30 April 2009

The Edge

Noel Davis, Hearts Gone Walkabout

It's scary and breathtaking living at the edge of your life
just you, the edge and the vast unknown
and echoing down the valley of your heart
the constant call to trust

Yet how quickly that edge becomes a settled place without an echo
a niche to line and realign until you feel satisfied
lulled into complacency by the now safe 'edge'
til your peace is undermined by a new awareness
out beyond the edge of who we have become.

19 April 2009

Cleaning Out the Sinuses

An awesome day playing with the guys between Moreton and Bribie Islands.

Starring - Adventuretess, Vanilla, Gnarlydog, Andrew, Graham, Paul and Danger Eddie.

It was joyful to see 7 kayaks getting tossed about in the messy waves. Still kicking myself that I didnt capture on film Vanilla's rise, fall, dip, dive and brace on a large wave or Danger Eddie's backsurf-stern rudder with a flip on another biggie.

best viewed in HQ mode , full screen (tabs at bottom of window above)
Most impressive kayaker of the day for me was Graham D - well done man!!!
We all finished the session by clearing out the sinuses trying to earn icecreams (3 successful rolls in a row and you get an icecream). No one did 3 - they all did MORE! Hats off to Andrew who did a different roll each time.
Had lots of fun and surprisingly, I did not fail 1 roll - successfully rolling with inuit style paddle and wing paddle and also successful re-enter and roll, thanks to Paul W for simple,clear tuition - it made all the difference.

15 April 2009

Team Red Easter at Girra

Starring: Adventuretess, Gnarlydog, Silverfox, Vanilla, Sean and Mini-me

The magnetic pull of granite slabs lured Team Red (plus 4) over steep mountain ranges, past lush paddocks and trendy wineries to Girraween National Park. Passing campsites heaving with 4wd and shiny new camp gear it was obvious the forecast rainy weather had not deterred the holiday hordes. Always preferring remote experiences, Team Red (plus 4) spent the following days off track exploring prehistoric granite cracks and hidden waterholes around the park. All styles of navigation were used with varying success; map & compass, GPS and 'rock compass'. Vanilla demonstrated crafty skill, creating leg saving gaiters for Mini-me using the sleeves of a t'shirt and a shoe lace. Mini-me has declared photographs of her wearing said gaiters 'not for publication', but if you close your eyes and imagine what a Khazakstani fashion student would create as leggings for male strippers - you'll be halfway there. There are an abundance of orchids and mushrooms growing in the park. A surprise discovery hidden in the fields was a rare, edible type of mushroom (please do not go out and pick and eat field mushrooms without expert advice - you can die). The pace over the weekend was relaxed, the environment lush and scenic and the company enjoyable. For images from another successful Team Red (plus 4) weekend http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnarlydog/3440695356/in/set-72157600724215182/

06 April 2009

Sea Kayak Rescue Techniques

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart)

Had the opportunity to try out a new assisted rescue being touted as 'revolutionary' in kayak circles. Each time I've attempted it I have found it complicated, time consuming and injured the rescuer and the rescuee. Having said that, I will await detailed instructions from an 'expert' before totally dissing it. After all, there is no 1 way to paddle, roll or rescue. In the meantime, I'll stick with the fast and simple assisted rescues I currently use.

I found this great link with videos for assisted and self rescues as well as rolls and more. http://www.qajaq.no/technique.asp?id=15
KAMERATREDNING translates to assisted rescue and EGENREDNING is for self rescue - you can figure the rest out as you go.

Peel Island Overnight

Ultralight Style

Team Ultralight - Darren, Graham, Vanilla (paddling with a stick), Gnarlydog & Adventuretess

We headed over to Peel Island late in the afternoon with the goal of camping overnight ultra-light style - no tents, minimal gear (but taking all required safety equipment). We first undertook this trip last Winter and I was keen to see how inventive the Summer crew would be by comparison. After flooding rain and high winds earlier in the week, the weather had settled for enjoyable paddling conditions.

Adjusting our course to allow for the incoming tidal flow, we swiftly paddled toward the western side of Peel Island as the sun set behind us. The last time I paddled over in the evening, we had following sea and breaking waves. The conditions this evening were extremely mild which was a bonus for those on the team experiencing their first night paddle. Reaching Peel, we continued up the western side, the tide just high enough to traverse the extended shallows surrounding the Island. Panicked bait fish jumped around us in the shallow water alerting us to the fact that bigger fish were just out of sight. In the early evening darkness we could still see the sandy bottom with the occasional patch of rock or coral.

Darren quitely advised us that we had company. It was thrilling to see the dorsal fins of sharks slicing through the water, keeping pace with us as we headed north. I wonder about the size of the dorsal fin in relation to the size of the shark. Staying close for a short time, they disappeared as we began heading around the top of the Island.

Silver clouds lined the night sky filtering the light of the small moon. Without the use of torches our eyes adjusted and we were able to safely paddle around neptunes obstacles and at times in the shallows, could see through the water to the bottom of the bay. Arriving at Platypus in the darkness, the group were keen to set up their makeshift accomodations, all but 1 choosing to camp close to the beach hoping to evade biting insects. Later in the evening, retiring to our tentless shelters after enjoying a gourmet happy hour surrounded by citronella candles & candle lanterns, the stillness of the night was broken by the sound of strong wind sweeping toward us across the bay. This was followed soon after by heavy rain, giving tentless & shirtless campers a reprieve from the relentless biting insects.


Rising in the morning, the bay was busy with yachts scampering for home as the wind changed from ENE to a stiff southerly. Packing up the ultralight camp did not take long. On the water soon after the turn of the tide, our group headed south west to allow the light wind and the flow of the outgoing tide to assist our passage crossing to Cleveland Point. Passing Horseshoe, a protected bay usually filled with yachts and boaties, only 1 boat remained at anchor. As we paddled, the wind dropped until it was barely 5 - 10knots. Stopping just past the south western reef protecting Peel, a few kayaks turned upside down and right way up successfully, one volunteering to be rescued.

The paddle back to Cleveland was a kayak sailors dream, it was a shame that none of us had our sails on! The flow was strong as we reached Cleveland Point, the water distinctly changing from sea green to mission brown. Once across the bommies into Raby Bay, the flow and wind diminished but the murky water discouraged further rolling. All 5 returned with more good memories and a few mozzie bites. I highly recommend ultralight Summer camping on Peel, but would also recommend taking a mosquito net to sleep in.

Images Damiano Visocnik & Tess Dodd

Umina Beach NSW