President’s Report [15]

By Patrick Dibben

We have had an influx of new members in the last few months so on behalf of all the members I would like to welcome those who have recently joined us: Christopher Birks, Peter Blunt, Peter Cannan, Leigh Hemmings, Rob Jung, Julie Mcintosh, Carlos Stotz, Rob Thompson, Ian Tringham and Jiro Yaginuma.

What has the club been up to ? We have had very successful and well attended trips recently.

The Paddle/BBQ/Slide show was wonderful with about 25 people attending. Wade showed some magnificent slides on both the Solomon Islands and Patagonian trips. For those who missed this Wade has also contributed to this newsletter with an article on his Patagonia trip. Thanks once again to Wade Fairley for a excellent slide show and talk.

My Durras weekend had about fifteen participants including three of the new members above. On the Saturday we paddled south down to Emily Miller beach for lunch then returned as conditions were starting to worsen. The return through the surf back at Durras was either fun, challenging, wet, scary or all of these depending on your experience and whether you opened your eyes or not – On Sunday everyone (except me who was dying from abalone-itis) drove down to Batemans Bay and enjoyed a wonderful paddle out to the Tolgate Islands for lunch although they were a little under dressed for the occasion – the resident host wearing a smart black tuxedo – OK so it was a penguin but it’s his island..

The Rock and Roll weekend had over twenty participants and even got some publicity in the local press. Thanks to David Winkworth for the work he put into organising this. Both a trip report and postscript to the Rock and Roll course are included in this newsletter.

You have received the club stickers with this newsletter (unless you were given them at Durras). We’ve given everyone two – one for the kayak, one for the car. If you would like more they can be purchased for $1 each. These will be available at the BBQ etc on January 16th.

We still don’t have a club Secretary since Ken McDonald has now left us for life in Armidale. It really doesn’t involve a lot of work so don’t be shy volunteer. I will ask for nominations before the January 16th slide show.

The NSW Sea Kayak Club Info Line (552-0028) is working well but only a few members are letting me know of trips they are planning – Even if you aren’t prepared to run a trip let us know what you would like to do and we will advertise to put you in touch with others who might be willing to lead a trip.

I’ve had a couple of suggestions from club members which could be discussed at our January 16th get together.

  • Firstly David Winkworth suggested we have an annual get together which would be a social/paddle weekend. I was already considering something along these lines and started to make some preliminary plans. I’m considering the last weekend in March (not too cold/hot ?) and the venue would be Patonga on the Central Coast. There is a council camping ground here which we could book. The cost is $13/night per camp site which covers two people plus $3 per extra person. This camping ground is right on the water with both surf and still water. It is just over one hour from Sydney and you could even paddle to it from Palm Beach! The reason for choosing a site close to Sydney is so that shops can be invited to use this weekend as a trade show and demonstrate their latest gear. It would be a great opportunity for us to compare the different craft. Well what do you think?
  • Norman Bull suggested we organise some sort of kayaking skills competition, not a race but something more relevant to what the sport is really about. Perhaps this could be a team event and could involve rescue procedures etc? Maybe the annual get together (Patonga) could be an opportunity for this. Have a talk with Norman or myself if you are interested.
  • David Winkworth rang me with another suggestion which was to have the AGM on a weekend so non-Sydney members could attend. This is what I was planning . He also had another suggestion which was to have a moving AGM held in different parts of the state each year combined with a paddle weekend so numbers attending are better. He also wanted to suggest changing this AGM from August to May so that it was in a warmer month. This idea would have to be put to the committee for consideration if there were any changes to the AGM but maybe some informal discussion first at the January 16th BBQ would be appropriate first to get an idea of consensus and alternative view points.

You’ll gather from this newsletter that we are short of contributors, there being only two apart from myself here. We need your articles. This could be the start of your writing career, It is also a good practice if in the future you wish to submit a kayaking story to the commercial magazines. This is one way of financing your adventures and there are plenty who do this. So come hone your skills here. We could also do with technical articles or just some practical tips which we can put into a column – perhaps how to do simple fibre glass repairs, fishing tips, how you have set up your Puffin/Mirage/Greenlander/Arctic Raider whatever.

Lastly let me wish everyone a happy new year and all the best for the year ahead. I hope to see you at our BBQ/Paddle/Slide Show on January 16th.