Club Magazine 1989: Issue 1 — December 1989

Inaugural Committee. 1989/1990
President: Perc Carter
Vice President: Ken McDonald
Secretary: Ray Abrahall
Treasurer Shirley Abrahall
Trip Programmer John Slattery
Editor John Bamberry
Social Convenor Peter Ingleby
Editorial Committee Ken McDonald and Michael Richardson
Program Committee Ken McDonald and Michael Richardson


None of the office bearers or any of the Executive Committee or a trip leader or any other member of the club shall be legally responsible in the event of any person dying or suffering injury or loss while engaged in any activities of the Club, and no action shall tie against any one or more of them, nor against the Club funds or property on account of the negligence or otherwise of any one or more of them.

President’s Report

After a long time at the boat builders, the New South Wales Sea Kayak Club Incorporated has finally been launched. Ray and Shirley Abrahall are to be congratulated for the drive and enthusiasm they displayed in getting the Club started. Similarly, Gary and Wade Burnham of Canoe Specialists at Beecroft, together with Ron Murray and Jill Boult of Canoe and Camping at Gladesville and Kogarah helped out by making their premises available for our inaugural meetings. John Slattery of Canoe World at Wollongong has travelled to every meeting and provided advice and encouragement as has Michael Richardson of Q-Craft at Manly Vale. We are fortunate indeed to have the support of these leaders in the industry. At the time of writing, we have twenty financial and many more paddlers have expressed interest in joining.

A membership application form is enclosed for your convenience if you have not already joined. For our club to be successful, your committee believes that the club must offer a wide variety of trips, ranging from the easy picnic style to fully fledged expeditions and everything in between. By offering this wide range of trips, the club will make a positive contribution to the paddling skills and expertise of the members. In May, 1989, Ray Abrahall conducted a survey of prospective members to determine their preferences for future activities. The message came back loud and clear, meetings to be kept to a minimum, trips and activities to be at the maximum. Your Committee will ensure that this is the case and we intend to operate with a minimum of fuss.

Our Incorporated status requires that the Committee shall meet at least three times annually and it “is our intention to adhere to this formal requirement, with general meetings to be conducted, where possible, during club trips. In this way we won’t get bogged down with administration and waffle. In the fullness of time, I am sure that the New South Wales Sea Kayak Club Inc. will develop into a popular and respected authority on sea kayaking with the same status as the Advanced Sea Kayak Club on the Isle of Wight or the Tasmanian Sea Canoeing Club of Hobart.

The trip program for the next two months contains plenty for everyone. If you want to lead a trip, please contact John Slattery, our Trip Programmer and discuss your ideas with him. This is the Club’s first magazine. We hope to issue every two months, depending on the availability of material. Success or otherwise will depend on your contributions. Help our Editor, John Bamberry, and his editorial committee by providing your ideas on layout, content, covers etc.

All assistance and comment will be gratefully received. Hand written contributions are welcome, but if it is at all possible, typewritten copy or computer disk would be appreciated. We can accommodate most formats on either 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 disks, 360kB to 2MB, using MSDOS or IBMDOS. Please write text to disk in ASCII format. A hard copy for checking and as a fail safe would also be appreciated. Disks will be returned as soon as they have been copied. On behalf of the Committee, I wish all members , families and friends of the Club a happy Christmas and a prosperous paddling New Year! Perc Carter

Trip Reports

Balmoral Beach – Sydney Harbour – Fairy Bower, 17th September 1989

We met at Balmoral beach, Mosman for a late leisurely Sunday morning start. Eight people and seven boats assembled. Mic Longhurst and Michelle Van Dervord brought their Catcan, Anthony McCarthy, Perc Carter and Bruce Lee (Greenlanders), John Bamberry (Puffin), Peter Ingleby (Estuary) and Michael Richardson (Chinook). The Catcan drew much interest throughout the day, quite an unusual boat! At 9:30am the weather was fine and the seas calm, so it was a perfect opportunity to paddle accross to Grotto Point and follow close under Dobroyd Head and Crater Cove. Seas are usually quite unpleasant in this area. Crossing ferry lanes to Store Beach was interesting. Seven boats five metres each can present a 35 metre obstacle to hydrofoils Line abreast seemed prudent! The gentle nor’easter tempted us out of the heads to travel up to Fairy Bower (southern end of Manly) for lunch. Poo is certainly a propblem. The sea off North Head is none too pleasant with offshore winds. Surprisingly, we found a large, lone seal in amongst it, seemingly quite relaxed and friendly. The leisurly rate for the morning saw us cover the 10km Balmoral to Fairy Bower in 1 hour, 45 minutes. The return route took us wide to skirt the worst of the polution before running down to South Head and turning down the Harbour to Obelisk Beach. Here we split up; Perc and Peter headed back to Rose Bay, the others to Balmoral. Try as he might, Peter’s fishing was fruitless. Michael, however made the mistake of paddling close under the stern of a yaucht and got snagged in a troll line very nearly got caught too! Thanks to those who came a very enjoyable day!

Michael Richardson

Gunnamatta Bay to Jibbon Beach, 24 September 1989

9:30am on 24 September, 1989 at the boat ramp in Gunnamatta Bay behind the Cronulla Railway station saw 12 individuals on hand for the club’s second official trip. The collection of boats would have done any shop proud and the presence of three doubles made for some interesting comparisons. Those present were:

Trip participants and their boats
Peter Ingleby Estuary
Ray Abrahall Tasman
Shirley Abrahall Tasman
Ken and Barbara MacDonald Dolphin 11 (double)
Mic Longhurst and Michelle Vandervord Catacan 11 (double)
Des Carter and Gwen Chance Tasman Twin (double)
Alan Smith Greenlander 11
Perc Carter Greenlander 11
John Bamberry Puffin

With a gentle breeze blowing in from the north east, the group set off past the State Fisheries installation at Hungry Point on the southern end of Gunnamatta Bay and paddled north past Shark Island and Cronulla Beach, landing a leisurely two hours later at Boat Harbour at the Northern end of Bate Bay. Some large rollers were breaking on the Merries Reef but the landing place was well protected from the surf and no problems were encountered.

Morning tea had just commenced when a large pod of dolphins began to frolic off the beach. most of our group put to sea a and were soon surrounded by jumping, diving and speeding dolphins. What a show they put on (the dolphins that is).

Mic and Michelle missed the show courtesy of some yobbo who had left a broken bottle hidden in the sand. Mic tested it’s sharpness with a big toe and provided Michelle with an opportunity to use their first aid kit.

After the pod had retreated out to sea, the group paddled along the western side of the Merries and a across to Jibbon beach for lunch. Quite a variety of pleasure craft were anchored at Jibbon and a number of nudists sunbaked (so we were informed) just out of our line of site. A visit from the floating ice cream parlour provided us with extra nourishment for the paddle back down Gunnamatta bay which can be quite a bore.

The day’s pleasant temperatures, glassy rollers and variety of boats and great company made for a most pleasant outing great day which concluded back at the boat ramp at about 2:45 pm.

Observations were made during the paddled that we allowed ourselves to become too spread out, OK in good weather but dangerous in bad conditions. Also we did not take the opportunity to raft up, pass a round the eat and make floating conversation. Conditions were perfect for it ,so next time, may be?

All boats were well equipped with lifelines, tow lines and all paddlers wore pfds. The total distance travelled was about twelve nautical miles. Just nice.

Perc Carter

Palm Beach to Little Beach, 25 and 26th November 1989

9am Saturday 25 November 1989 standing on the beach near the Aquatic Air terminal at Palm Beach with cloudy skies, calm seas and a slight southerly breeze, tending north easterly, all seemed perfect for the club’s trip to little beach in the Bouddi Bouddi National Park. Little Beach is situated about 14 km north from Palm Beach and offers the paddler a range of sea conditions, even on a calm day. The rocky headlands, reefs and tides all contribute to interesting paddling. Little beach is certainly well named.

What little sand exists lies behind a border of rocks which, in the northern corner flattens out to permit safe seal landings. Generally the area permits reasonable landings, provided that the seas are running from the north. The trip started well with Peter Ingleby (Estuary), Colin Campbell (Greenlander III) Perc Carter (Greenlander II), Paul Huetson (Greenlander II) and Phill Chidgey (Greenlander II) paddling to lion island to meet up with Bruce Lee (Kevlar Greenlander II) and by 10 a.m. we were underway. After an hour or so of pleasant paddling, Paul and Phill returned to Palm Beach and the rest of the crew paddled through undulating seas, about a metre on a metre swell with a slight chop and varying degrees of claptosis as we passed the steep cliffs. Little beach was reached by 12:30 pm and after an interesting seal landing on weed covered flat rock, tents were pitch ed and the usual eat a thon commenced. As the hours went by, the cloud cover increased as did the wind from the south. By 4am Sunday morning, the sea was boiling the bay was white with foam, the rain was falling in bucket fulls and sleeping bags were pulled over our ears to drown out the roar of the surf. Numerous nerve inspired trips were made to the National park toilets as the morning wore on.

By 9am, it was obvious that common sense and self preservation dictated a land based exit rather than a foolhardy surfing display for the handful of watching campers waiting for a thrill. Thanks to Bruce’s foresight, his vehicle was available close by and we were soon transported overland to Brisbane Waters. A pleasant paddle with some sailing saw the group pass St Hubert’s island after an about hour and into The Rip about 15 minutes afterwards .What a thrill; wind against tide, under the bridge makes for exciting paddling with over 100 metres of wild, broken water with waves a bout 2 feet (0.61mtr) high and about 2 feet apart. We thought that this was interesting but little did we know what was ahead. None of us were aware of the bar where Brisbane Waters meet Broken Bay.

As we approached the breaking waves it appeared that maximum wave hight on the bar was about 0.5 metres. No problem, just punch through. The only problem was that the more we punched, the higher the waves, until the final barrier was over 2 metres of breaking waves and no retreat. Finally we all crossed the bar, but not before some hair raising, disappearing tricks, involuntary backwards travel and extraordinary paddle braces. By this time, the seas were running at about 3 metres with their own infrastructure of white water lumps and holes on top of the swell, all encouraged by the strong southerly winds. We kept each other in sight an after about an hours battle, reached our departure point, wet, exhilarated, and well satisfied by the seaworthiness of our boats. A number of lessons were learned from this trip. Firstly, all outside trips of more than a day’s duration should, where possible provide for safe alternatives. Secondly, the trip leader should always be prepared to abort the trip if conditions deteriorate. Thirdly, boating weather forecasts are not always relevant to sea kayakers.

Perc Carter

Paddle Program

December 17th – Sunday

Rose Bay Mystery Tour. Time 9:00am. Venue: Rose Bay. Trip Leader Perc Carter

January 7th – Sunday

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Time 7:30am (for breakfast at Clark island). Venue: Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, The Domain. Trip leader Ray Abrahall

January 14th – Sunday

Picnic Day. Venue: Nielson Park, Vaucluse. Time 10:00. Contact Peter Ingleby. Paddle or drive to venue.

January 21st – Sunday

Wollongong to Shell Harbour. Time: 9:00am. Venue Belmore basin, Wollongong Harbour. Trip leader John Slattery (direction will depend on prevailing conditions)

January 28th – Friday to Sunday

3-Day Tour of Broken Bay, camping at Maitland Bay. Bouddi Bouddi National park and other sites. Time 9:00am. January 26th venue Pittwater side of Palm Beach (Near Aquatic Air Terminal). Trip Leader Perc Carter

February 4th – Sunday

Gunnamatta Bay, Kurnell. Time: 8:00am. Venue: boat ramp at Gunnamatta Bay (near Cronulla Railway Station). Trip Leader: Peter Ingleby

February 10th – Saturday

Night Paddle. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Lena St, Sandringham. Trip Leader Ken McDonald

February 24th – 25th Saturday to Sunday

Green Patch, Jervis Bay. Time and venue: details from Trip Leader, Michael Richardson. Rescue skills and training will be high on the agenda for this weekend.

Note: Persons wishing to attend any of these trips must contact the Trip Leader by the Wednesday evening prior to the trip. Earlier notice will be required for overnight paddles.

Please contact trip leaders before 9pm

Secretary’s Report

As previously indicated, I have located the recipe for the famous Abrahall marathon kayaker’s Elephant Stew. Ingredients can be difficult to obtain in some of areas of Australia so plan ahead.

Elephant Stew

  • 2 medium sized elephants
  • 2 rabbits (optional)

Cut Elephants into small pieces. This should take about 2 months. Add enough water for brown gravy. Cook over kerosene fire approximately four weeks at 465 degrees. This will serve 3,800 people. If more are expected add rabbits, but only if necessary, because most people do not like hares in their stew. Bon appetit!