Monday, May 28, 2012

Andre's Pics from Tuesday Night

The Briefing

Big Boat Little Boats - Rob putst he group through a series of complex rescue drills



Neil & Anne

Paul & Megan

Rear Deck Carry

Rear Deck & Front Deck Carry

Mark, Matt & Fernando

A quick blast down the coast and back in the dark tops off another excellent Tuesday Night.
All 11 photographs taken by Andre Janecki

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tuesday Night Pics

Some of Rob Mercers Pics and one of Andrew Eddys. Its good to paddle with people who are good on water photographers!


Having fun on Tuesday Arvo - as always

Just North of Blue Fish Point is a great little blow hole that can knock an unsuspecting paddler clean over

Note the fine lines and exquisite detail of this beautiful kayak!

Mark Hempel showing his good side - nice roll in there Mark!
Most photos here have been copied from Robs Blog

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hybrid 550 1 year on

A lot can happen during the first year of a relationship. Initial attractions give way to more meaningful and deeper characteristics.

Even little nuances are now no more than a distant memory. Things like a balanced carry - the Hybrid balances perfectly on the shoulder and is easy to solo carry. Initially I had issues keeping the boat straight in following seas and down waves but I suspect that was because the Mirage 530 has such an efficient rudder that I relied on it far too much. With the Hybrid the rudder is only for fine tuning slight directional changes when underway, its not for turning or manoeuvring over close quarters. For this its big fat edge is brought into service to edge and lean into incredibly tight turns. I have no problem doing 360 degree on the spot turns.

The Hybrid is strong and well built. I mounted a sail on it and even when a 40 knot wind bent my mast and mangled the stainless steel universal joint bolted to the deck the laminate was unaffected apart from a few hairline cracks in the gelcoat.

The boat is incredibly stable. In really rough conditions I feel comfortable and the boat is predictable and secure. Even with a sail reefing violently it still doesn’t go over. In flat water I can paddle it like a stand up paddle board! Impressive for a boat only 53cm wide.

I regularly do a 40 km paddle and have always made it a rule not to plan anything on those nights as I’ll most likely nod off. I am simply less fatigued than I used to be in my previous boat. When loaded with overnight camping gear it maintains its liveliness and manoeuvrability. I have now done four overnighters with the Hybrid and on one trip purposely overloaded the boat just to see how it would feel if I had three weeks worth of gear. I finished a 35 km day into a 15 knot headwind feeling only slightly more tired than I would have in an empty boat. I still maintain the Mirage 530 is a great sea kayak but it behaves very differently when loaded. The significantly increased volume of the Hybrid probably has something to do with its load carrying advantage.

Skills that I always struggled with have now come easy. I can roll better than before and can do a high brace recovery with ease. For a flexible person layback rolls should be no problem as the rear deck is nice and low. I’ve been told that the Hybrid has made me a better paddler.

The deck layout is functional and the front day hatch useful. I did change the ergonomic toggles because although they looked great and may have been revolutionary most people complained of them slipping through the hand and I find regular toggles are simply more comfortable.

Other points worth considering are its epoxy construction. As this is primarily an expedition boat I like the idea that a tube of araldite is all I need to effect a repair or mount saddles etc.

I’m looking forward to the next 12 months and beyond and dreaming of a big trip which will be great in the Hybrid 550.
Happy paddling the Hybrid 550
The only benefit I got from Andre when I purchased the boat was a free spraydeck, which I believe everyone else who bought one got as well! See the HYBRiD website to arrange a test paddle.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sharks in Sydney Harbour

This excellent programme documents a bull shark tagging project in our local waterway:

Bull Shark is a Sydney Local - A fast roll is a good roll!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

St George Head Circumnavigation II

I organised a club trip to circumnavigate St George Head - this time we did it in an anti-clockwise direction.

Barnabas & Fernando

Chrystal Clear Water

Nice little slot

Room with a view - Caves Beach Campground

Round the outside

Megan heads into Steamers

Fernando's incomplete GPS Trip Log

Fernando posted some video from the trip

Friday, January 13, 2012

Whales in January

Last Saturday on a club trip from Cronulla to Boat Harbour, about half way accross Bate Bay, we crossed paths with a pod of at least three Pilot Whales.

After our lunch stop at Boat Harbour the Nor Easter kicked in and made for a fantastic run back. I shouldn't have been dissapointed that we had to change our trip plan from our intended landing at Little Marley as it turned out to be an excellent day for all who came along.