Thursday, December 31, 2009

Port Stephens to Forster

Shaan, TJ, Mark, John, Matt & Dave just before leaving Pindimar in Port Stephens

Mark Sailing

This Photo by Shaan

We arrived at Forster after 3 days of delightfully rainy and windy weather. A great area, exciting conditions and a fantastic group made for an excellent trip.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Secret Seaside Gardens - No 1

A calm start to our days paddling

TJ reminisces his days as skipper of The Ted Noffs

South Head local Gunter - One of the most successful people I know
I've paddled past here countless times and never landed

until today

TJ timing his move

A seldom visited part of Sydney

a closer look reveals a whole micro environment

of specialised plants and mosses

and even tadpoles!

time to leave Cockatoo Cove
As those who paddle past here would know there is a flock of resident Cockatoos who nest in the nooks and cranny's of the cliff just South of Blue Fish Point. Cockatoos, like all Australian Parrots need hollows to nest in. This is a big problem because there are very few hollows left around Sydney and those that do remain are fiercely contested for by the likes of indian myna's, european honey bee's, black rats and so on. It is heartening to see some cockatoos are adapting to the shortage of hollows and migrating to the cliffs - or maybe, like us kayakers, they just prefer to be by the sea.

Monday, December 14, 2009

An Urban Epic - The Circumnavigation of Sydney

A while back there was a photo in The Herald of a kayaker paddling under The Harbour Bridge. The kayaker was Phil Newman who in 2007 along with Richard Barnes completed a full circumnavigation of Tasmania. In the accompanying article Phil philosophises that you don't need to travel far or go to exotic places in search of adventure - it can be found right on your doorstep - all you need is a bit of imagination. This coming from someone who had paddled the whole of Tasmania was surprising. I'm glad I came across this article because it changed my mindset and from then on every paddle became a fun little adventure to be enjoyed in its own right, regardless of how close to home it was.

Log from Dave Fishers GPS
The adventure begins

Laurie Geoghegan enjoys the sights
Laurie manufactures the legendary Nadgee Sea Kayaks

Always smiling - Mark Schroeder

Ian Vaile enjoying the day at Coogee

TJ - Never a dull moment

Dave Fisher - life's good!

Rob Richmond - wore the Lycra suit for the portage as well!
Rob's a bit of an authority on circumnavigating Sydney

Cathy Miller - Great Laugh guaranteed to make any trip a fun trip

Cooks River was OK

The pull out at Marrickville

Bemused golfers - "what the . . . "
"Road Subject to Flooding" bring it on!

George Jessup - was on a mission to be home for dinner!
Our paddle went "down the drain" from here.

This took us underneath Parramatta Rd and not long after that . . . .

the tide came in
After doing kayak limbo to get under a low bridge and getting up to ramming speed to make it over a rubbish boom we were once again in deep water. A solid headwind slowed us down just a bit. We said goodbye to Cathy & Ian who live on the waters edge at Balmain and made the last dash for home. Once in Rozelle Bay we had the wind behind us for the final push under The Anzac Bridge and back to the point from which we started.

The entire round trip came in at just under 65km with about 3.5km being on foot. Thanks to a great crew for making it such a fun day. We proved that Sydney can be circumnavigated by kayak (and trolley) and that you don't need to leave town to have an adventure!

Freya Hoffmeister also circumnavigated Sydney but she went the long way round. She mustn't have known about the drain under Parramatta Road. Onya Freya!