commenced our paddle up stream to the weir. As we passed under the first road bridge the rain became a little steadier but eased again and when we paused at the weir it was most pleasant. The bush had been washed clean and was quiet. Back at base Bill and Matt left to have lunch with the family, and Glenn and Gail returned home with their picnic lunch still in the cooler bag. Unfortunately there was no photographer with us and we missed photos opportunities with an eagle, Nankeen Herons and water dragons.
| Tuesday 18 December 2012 - Patonga
An amazing day with beautiful weather and conditions. Thirty-four paddlers hit the water at the Patonga Beach then made their way to the creek across the bay which is unusual for us, being out on the big ocean. The swell was quite exciting, then we had the waves breaking at the mouth of the creek, but I think everybody got through OK.
We continued paddling up the Patonga Creek, with the water slowly drifting upstream with the incoming tide. The low level saw us run aground at times, once where there were several walkers towing their kayaks over the mud. After an hour of paddling the sand became more prevalent, so we turned around and headed back. At that stage we had already covered 5.5km with the help of the tide. Heading downstream of course the tide was against us and becoming faster which, combined with a fresh headwind, made the trip back slower, by 10 minutes.
Some of us paddled to different places, like Rolf and Peter, but I don't know whither they went. Back at base by 11.15 - 11.30, we tidied up, put stuff away and changed ready for the Xmas party which Sue had spent days organising. With visitors and non-paddlers our numbers grew to 54 people who enjoyed a beautiful lunch of turkey, ham, salads, trifle, mini-pavlovas, coffee and punch. Everything was excellent, including Knut's Xmas turkey curry muffins. A fantastic party to finish off the year. Well done to everybody who made it all happen!
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Last Tuesday's photos are here. (11 December 2012)|
|Tuesday 11 December 2012 - Wallarah Creek
A cloudy morning but 22°C made for nice kayaking weather, if you ignored the 25-30 knot southerly wind. Most people didn't, so stayed away in droves. Only 8 paddlers made it to Highview Avenue, San Remo, plus a few non-paddlers, where we decided that paddling across the lake to the creek was too unpleasant, so we adjourned to Brudenell Avenue, near the bridge where we used to go.
There conditions were much better so we launched and headed upstream. It was still quite windy at the launch site, but once we were under the bridge the wind disappeared (no, really!) and it became quite a pleasant experience. We paddled up Wallarah Creek (the left fork) as far as we could go, till we met a big tree-trunk across the whole creek, and turned around. There were a few other interesting but navigable obstacles , but we were happy with our progress.
On the way back, Rolf, Brian, Peter, Doug and I got out of sight of the remaining kayakers, viz Harry, Bob and Richard, who were convinced (at least Bob was) that we had paddled up one of the interesting tributaries, but we had paddled straight back to the bridge. This delayed the trio of adventurers by half an hour while they looked for us, while we got stuck into the morning tea, but we did keep some for them, like 18 litres of hot water for coffee and tea.
Anyway, it was a very pleasant morning's paddling, made more enjoyable by the thought of all the pikers at home crocheting doyleys who wouldn't trust us to put on a good show.
Bob's and Harry's photos are here. The group who went straight back paddled about 8km while the search party did 11 km.
PS Slide cursor over small image to see Seabreeze ® wind graph.
|Wednesday 5 December 2012 - Knut's videos You can see Knut's Waterfall Bay video clip here, and a Swansea clip here.|
|Tuesday 4 December 2012 - A beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 20s,
getting warmer, and a southerly breeze of 10 knots at 9 o'clock pushing
up to 15 by noon. Thirty-seven kayakers arrived for a morning of paddling,
which we started by heading south for Murray's Beach (MB), into the headwind
and chop, made worse because of the shallow water in close, so we had to
paddle about 200 metres out in the lake.
I thought I had reached MB after what seemed like miles so I headed inshore where there were lots of boats. It was in fact only Swansea Jetty, about 2km from where we started. Murrays Famous Beach is about another 3km further south. So I'm glad I didn't go there in the wind and chop. A few of us paddled back to the launch venue and John S and Claire and I paddled down the channel, against a 5kmh incoming tide, so our net progress was about 2kmh, flat out. Claire and I turned around at the green channel marker, which had a bow wave like a destroyer, and paddled back out of the channel. Our speed by GPS coming back, with the tailwind and tidal flow, was 11kmh, fastest I've ever gone in a kayak!
Some kayakers made it to MB but I have no details and who cares anyway. Some helpful people put Harry's kayak on his car, which threw him completely, as he drove off home with his PFD and paddle still on the fence, and his kayak not tied on. Luckily Harry drives very slowly so the kayak stayed on till the street where he remembered to tie it on, and come back for his stuff. Look, I'm not having a go , I've done worse, losing my kayak on the highway once after only putting on one strap, and more than once I've driven away from a sailing club without my trailer hooked up and had it go off on its own. Age could be a factor, too.
Anyway, this has been fun and we must do it again.
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 27 November 2012 - Woy Woy
A warm steamy day brought out 38 paddlers to our new venue near Brick Wharf Road, Woy Woy. It's very nice there, being a popular spot with fishermen and walkers, so plenty of grass, parking, facilities...
We decided to paddle down along the wharf and managed to meet a ferry coming the other way, but we resisted the temptation to paddle under its twin hulls. We kept going to the Spike Milligan Bridge, and under the road bridge, heading for one of our favorite waterways, Waterfall Bay. It's not that far - closer than from Correa Bay. We reached the waterfall but as it hasn't rained much lately there was nothing spectacular to see.
Paddling back to the bridge we found our favorite beach, and all stopped for a rest and/or a swim - very refreshing it was too! The first time we found this gem of a place was 25 January 2011, nearly 2 years ago.
Kayaking at its best!
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Hi Danny FYI Carmen and Gloria did go under the bridge and at least 3 quarters of the way down Waterfall Bay - just because we are at the end of the line doesn't mean we don't make it. We just take our time enjoying the scenery and the serenity. Regards Gloria
|Thursday 22 November 2012 -
Tuesday's photos are here.
Rob and Robyn's Cub Camper for Sale. See Club Notices here.
Don't forget Knut's Yummy Recipes here.
|Tuesday 20 November 2012 - Ourimbah
A windy day so lucky we picked a nice river to paddle in! Many people attended but nobody counted 'em, I'd say about 25-30.
We paddled up to the weir near the railway line but there wasn't much water, despite the recent rain. The only way to get over was to disembark and portage, either through the barbed wire fence, or over the rocks or wall. Quite a few kayakers decided not to do this and headed back downstream, and we never saw them again. The 10 or so who made it upstream continued through the bushy creek, with its lizards, ducks and an azure kingfisher. At 1140am I decided to head back and took a small band of followers with me, 5 of us. Rolf, Doug and Harry pushed on through the obstacles for another kilometre or so. For my group we paddled 10km, so Doug's mob did about 13.5km, a good workout and lots of fun.
This meant we all got back at different times, in shifts, so the earlybirds had finished their morning tea and started going home by the time the middle crew came back, and the backmarkers ate alone. Not as sociable as usual, but unavoidable.
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|15 November 2012 - Glenn and Gail at Mallacoota, Eastern
Just a note to post up a paddle Gail and I did today with a few photos.
At present Gail and I are at Mallacoota where we met up with several Victorian friends. After some pretty ordinary weather we had a chance to paddle today on the Betka River. This is an undeveloped river which winds from the sea back towards the hills behind Mallacoota.
We launched at Betka Beach which is where the river enters the sea. This opening is often closed but storms earlier in the year mean that it is now open and tidal. We entered the water and turned left (right leads to New Zealand) under the Betka River Bridge and along we wound our way up river. We had a few wildlife sightings, including a snake swimming across the river, sea eagles, wedge tail eagles etc.
We returned to the launch spot after paddling back into the teeth of a strong sou'easter over the 500 metres.The only signs of civilisation was when we came across 2 other kayakers (in Hobies).
A lovely paddle on a completely unspoiled river. A few photos are here.
|Tuesday 13 November 2012 - Wangi
We had planned to launch on the south side of the peninsula and paddle across the lake to Poobah Island, but we awoke to a 25 knot southerly, which ruined our plans.
About 20 paddlers automatically made their way to the north end of Kent Place out of the wind, and from there we paddled out into Wangi Wangi Bay. Mark and his new buddy Philip, from Port Augusta SA, headed out around the peninsula and across the choppy sea to Pulbar Island, which they circumnavigated. Mark lost his rudder on the way so it made it harder to steer coming back, however they both made it OK. The rest of us paddled at a slower pace easterly along the peninsula, in the shelter of it, in very pleasant conditions, viz sunny and warm, then continued south along the blunt end of the headland to the most easterly point of the SCA. It could have been Wangi Wangi Point itself, but I don't think so as that would have been too exposed. We could see the island anyway. A few of us rounded the marker buoy to prove our point, then we headed back in an enjoyable tailwind of 25 knots to Wangi Bay, and some energetic types, like Bill A and Ray, a new guy from Myuna Bay in his beautiful home-built wooden kayak, and I, headed towards Arcadia Vale, then down past Wangi Creek and the Workers Club before paddling around the bay and back to base.
The shortest distance paddled was about 7km while those who took a longer option notched up an impressive 9km. Morning tea wasn't as sumptuous as usual, but at least Claire brought some pumpkin scones with jam and cream, and there were lovely egg sandwiches and cheese and bikkies. Nice! Thanks to everyone who participated. Welcome to first-timers Ray and Philip, and welcome back to Rob in his new Horizon Seaquel. Bob's photos are here.
PS Have you seen Knut's latest photo sequence, in the report just below here?
|Sunday 11 November 2012 - Knut's
Knut has posted a time-lapse photo sequence of last week's paddle at Summerland Point on You-Tube, which you can view here.
|Tuesday 6 November 2012 - Summerland
Point, Lake Macquarie
Some people went to the wrong park, miles away, by entering a long road into their GPS and not reading the directions. I will try to make the directions idiot-proof in future so do make an effort to read them.
Weather today was brilliant, with a NE breeze building from 5 to 15 knots by lunchtime. It's a beautiful area around Summerland Point with Sandy Beach Reserve on the west side of the peninsular, so we paddled north out around Frying Pan Point and into the similarly-named Bay. Around that little bay and Summerland Point and northwards towards Point Wolstoncroft. The breeze had generated some choppy conditions so we didn't go much further, though eight or so of us went as far as the Point Wolstcft Sport and Rec Centre boatshed, making a total of about 10km for us.
The trip back was much faster - it took me an hour to get to the boatshed, and 40 minutes to return to Sandy Beach! I didn't want to miss out on the food like I did last week, plus it was our 4th anniversary luncheon, and Sue had cooked up a mess of snags and kebabs, with salad and lovely fruit and dessert provided by the kayakers. Thanks everyone for such a beaut lunch, and thanks to Sue and the club for my birthday present of a luxury mouse-pad with my photo on it in my new kayak. I'm using it right now!
There were about 33 kayakers, including some new ones, so welcome to John, Tony and Raylee!
This week's photos by Bob are here. Has anyone any ideas on how to make photo albums with captions, that is easy? Thanks!
|Sunday 4 November 2012
Here are the photos from last week. No captions, sorry. Click here.
|Saturday 3 November 2012
Knut has made a collection of his kayaking videos on you-tube. See them here. His recipe for vineleaf vege fingers from the other week are on the Knut's Yummy Recipes page here.
|Tuesday 30 October 2012 - Wyee Creek
We were last here on June 19, and today we had 34 paddlers arrive for another go. A few of us hadn't been before, and curiosity about the effect of the recent bushfires in the area gave added interest.
A slight NE breeze kept us cool in otherwise excellent conditions. Across Wyee Bay and through the pipes under Rutleys Road is the first stage of this paddle, then a steady paddle up Wyee Creek, past the coal conveyor and up to The Enchanted Lake comes next. There was quite a lot of fire-damaged bush on the way, but also many areas untouched and some slightly singed sections, but on the whole not too bad from a kayaker's point of view.
Several paddlers turned around at this pont while the more adventurous of us kept paddling upstream to explore the creek. I turned into a little tributary to find some privacy, and wedged the front of my Prijon into a forked log to steady it. On alighting I found the water was over a metre deep and I looked like tipping my whole kayak over and drowning it, so I just let go and fell in the drink, while the kayak teetered on its side for a moment. At this moment Bob and Jack appeared, having followed me into the off-shoot waterway. While we were there the upstream contingent of the group became the downstream contingent as they passed unseen towards base. Jack decided to head upstream in his little sit-on to meet the long-gone others, while Bob and I headed back. The final result was that Bob and I were late back, and Jack was very late, and by the time we hit the food table there were only a few bikkies and shop cake left. Unusually I had to go home and make lunch. I was actually quite magnanimous about it.
Mark and Claire and Robert competed in the Hawkesbury Classic last weekend, but I haven't received any reports from them. Coming soon, hopefully.
Owing to my having a new computer this week, and finding that many programs I need are not on the PC, I have to download them, then get them to work, so this has delayed progress on the publication of this report and photos. I have Bob's photos but it may be a while before I finish processing them. Maybe Thursday, so be patient. We also have another recipe from Knut, and links to videos he has made, so all in due season, as Kev would say (Rudd that is).
|Tuesday 23 October 2012 - Brisbane
With a warm cloudy day and an SSE breeze of 20 knots, dropping to 15 by noon, the weather was not to everybody's liking, so only 18 paddlers turned up at the Gosford Sailing Club. However, those who were there enjoyed the brisk and challenging conditions as we struggled south to Point Frederick. At that point some less keen or less seaworthy kayakers went back. Some of the rest of us paddled into Caroline Bay for a good look round, very nice too, and yet others paddled right around to Erina Creek and had a little poke around in there.
With breaking waves and the strong southerly it made an exciting adventure and I really enjoyed putting my new kayak through its paces in the chop. It handled it very well, an excellent tough kayak. Even put my first scratches on it when I paddled under Iguana Joe's and got washed against oyster-encrusted piles.
A very interesting day's outing. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 16 October 2012 - Kilaben
Bay, Lake Macquarie
A cool morning soon warmed to a perfect day and later in the afternoon the temperature reached 33.5°C. While we were on the water though it seemed cool, especially in the 10-15 knot NW breeze. The girls wanted a swim but it didn't happen.
Launching at the Styles Point boat ramp the 28 or more of us then paddled west and south down past the old RAAF Catalina flying boat base, and down towards Fishing Point, with a lovely tail-wind. After a while we got sick of that and headed across the wide mouth of the Bay towards Coal Point, though some of us probably went back the way we had come, as it was fairly choppy out on the big water. We more or less circumnavigated Kilaben Bay, although some lazier kayakers circumsized the top of the bay off and paddled straight across.
Apparently we paddled roughly 7.5km anyway, coming back in just under 2 hours except for the adventurous ones who did the full trip around. We're not long-distance paddlers, except for Mark and Claire who are going in the Hawkesbury Classic soon. Mark always paddles ridiculous distances, but he didn't paddle at all today, preferring to spend his time constructively working on my Prijon while I paddled his Point 65° North. Thanks Mark, great after-sales service! Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
I'm operating under a handicap as one of my hard drives has gone invisible, so all my data files are gone and I'm limping along with the files I can get back from the websites server. New computer needed!
The recipe for Knut's Corn and Bacon Torte is here (3 recipes on here now!)
|Saturday 13 October 2012 - Knut's recipe from last week has been added to Knut's Yummy Recipes Page|
|Tuesday 9 October 2012 - Wyong River|
About 30 paddlers made it to Wyong, despite heavy rain in places right up until we were ready to launch. After that it was sunny and fine for the paddle, later patchy.
We paddled up the river to the weir, where 3 of us practised getting over it and launching in the upstream section. No-one else wanted to come, so Peter, Bob and I carried our kayaks down the rocky road to the lower half. We still desperately want to launch somewhere upstream of the weir, but can't find anywhere. Can't park at the Milk Factory complex any more as it's too busy.
We planned to have a look at Porters Creek on the way downstream but some of us missed it, so we just went back to the start. Some paddlers found the creek and poked around, but generally I think there wasn't enough water for navigation. Richard paddled all the way down to the lake, about 16km round trip, and was so late back we had packed up all the morning tea by the time he appeared. Luckily he brought his own coffee and food. The trip from the bridge to the weir return is only about 5.5km, but seems long enough to me.
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Monday 8 October 2012 - Knut's videos
Knut has uploaded some video from the Myall River holiday. Funny guys, they call themselves the riff-raff group after I suggested it 3 weeks ago. Here are the links, though the 2nd two are accessible from the youtube page:
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
|Tuesday 2 October 2012 - Chain Valley
Another beautiful morning with a SE breeze of 7-10 knots with 37 people showing up at CVB. It was lovely paddling down the southern shore of the bay, to the power station and past Darcy's place and the sailing club. It turned out we had a good tailwind, but didn't know it until we turned around near the end of the peninsula. Then it was a stiff headwind which sorted the sit-ins from the sit-ons, with choppy conditions and waves breaking over the front of our kayaks.
With so many cars in the carpark, a few fisher guys were put out by the lack of parking left for trailers, in the trailer-parking area, and, hey, sorry, but where else can we go, and it's only 2 or 3 times a year! We did park 2 and 3 deep in the trailer spaces and that's the best we can do.
Nothing could spoil the great morning and we all enjoyed the excellent morning tea provided by the kayakers. Thanks! Harry's photos are here.
PS Knut's lovely Pesto Scroll recipe is here
|Monday 1 October 2012 - Here are the photos from last week at The Entrance. Looks like fun! Click here!|
|Friday 21 September 2012 - Glenn's
report on Myall River Holiday
Click here for Glenn's report and photos
|Tuesday 18 September 2012 - Budgewoi
Lake at San Remo, Camp Breakaway
With the riff-raff away at Myall River camping, only about 20 élite kayakers attended today's event, in conditions that defy description. But I will try anyway - sunny, 20°C slight SE breeze, blissful!
We turned left at the lake and paddled towards Budgewoi, past Buff Point along the shore. It's very pretty along there and the lake looked a picture, all smooth and immense. Bill Aitken swung in behind a passing motor-boat and caught the wave behind the outboard motor, matching their speed of about 6 knots. His kayak was longer than the tinny too!
Richard, Peter and Bob continued to Budgewoi, going under the bridge and around the island, for a total of about 12km. The rest of us found a nice quiet spot to re-group and chat, before returning after about 9.5km. A few in little sit-ons did less than that.
I forgot to ring Peter to see if he wanted a lift, so he walked from Toukley towards Budgewoi pulling his kayak on a trolley, before Ray and Digger found him at the end of the good path about to turn down the old road, and stopped to give him a lift. Peter was heading to Mackenzie Park, so just as well Ray rescued him!
A superb day of paddling in paradise! Photos are here. Captions added Wednesday afternoon.
PS We had 2 newbies today - Merle's son Darren, over from Cambodia, and a visitor Graeme, looking to settle on the Central Coast.
|Tuesday 11 September 2012 - Budgewoi
About 30 paddlers turned up this morning in sunny warm weather, but with a SW breeze building from 10 knots to 15 during the morning. This forced us to stay on the Budgewoi side of the Toukley Bridge to escape the choppy water, so we paddled across the channel and onwards to the Beachcomber and the acquatic centre, where the depth of water became an issue.
Paddling out towards the middle of the lake towards San Remo, disturbing flocks of black swans we then had to decide for ourselves whether to continue in a big loop across the open choppy water in the breeze or go back the way we came with more shelter. The tuff kayak kontingent headed to Charmhaven while the smaller boats went back to the Beachcomber.
Richard did the full tour, paddling across to the hot water outlet at San Remo, up to Wallarah Creek, then back to base, a course which took him an extra 45 minutes. He probably paddled about 12 km, while the rest of us about 8 or 9. Bill, Debbie and I paddled under the bridge to try out the choppy water on the Tuggerah Lake. It was fun, and not too scary. Bill and I wanted to try out our new kayaks, and Debbie was re-living her youth. Bill paddled his home-built plywood kayak which you can see in the photos. No rudder yet, but he went OK. My Prijon handled the chop very well, and was easy to paddle into the wind, not like the DAG, which is sold.
There is a lot of weed around this lake which spoils it somewhat, but it's still a great paddling spot. Thanks to Sue and Doug for continuing to supply the hot water and sandwiches and stuff, and everybody for their divine food. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 4 September 2012 - Ourimbah
Impeccable conditions on Ourimbah Creek and Tuggerah Lake today, just perfetto! At least 36 kayakers came to Sunshine Park for a paddle down the creek and across the lake to The Entrance/Long Jetty. No breeze, 22°C... paradise!
It's 10 km for the return trip, not too hard, even for the sit-ons. Plenty to see with fishing boats and pelicans galore. Should see some of them in the photos. The news of course is that I have swapped my old DAG TUB for a new(ish) Prijon Yukon Expedition. Very happy!
Rolf and Peter paddled from Canton Beach and finished up going right around the lake before arriving at Sunshine Park. With the return trip they will have circumnavigated the whole lake, quite a trip!
Photos are here. For those who couldn't find the link to last week's photos on the Album Guide, I forgot to put them there! Sorry, Bernie!
|Tuesday 28 August 2012 - Dora Creek
On an absolutely beautiful day thirty kayakers paddled down Dora Creek to Lake Macquarie. The paddlers at the front just kept going while the main peleton re-grouped and paddled across to Shingle Splitters Point (SSP). John and Sabina and Barry, Richard and Stewart headed south into Bonnells Bay for a sight-seeing cruise, and somebody ahead of us continued past SSP towards Pulbar Island. It didn't look like Rolf, but we never saw him again, so we're awaiting further advice.
It was total bliss paddling across to SSP with the water glassy smooth, no breeze at all. A big catamaran powered towards us from Wangi direction, so we just let him go. He did slow down for us which was nice. Most boat operators slow down when they see the kayaks. The resultant glassy waves looked surreal! SSP is a lovely spot with the huge Norfick pines, and the stunted weather-beaten trees, like Bonsai. The distance from the launch site to SSP return is about 10km, while the tour of Bonnells Bay is closer to 14km. Mark launched at Marmong Point, up near Speers Point, paddled down to Summerland Point to pick up Claire, then they both paddled across to Dora Creek. Claire's mileage would be about 40km while Mark's will be 75km. Sheesh!
A brilliant day out on the water so thanks to everyone who turned up. Nice to see Marie-Jeanne again, and Rob and Mike with their new knees, still convalescing. Photos are here.
John's map of today's paddle to Shingle Splitters Point (slide cursor on image)
|Thursday 23 August 2012 - Maps of
See where John and Anne, and Doug and his faithful crew, paddled last Tuesday. Put your cursor on the image to see a bigger one.
Move cursor off image to go back (Image Rollover technology)
|Tuesday 21 August 2012 - Hawkesbury
River at Brooklyn
Sublime! Perfect location, perfect weather! Over 30 kayakers assembled at McKell Park on Parsley Bay for an expedition down the Hawkesbury. The amenities there are first class, as it is a very popular launching place for boats on the weekend, and the Brooklyn Council, or whatever, have invested millions on beautifying the bay, with toilets, covered picnic tables, sandstone landscaping and stuff. See the pictures.
Doug held the group back while I got ready, having arrived late, so thanks Dougie! Rolf and Peter arrived about 45 minutes late, but Sue pointed them in the right direction and they found us eventually. We just wandered down the river hugging the right-hand side, exploring all the little bays and shores - fascinating! I'm told that the oyster farmers used to shuck the oysters right on the shore and sell bottles of fresh oysters to passengers on the ferries, before the bridges were built. They must have been busy as there are whole beaches just made of discarded oyster shells, tons of them! There is evidence everywhere of a thriving industry, and it continues even now, except for the bottled shellfish on the ferries.
We had some newbies today, Carmen came with Debbie for her first kayaking experience, and Dave and Barbara joined us after Kee suggested it. They are experienced kayakers from Berowra. Haven't seen Azzie for a while but he was there too. Didn't see Mark but he could be paddling down from Newcastle, knowing him!
Anyway, thanks for coming everyone and have a look at Harry and Bob's photos here.
|A message from Paddling NSW which
you might be interested in -
A couple of kayaking & camping trips organised by River Canoe Club have been added to the PNSW calendar. Dunns Swamp on the first September weekend, and Williams River on the October long weekend. It would be appreciated if you could advise any of your members who may be interested.
Intending participants can register on the PNSW pages, or
email direct to myself (Gary: [email protected]).
Full descriptions are on the web pages:
Please let everyone know there's small cost for non-members of Paddle NSW - $10 for single event membership. It extends the PNSW insurance cover to a non-member.
|Tuesday 14 August 2012 - Newcastle
Lots of paddlers turned up at Throsby Creek this morning despite the chilly weather. It sooned turned nice with temperatures eventually pushing 18 or 19°C with a 10 knot NW breeze. Tide was out so plenty of sand next to the creek, and plenty of water in it.
Harry got a bit lost in Carrington on the way there, but we sent out a rescue team and brought him in. Mark is prepping for the Hawkesbury Classic, so he started at Raymond Terrace at 4.00am, with navigation lights, and paddled the 31km down to Throsby Creek to meet us. After his 10km paddle in the harbour he paddled back to Raymond Tce for a 70+km trip for the day. Well done Mark, if you survived!
At the leisurely time of 9.40am we headed down the Creek to Newcastle Harbour, with kayakers variously turning back at the Stockton Ferry Terminal, Horseshoe Beach, or the Tasman Sea past Nobby's Head. No waves but some swell from reports.
Plenty to see including a huge bulk carrier ship with tug escort coming down the river and out to sea, then the three tugs coming back, another tug with ship in tow, and various other ferries and fishing boats on the water. I paddled between the first and second tugs while crossing the river to the Stockton side - no drama, just fun!
Rolf and Bob and Mark and others went to sea, and Peter followed me across the river and headed upstream on his own, not having any idea where he was going. Luckily Garry and Karen and others were looking out for him and directed him back to base. The crossing of the Hunter River down to Throsby Creek was quite eery as one could not see the river flow, but the background scenery was moving sideways as if under way, even though we were headed straight for it, until we realised that the river was washing us downstream as we crossed it.
We finished up paddling between 7 and 10km depending on where we turned around. Viola and her mate Sylvia on their first foray into these unknown waters just went up Throsby Creek and down to the Cowper Street bridge. A fellow kayaker in a wooden kayak joined us for a paddle and morning tea and hopes to come next week. You're welcome, Stewart!
It's such an interesting paddle along the wharves and past Forgacs shipyard, the Grain Terminal and all the other points of interest - we loved it!
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 7 August 2012 - Lake Munmorah
Twenty-eight paddlers were found wandering at Mackenzie Park this morning, and three non-paddlers came to lunch as well, on this perfect day on the water, with its sunshine, light breeze and cool temperatures.
We headed up the west side of the lake towards the power station, carefully avoiding the large crops of weed and seagrass close to the shore. There were huge flocks of pelicans which are much more accepting of our proximity than black swans, but eventually they all took off in a huge fuss of flying wings, water and big fat seabirds. They didn't land again but kept circling around going higher and higher in their thermals, so Doug said. It's very pretty along this coast, and the water itself looked very clear and healthy, if over-nourished. Harry was stalking the pelicans, and found one with a fish in its bill. He could see that the fish was too big for the bird, so he made it cough it up and took the half-dead fish into care, later releasing it into the wild. It's in his photos! The pelican is receiving counselling.
Most of us paddled up to the outlet canal and the nearby channel, which you can go up for about 500 metres. Doug and I considered dragging our 4WD kayaks across to the hot water channel, but Bill reminded us about the boom across the mouth of the channel which would have stopped our egress.
My guess for distance is about 10-12 kms. It seemed a long way back across the middle of the lake, into a SW 5 knot breeze.
Back at the ranch, sue had cooked up a mess of snags and onions to go with all the delicious cakes and stuff (inc. home-made lemon meringue tarts from Claire). A top day roughing it in the outdoors! Thanks everyone for your participation!
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 31 July 2012 - Lake Macquarie
Sorry for the delay in this report.
A typical freezing day but clear and with a brisk breeze. Twenty-two uf us paddled north in the little bay near the Morisset Hospital to Pourmalong Creek which takes us into the Kampahtoo Aboriginal Reserve with only bush and kangaroos and wallabies. They're so cute! We can paddle up this creek for 3km quite easily, and Russell went as far as it goes, and although there are many obstacles, he didn't have to get out of his kayak even once.
Because of the bay and the creek, we were protected from the wind so stayed nice and warm, only feeling the cold wind as we came back out wide for some variety. Most of us paddled only about 7-8km today, but it seemed enough.
Trevor kept us all busy looking for his car keys in the planter box at morning tea. We ripped the whole thing apart for about 20 minutes till he found them in his trouser leg after they fell through a hole in his pocket.
Such a pleasant venue with a variety of interesting trips available. Bob's and Russell's photos are here.
|Tuesday 24 July 2012 - Avoca Lake
It was raining on our way down to Avoca Beach, and rained some more while we paddled and had morning tea. But as Bill said - it is a water sport! I didn't actually count anything today but 26 people made the effort and were well rewarded with mild, sometimes sunny, weather, ideal for kayaking 9 kilometres on a nice lake.
Although you might think - a small lake, not worth the effort! But it's quite extensive if you follow the shores, which we sort of did, giving us about an hour and three quarters of interesting paddling, including the nice Saltwater Creek, but not the same one as at Long Jetty. This gave the adventurous types a chance to have a bit of fun, as you will see from the photos which Harry and Bob thoughtfully provided. See them here.
We had to provide our own picnic area but we are set up to do that, thanks to Doug who brings everything we need each week to ensure we don't miss out on our morning tea. Sue as usual made a heap of yummy sandwiches, but she had left for other duties by the time we returned. Doug and Sue are the heart and soul of this group.
Russell was a bit late and didn't find us on the lake for an hour. Darryl was 35 minutes late and didn't even put his kayak in the water, just had a coffee at the shop and went home - you wuss, Daz!
Another top outdoorsy winter day, healthy, social and fun. Hope it never stops!
|Tuesday 17 July 12 - Gwandalan,
Another perfect day in paradise, temperatures from 12-18°C, NW breeze around 5 knots, sunshine, fresh air. About 36 paddlers on the water and over 40 at morning tea. Welcome back to many, including Warren and Barbara, after Waz fell down and gashed his leg in March, Gail and Glenn after holidays, Linda back from Europe, Suzanne after shoulder surgery, and welcome to Sabina from Summerland Point, accompanying her husband John, mates of Russell's.
Talk about keen, most people were on the water by 5 to 9 and gone by 9 o'clock. Some, like Barry and Richard, I didn't see till m/t. First we headed down the Crangan Bay to the bottom and up Mangrove Gully Creek all of you who thought it was Crangan Creek, till we hit a beaver dam about 500 metres up. Back to the lake and up the eastern shore to Nords Wharf on beautifully clear and sparkling water. From there most of us went back across to the south-western shore and down to the starting point. Richard and Baz, and maybe Doug, turned right at the shore and went north for a while, to add some distance, to max out at 10km. The short route for most of us was only 7km, about the shortest we do on our weekly trips. Mark drove to Summerland Point, and paddled to Crangan with Claire, only 5km by road, but 10km around Point Wolstoncroft, making a 27km trip for the day - well done, guys!
Morning tea was epic, with so much delicious food and so many people. Thanks to everyone who brung something, and special thanks to Sue for her sangers and the hot drinks. Such dedication! All told, an excellent social event!
Harry and Bob's photos are here, but have you seen Rolf's pix from last week? Click on the link just below this line.
|Saturday 14 July 2012 - Mooney Mooney Creek - Rolf's photos are here.|
|Tuesday 10 July 2012 - Mooney Mooney
Very special weather today at Hawkesbury River - cool and foggy! With the cloud down to about 30 metres there was no sun to be seen till we were having morning tea, but the water was flat and the air still, so it was very pleasant.
First we paddled down to the F3 bridge, taking care to avoid the construction zone at the northern end, as instructed by 2 guys with orange vests in a tinny. Left turn immediately, keeping left of beautiful Spectacle Island and start heading up Mooney Creek, past Snake Island, also spectacular wilderness, and Cheero Point [sic] then Sailors Chest Point, and on for 10 minutes,which is as far as I got. That took an hour, making my elapsed time 2 hours for the whole trip, about 9km, while the faster kayaks went much further, covering about 13km in about the same time.
The whole experience was awesome, with the eery fog, glassy water and the wonderful craggy shores of Brisbane Water National Park.
There are many interesting boats, boatyards, houses and gardens, some vertical, to look at, and quite a few oyster punts buzzing up and down the creek, making interesting waves for us. These flat-bottomed boats don't have much wake as they just sit on top of the water and hardly disturb it, even doing many knots.
We all got safely back, about 30 of us (forgot to count), and enjoyed an amazing morning tea, including Claire's pumpkin scones, jam and cream, and many other delights. Well worthwhile getting up at 6.15am for this. Well done youse!
PS Claire's photos are here.
|Tuesday 3 July 2012 - Budgewoi Lake,
Gorokan Fish Co-op is not a very exotic location, but provides a good paddle in any weather. Today bringing a 5 to 10 knot NW breeze left us only one choice - left up towards Charmhaven to Wallarah Creek, with the wind coming from the port quarter (in your face!). Some tuffer types paddled right up Wallarah Creek to the Charmy Bridge, thus making the outing a bridge-to-bridge and return affair, totalling 12 km. For us less ambitious kayakers, we paddled as far to the creek as we wanted, then headed back, in the breezy choppy conditions.
Myself, I paddled up to the creek and turned back at the weed morass, but on the way back I went under the Toukley Bridge to test the southern waters. Things were very breezy and choppy so I soon came back, for about 8km. The temperature started out near 10°C but warmed to 16° by morning tea, which we had near the shore with the full sun, making it the ideal spot to be. There were over 30 paddlers and a couple of visitors for m/t.
A 70th birthday presentation in the usual format (photo of birthday boy on framed canvas, see it here) was made to Graham, while Anne D got a 60th award (cake). A very pleasant workout on the water.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
|See Linda's latest report from France here.|
|Tuesday 26 June 2012 - Blackalls
Despite the threatening weather, the sky cleared and we were bathed in brilliant sunshine for hours! Now the truth - it was pouring rain on the way up to Blackalls Park and continued to rain while we had an early morning tea under the generous shelter shed. There were 14 of us there to try our luck, and we felt a bit miffed at having come all this way just for a cup of coffee.
Soon, however, it did start to clear, so eleven of us donned our kayaks and paddled onto Fennell Bay. We decided on LT Creek which was straight across the bay, but we took the long way around for fun, except for Kate and Viola who went directly across to catch up to the speedsters, then up LT Creek. Some kayakers stopped at the pipe across the creek, but as it's only an inch or less above the water and very slippery, Doug and I ploughed over it and kept going at least another 300 metres till the water ran out at a rocky rapids. On the way back we went up the other arm that doesn't appear on the map, and paddled up to the very end of that as well. We did all this in very pleasant conditions - no wind, no rain, no sun.
Five explorers, Mark, Claire, Bob, Rolf and Peter, also paddled across to Stony Creek, and came back in formation, five abreast, all the way. It started raining by the time thay got back, while the rest of us were back under the shelter having lunch, so we didn't care. Doug and I did 6km so the Stony Creek Crew would have done about ten. Then we ate and drank and chatted for an hour or so and reckoned we had a pretty good day, and were glad we came.
Bob and Harry were both there snapping shots, and they are here.
|Thursday 21 June 2012 - Hey,
Winter Solstice! The days can only get longer now. The Central Coast Tourism
Authority is running a competition for the best-kept secret fun thing to
do on the CC. I have entered and nominated the Toukley Kayakers. Have a
look at this
|Tuesday 19 June 2012 - Mannering
A beautiful winter's day - 15-18°C, NW breeze starting at 0 going up to 15 knots by noon. Sunny. Thirty-five or so kayakers decided to visit Wyee Creek again, as many newcomers had not been there, and it's very nice anyway. Round trip between 8 and 11km depending on how far one went up the creek.
The pipes can be confronting for new visitors and we have had some baulk at the pipe, but we all did it today even though Wendell fell in. Hopefully Harry has a photo to show us the spectacle. Sorry, Wendell! There was no breeze on our way across Wyee Bay and up the creek but it pushed us back across the lake on the way home, and at about 15 knots kept us all nice and cool during morning tea.
With a few visitors coming for m/t we finished up with about 40 people to share the delightful spread they all provided. Thanks guys! Claire made some punkin scones with jam and cream all of which she made herself. Not just a pretty face!
An excellent day paddling and socialising together! What a group!
Our photographers sent me 83 photos. Here are 42 of the best.
PS Mike, Kevin and Wayne are travelling down the Danube by bike.
See their story here.
| Tuesday 12 June 2012 - Tuggerah
Lake, The Entrance
Only ten kayakers fronted up this morning, with another two appearing for morning tea. No doubt the weather kept you all away, but in fact it was 17°C at Picnic Point at 9.00am, and there was no rain all morning. The sun shined, the clouds billowed and the wind blew from the SSE at 18-20 knots. As we kept to the ESE edge of the lake, we missed out on the wind except when we went out wide to come straight back, when we copped it in the tail.
Did you know that the 3 jetties along this shore are called, from north to south - Long Jetty, Walkins Jetty and Parrys Jetty? Anyway, Richard and I (and maybe Doug) went under the first 2 while everyone else paddled around the ends. There are a couple of little creeks along that lake edge which we (mostly Doug) checked out. Saltwater Creek where the big old arch bridge is was interesting - there is a huge white house on one corner of the outlet into the lake, but further upstream there are funny old houses backing onto the creek and its offshoots reminiscent of a different place and time altogether.
Carol and Rolf found a drowning blue-tongue lizard in the creek (they aren't built for swimming) so Rolf carefully lifted it out of the water with his paddle and placed it on a concrete step to hopefully dry and and survive. We're nominating him for a rescue award.
At about 8 km return this was enough for most of us, but some faster paddlers also made it round to the bridge and into the lagoon where conditions (the wind) were more challenging. A good paddle in a favorite old lake, better than staying at home crocheting doyleys.
PS Photos are here.
|Tuesday 5 June 2012 - Ourimbah Creek
Bad weather was expected but all we got was the wind, and cold temperatures (10-16°), and sunny skies.
About 29 of us paddled up Ourimbah Creek from Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, under the road and the railway line, to the small weir. At this point most paddlers turned around and went back to camp, with Richard at least going out onto the lake. The westerly breeze left him still protected somewhat from choppy water, but the situation at The Entrance, and Saratoga where we were supposed to go, would have been very bleak and not nice.
Several keen kayakers, me, Peter, Andrew and Judith, Bob and Harry, climbed over the weir and continued upstream as far as we could till we were stopped by a major log-jam (see the photos). Coming back over the weir was much easier than going up, with most of us in plastique craft just paddled down the rapids or over the wall, while Peter and Bob got out and carried their boats around the rocky weir. This was not without its risks either, as Bob slipped on the grassy bank and muddied his bum.
We were all nice and warm by then, but lunch in the open park showed us that it was still quite cold. The temperature now at 1.30pm is 16.5°C. It was very nice to get back in my warm car and drive home. But - a good paddle and one worth doing despite the dodgy weather predictions.
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 May 2012 Croudace Bay
Well, I say Croudace Bay, but when we got there the wind was blowing onshore straight across the lake and it was very cold, rainy and windy. After a brief conference we decided to adjourn to Cockle Creek at Speers Point, which would naturally be more protected. However, launching at the boat ramp in Cockle Creek, we then paddled out onto the lake, as it seemed calmer than at Eleebana. Some people didn't like the choppy conditions on the lake and went back up Cockle Creek, led by Claire.
The rest of us perservered around the edge of Cockle Bay and into Warners Bay, heading for North Creek, where Ruth took John, me and Barry back on 27 March. This time we had a 15 knot SW breeze which provided the excitement with choppy water and waves breaking into the kayaks, but which was no help to forward progress in either direction. Once we were in the creek conditions changed dramatically with serenity and calm reigning o'er us.
North Creek is quite nice with bush most of the way, ending in a small weir, which this time, unlike 27/3, a few of us dragged our arses over and continued upstream for a good, aawww, 100 metres before hitting another weir, then another 50m to a large pipe across the creek, stopping further progress. Some of us managed to paddle back down the weirs, with a good flow of water, with shiny kayaks like Mark's and Bill's sliding easily down, while plastic tubs like mine whose bottoms are as rough as sandpaper took more effort. Young Peter didn't take the risk of sliding over the weir, but got out and portaged to the downstream side. This went pear-shaped when he tried to get back aboard in the deep water and provided such entertainment for the rest of us, he should get an award for it. I think Harry will have some photos.
Back out onto the windy lake we just plugged on back to the shelter of Cockle Creek, completing about 9km for the day. At times it was cold, windy and raining a bit, but at morning tea time it was sunny and warm, I just had on a T-shirt (and jeans), but as soon as we started getting ready to go home, the skies darkened and rain ensued, so we were lucky to get in such a good paddle and picnic.
About 27 people braved the conditions, which is excellent for a crap day. Next week at Saratoga, see u then! Harry and Ray's photos are here.
|More dragon boat photos from April
Click here for more photos (in new window, just close to come back here).
|Double kayak for sale. Go to Club Notices page here.|
|Friday 25 May 2012 - Glenn's Report
on Murray River, WA, trip
A brief report on Gail's and my adventure on the other Murray River which is in Western Australia just south of Perth.
After setting up camp at Nanga Mill Camp Ground, Lane Poole Reserve Dwellingup, we organised a paddle with a local operator. We left our vehicle at the end point of the paddle and he took us upstream with a double canoe. The entry point was at Yaragal and the end point Baden Powell Water Spout. We entered the water around 9.30am and got to know our craft. It handled like a pig. Gail sat at the front so was captain for the day. We then set off with the current and worked our way downstream. The river at this point is a series of long water holes with small obstructions and rapids. This required some portage around some spots and just for me to get out and push the canoe and the captain over the shallows.
The total distance of the paddle was 10 k's and with a lunch break and a chance for me to dry off after my section of the canoe filled with water (the captain didn't get wet of course) we reached the end at 2.00pm. We sat in the sunshine and waited for the operators to come and collect the canoe, paddles etc.
A lovely day on a river that hasn't been developed. We were told that later in winter after rain it can be a white water ride.
A couple of photos attached (click here). The new grandson is doing well so we are slowly making our way back east.
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 22 May 2012 - Wallarah Creek,
Thirty-five people brought their kayaks and launched at the hot water canal near Camp Breakaway. The weather was perfetto! A slight NW breeze (5 knots) pushed our faces, which built up a bit for the return tailwind journey, giving us some waves to surf along.
At the confluence, most paddlers went up Spring Creek, to visit the barking dogs, while some of us took the Wallarah Creek option which is quieter and bushier. Both routes go under the railway line and become more challenging as they get narrower. On the Wallarah Creek, 11 of us kept going to a large fallen tree which deterred the less adventurous ones, while Peter, I and Bob met the challenge but turned back as soon as we had got through the obstacle.
Our distance paddled was about 11km, except for Rolf and Peter who launched at Canton Beach thereby adding about another 12km to their trip.
Another top kayaking trip, continuing to amaze us at how much fun you can have in this simple, cheap sport. If only people knew what they're missing!
Bob's, Harry's and Ray's photos are here (new window).
|Wednesday 16 May 2012 - Harry's photos from yesterday are here.|
|Tuesday 15 May 2012 - Wyong River
The perfect weather continues - cool to start but warming to a blistering 18°C, cloudless sunny sky, faint breeze... Thirty-five members of the public assembled by coincidence at Lions Park, Wyong, so we all paddled up to the weir, where many turned back, presumably to go back to the lake. Nine of us dragged our kayaks over the weir, followed 20 minutes later by sleepyhead Russell, paddling up to the narrow channel where our further progress was blocked by fallen trees. Doug and I got through (surprise!) but the others were struggling, so we decided seeing it was already 10.30am that we would head back. Doug had taken the anabranch to find an easier way through, and we met him at the bottom of that creek.
Richard turned at the weir and paddled down to the Tuggerah Lake, then back to base, completing I think about 16km, while the pioneer group did about 11km, and the rest, who knows, about 8km?
A couple of faces fairly new were those of Greg, and Wendell so welcome again, guys!
Wyong Creek still holds much interest for us, with its beauty and its challenges, a lot of fun! Blissful!
Ray and Bob's photos are here. Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 8 May 2012 - Ettalong Beach
A top day with perfect weather greeted us at Ettalong Beach. There was some confusion about where to park and launch due to a discrepancy between the map ref I had nominated, sight unseen, and the better venue further north, with plenty of parking and a toilet. However, we all launched where we wanted to and met on the water from where we paddled with the incoming tide up to Rip Bridge where we discovered just how fast the tide was, as we attempted to cross to the eastern side of Brisbane Water. It was a battle to make headway, but we managed, although some guys decided to go the Kincumber and return with the change of tide.
The rest of us headed south along the east side of Brissy Water, passing the quaint and pretty townships of Killcare, Hardys Bay and Wagstaffe before crossing back to our point of departure. The Palm Beach ferry came screaming out of nowhere into the channel and did a sharp right turn around the channel markers, quite a sight! I paddled out around the markers into the choppy water before the breaking waves on the bar and followed the ferry back into the lagoon. We could go further out here next time.
We had a long wait for the Kincumber adventurers to return, Rolf being the first, before Mark put his kayak back in the water to go and search for Keith and Paul. He found them down at The Rip Bridge, and accompanied them back to base, thus having completed the trip twice. Remember though that this is the guy (Mark) who started at Gosford early one morning and paddled down through here, out on to Broken Bay, up the Hawkesbury and up Moonee Moonee Creek, and back, for a 17 hour day of paddling another time (16 August 2011).
Anyway, for the 20 of us who were there today it was a memorable outing in perfect conditions. We also celebrated Trevor's 70th birthday today - congrats, Trev!
Bob's photos are here. Also, Kee made a short video of my launch. Click here.
|Tuesday 1 May 2012 - Budgewoi
No report today as I wasn't there, but Bob has taken some nice photos (no captions, sorry). Click here for photos.
|Tuesday 24 April 2012 - Davistown.
We were blessed with a very pleasant sunny day with a light breeze, 28 kayakers, and a visitor checking us out (David).I got there just as everyone was paddling away and never saw them again, till morning tea. Rob and Robyn left just after me and we headed north and stuck to the shore. That was our mistake as we shoulda gone across to Woy Woy Channel, but kept going up Paddys Channel to Saratoga and open water.
Still, we had an enjoyable if quiet paddle for an hour and a half, and got back just ahead of the main team, apart from Boston Bill who lost the others and came back by himself. Jen and Graeme paddled down under Rip Bridge and out to the ocean within sight of Lion Island etc.
We were lucky to miss the rain which fell on the way home and continues all afternoon. As we speak. So, lucky to get in such a good day's paddling. Harry's photos are here.
|Monday 23 April 2012 - Kee sent a funny picture from last Tuesday. Click here to see (just close window when finished).|
|Tuesday 17 April 2012 - Lake Macquarie,
The cloudy sky soon dissolved into rain as we set off from the picnic area on the lake and paddled north. Patchy rain at first, but by the time we got back it was steady and soaking. Not that we cared. We soon found Pourmalong Creek, which was a surprise, and it turned out to be perfect for our paddling requirements - long enough, wide at first gradually narrowing till it dwindled away about 4km upstream (that's just a guess). A few loggy hazards soon sorted out the cruising kayaks from their cross-country cousins. Doug, Danny, Russell and Harry went as far as we could, with the shorter boats having the advantage.
About 30 people paddled, a good turn-up given the weather, and despite the rain we all enjoyed ourselves. Getting changed was a bit hard, in the rain, but we found a beaut shelter with picnic table for our morning tea. I saw hundreds of little furry macropods - so cute, but a bit soggy today.
Harry's photos are here.
|Harry's photos of the dragon boat day are here.|
|Tuesday 10 April 2012 - Toukley
on Lake Budgewoi
It's a shocker of a day for anything on the lake, with SE winds 20-25 knots and whitecaps abundant. Luckily, we had arranged to have a try-out for the Dragon Boat team, and didn't have to face the weather in our kayaks. Seating 20 paddlers, the enormous boat held most of our eager members, with dragon boat ladies organising and steering the vessel.
They paddled up towards The Beachcomber at a rate of knots, indistinguishable from a professional crew (because of the spray). I launched my kayak and had a paddle around, following the DB up towards the Beachcomber, at about half the speed. We all came back with the wind even faster and gladly called it quits for the day.
Carol brought her beautiful paddle board and showed us how to use it. Bob and Rolf both had a go, but it's very hard the first time, and both fell in a couple of times, but at least they had a go, good on them!
After everybody was dry and warm again, Doug and Sue set up the barbecue and morning tea tables, and we all had an early lunch and a good chat. There was a very nice salad to go with snags and chicked kebabs, and yummy cakes and buns, with the theme being chocolate. For a very windy day we finished up having quite a good time, one that we'll never forget. Harry's photos are here.
I was chatting with Barry and Gloria Squires and they mentioned that they lived on a yacht for 9 years, including sailing around the world for 5 years. They mentioned the Mediterranean, Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, and how they got hit by a 70 knot storm off eastern Australia. Fascinating stuff! Got any photos, Gloria?
|Friday 6 April 2012 - Extra stuff - Carol's photos of Swansea are here. Good photos too!|
|Tuesday 3 April 2012 - Swansea/Belmont
On a warm sunny day, over 30 paddlers arrived at the excellent venue north of Swansea near Coon Island, with its beach, swimmable water, parking and toilets.
With the tide flowing out at speed, we paddled across the sand island towards the centre of the lake, west of Spectacle Is and Pelican Is and some other big island, up to Marks Point and around Cane Point. Some of us continued north, with serious paddlers like Bernie and Sue, and Andy and Judy, going as far as the Belmont 16ft club. A few others, including Doug and Mark, entered Cold Tea Creek, at the north end of the reserve next to the highway, going under pipes and the highway to reach the Belmont Lagoon and Sewage Works. Sounds like fun! Mark fell in when his kayak drifted away as he attempted to board it.
I was sharing Jill's double kayak and we paddled up to the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club Marina, with Barbara and Warren. From there we just paddled all the way back to Coon Island without stopping. She's a hard task-mistress that girl! Julie and Mick got lost coming back and headed towards Eraring, but Warren followed them out into the middle of the lake and saved them.
When we arrived back, the car-park was filled by then with not only our cars, but picnickers and swimmers, so we grabbed a table for our morning tea. Actually, Colin didn't paddle for medical reasons, and stood guard over our stuff and reserved the table. There followed an unbelievable feast of all things naughty and nice, and some healthy stuff.
The distance up to Belmont and back was about 10-11 km, and it took only 1 hour 45 for Jill and I to do it. The more adventurous guys were longer. I think they had more fun, and if I had been in my usual boat, I would have been there wif 'em.
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 27 March 2012 - Cockle Creek,
Hi! Cockle Creek is a fair way from home, but it was worth the trip. Weather was perfect (25°C, slight breeze, scattered cloud), and 34 kayakers to share the morning with.
Most people wanted to head up Cockle Creek as usual, and away they went, while Ruth, John and I paddled out to the lake and set a course for Warners Bay. After a while a late-starting Baz joined us three and we stuck to the shore watching people on the bike path as we churned down to Speers Point (the point) and into Warners Bay (the bay). Ruth, being a local, was able to direct us into North Creek which was a very pleasant paddle of about 500 metres, each way. We then headed across towards Eleebana and South Creek, very similar to its northern cousin, both creeks ending at a rock weir where we turned around.
Feeling tired by now, we headed back to Cockle Creek, under orders from Ruth to head towards Mt Sugarloaf TV towers, which was spot-on. We didn't arrive back at the venue till 11.30am, later than the Cockle Creek paddlers, who had a lovely time, apparently, but not as much fun as us. Some of the Creek group turned around at the confluence, completing about 9km, while the rest of us, in both contingents, paddled about 12-13km. Enough to work up an appetite which Sue sated with some hot sausage and mustard (food, glorious food!), and all the other yummy provisions which the rest of us brought.
Ray took a few photos and they are all here.
|Tuesday 20 March 2012 - Woy Woy
We last came to Woy Woy only 4 weeks ago, but with only 4 kayakers to enjoy the waterfall then, we thought we had better do it again. This time 27 paddlers turned up, which is enough for the little car-park at Correa Bay, even then we parked 2 and 3 deep.
The waterfall was much subdued, but still worth the visit. The weather was very pleasant, about 23°C with a slight N breeze. The round trip to the waterfall was only 9 km so quite a few of us went further, eg. north to the railway bridge, or south to Woy Woy Creek, paddling under the road and up to big pipes with not enough water in them. All good fun and very pretty scenery!
Bob's photos are here.
We had to change the venue as announced last week on news of the water being drained out of Avoca Lagoon. I did change the venue on this website on Wednesday, but 3 people still turned up at Avoca this morning. Sorry for that, guys! In case such a change is made due to conditions, always check this page again on Monday night.
Also, a message from a visitor -
I made my first visit with the Toukley kayakers today at Woy Woy Bay. I enjoyed the paddle very much and intend to attend further paddles in the future. I had not realised that after the paddle tea & refreshments were served and each of us was meant to bring something to eat. I will make up for that error at future visits.
I managed to take some shots if you are interested and attach same (Follow on from Bob's pix).
Thanks for the great morning
|Tuesday 13 March 2012 - Vales Point/Wyee
An unbelievably beautiful day - about 23°C, no breeze, sunny - welcomed about 47 paddlers (not sure how many as we are not an organised club, remember!). The water at Vales Point, Mannering Park, was like glass, only softer, so we couldn't resist going back down to The Pipes (an ancient natural formation under Rutleys Road), instead of a boring old paddle across to Morisset. Everyone enjoyed it, and many had not done this magical paddle before.
We had a big raft-up on the Enchanted Lake, but we couldn't get everybody in one photo, and some had already gone upstream, and no, I'm not going to Photoshop you in. At a big fallen tree which was easily negotiated many paddlers turned back, thus completing about 10km, while those of us who went further did up to 13 kilometers. Enough to earn a decent feed back at the mess hut.
Today's photos are here.
|Saturday 10 March 2012 - Reports
and photos for February
Tuesday 14th Feb, Jill took the morning tea bits for the remaining paddlers that turned out at Wyong that week, I think she said there were 25 paddlers. Jill might be able to elaborate.
Tuesday 21st Feb, 4 paddlers braved the elements that were ever present at home and headed to Woy Woy in the hope it wouldn’t be raining there. They guessed right! Carol, Bob, Rolf and Peter had a very good paddle without rain until the home run and a slight shower passed over and kept going. Doug and Sue were there at the end with morning tea and a shelter (just in case), but the rain didn’t reappear until, all but Bob, had packed up and left. So yet again, the weather didn’t spoil a Tuesday paddle – for 4 at least. Carol has photos and said the waterfall was magnificent, given all the rain we have had lately.
Tuesday 28th Feb, a glorious sunny, somewhat hot day (by this summer’s standard). I think it managed to rocket to 29 degrees! 46 paddlers including 5 “newbies” made their way up to the weir. A few paddlers then decided to venture further down the creek and out to the lake. It was very calm and warm out on the water, very pleasant. Morning tea was its usual feast of delights enjoyed by all.
Reports gathered by Sue
The photos for all these paddle events are on the Albums Page. (Well worth looking at, too, especially the Waterfall Bay ones)
|Tuesday 6 March 2012
Quite a nice day with patchy clouds and warmth. A southerly breeze of 15 knots kept us busy on the open water. We firstly paddled down to Whiteheads Lagoon for some comfortable cruising, then out onto Myuna Bay and around Rocky Point where we copped the full wind and choppy water, with waves up to half a metre, and lots of whitecaps.
Some hardy types kept going south towards Dora Creek, with Jenny and Graham making it to that place in their super tandem tub. After a frolic in the waves most of us turned back to Myuna Bay with some heading directly for home and others crossing said bay and returning along the opposite side. Azzie came to grief off Rocky Point with the wind and the waves combining to tip him over in the shallow water.
We paddled between 6 and probably 10 kms for the day and were safely back on shore by 11.00am, except for J & G who were late back from their trip to Dora Ck.
Plenty of fresh air, not too much wind-chill, and a good chinwag made it a grouse day out.
I have some skimpy reports and hundreds of photos from the last 3 weeks, including a 4MB CD of 287 photos from Dunns swamp, which I will publish in a few days.
Today's photos from Ray and Bob are here.
|Sunday 12 February 2012 - Kee's
video of Narara Creek last week
Click here for YouTube video.
|Tuesday 7 February 2012 - Narara
What at first appeared to be a gloomy rainy day turned out nice, with the rain staying up and the 15 knot southerly breeze not able to reach us except on the Broadwater.
About 42 kayakers made it to the Gosford Sailing Club, so it was another excellent presentation by this non-club. Narara Creek isn't all that beautiful, but it's interesting and you can get lost in Fagans Bay if you don't know where you're going. If you go up far enough it may get quite nice, but I didn't make it. However, a 12 km paddle is good anywhere and there are plenty of worse places to go and things to do.
The return across from the railway bridge to the sailing club was quite exciting if you're not used to the choppy water. But we all made it back OK and were met by Boston Bill who didn't have his car, so rode his bike instead.
Bob's and Harry's photos are here. See Kee's YouTube video above.
|Wednesday 1 February 2012 - Kee's video from Cockle Creek yesterday, including dolphin, is here!|
|Tuesday 31 January 2012 - Cockle
Bay, Lake Macquarie
Quite a distance from Toukley, but well worth the trip - Cockle Bay and Awaba Bay were a delight, with 26°C, a slight breeze, cloudy so no sun, perfect!
We launched in Cockle Creek which has the best facilities - boat ramp with floating jetty, plenty of parking, taps, lawn.. The toilet is there somewhere I think. Out of Cockle Creek and around Cockle Bay to the boats and stuff at Booragul, around Marmong Point, named after the local marsupial rabbit which died out about 500 years ago. Just a slight ripple on the water made paddling so easy. We kept going down the coast to what's called Awaba Bay, even though it's a straight coastline and down past Bolton Point, the suburb not the point. I went for a swim in the water, on purpose, but nobody else was inclined to. Then we saw some dolphins about 30-40 metres away - just the icing on the cake for a top day!
Most of us paddled about 10-12km so were pleased to get morning tea with such beautiful food brought by everyone. After a good hard paddle you feel justified in tucking in. Very sociable!
What had been a light northwester changed into a fairly brisk SW around noon, so we were lucky not to get caught in that, the water became quite choppy with white-caps. A blissful day on the water!
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Saturday 28 January 2012 - Toukley & District Cycle Club Official Photo Album now available here.|
|Tuesday 24 January 2012 - Budgewoi
We launched today at a new venue, Highview Avenue reserve, San Remo. Plenty of parking, toilets, picnic area... This meant a biggish paddle across to Wallarah Creek and up Spring Creek, past the Motorway Link bridge and beyond. I paddled about 200 metres past the bridge which gave me a total trip of about 12km, a good workout.
Conditions were warm, humid, cloudy, 10 knot SE breeze and some rain, so pretty good for paddling, although many paddlers had their jackets on against the rain, but soon took them off. It got a bit choppy on the lake on the way back, but it was beautiful up the creeks.
Thirty-four kayakers participated, not bad considering the rain. It's always very pleasant up these creeks, Wallarah and Spring, and so it was today,scenic, placid water, a rowdy audience of dogs, and sheltered from the wind.
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 17 January 2012 - Dora Creek
A warm day with breezes with about fifty paddlers out having a ball! The locals couldn't get a parking spot. We paddled up to the confluence with Stockton Creek, turning left into this fine creek. A lot of us, including me, made it to the Freeman Drive bridge then turned back, totalling about 10 km which took me about 1 hour 50. Others with faster kayaks went to the end (beginning?) of this creek, and some went back to Dora Creek for a squiz.
Not much wildlife here, but a good paddle with plenty of water and room to move. There were a few new faces today, namely Knut's son Kristian, Deb's friend Gary, Peter, and back after their stay in Boston, Bill and Kerry. A very pleasant paddle and a very nice morning tea afterwards. This started out as a thermos and a few bikkies - not sure what happened, but we need 7 vacuum pots of hot water, a vat of ice water, 3 litres of milk, and enough food to feed 100 people!
Sue, bless her heart, made me a presentation of a photo display in a big frame as a token of appreciation for my efforts on this very website. The three photos are of me in 3 of my first 4 kayaks (no photos of #3, sent back after 1 week) showing the evolution from toy kayaks to my present workhorse tub. Thanks you guys, but don't do it again!
Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday Twilight Paddle 10 January
What a night! The evening was overcast with a fresh north-easter blowing but this didn't stop the people turning up for the Moonlight Paddle. Doug said count the boats, but it was like herding cats. I got to 34 singles and 7 doubles but there could have been more. [could be 50 people]
We took off to the south around the weed beds then headed north towards the channel markers. The nor-easter was whipping up the waves but paddlers ploughed on. After heading for the eastern shore and along the channel behind the island, the paddle became a delight with the breeze helping to push us down under the bridge past the caravan park and the waterfront buildings toward the sea entrance. We certainly drew attention ourselves as we passed the fishermen and walkers and diners with all our lights shining and flashing. The sunset was bedazzling with enough cloud to set up a fantastic afterglow (hope the photo artistes caught the colours).
We then headed back towards Picnic Point but not until most waited on the water to see the moon rise through a light cloud cover.
After landing, the tea and coffee was set up and the food laid out. The table was loaded with all sort of goodies (some healthy and some full of calories) and the conversations started.
General agreement was that it was a fantastic night. Sue had certainly organised a fantastic sunset and moon rise for us.
Gail and Glenn
Photos are here.
3 January 2012 - Summerland Point
A beautiful day to start the new year - 30°C, 15 knot breeze, I would have said NW but Seabreeze says NE, sunny... About 40 people chose to join us today, but most of them I didn't see till morning tea, as I launched away from the main group. We just headed north around Summerland Point and hugged the coast all the way up to Point Wollstonecroft, where many of us had a swim in the limpid waters. Delightful!
On the way back Gloria and I mistook Frying Pan Point for Summerland Point and headed off down the middle of the lake. You always know when you are lost because you can't see anybody else. Barry's new GPS came into play as he directed his wife and me in the right direction. The distance was about 14km depending on how much of a shortcut one took across the bay.
The perfect activity for us on such a nice day!
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 27 December 2011 - Ourimbah
Creek, Chittaway Bay
We didn't expect too many starters on this holiday but 24 paddlers made it, plus a few more for morning tea. Sue had her new boat which she just got for her birthday. We had some newbies, viz John and Joyce, friends of Carol's, who enjoyed their first outing.
Above the trees and out on the lake the wind was blowing at 20-30 knots, but we were protected and cosy in our little valley. Meanwhile up past the road bridge and on to the railway bridge, it was very pleasant and calm and excellent paddling conditions.
When we got to the weir, 8 of us went over the top, with a bit of portage, while the others went back downstream or turned around on meeting these turncoats, and had an excursion further down towards the lake where they reported it was white with foam in the near-gale (Beaufort Scale). The distance from Sunshine Park to very top of the creek and back was 11.4 km. Not a bad little paddle!
Harry's photos are here.
|Friday 23 December 2011 - Gail sent us 3 photos from Tuesday. Click here.|
|Thursday 22 December 2011 -
I just added 7 new photos to last Tuesday's album - missed some of Bob's pix by not scrolling my attachments. I've added them onto the start of the other photos. To see them, click here. Also, Kee has made a video of the day. Click here.
|Tuesday 20 December 2011 - Budgewoi
As you can see from the Seabreeze® graph, there was a stiff breeze during our paddle from 9.00am to 12.00 noon, which meant that there were few places we could paddle in comfort, for those of us who like comfort.
We (about 45 of us) started at MacKenzie Park and paddled up the channel north of the island, heading to what we thought would be sheltered lake on the west side of Lake Munmorah. There was a good tail-wind but we became more exposed the further north we went, so many of us turned around before Colongra Point and headed back looking for calmer water. Six or eight keen kayakers kept going up to Colongra Creek and the Inlet Channel where they had a lot of fun and completed about 10km for the day.
Mike went left onto Budgewoi Lake to check out the creek in the golf course and also enjoyed himself. John Stone and I led some others round the south end of Munmorah Lake, but the wind got us there too, so we bailed (not literally) and called it a day. Back to base by 10.30 and only about 5km for us, but quite enough for us old guys.
Meanwhile Sue and her little helpers had been preparing our Xmas lunch at the shelter sheds. The council have been renovating the barbecue area for Xmas, with new paving and bbq's, and the tradesmen were still there but accommodated us in our own area. What a feast! Chicken salad, bread rolls, trifle and delicacies from Claire and Fred, and a huge bowl of fruit punch fed the by now 60 of us, with non-paddlers arriving to join us for lunch.
We also made presentations to Bill and Darryl who turned 70 this year, and received the photo-on-canvas present reserved for 70 year olds. Sue turns 60 tomorrow so she got a cake and prezzies too.
A fantastic day together with a record attendance, even if the weather was somewhat wintery for 4 days before Xmas.
Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 13 December 2011 - Wallarah
Creek, San Remo
Report from Glenn - 27 paddlers on an overcast and cool day set off from the launch site. There was concern about us being leaderless as Doug was required to drive for the Cancer Group, Sue had car problems and Danny was unavailable. The main issue was whether Sue would be there with morning tea on our return.
We headed upstream until a large log stopped progess. As no-one had a chainsaw, this turned us back. Peter decided to test the condition of the water and found it wet and cold. On the run home a few of the adventurers turned up the other stream to extend the paddle. Eventually we all returned and waiting for us was Sue with morning tea so all was well. Doug and Danny put in appearances for a cuppa with us. There was an absence of photographers today with Kee being the only snapper to show.
Next week is the Xmas paddle and it will be at Budgewoi. Please note it will be fully catered so no morning teas needed. You will need to bring your own chair however.
Remember to behave yourselves as Santa is watching!
No photos but Kee made a video for us:
|Friday 9 December 2011 - Kee's Murray
Kee's photos are now available here.
|Tuesday 6 December 2011 - Wyee Creek
Thirty paddlers presented themselves at Vales Point Park at Mannering Park this morning, in chilly temperatures (14?)and a 5 knot SE breeze. This is a nice park with all facilities and plenty of parking, as long as you double up in the trailer spaces.
Right on 9 o'clock we set off to the south end of Wyee Bay, into the headwind and choppy but warm water. Keith came later having got lost on the way. The story from last week about Keith's paddle is that after he lost it again and got towed back by Harry, Judy and Andy went up to Porters Creek Bridge, where Allison Road goes over it, and Judy went down to the water and found it floating in a little side pond exactly where she predicted it would be.
We had no trouble getting through the pipes this time. Last time, on the 12th of July, a visiting schoolboy freaked out and wouldn't go any further and had to be taken home. His mate, Angus, fell in but carried on regardless. Many of us had not seen the Enchanted Forest before so were well rewarded for their efforts in making the unusual trip. Some of us turned back at the Forest, others at a fallen tree, and the rest kept going to the end, which in Russell's case was where the water ran out. Russ and Andy, Judy and Peter must have paddled 16km, Harry and I about 12 and the others up to ten kilometers. Well done everyone even if you did wuss out. We did see a large lace monitor high in a tree and an azure kingfisher.
The trip back was much easier although the wind had picked up according to Seabreeze.com® so it took me only 12 minutes to paddle from the pipes back across the bay.
Thanks everyone for coming, and bringing the food. It's been an awesome morning.
Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 29 November 2011 - Wyong
Amazing sight at the Tacoma Footy ground, full of cars and kayaks - about 40 paddlers and 36 kayaks. So off we paddle up Wyong River against almost no flow or wind, straight under the railway bridge (nobody wanted to claim the 'elderly' tag) and then to Porters Creek not much further. There the longer faster kayaks kept on the river for the Weir, where the water was pouring over the wall and the fish ladder.
The more adventurous ones headed up Porters Creek which we already knew to be in flood. Immediately the fast-flowing creek water made a challenge for us as we ploughed on under the road bridge and up through the swirling water. You had to paddle at full pelt to make headway, but it could be done. I only kept going because I could see Russell up ahead, and he's older than I so no way was I giving up. The next major hurdle is the 'pipe bridge' where a bunch of overhead pipes go across the creek, and there is a metal plate in the water where we usually have to get out and drag across it. Just before there I saw another channel with water rushing down so I thought that would be a good detour. Not far up it I got stuck in some vegetation and lost my paddle, so I had to drift back and try and recover the paddle. Luckily Bob Wark wasn't far behind and he grabbed it for me. I then tried the main channel but at the narrow superstructure the water was flowing so fast I couldn't get past it. There should be some photos of this.
A helter-skelter rush back downstream with the flow brought Keith into sight, deep in the water dragging his flooded kayak to the shore. He had also lost his paddle and, worst of all, his camera. Margaret picked up the paddle a bit further down. It was Margie's troubles that started all this, as she had found the going a bit tough and went to the bank where she grabbed a tree for support. Good idea! But her tethered paddle had gone under her boat and wouldn't come out. It was Keith's chivalrous attempts to help her that saw him swamp his kayak and fall in, losing his stuff. Later after he had got his paddle back, he and Harry went back up the creek. I don't know what happened then, but Keith lost his paddle again. Harry gave him his own paddle and Keith towed Harry back down the river, making them both very late and causing much worry back at base. So, after we had eaten all the morning tea, we went looking for them. As a group of us got to the Fish Co-op about 1 km up the river, we saw them drift into view, and were able to provide another paddle for them to complete their journey back. At the same time as I was taking photos of the sorry pair, Russell rang me to say that Judy and Andy had gone up to Porters Creek by car and found the missing paddle. But not the camera. So the two miscreants paddled back to the launch venue while Doug and Sue tried to rustle up some Tucker for them. Chortle!
Not finished with stories yet: Something came over Rolf and he launched at Canton Beach early in the morning and paddled to Tacoma across Tuggerah Lake. By the time we got back from upstream, the wind had picked up and the conditions on the lake were appalling - 20 - 25 knot NE winds, so he couldn't paddle back. We stuck his kayak on Doug's trailer and Pete and I took Rolf back to his car at Canton.
If there are any more tales, let me know (Andy?? Keith??). We paddled 16-17 km today, about twice the usual distance, and the last stretch was into the head wind. Talk about knackered! But after a rest, cuppa and a chat, we all felt recovered.
Today's photos are here.
|Friday 25 November 2011 1700 hrs
- Final Report from the Murray/Darling
Hi there from the Murray! Last night we had our farewell dinner at the Wentworth Services Club. We were a night early as Kee and Mandy were leaving for Adelaide to visit their son and grandchildren, Bill and Chris and Fred and Colin were heading home. We said a few nice words about each other and then settled in to eat the enormous meals they brought out from the kitchen. Braised lamb shanks were the most popular order and all agreed that the meals were great value. The party raged till about 8.30pm when we all went home for another early night.
There was light rain during most of the night but the day dawned with a clearing sky. For the 8 paddlers left we settled on a gentle paddle to the point where the Darling joins the Murray and then up the Murray for a short distance into a small backwater. From there we crossed the Murray and through the little channel back to the Darling opposite the camp grounds. We then paddled into Tuckers Creek (we looked around but couldn't find a Tucker anywhere).
A relaxed afternoon with most people happy to start packing to wend their way back home. Some will be paddling on Tuesday and they can tell you some of the stories. The truth will have to wait until Gail and I are back to paddling in a couple of weeks.
It's been a great trip with great people as are all the kayaking trips. Those who thought about coming but changed their minds missed a real treat. Those who haven't thought about coming on a Toukley Kayaker's trip should certainly think seriously next time one is on offer.
Glenn and Gail
|Friday 25 November 2011 - Report
from Darling River, |
and new photos at 3.30pm (Click here)
Thirteen paddlers on the Darling this morning. Left the caravan park at Wentworth and drove out to the Pomona Boat Ramp. Launched the boats and away we went. Instead of the 3-4 kmh current running in the Murray there was a 1 kmh flow in the Darling and with a head wind it was paddle or float backwards. Luckily the river winds around so we were not always paddling into the wind. The day was mild and overcast and all took their time to enjoy the peace and serenity of a paddle on this mighty river.
The total of the trip was between 16 and 18 k's depending on whether you straightened the corners or kept to the middle. Most arrived back in camp before light rain began to fall. For a lot it was the longest distance they had ever paddled. It took aorund 3 1/2 hours.
After lunch I went around to tell of the plan for dinner at the local club and at the majority of camp sites people were resting their eyes.
|Myall Lake Camp/kayak 5-7 December
Here is the information on this outing. For the invite, click here. Check out the Lakes website here for more info (go to Korsmans Landing info).
|Tuesday 22 November 2011 - Chain
Within 20km from most of our homes - paradise on the water! Perfect weather - 25°C, no breeze at all, cloudy-bright sky... We are trapped on the Central Coast now as no-where else has these treasures. Anyway, that's what I think, after growing up in Melbourne!
Twenty-five paddlers took over the car-park at Old B's Park, much to the annoyance of a tinnie-owner, but we sorted him out. First we went up Karignan Creek, under the bike path bridge to a little weir where most of us stopped and went back. We never saw each other for the rest of the day. Six or seven of us went over the weir and kept going upstream to another weir which we didn't climb (see the photos). Mark's kayak slipped away from his grasp as he climbed down the weir, so he just threw himself into the water in a big bellyflop to reach it.
It was very pleasant up the creek, and up all the other creeks which were explored today. By the time we got back to the lake, the non-weir-climbers had gone up towards Summerland Point and into Tiembula Creek where they were out of sight. The faster kayaks went right around the Bay to Black Neds Point, opposite the Mannering Park sailing Club, and some dropped in at Darcy's place for a chat. Us slower paddlers did a big loop in the main bay then headed back to base for a total distance of about 8km, while the longboats did about 12km.
Doug, Harry and Mike explored everywhere and were an hour longer on the water (3 instead of 2). Eventually we all got safely back for a refreshing morning tea and a chat.
See Grumpy's report from the Murray River below, and his photos from Barmah Lake are here. Today's CVB photos are here.
|Murray River Adventures - Update Saturday 19/11
Hi there paddlers!
Well, we left delightful Jinjellic and headed along the river to Tocumwal. We set up camp at Town Beach (it took a bit of finding because the second direction sign had been knocked over). Still we all made it including Keith who joined the party. He couldn't get here earlier due to w--- commitments (we do not use that w word in this group).
We put our kayaks in the river in the Murray River National Park at the 1900 mark (the river is sign posted every 2k's). The beach that Gail and I launched at in May had been moved by the most recent flood but we found another a couple of hundred metres up stream. We then paddled along with current flowing around 4 kph. We pulled out at our camp site at 1888. The day was sunny with a light breeze to keep us cool. The paddle took around 2 hours.
In the afternoon people pedalled, plodded, paddled (both kayaks and in the river). Kee took some time with Gail to show her how to get back into her kayak should she overturn. We all stood watching and now know how to do it. As the evening cooled Chris lead a Tai Chi class at which most of the ladies participated. The blokes stood around telling lies as we do. Along with drinkies we had a farewell campfire for Alan and Sandra as they had to leave us the next morning.
We have now moved on to Barmah Lakes where we will do 2 paddles and I'll report in later.
Greetings from the travelling paddlers from the Barmah Lakes - Update Sunday 20/11. What a beautiful spot! The Murray runs between 2 large billabongs converging at the camp site run by Parks Victoria. After the shortish run from Tocumwal we were geeted with an unpleasant surprise at the camp grounds. All the long-drops [dunnies] were closed due to damage caused in recent floods. After a brief discussion the concensus was that we would stay. Toilet tents would be set up and each to look after their own bucket. Keith then arrived to advise he had found a working sewered toilet at a nearby information centre so the conditions were not as primitive as we first feared. This issue sorted we then set about enjoying the spot.
A couple went on a short paddle into the channel leading to Moira Lake and James was lucky enough to spot platypus. A couple went for a swim and we were joined by a cormorant who showed no fear of humans and indeed went swimming with us. His snapping beak however caused a few anxious moments, especially for the men as he dove uunder the water looking for a feed.
The next day brought a long paddle. We left from the camp site and paddled into Barmah Lake hoping to find a channel throught the top of the lake to enable us to return via the river. We paddled against the current as this was most likely lead to a river opening. Unfortunately we were stopped after 7 k's by a very shallow swamp. However the paddle was through a flooded billabong with bird and fish life galore, bullrushes and river gum forests. We then sat in the current and drifted back to camp.
A farewell campfire was held that evening to say goodby to Stan and Beverwee who were leaving the next morning to travel to Melbourne to catch the ferry to Tasmania. Margaret had left us that morning to travel to Monbulk for a music festival.
Sunday brought a fresh morning and a paddle through a channel into Moira Lake. The channel however did not appear on the GPS maps and showed as us paddling along a road beside the lake. After 6.1 kms we came across a flood control facility which ended the outward paddle. Again it was a gentle float back to the camp site except for a little snag a few hundred metres from home which upset Fred and Colin in their double and Claire in her long boat - a dunking for them and then back to camp. Due to the limited facilities several people decided to move into Echuca for a spot of civilisation. Claire, David, James and Keith opted to stay out at the lakes and keep roughing it. The rest went into Echuca for a long shower.
Our next move is to Wentworth where we will tame the Darling.
Bye for now
|More info from Bob Wark
The fish photo (see it again here) I sent on you yesterday might be an Eastern or Dubious Frogfish, Family Batrachoididae. Then again I could be completely wrong.
If it is, they can be found out of the water and can survive long periods out of the water. This one was found amongst mud and weed at our launch site.
According to Dr Carl Edmonds book "Dangerous Marine Creatures of the Indo-Pacific region" they can cause sudden pain at the affected site, which increases in severity for the next 10 minutes, becoming excruciating and causing distress.
Radiating pain from the area involve the regional lymph glands. Generalised symptoms, such as those described for the Scorpionfish are presumably possible.
And from John Stone: That thing is a type of Sea slug, don't know its proper name, but if you annoy them, they exude a purple ink all over the place.
|Wednesday 16 November 2011 - Report
from the Murray River
I notice from Danny's report that only odd paddlers turned up for today's cruise. [Ha ha ha!] Those of us of a more normal nature were here on the Murray, 19 in all where we had a bright sunny day with temperatures in the high 20's and a mild breeze.
We set off from Neil's Reserve for the 14.5km paddle back to the camp ground at Jinjellic. The water was flowing at between 4 and 5 kph meaning that not a lot of paddling was needed just steerage. Unfortunately not everyone mastered the steering necessary and David Shannahan was dumped from his kayak at a rapid which he approached from the wrong angle. Stan the man immediately steered over to help him and he and his wife Beverwee were also dumped from their huge double. After some worrisome moments it was clear that they were all well with a few bumps bruises and dented pride. Beverwee was extremely brave as she held the kayak and a branch of a fallen tree for long enough for Stan to save her. Whilst she was grateful of his heroics he was distraught that his new $200 paddle was missing. David needed to empty his kayak and his paddle had also disappeared. Sandra came to his rescue as she selflessly gave him her paddle and allowed Alan to paddle the next 10km with her as a passenger. As all were gathering themselves to continue the journey Stan's paddle popped out from the tree causing the rapid and was recovered. The rest if the paddle went smoothly with a couple of paddlers able to spot platypus.
The afternoon was leisure time. Some people bicycled, some sat in the shallows of the river and let the water refresh, a couple went for a drive to Bunya mountain and a couple more rested quietly in the shade. Drinkies at 5 o'clock. Then off to cook tea. Evening gathering by the water for further talking.
Tomorrow we leave here and head to Tocumwal.
Farewell for now from the even paddlers. [Ha ha!]
|Tuesday 15 November 2011 - Davistown
A warm day with some breeze and plenty of sunshine greeted the twenty-odd (it was actually 30) kayakers who met at the Restella Street boat ramp this morning. There are always traffic hassles getting here so we were a bit late, but nobody had any other appointments for the day so we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.
Sylvia came down from Rathmines with her 16-y-o son Cory, and Graeme and Jenny were back after their travels around the USA. Apparently they had planned on going to Canada, but the weather was too shitty, so they went next door to Texas where it was 100°F. You have to feel sorry for them, eh!
One thing I know about paddling around the Davistown area, is that I never know where I am, or where Woy Woy is. I just follow Doug or Mike and I know I'm safe.
Last week I reported that Ramòn had torpedoed John and tipped him out of his kayak, the DAG, but it wasn't till Friday on the Skylarkers' paddle that we saw the huge bruise on John's tummy caused by the warhead of Ramòn's kayak ramming in to him. A real seek-and-destroy mission! Our Spanish friend wasn't there today for us to take revenge.
Anyway we paddled around St Huberts Island in Cockle Channel, past Woy Woy, around Rileys Island and back into Cockle channel past Saratoga and back to base where a magnificent morning tea was provided. Top day out on the water! Photos are here.
11 November 2011 - Skylarkers' Anniversary Paddle up Wyong River
On an unbelievably perfect day, seven kayakers mustered at The Old Milk Factory in Wyong to celebrate 3 years since our first paddle. Facilities at the OMF have greatly improved lately with only a couple of shipping containers and a skip left at the site next to the F3 Freeway. There are new concrete roads, marked parking areas, gravel driveways and launching area, in addition to new shops and businesses, making the whole complex a vibrant and popular public venue. Present were Doug, Danny, Peter The Boy, Rod, John Stone and a young couple Dave and Kathy, joining us for the first time.
The Wyong River upstream from the weir is a delightful kayaking experience with pleasant scenery and woody challenges in the form of fallen trees to be squeezed under or slid over or dragged through. Dave and Kathy were the first to pull out in their borrowed double kayak and we never saw them again. Come back again you guys! Eventually John called it quits and he and Doug turned around, only 200 meters from where the remaining 3 mouseketeers were also stopped by a cliff of timber and lantana.
Doug and John came back via the seldom-used detour, not the narrow channel, and found it easily navigable. Rod, Peter and Danny found different ways of getting past the channel blockage, including dragging kayaks over the separating embankment. It was while doing this that Peter slipped off the bank and into deep water. Unfortunately he didn't drown, but he certainly wasn't happy about it, bellowing loudly. He was wearing barbecue/ gardening clothes with no spares and they remained wet for the rest of the day.
Back at the weir I had a go at paddling down the weir, but kept getting stuck on the rocks. We'll have to have another go when there is more flow. I did go down the fish ladder again and it was great fun. We would have had some nice photos but Doug dropped his camera in the middle of the creek and it's still there. Along with his secateurs. He did manage to hang on to his bush saw though and very handy it was too, cutting through the prickle bushes and stuff.
After a nice cup of coffee and cakes at the new café and a visit to the Cheese Factory for some yummy yoghurt and fromage, we declared the Anniversary paddle a five-star success. We will schedule a visit here for the group soon.
|Thursday 10 November 2011 - Kee's
photo from Tuesday
While we were up Patonga Creek, Kee and Dennis were in the Hawkesbury nearby but were unable to reach us in the heat. Here is Kee's photo.
|Wednesday 9 November 2011 - Late
I just found out today that Graeme Bundy went for a swim yesterday, after poking at an oyster lease structure with his paddle and falling straight overboard. His sit-in kayak filled with water and all he could do was head for the bank. This proved impossible, so John and Anne D towed Graeme with great difficulty to the mangroves where it was still very hard to empty the kayak and get back in. No photos unfortunately! Kee is going to teach us how to do a rescue one day.
|Tuesday 8 November 2011 - Patonga
What promised to be a warm day, with showers, turned out to be a hot day with no relief. When I got home at 2.00pm the temperature was 36°C. However it was a beautiful day for a paddle up this rural creek, with its oyster leases and tinnies full of fishermen/ladies. It quickly goes from a very wide river to a smaller creek then winds up in a dead-end only about 5km from where we started. There was a tide running out as we headed upstream, but coming back there could well have been an outgoing tide but we had a southerly headwind, despite Seabreeze® claiming it to be a NE so that cancelled everything else out.
The big surprise of the day was the roll-call of over 40 paddlers, including some newbies. Welcome to you all!. Not sure exactly how many as we couldn't get everybody together at the same time and place, not moving around, but it looked like 36 kayaks, many of them doubles.
John Stone in his DAG Taïki got rammed amidships by Ramòn and grabbed the pointy end to avoid being gored, but finished up in the water.
It was very thirsty work and we all appreciated the morning tea afterwards, thanks to the tireless efforts of Doug and Sue administering the Tea/Coffee Club, thanks Guys!
Today's photos from Harry and Claire are here.
|Saturday 5 November 2011 - Weekend
What a wonderful show at the Laycock Theatre! Russell and Trevor starred in Fiddler On The Roof - Russ on stage and Trev in the orchestra pit. Twenty Toukley kayakers attended, thanks to Sue's efforts in organising everything. Well done the producers too!
Now another message from Boston Bill:
hi danny i thought you might enjoy this. 2 weeks ago we have wonderful foliage and last week we have 8" of snow.
as the saying goes.....if you don't like the weather in new england......wait a minute.
it's time to get out of dodge :-)
Bill's latest photos are here.
|Thursday 3 November 2011 - Mid-week
Check out this shot of a tree up Jigalee Creek last Tuesday by Russell. Pix from all our other photographers have failed to arrive.
Also, Jill suggests that we could make a club night out at Russell's Bush Dance at Gwandalan Hall on 3 December. Music, dancing and barbecue... I'll get more info later. What do youse think? Discuss next week at Patonga.
All you old motorbike enthusiasts out there, check out my 1960s motorbike pix here.
|Tuesday 1 November 2011 - Dora The
Just a perfect day on beautiful Dora Creek with 34 friends! We headed upstream today, keeping to the right so we finished up in Jigalee Creek, just past the freeway, going to the end which gave us a 6.1km journey, each way.
We are getting away right on 9 o'clock these days, so it pays to get to our venues early. We had some new faces today, viz. John, and Knut, both experienced kayakers with nice vessels who were able to keep up. Not that this is hard as most of us are pretty slow, what with being old and relaxed and all. With sensible boats. Again the return trip was much faster, with our upstream trip 1 hour 25 in the perfect conditions, and the return done in one hour, leaving plenty of time for morning tea and a chat. A fair bit of socialising happens during the paddle as well, making the journey seem much quicker.
Bob's photos are here.
|Thursday 27 October 2011 -
Some extra photos from Claire and James
of last Tuesday's Swansea paddle are here.
Kayaking (and cycling) in New England, USA
hi danny, boston bill here. hope things are well with everyone. i've been keeping up to date on the kayaking and cycling going ons through the website and can't wait to get back and join in. autumn is upon us and the days are starting to get cool but it's a terrific time to ride in new england as the foliage is giving us a wonderful display of color. i thought i would send some pics taken while i've been out biking and kayaking. hope you enjoy them. Bill d'Rosario. The photos are here.
Hawkesbury Classic - Claire's report
The Hawkesbury classic is an overnight event held on Saturday/Sunday October 22/23 beginning at Windsor and finishing at Brooklyn - 111km in total. This year were 530 paddlers and 359 boats.
Toukley kayakers had 2 paddlers - Mark in his single Mirage 22S and Claire, paddling with husband David, in their Mirage double 730. The day was perfect, well almost perfect, for paddling - almost no wind and no rain.
Mark arrived early Saturday and set up near the marshalling area with food, picnic table and his ground crew. Claire and David arrived at 11.00am, went through scrutineering and then relaxed for the rest of the day.
Mark had entered in the Brooklyn or Bust so started at 4.00pm. 95 paddlers began at this time churning up the river. Claire and David began at 5.15pm in the Mixed Vet 50+ LREC2 class. An observer was heard to say " Isn't it good to see them paddling at their age!". They should see us on Tuesdays when we are all out on the water!
The event was more difficult this year as the tide was against us almost all the way. There was no moon, so it was pitch black. The river had lots of weed - one paddler said "this is like padding in an aquarium!". Every so often your paddle would hit a huge jellyfish- unnerving in the dark.
Mark finished in 15 hrs 40min- a great effort for his first classic. He's already thinking about next year! Claire and David completed their 6th classic in 15hrs 30 min and plan on entering next year.
It is a great event- friendly people, well organised and most important all money raised in sponsorship goes to charity - mainly the Arrow foundation . This year that should be around $200,000.
By the way... our Bill Aitkens' record of 10hrs 47min in the TK1 Vet 60+ still stands!
Claire's photos are here.
|Tuesday 25 October 2011 - Swansea
Although it had rained earlier, it looked like quite a nice day out kayaking in the clear waters of Lake Macquarie, so much so that we planned to have a swim when we got back. Twenty-one paddlers headed north from Coon Island Point to cross the channel to the eastern shore of the lake. The incoming tide down the side of the peninsula gave us a good workout till we cleared the channel. It was still quite sunny and warm, but as we entered more exposed waters we discovered a northerly breeze of about 5 knots (See Seabreeze ® graph below)
After entering Swan Bay through the rock-pointed channel entrance, we circumnavigated the beautiful bay with all its nice boats and houses and rounded Marks Point. We found ourselves paddling right into the wind and breaking waves, causing some more prudent kayakers to turn around and go back to the Swansea Channel, while the frontrunners, not aware of this, plugged on past the Marks Pt Marina and into Village Bay. A few hardier souls paddled across this bay towards Cain Point in Belmont South, but I turned back there and paddled on my own right back to the start, just in time to meet the earlier returners coming out of the Swansea Channel after a (planned or unplanned?) detour. It was about 10.30am by then so you can see on the graph how close we came to getting caught in the big southerly that was blowing in.
We all got back OK and enjoyed our morning tea together, as usual. Some non-paddlers joined us then to make 26 for tea. Mark and Claire were included in these non-paddlers as they had done the Hawkesbury Classic 111km paddle on the weekend so were excused. A report for the Classic and photos from the Hawkesbury are coming soon.
Today's photos by Bob are here.
|Thursday 20 October - Extra photos
From Keith, Claire and Carol come these photos which missed the deadline.
Click here for the pix.
|Tuesday 18 October 2011 - Gosford,
A warmish day (22°C) with a slight breeze and clouds, perfect for kayaking, was the reward for the 25 or so of us to make the trip to Gosford Sailing Club. Paddling straight across Broad Water to the railway bridge and into Fagans Bay, we made our way up the shallow channel between the weeds and mud to Narara Creek. We met a barge with a 115hp motor coming down, and met it again at the same place coming back out (at least I did). The creek is quite deep and wide at this lower stretch although the water was at low tide.
We just kept paddling north until we had had enough (about 1 hour), then went back. Rod and I followed Doug into Brisbane Water hugging the north shore, past Iguana's and into a little bay formed by a long jetty sticking out into the lake. Doug miraculously disappeared at the start of the rock breakwater then came out the other side into another small bay. Rod and I followed him through a hidden small channel as Doug headed up to the Sailing Club jetty, also apparently completely blocking our easterly progress, but he tricked us again and found a way through. So Doug managed to paddle from the railway bridge to our launch venue without going more than 10 meters from the shore. Just thought you'd like to know that.
Welcome to Annette who joined us for the first time. She will enjoy herself once she learns how to steer her kayak! In other breaking news, Mark continues his preparation for the Hawkesbury Classic this weekend by launching for today's paddle at Brooklyn and paddling across Broken Bay and up the whole length of Brissy Water, and back again afterwards. Last week at Stockton he launched at Raymond Terrace, adding 40 or so kms to his day. Both he and Claire will be doing the Classic, she for the 6th time. All the best Guys!
Rob's (and Robyn) 70th birthday was celebrated with a beautiful canvas-printed photo from our gallery. Anyone wanting a copy of any of Harry's photographs from the photo-page for printing, get the file name from the URL (IMG1234?) and contact him at this address [email protected].
Photos are here.
|Tuesday 11 October 2011 - Hunter
Despite the distance and the traffic we were all there at 9 o'clock ready to go. About 26 of us set off from the boat ramp at Stockton into the Hunter River and headed up towards the bridge. It was fairly heavy going, for me anyway, with a headwind (10 knot westerly) and outgoing tide to battle against.
The weather was otherwise nearly perfect - sunny and warmish. Unfortunately there isn't much to see or do on this stretch of the river, no creeks or docks, just vast areas of deep water and mangroves. It took about 75 minutes to paddle 4.2km where most of us turned around, but only 30 minutes to get back to base.
Somebody made a huge birthday cake for Rob's 70th birthday, and with Claire's pumpkin scones and jam and cream, plus all the other goodies, there was little chance of anyone going hungry.
Our two main photographers weren't in attendance but there will be some photos. By-the-way, Harry's award-winning photo of the young ballerina has picked up two gold medals in International competitions. Well done Harry!
Ray's photos are here. Sorry, no captions (couldn't think of anything).
|Tuesday 4 October 2011 - Ourimbah
Despite overcast skies and the threat of rain, twenty-nine kayakers attended at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, to try their luck in the flood-swollen creek. No rain fell and the current and wind did not spoil our fun.
We paddled up to the road bridge and into the quiet countryside, although the smell of Masterfoods factory cooking sauce was not welcome. A bit further on we saw where vandals had set fire to all the new bank restoration work done over many months and at great expense to ratepayers. All the mulch, envirologs and new trees were completely destroyed. Thanks, you little shits! Further up nature had done even more damage where the floodwaters had washed away the base of a retaining wall built to preserve the bank causing 30 metres of the wall and backfill to collapse down the bank. Nasty!
At the weir the water was flowing quickly over the wall and rocks, but not as much as last time (14 June) when we just paddled up and down the weir on high water. This meant more work to get upstream and resulted in young Peter coming to grief on the wall, much to our amusement. Not everybody made the transition over the barrier, and some of those who didn't paddled back down as far as the lake, completing 11kms for the day.
The rest of us heading further up were stopped by a big wall of fallen trees and could not go as far as we usually do, so we headed back, enjoying the ride back down the weir and back to Sunshine Park, for a total mileage of 9 km.
We were joined again by Deb, and also by Glenn's GS Kurt, 13, whom you will see in the photos which Harry and James have sent. not so many photos today, thankfully, and they are here.
|Tuesday 27 September 2011 - Bonnells
What a pleasant day to go out paddling with one's 30 mates - sunny, no breeze, cool! So we left the exceelent boat ramp and parking facilities at Pendlebury Park and turned left on Bonnells Bay and kayaked up past Hungary Point into a little bay just west of that. Doug found the first creek, Freshwater Ck, and gave it the once over while this blogger found the next creek west, Fullers Ck, and went up to the weir, and a very pleasant creek it was, ending with a nice weir with a waterfall and a semi-circular raised walkway around its dam. I couldn't actually see above the weir as there was nowhere to get ashore.
There was one little jetty which I tried to go under but it all ended in tears, very salty ones. We kept paddling around the Bay alongside what I now know to be the Dora Creek Delta, to Stingaree Point at the mouth of the aforementioned creek, masquerading as a river. By then quite a breeze had upsprung and a few wise kayakers headed straight back to base. The rest of them, and I mean those with long pointy kayaks, and Doug, took off across the mouth of the Bay to Shingle Splitters Point, which is a delightful place but too far for me into a headwind.
The trip back across to Pendlebury Park was with a 5 to 10 knot easterly breeze and a building chop, so fast but hard work keeping on track. The long voyagers completed about 13km while the shortfallers did 8-10kms, depending on how soon they turned back.
This is a beautiful part of Lake Macquarie, in good conditions with nice people, so must qualify as a top paddle - 4 stars! As it was the school holidays we were blessed with the attendance of Harry's gorgeous daughter Deb, and Claire brought her hubbie, David. Also on deck for only the second time in 6 months was Neil. Welcome to you all! Harry's photos are here.
Danny PS See Kee's Sunday report just below:
Message from Kee
It was quite amusing reading your Sunday bike ride report. You guys are just a bunch of addicted bikers.
For me, Sunday is kayaking day and to get in touch with some of the people who are still working to remind me of what I do not have to do anymore. Today’s scheduled paddle was from Clontarf to Manly and then Quarantine Beach. It would normally be a very interesting paddle in the Middle Harbour and negotiating/ avoiding the Manly ferries but with a 20 knots wind and rain forecast, I opted for a “Chicken Paddle” from Berowra Waters to go upstream where it is more sheltered from the wind.
I was joined by Rob Hellyer and we met Meg T there training for The Classic. It was raining from the 7.30 am when we launched and we were glad that the wind did not appear as forecast. The rain however persisted throughout our paddle and at times, it looked like stones hitting the water. The visibility became limited but created a very alpine looking scenery. Very pleasant!
We went up all the creeks Rob could find and by the time we got back to Berowra Waters, we must have covered about 17 km (no GPS). We were pretty dry while in the kayaks because we were well clothed. However, once we got out of the kayaks, we were totally drenched. The rain turn heavier and it almost washed our kayaks. After a quick change into dry clothes, warm coffee and warn fish & chips tasted fantastic.
|Tuesday 20 September 2011 - Koolewong
Rising from 20 knots at 9.00am to 30 at 10.30, the wind dominated the paddle. We pressed on up the shore to Noonans Point where some of us decided discretion was the better part of valour and headed back. Others went right up to the railway bridge and beyond to the creek, but those of us in little fat tubs were well-advised to head back, though this did not make it easier, as once you got the wind behind you, you lost steering and struggled to avoid getting sideways to the wind, with your stern wanting to go past you to port (I love these nautical terms).
I thought I would go direct to the launch ramp after passing the last point coming back, but found I was making much better speed south than west and looked like coming ashore at Woy Woy. I had to turn back into the wind and struggle in 30+ knot gusts to the northern shore before I could safely turn towards home. Scary! Others would have good stories too, I'm sure!
Anyway most of us were back by 10.30am and had an early lunch. Mike came back very late, so he probably did the original course around to Point Frederick and back across the lake.
We may not have paddled very far, but we all had a good time, except Sandra, and will remember this one for a long time.
Not many photographers today, and those on duty had their hands full of paddle most of the time. However, Harry saved the day and his photos are here.
Thursday 15 September 2011 -
Gail and Glenn's final report
|Tuesday 13 September 2011 - Myuna
Why have we not been here before? Paradise! Not only is Myuna Bay a beautiful place, the weather was stunning also - sunny, 22°C... As far as the wind goes, Seabreeze.com says it was a NW of 10-15 knots at Nobbys, but it certainly didn't feel that strong at Myuna Bay.
Thirty-four paddlers this week, same as last week, but not the same 34. We had new guys Deb and James, and a return of Bob N. Welcome all!
First we paddled into Whiteheads Lagoon, where we saw lots of schoolkids getting into their kayaks at the Sport and Rec camp. From there we headed around Rocky Point, forgoing the tempting but verboten Eraring Outfall Channel, into a lovely un-named bay which some of us called quits. Others with more energy and pointier kayaks went down to Pipers Point, near the mouth of Dora Creek.
Mark paddled down from South Belmont to collect Claire from Summerland Point, 14km one way, then they both paddled across to Myuna Bay, another 10km, then did the paddle, then kayaked home again, so a total of about 60km for Mark and 30 for Claire. Myself, and a few others, were happy with our 8km, while the majority of the group did about 11km. All were back ready for morning tea at 11.30am.
Wildlife sightings were an osprey, a turtle and a longtom fish. (see below)
Harry stayed out for a while hoping for a special shot of something but was disappointed. Not for long though as the ever-thoughtful Sue had arranged a presentation to Harry of a belated (by about a year) 70th birthday present - a canvas-print photograph of his excellent shot of an egret chasing a longtom on Tuggerah Lake. (See the photograph here. Just close window after viewing.) We will be back at this venue again soon I hope.
I have received 107 photos from our photographers, and the best 46 are here.
|Tuesday 6 September 2011 - Wyong
A somewhat easy paddle today after last week's tuffy. Thirty-four crew in 29 kayaks plus a few non-paddling spouses enjoyed the wonderful weather (23°C, sunny, a breeze but it couldn't reach us) and each other's company.
We headed west from the bridge up to Porters Creek where several of us went up to the pipe and drum (no, not a pub), a distance of 500 metres each way but couldn't be bovvered getting out to cross this barrier. From there we joined the others up at the weir and played around in the fish ladder before returning to base. This was only 6km, not including Porters Creek, so those with more energy and boat length went downstream for a few Ks to make the most of the perfect conditions. Chris came all the way from Baulkham Hills, so I'm not sure if she got her money's worth. Mark of course came early and paddled down to the lake a few times in his quest for physical fitness for the upcoming King-of-the-creek or whatever.
So a fairly easy day, but, hey, we're not try-athletes! Photos are here.
PS See Glenn's report from up northwest below.
Gail and Glenn's Outback Adventures Tuesday 6 September 2011
"Goodbye Darling, see you in November" we said as we crossed the bridge at North Bourke. A paddle from the boat ramp near the bridge into Bourke township by the jetty on a fine and sunny morning, what a way to spend the day! A total of 10 k's today followed by a rest in the afternoon.
The next morning we packed up and left heading east to look at the Aboriginal Fish Traps at Brewarrina. A sparkling sunny day and the bird life around the traps was incredible. The trees were black with cormorants waiting for a feed.
We then headed to a place that advertised as having riverside camping and access to the Macquarie Marshes. We found that they had exaggerated a triffle so we moved on. We spent a day at the Pilliga Bore Baths and enjoyed relaxing in the warm artesian waters.
We were then told about our next stop and decided we would come in and have a look. A small lake with a little creek and billabong attached. The camping area surrounds the lake with each spot provided with a shelter, picnic table, tap water and fire ring. A very leisurely hour's paddle to explore this lovely little waterway. We have collected firewood for our evening fire and dinner is in the camp oven waiting to be cooked. Guests are coming in this evening to watch the sun go down over the lake with us. Where are we, we're not saying as the place may become known and get crowded. [Bugger!]
Three photos from the the Darling and two from our secret spot. Click here!
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 30 August 2011 - Budgewoi
Lake ex Fish Co-op
Twenty-eight kayakers met in the Wallarah Point Park carpark (did you know it was called that?) for a casual paddle up to Wallarah Creek. The weather was good for paddling (18°C, cloudy) apart from a 15 knot southerly breeze (according to Seabreeze.com at Norah Head). While this was quite pleasant heading up to San Remo, it was a bugger coming back. If you wanted to avoid the shallow water and tons of weed near the shore, you had to go out wide where the wind was strongest and the waves up to 30cm (a foot) in height, breaking nicely over the front of your kayak.Despite that, the elapsed time for the return wasn't much more than the trip up. I calculated that the faster tandem kayaks travel half as fast again as my rock-hopper.
A new lady, Wendy, had the wrong kayak and found it tippy in the conditions, and headed back early. Apparantly she has done the Hawkesbury Classic 11 times, so I'm sure she'll be back. Mark kept her company on her short trip, which was a change for him, compared to the last 2 times when he paddled 100 and 55km respectively, today only about three. Claire and young Rod and Peter, among others I presume, paddled right up Wallarah Creek to Spring Creek confluence, adding 4km to a basic journey of 10km for us weaklings in short boats. Two weeks ago when Mark paddled back to Gosford from Mooney Mooney Creek, he arrived back at Gosford at 7.30pm!
Rod bought a new kayak, he same as young Peter's, and paddled/walked (shallow) from Budgewoi, while Pete and Linda paddled from Toukley Aquatic Club or thereabouts. A good effort by all.
Morning tea was brilliant as usual, with pumpkin and duck egg scones from Claire (with jam and cream), and boxes of excellent sandwiches from Sue. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. It makes a fitting finale to a bracing outdoorsy day on the water.
PS Photos are here. Just close page when finished. Not in Albumguide yet.
|Tuesday 23 August 2011 - Chain Valley
It rained all night and everything was soaked this morning, but it cleared nicely in time for our paddle around Chain Valley Bay (CVB). Wind was a 5-10 knot southerly, just enough to keep us breathing fresh air, and the temperature a mild 16°C, so all-in-all a very pleasant day to be out on the water. Eighteen kayakers made the trip from Old B's Park, CVB, including Mark, who launched at Marmong Point just opposite Speers Point, and Claire, who paddled round from Summerland Point. For Claire the extra distance was about 9km for the day and for Mark, about 55km!
We paddled east firstly up Karignan Creek, under the bike path bridge, then back around the east side of CVB to Black Neds Point, where we crossed to Mannering Park and the Vales Point Power Station. Doug found a little creek to explore on the far eastern edge, oh, that would be Tiembula Creek in the Lake Mac State Conservation Area. Just found it on the map, page 12 P11.
Richard went across to the Manno caravan park jetty then joined me at Darcy's place, but Darce wouldn't come out to play. It was only half an hour paddle back from there even though it semed much longer, and then we feasted on our usual extravaganza of delicious munga. Total distance for most was about 10km, a nice morning's paddle. We didn't see anything interesting except a big bird's egg on a log in the creek, and a For Sale sign on Darcy's house. Photos are here.
Just added the following report - don't miss it!
|Gail and Glenn's Adventures in Paradise
Greetings from the Barcoo River - the river beloved of the bush balladeers. We are camped on the banks of the Barcoo at the beautiful little village of Isisford. What a place it is! The weather is just about right, cool of a night and warm in the day. No clouds and just a little breeze to keep the temperature down in the mid 20s.
Gail and I arrived here on Thursday and on Saturday Andy and Judy arrived. They are camped on the other side of the river although in sight of us.
Yesterday was our wedding aniversary. As a treat I took Gail to the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre and display of crocodillus duncanii- the mother of all crocodiles. What a fascinating hour spent in this little gem! That evening Andy and Judy joined us at the Clancy of the Overflow Hotel where we had the barbecue special - steaks that needed 2 to eat and cooked to perfection.
Gail and I paddled on the Barcoo on Friday and a couple of photos are attached [maybe]. Andy and Judy paddled today. Gail and I were busy viewing the sights and collecting firewood. Tea is in the camp oven cooking on the coals of our fire.
How could anyone not love the Barcoo and Isisford eh Sue?
See ya's later
Glenn and Gail
All G&G's latest pix here.
|Wednesday 17 August 2011 - Message
from Peter Dunn|
had a great day kayaking and meeting people on tuesday. thanks.
I made a video of the day which you may want to watch. [See below]
hope to join you guys on some other occasions, committments permitting.
|Tuesday 16 August 2011 - Glenn and Gail's Queensland adventures
A lot has happened since our last report.
We left Lake Elphinstone and moved on to Therese Creek Dam near Clermont. We paddled from the main part of the Dam into Therese Creek. It was a surprise after being on the open water. The paddle back was into a strong breeze but isn't that always the case.
Then we had a religious experience as we bathed in the Jordan (actually got feet wet getting into Kayak) and through into the ancient city of Jericho (actually a small town on the Capricorn Highway). We were lead to this beautiful place via the Good Book (alias Camps 5).
From there we travelled to Lake Dunn where at the outrageous price of $5 per night we are camped on the lakeside with access to hot showers and flush toilets. We have paddled to the left and the right of the lake which after the rains early in the year is very full as are the billabongs around it. The is a lot of birdlife around and saw our first brolgas for the trip.
We were joined here this morning by Andy and Judy and there will be some tales swapped and lies told around the camp fire tonight. A couple of photos, the first 2 from Therese Creek the second from Lake Dunn (click here).
By for now Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 16 August 2011 - Mooney
What a fantastic day! Sunny, warm, no breeze in the creek valley... Thirty-two kayakers made the trip to this remote spot on the beautiful Mooney Mooney Creek. There are no facilities, just a dirt road and a river bank in the bush. We found enough parking spots off the road as, surprisingly, two big trucks followed us down the road to some mysterious destination.
Some paddlers wanted to go downstream and others wanted up, so we split into 2 groups, about 10 going east towards the Hawkesbury, and 20 or so headed up firstly to Floods creek, not far away, which was a delight in its own right going for 1000 metres or so and ending in a rocky jumble, in a peaceful wilderness. Back out onto MMC and continuing upstream through still water till we also came to the end of this creek, suddenly changing from a substantial creek to a little stream with rocks and little waterfalls, also divine. Nobody could tell me how far we went but I would say about 10km, going on previous efforts.
Hero of the month goes to Mark Osborne who, in preparation for the upcoming Hawkesbury Classic, arose from his bed at 12.30am and started paddling from Gosford Sailing Club at 0300. He met us at our venue at 0900 after paddling 45km. He then paddled with us before setting off back to Gosford in his kayak to complete what will probably be 100km for the day. If anyone could do this, it's Mark! Awesome!
Photos from Bob, Harry and Kee are here.
|Wednesday 10 August 2011 - Gail
and Glenn in Qld
Read the report for today's paddle with interest. Noticed that you were all rugged up. We are at Lake Elphinstone which is west of Mackay. Today we paddled around the Lake which is very full at the moment. We of course were in shorts and t-shirts with lots of sun screen applied. The camp ground here is free and although there is no power there is hot water provided by wood-fired donkey boiler.
From here we are going to Theresa Creek Dam near Claremont. We are hoping to meet up with Andy and Judy at Lake Dunn on the weekend so there will be a northern division of Toukley Kayakers paddle held then. Anyone else on the move in Qld is welcome to come along. Lake Dunn is north of Aramac.
A couple of photos from today's paddle, here and here (close window after viewing).
Bye for now
Glenn and Gail
PS from Danny - We now have Carol's photos from Cockle Creek. Click here.
|Tuesday 9 August 2011 - Cockle Creek,
Quite cool today for the 26 paddlers although it did warm up for a while coming back. It's a nice venue at Creek Reserve, plenty of parking, but no toilets!
Up Cockle Creek and into Brush Creek, to the right, for a change, turn right at Winding Creek and up to the reservoir at Glendale. Some people continued up the diminishing Brush Creek for a while too.
The weather stayed fine all day despite the huge black clouds that swept over us at lunch-time. Total distance for the basic route was 10km but other keener kayakers did more.
Nothing interesting happened which means we all got back dry and safe after a very pleasant paddle with nice friendly people. Thanks to all those who brought the delicious food for morning tea/lunch. Bob's photos are here. Carol's photos are here.
|Thursday 4 August 2011 -
Map from Kee of Tuesday's paddle of 11.7km up Wallarah
|Wednesday 3 August 2011 - Glenn
and Gail in FNQ
A report from sunny Queensland. We are presently staying at Moore Park Beach, 20 ks north of Bundaberg. We have paddled twice now on the Kalon River. The first paddle started from Booyan Boat Ramp and we paddled along the south side of the river ending up in a creek with mangroves either side.
The second was today and we set out from the same spot and stayed in the river until we came to the Monduran Barrage which separates the tidal salt water river from the fresh water coming from upstream.
We will be leaving here shortly and heading for further paddle adventures.
Attaching a couple of photos (click here).
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 2 August 2011 - Wallarah
Creek, San Remo
What a magnificent day! We could not complain about the weather at all today. Sunshine, warmth and virtually no breeze – heaven!
Thirty-two paddlers in 28 kayaks hit Wallarah Creek, what a picture! A total of 11km was paddled, some went slightly further, some not quite so far, but, very pleasant either way. A few adventurous souls negotiated past a fallen tree that was the entire width of the creek only to reach yet another fallen tree that couldn’t be passed without leaving your kayak and clambering through the bush, so I dare say no one ventured passed the second tree. Needless to say, Russell (our ‘Daredevil’) gave it careful consideration before even he decided not to attempt it.
Paddling up Wallarah Creek, once you leave ‘suburbia’, you could be anywhere, the scenery is lovely and feels very remote. The only hint of civilisation is the distant faint hum from the traffic on the freeway. Why would you want to be doing anything else on a day like today?!?
Morning tea was the usual and very much appreciated smorgasbord of delicacies. We really are very spoilt when it comes to the array of beautiful food we indulge in each and every week. Many of our ‘regulars’ are all taking off on holidays, following in the footsteps of Gail and Glenn, so we wish you all a safe journey and look forward to seeing you when you return.
On a personal note, Doug and I would like to thank everyone for the great turn out last week for the BBQ lunch and a very, very big ‘Thank You’ to Merrill and Ray for coming to my rescue and cooking the sausages so we could all eat before it got dark, which it would have been if I was left to my own devices.
Photos are here.
PS Have you seen Harry's wonderful photo of a garfish! Click here.
|Tuesday 26 July 2011 - Lake Budgewoi
All the bad weather happened between last Tuesday and today, and we had another lovely day on the Central Coast. Sunny, 5 knot W breeze (10-15 knots in Newcastle), 16°C...
Thirty-two paddlers headed from Budgewoi Lions Park, under the road bridge and across towards the golf course. This little bay terminates in a creek spanned not far up by a footbridge for the golfers. This bridge clears the water by about a foot (30cm) and would appear to be as far as kayaks can go. That doesn't take into account the determination shown by Russell and Danny in squeezing their way under the bridge, motivating ten others to manhandle their kayaks around the obstacle and continue up the beautiful waterway for another 150 metres till we were swallowed by reeds and ran out of depth. (Photos available).
The remaining kayakers turned back to continue clockwise around the lake till near the volunteer rescue/aquatic club then cross over to Buff Point and back to Budgewoi, so they said. I never saw them again. The bridge-crossers, including Stan and Bev, Julie and Trevor, showing grit and dedication, and a fair bit of devil-may-care, then roughly followed the earlier group around and across the lake, after trying out an even less likely tributary on the golf course peninsular.
Finally we all made it back to the launch venue where the angelic Sue had been toiling away over a hot barbecue to make sure we all had a delicious hot lunch, with bread rolls and salad and a phenomenal array of cakes and slices provided by paddlers. Our number grew with visitors to 38, including regulars who hadn't paddled, and Margaret, back from a long drive to far Western Australia, with her brother, and my wife Marie. What a great get-together! And an excellent paddle!
There will be a delay while I sift through over 80 photographs sent by Harry and Bob, then I will post them here. OK, I have processed all the photos including captions, only to have the program go tits-up and lose the lot, twice, so here they are without captions click here.
Also, here is a picture of Kee's route from his GPS. Click here. Close window after viewing.
|Saturday 23 July 2011 - Gail's report
Looking at the web site it appears you are having terrible weather down there. I thought it might cheer you all up if I submitted another paddling report.
We are presently camped at Imbil. The camp ground is on Yabba Creek and there is a short paddle along this stretch of water. The highlight being the platypus sightings. It seems that this is the breeding season so they are very active. On Wednesday pm we saw 5 and on Thursday we saw 3.
Today we organised a one way paddle on the Mary River. We entered the river at Pickering's Bridge, Moy Pocket and paddled 11.1k to Walkers Road Moy Pocket. A tremendous day with some rapids action and then periods of peaceful gliding along quiet stretches of water. Only 2 platypus sightings though. The weather was sunny with a cool wind initially then the wind dropped to a mild afternoon. I have attached a couple of photos for you. Nothing as dramatic as Harry's though.
Glenn and Gail
|Friday 22 July 2011 - Weather report
For those website visitors not here in NSW, the weather here is atrocious, so no cycling or kayaking is happening. Harry took a great pic of the beach at Avoca - click here.
|Wednesday 20 July 2011 - Two Kayak
1- Russell's report from yesterday 19 July 2011
As the the kayakers headed around the shoreline [of the bay], I headed straight to Chittaway and Tumbi. Did not see another kayaker all day. Two hours to the end of Tumbi Creek into a stiff cross-head wind and chop. Came back much quicker with a cross tail wind but missed the Wyong Creek channel markers looking into the sun, ended up at Tuggerawong then a long paddle back into the headwind to Wyong Creek arriving at 2pm.
Bill and Chris and Doug and Sue kindly waited [Doug and Sue were heading home and came back!] and made me a hot cuppa. Could hardly walk after 4 hours straight in the canoe. I hope I have learnt a lesson!!!!
Attached are some photos of Tumbi Creek, just to prove that I got there!!
[Click here for photos.]
2- Gail and Glenn's report from Qld
Well hello to you all down there from up here in sunny Queensland. After spending a week moving along the north coast in crappy weather we left NSW at Tweed Heads and the sun immediately appeared. We are currently camped at Wivenhoe Dam just to the west of Brisbane. We have water views and there are only 3 other vans in the area. Went for a paddle today. Gail had to find the sunscreen and hats before we hit the water. Same again scheduled for tomorrow.
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 19 July 2011 - Tacoma to
Although the forecast was bleak, the weather was sunny and clear all morning, but with a westerly breeze of 5-12 knots working its chill factor on the ambient temp of 12-15°.
About 30 of us paddled out of Wyong River heading south and west on Tuggerah Lake into that huge bay of nothing, gradually working our way around to Chittaway Point. With quite a breeze blowing on us I decided to start heading back, as I couldn't keep up with anyone anyway, given the aerodynamics of my pretend kayak.
The other paddlers were spread out all over the place so it was hard to co-ordinate anything. Unbeknownst to any of us, Russell had joined us, late I think, and paddled down south past Chittaway to Tumbi Creek and right up the creek. On the way back he missed the Wyong River and paddled up past Rocky Point. So we never saw him again and didn't even know he was missing till his car remained unclaimed at the carpark. Doug reckons Russell must have paddled about 18km, while the rest of us did 8-11km. There's not much to see on this part of the lake, just vast stretches of open, mostly shallow, water, totally exposed to the elements.
Back at the sports ground out of the wind and in the sun it was bliss and we all warmed up again, with the help of a superb morning tea, thanks everyone!
Bob's and Harry's photos are here. See Russell's report above.
|Tuesday 12 July 2011 - Mannering
Park to Wyee Creek
Much better weather today cf last week. No clouds, no wind, temperature 12 - 18°C - brilliant! So, a pleasant paddle across Wyee Bay to the pipes at Rutleys Road, picking up 2 schoolboys on the way, checking first with their mother that it was OK. First problem, one boy aged 12 freaked out at the pipes and wouldn't go any further, so Fred had to take him back to his mum. The other kid, Angus, 13, was quite game, even after falling out of his sit-on in the pipe and did the whole paddle with us.After a brief rest at the Enchanted Forest most of us pushed on upstream with Kee getting as far as he could, apparently.
On the way back the group I was in turned right into Mannering Bay and across to the pipes on the other side of the lake. At this stage a few of us decided it was too squeezy in the pipes and went back to the creek. I picked a nice pipe but as I got further into it the roof started coming down till I could not move (the pipe is not level) and near the end there I was with my face between my knees and well and truly stuck. This soon resolved itself by swapping the kayak's and my position in the water, so it was on top. No longer stuck, I scampered out. Bob came through behind me but managed to get through alright. On checking the pipes further east I discovered they were much bigger, so I went back to the Mannering Bay side to show those remaining there which way to go. Carol breezed through this pipe sitting up straight! So for the rest of the day I had people telling me I had fallen in the water, but I already knew that.
A WNW breeze had picked up by then so we had an interesting choppy ride back to the launch site, through the warm water of Wyee Bay. A fabulous morning tea and a good chat followed, as usual, and we all went home happy. Seventy-six photos were received from Harry, Bob and Ray and 32 of them are here.
|Tuesday 5 July 2011 - Swansea Channel
Looks like a beautiful day - sunny, 15°C, why is everyone standing around fully dressed with their kayaks still on the roof? Willyweather has the answer: 25 knot westerly wind! Lake Mac is all rough water and spray. OK, move back to Coon Island out of the wind - much better. However the wind-chill factor and the scary-looking channel see half the contingent head straight for home. Seven intrepid (not scared) paddlers make it onto the water (Mike, Danny, Ruth, Julie, Harry, Rolf and Russell) and paddle against the incoming tide but with the wind down to the bridge, under it and into Black Neds Bay, where it was fairly peaceful and populated by kayakers including boys in shells zipping up and down the bay. Fearful of the conditions awaiting us on the way back we turned back soon and into the very exposed waters coming out of Black Ned and into the channel into the full force of the wind. Luckily the tide was still heading into the lake and helped us under the bridge. Once we got round the bend out of the wind it was quite pleasant and we made good time back to Coon Island, having only been paddling for an hour 20 mins, covering a modest 5km.
Still, it was an experience and well-worth the effort. The other guys who didn't paddle and didn't go home went for a walk, and covered 7.5km, except for Richard who walked right out to the point which is off my map. So it was probably less effort to do the paddle, than the walk.
When we got back Doug and Sue had turned up with hot party pies and sausage rolls, with sauce, and a yummy morning tea was had by all, except those who went home early.
PS Harry's and Russell's photos are here.
|Tuesday 28 June 2011 - Avoca Lake
Serene and peaceful, that was today's theme. Sunny and cool when we arrived, warming up and clouding over during the paddle, raining on our way home.
This is a nice launch site with parking and toilets/showers and plenty of beautiful beach sand, being next to the famous ocean beach. I counted heads as best I could, but I think about 28 paddlers at least were present, and one who stayed on shore because he forgot his shorts (not saying who). Apparently the lake was very full after the rain, but was drained through the sandbar, then filled again by a couple of king tides, according to a local. You could see the high water mark everywhere around the lake about 60cm above today's level. It must have been there a while to make such an impression (including lichen gone off the tree trunks).
We just paddled in an anti-clockwise direction, turning right at every opportunity until we had been around the whole lake, including under the road bridge. Quite a good distance, taking about 2 hours, not sure how far, probably 10 kms.
A thoroughly pleasant and beautiful kayaking venue. Photos are here.
|Tuesday 21 June 2011 - Wallarah
Not as exciting as last week's high-water paddle, but this was still a very pleasant journey up Wallarah and Spring creeks in elevated water levels. A strong wind was blowing in the treetops, but we were safe and comfortable at Ground Zero, with the sky clear and sunny and the temp about 18°C. At least 28 kayakers made the effort, with many of us going as far up Spring Creek and its little tributary as we could manage, to the extent that the more adventurous had to climb out and turn the vessel around while standing in 70cm of freezing water.
Although there was plenty of water, it was all still, backed up by the lake with nowhere to go. A very pleasant day out, topped off by the best food spread you can imagine. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it! Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
|Saturday 18 June 2011 -
Ourimbah Creek last Tuesday - Four new photos from Tuesday by Gail are here.
Also Graeme and Jennifer's last report from USA has been adorned with new photos. Check it out here.
|Tuesday 14 June 2011 - Ourimbah Creek in flood
Boys' Own Adventures! Thirteen paddlers, including honorary boy Gail, paddled upstream from Sunshine Park in Chittaway to the weir and beyond! The water level was obviously high, as the gardens surrounding Sunshine Park were underwater, but not by enough for us to paddle with the ducks (we did try!). See Harry's photo.
It was easy enough paddling till we got to the weir, where we usually disembark and drag our kayaks over, but today we just paddled up and over the weir which was well-covered by fast-flowing water. Not that it was easy! It took lot of effort to overcome the flow to make headway, with some people having to make more than one attempt. Others deliberately went back down the rapids for another go. Just like a bunch of happy kids!
From there it was fast-flowing river all the way, with some spots narrower or shallower even faster and quite challenging. The geography of the river was nothing like we were used to, with an extra half a metre of water over our favorite obstacles. We could see where the water had reached over the long weekend - at least a metre higher, imagine that!
Mike and I paddled further upstream than the rest of the group, and in fact I lost Mike who has a faster kayak and I didn't see him again for over an hour, back near the start where he finally caught me up. I was quite worried that he might have come to grief, as paddling downstream in the floods allowed plenty of chance for being washed into a log and going sideways then underneath. However we didn't let that happen, although Richard managed to get chucked out of his boat once.
A top day of fun which we hope to duplicate next week on Wallarah Creek. Don't miss out!
Harry's photos are here.
|Sunday 12 June 2011 - Wyong River
Here are a couple of pictures of the weir at the Old Milk Factory in today's heavy rain. Photo 1 and photo 2.
|Tuesday 7 June 2011 - Kee's kayak
group paddle up the Hawkesbury
On today's paddle, we left Mooney Mooney at 10.00 am and the wind was already picking up to about 15 knots (from the white caps on the water). The decision then was to have coffee break at Bar Island and then decide on what to do next. The wind got worse and it must be about 25 knots, so we went into Kimmerikong Bay. On getting out of the bay again, the wind gust must be about 30 knots and we had to struggle just to put the paddle onto the water.
On the return trip, at Milson Island, the tide and wind was moving us at 6.0 km/hr without paddling. As we reached Peat Island, the waterway looked more like a white-water stream. I had to work very hard but it was fun.
Hawkesbury Hurricane Hampers Heroes
A long line of white utes stretched to the horizon as we approached the Mooney ramp. Was it an unpublicised tradie ute muster or more NATION BUILDING? We will never know. [Believed to be tradesmen working upstream on islands, going there by barge.] Woolly hats and thermals were prominent as we loaded up and launched, preceded by the Toukley kayakers with their eclectic and colourful flotilla.
The air was colder and the wind stronger than forecast, and Spencer became far far away. How could Tim Bailey get it so wrong?
The author, failing to remember our Commodore's warnings about elderly kayakers and high floating pontoons, narrowly avoided a watery disaster as he attempted to exit the Challenger on the said pontoon instead of using the Bar Island beach like all sensible people.
The Spencer goal was abandoned after a brief crisis meeting, and we ducked out of the wind into Berowra Creek and explored the Kimmerikong tributary. Naively thinking the wind had dropped, we were blasted by gusts as we headed back for our lunch spot adjacent to the sign that said 'Boats no landing'. With the hurricane behind us, we stormed back through Milson's Passage, the GPS speed indicator going off the dial. There were a few tricky surfing moments back in the main river, before reaching dry land again.
The wind swept but triumphant crew were Helen, Kaye and Peter, Kee, Mike R, Peter R and Dave B
| Tuesday 7 June 2011 - Mooney Mooney
This paddle will be remembered for quite a while! Starting off at the reserve next to the F3 freeway we had quite pleasant conditions with a maximum temperature of 14° and a NW breeze from 10 to 15 knots (Willy Weather). This was nice while we went across the river and headed south and east into Sandbrook Inlet, with a slight breeze. The inlet is very nice with many interesting boats and facilities, so we paddled all over the place with some of us going down to the navigation markers near the railway line, and others finding a creek near Fenwicks Marina to explore. With the passage of time however, the breeze picked up, especially once we got out onto the river again and into the full force of it. With the wind-chill factor happening it was freezing and a hard struggle across the river under the bridge and back to our launch site. Waves up to half a metre driven by the freezing 15 knotter certainly got the adrenaline oozing - luckily it wasn't very far and we all made it back OK. We've never lost anyone so far, but musn't be too cocky. We never get any photos of bad conditions because the photographers are too busy hanging on.
Morning tea was served behind a hedge which was the only shelter in sight, and very much appreciated it was too. So much beautiful food, guys, thanks!
Bob has sent some photos and they are here.
|Monday 6 June 2011 - Glenn and Gail's
Well what a day we had on Thursday! We have travelled over from Menindee to visit a friend in Ivanhoe and then onto Willandra National Park. The setting is the old Willandra Sheep Stud with its homestead, shearers' shed and quarters etc. It has a frontage onto Willandra Creek and a weir near the homestead to keep the water levels up. The creek was in full bloom as we paddled along on a fine and sunny day, in shorts and t-shirts. Along with the usual birdlife we had close encounters with emus which crossed the river in front of us, kangaroos, goats and pigs. We are now at Lake Cargellico. Will report on the next paddle in due course.
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 31 May 2011 - Kee's adventures
at Bobbin Head
Last Sunday, while you guys were braving the waters on the paddle to Currawong Beach, Dennis Bryne & I decided to explore the waterways from Bobbin Head.
When we arrived just before 8.00 am, there was a huge commotion there with one helicopter landing, 2 ambulances and about 6 traffic police cars, apparently to take an injured cyclist to hospital. We have no further details on that.
The weather was pretty good, and we could see the sun behind the clouds. So after going to the end of Cowan Creek, we decided to go to Smiths Creek. That was a mistake because we were met with a very heavy downpour. Fortunately, there was no strong wind and we had rising tide to help us in the return journey.
This was the first time for Dennis to be on this waterway and we must have covered 23 km. In spite of the gloomy weather, I managed to capture a great photo which I think you guys will appreciate.
It is nice to see Susie back at Brunch.
Kee's photos are here: Photo 1 and Photo 2 (just close them after viewing).
|Tuesday 31 May 2011
No paddling today owing to the shocking weather. However, here is an update on Gail and Glenn's outback trip-
Hello all. We have moved up to Menindee and are presently camped beside Lake Parmamaroo. The camp site is a couple of metres from the lakes edge and each site has it own little sandy beach. We launched our kayaks after a portage of 5 metres and set off along the lake's edge. The lake is full of dead trees from the time it was first flooded. Due to the low levels there are living trees out in the middle of the lake. They will probably die if the water stays high for a long period. The weather is beautiful. Gail is sitting on her lounge chair sitting in the sun in shorts and t-shirt. Maybe this weather is on its way to you for tomorrow. [We wish!]
Also there is a wonderful new instalment of Jenny and Graeme's trip around the USA. Click here.
|Saturday 28 May 2011 - Kee's report
from Tuesday on the Hawkesbury paddle
Last Tuesday, while Team A was having fun, paddling at Gwandalan, Team B, comprising Dennis Bryne, Mark Osborne & Kee Leo went to Windsor, hoping to re-enact the popular Hawkesbury Classic. To make it a little different, we decided to kayak in daylight as opposed to the night paddling in the actual race. So at 0700 Hr, the team was ready at the starting point and took off by 0845 Hrs.
The weather was almost perfect, 8°C, sunshine and a very slight breeze. It was a bit chilly as first but as we paddled on completely flat water, we began to warm up for a wonderful time. We went along the river which was surrounded by farmland which chose to grow turf instead of vegetables. The smell of urea was noticeable until we passed Pitt Town Downs, much of it is lowlands. When we saw some cattle grazing, Mark was curious if Waggu beef at McDonalds was imported from Japan but we just ignored his hint for a break since we had only covered 10 km. Along the way, the Autumn scenery was nice but not outstanding. There are patches of bushes and occasional private settlements.
On the way we met a group of school kids in about 10 canoes, supervised by teachers, starting on a 16 km paddle to Sackville. At the 15 km mark, which we paddled in 2.5 hours at a very leisurely pace, we came to a beach at Ebenezer which is the site of an old church with picnic tables/sheds and toilet facilities. Mark was very keen to spend enough time there to justify that he had done his spiritual duties for the week.
After the break, we paddled into the Cattai Reserve and the scenery becomes for rocky with elevated banks and occasional houses perched near the bank which made them attractive to view from the water level.
At the 28 km mark, we came to the Water Ski Gardens (a recreational and caravan Park) which was picturesque because of the Autumn leaves, long straight banks and wide waterway.
The Hawkesbury River, as you know, meanders on its way to the ocean and once it leaves Windsor, it becomes very wide, at places almost 120 metres. There are many sandy shores a kayaker could land but most of them are private properties. Wildlife, there are some but we did not see any sea eagles (too far from the ocean?).
After the Water Ski Gardens, we paddled into an anti-clockwise bend of the river and then, we could see the Sackville Ferry in the distance and just before that, Sackville Ski Garden, was our destination. Dennis had previously obtained agreement from the Garden’s owner to park his car/trailer there. We arrived at Sackville at 1320 Hr after a distance of 31.2 km paddle. That works out to be about 7.0 km/hr. Not bad for the first trial.
Some photos for your viewing (click here).
|Thursday 26 May 2011 - Photos from Bob's recent trip to Shoal Bay, and Kee's outing on the Hawkesbury last Tuesday are now on the Photo Album here.|
|Thursday 26 May 2011 - Glenn and
Gail's Murray River Travelog - next episode
Hi there paddlers! What a day we had today! We were able to paddle on three of the country's major waterways. We have paddled on the Darling River, the Murray River and Tuckers Creek.
We are currently at Wentworth where these three great waterways meet. We started on the Darling which runs past the caravan park and turned into Tuckers Creek and paddled for an hour up this beautiful creek. We returned to the Darling and paddled down to the junction where it merges with the Murray. Up the Murray then through a small channel back into the Darling and back to the caravan park. The day started sunny with a cool breeze but the weather turned colder and overcast. It was still a lot better than the weather you were experiencing on the east coast.
Tomorrow we are being taken up the Darling and we will paddle back 19 ks.
Will keep in touch as we head north then east paddling as we go.
Glenn and Gail
Next episode: Andrew the Manager of the caravan park took us up the river to Pomona and left us to paddle back. The sign opposite the boat ramp indicated 18k's to the end of the Darling River. We set off in cool overcast conditions witha light breeze blowing in our face. The river was flowing gently and we were accompanied by flopping fish, circling kites and waterbirds galore. We paddled into Wentworth township where the Houseboats were moored and then on to the Caravan Park. The GPS indicated 16.9 k's and it took a tick over 3 1/2 hours. We will be in touch again after our next paddle.
Glenn and Gail
|Tuesday 24 May
2011 — Crangan Bay, Gwandalan
At least 25 kayakers met up at Lions Reserve, Gwandalan, in perfect conditions, to paddle around Crangan Bay for a close look at the mangrovy shore. Eventually we reached Nords Wharf with all its beautiful boats and houses, with some of us even getting within sight of Raffery's Resort, and in a slightly lifting NW breeze we paddled back across the bay to Gwandalan. There in a beautiful setting we had morning tea and chatted for an hour. Welcome to new lady Claire, from Summerland Point, in her 5.8m craft. Russell and Suzanne popped over from their adjacent house for a chat - nice to see them again!
Our sympathy goes to people living in Khazakhstan, and Monrovia, and Blacktown, who can only dream of living in the paradise that is the NSW Central Coast. Bliss!
PS Harry's and Bob's photos are here!
|Sunday 22 May 2011 - Gail and Glenn's
Murray River Travelog
Read the report for today's paddle (10 May) and was pleased the day turned out well. As for us well we just paddled along the Upper Murray River from Neill's Reserve to Jinjellic, with nothing but the sound of birds, the rush of rapids (very easy and no trees to get under) and the splash of platypuses or platypi. The weather was cold but clear in the morning then sunshine all the way. Spent the afternoon sitting around the camp ground (a free camp site on the banks of the Murray and it's up to the pub for toilets and showers. Moving on tomorrow to Howlong but not sure for howlong. [yuk yuk!] Have just heard today that our solar panels will be fitted on 17/6 so we will be back by then. Will keep you informed of the adventures as they continue.
We are currently camped at Lake Barmah National Park on the Victorian side of the border. We are looking out across the Murray. The river is different again to the other places we have camped at. Here the banks are low with the water spreading out into a large Billabong called Lake Barmah. Because of the recent flooding the Billabong is full and the waterbirds are prolific. Paddled from the Murray into Lake Barmah and through the reed beds into the flooded forest. It was sunny and although most of the way we paddled into the current it was pleasant.The return paddle was certainly easier. We woke this morning to some light rain. The sky whilst a little overcast seems to be lightening and we expect to paddle after lunch in sunshine. If not then nanna naps will be in order.
Hi there! We are presently at Tocumwal. We had a 12 k paddle down the river today. We were trying to find out about possible launch sites with little luck. Then into the camp ground came a local with his kayak. Asked him for help and he gladly offered his advice. Told us where to launch and gave directions etc. Turns out he has completed every Murray Marathon since the beginning and thus knows the river well. He paddles his kayak with a canoe paddle but certainly motors along. A fellow camper agreed to come with us to the launch site and drive our car and trailer back to the camp site so off we went. It was a beatiful sunny day and the river was smooth although still running quite strongly. We are staying at Town Beach which is a short walk out of Tocumwal. There are toilets and running water but no power. The fees are $5 per night and the sites are right on a sandy beach on the riverside. Will head further down the river in the next few days. Happy paddles!
Grumpy and his old woman
|Tuesday 17 May 2011 - Wyong River/Tuggerah
Twenty-eight paddlers made the most of a beautiful sunny day (just have a look at this header photo above) to paddle down the Wyong River from the Tacoma Sports Ground to the lake and up the coast to Karraganbah Point and back, with just a light 5-10 knot westerly breeze at times. Some of the more energetic guys paddled halfway up to the Wyong bridge on the way back but most of us did only 6km which seemed like enough at the time. Pretty-well a perfect day kayaking really.
Bob and Harry's photos are here. Ray's photos here.
|Sunday 15 May 2011 - Hey! Now we've got Kee's photos of Dora Creek from last week, the upstream section. Click here!|
|Tuesday 10 May 2011 - Dora Creek
8.00am - what a shocker of a day: 10°C, 10 knot SW breeze, rainy, cloudy... Don't expect many starters today in remote Dora Creek. Nope, just the 25 of us, rewarded with a beautiful cool day with light winds and plenty of sunshine, yay! Only 7 less paddlers than last week at Woy Woy. We have learnt to be optimistic and it pays off!
We paddled upstream to Stockton Creek (turn left) and up as far as Freemans Drive bridge where many of us in slower kayaks turned back. After battling headwinds all the way to there, we enjoyed the tailwind run back at twice the speed to complete about 9km for the day. The faster guys went to within sight of the F3 (Kee went under it) for a 15km trip.
At m/t Sue told us of her research into the matter of our club status and the need for PL Insurance. All advice she had from other groups and insurance companies was that we don't need the insurance as long as we are just a group of people doing stuff together, and not an organised club. We have always been at pains to not be organised, even if we have a website and special hats, so if we just stay the way we are and never call ourselves a club, never be too organised and never have an accident, we should be right. We are careful now not to nominate anyone as a leader or as in charge.
Harry and Bob's are here.
|Friday 6 May 2011 - Graeme and Jenny's Travelog now has pictures. Click here to read.|
|Tuesday 3 May 2011 - Woy Woy Bay
Always nice here, and 32 paddlers thought so too. Weather - cool, cloudy, westerly breeze of 10 knots to start but swung to a southerly around 10.00am, nice though.
We paddled around all the bays we came across (Horsfield, Phegans, Woy Woy and Waterfall) with plenty to see and beautiful scenery, villages in the first two bays and Brisbane Water National Park in the other two.With quite a high tide it was possible to paddle right up to the waterfall, though some of us lost interest in battling the headwind and headed for our lovely beach where we swam on January 25. This time however it was half washed away from rain and half under the tide, leaving a measly quarter left to stand on (don't do the maths). No-one was interested in swimming today.
Welcome to newby Graeme. There were 26 kayaks today including a lot of tandems (more maths). A bit squeezy in the car park with triple parking being encouraged. Mike, still recovering from surgery, turned up to be sociable for lunch.
Thirty-five pix from Bob, Harry and Ray are here.
All previous reports and the old Photo Album are gone (used to be attached to the Toukley Sailing Club website, now under someone else's control, sorry!)
For the next website (May 2013 to September 2013) click here.