From the Net [23]

Sea Kayak Club Aims and Objectives

Members may remember that this topic was raised at the AGM. I feel that we should discuss this matter over the coming months around the camp fire etc. and perhaps arrive at a desirable set of aims and objectives for our next AGM.

As our sea kayak club continues to grow I feel some defined direction is important.

Please, let’s have some discussion on the matter during club outings.

OK, here are a few points that I jotted down recently. They are presented without qualification as they are fairly self-explanatory.

  1. To act, through the club’s magazine and the Infoline, as a contact point for members paddling related activites.
  2. To promote sea kayaking in the general community as an enjoyable social and environmentally responsible wilderness pursuit.
  3. To promote, organise and conduct sea kayaking training programs for all skill levels.
  4. To liaise with sea kayaking retailers and manufacturers in the design and adoption of quality craft and practical safety ideas.
  5. To encourage respect for our environment and wild places and the practise of minimum impact camping.
  6. To support environmental study and lobby gfroups, both morally and, where appropriate, by supplying skills and finance.
  7. To represent sea kayakers generally in consulations with government departments at all levels.

Have a problem with any of the above? …Want to add a point or two? …let’s hear your views. David Winkworth

Expedition Notice – Sea Kayaking Svalbard

Svalbard is a Norwegian island group about half way between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole. During the three month summer, the northernmost remnants of the Gulf Stream warm the surrounding seas enough to melt the sea ice back to 82 degrees North. This is as far north as it is possible to go in a kayak anywhere in the world.

The scenery is rugged and spectacular. On shore and inland the ground is bare rock, ice-cap or tundra. Tundra in flower can be a riot of colour, as all the plants try to grow, flower and set seed before the summer is over. From the sea there are many fjords, tidewater glaciers and snow-covered peaks.

Svalbard has about 2700 human inhabitants, mostly working three coal mines. The Spitsbergen reindeer, arctic fox and the polar bear are the only native land mammals. Sea mammals include various whales, seals and walrus. 40 species of sea-birds migrate to Svalbard for the summer.

The North Atlantic and the North Sea have a reputation for foul weather. Svalbard is an exception, with two thirds of summer days at dead calm to gentle breezes and only 4% of days with gales (RN Arctic Pilot NP11).

Most of the Arctic is technically a desert. Svalbard is no exception, with only around 200 mm of precipitation, mostly as winter snow. Summer temperatures average 6 C on the coast. Sea temperatures are low too. The West Spitsbergen current warms the surface waters to 2 C, but mixes with the East Spitsbergen current at about -2 C. Drysuits!

I am organising a sea kayak trip for July to September 1995. My basic plan is to fly to Longyearbyen, then explore the fjords, glaciers, national parks and wildlife sanctuarys on the western and northern coasts of Spitsbergen.

The trip is open to NSW Sea Kayakers and friends.

Andrew Eddy

Sea Kayaking – The Magazine

In recent correspondence with editor Chris Cunningham, he stated that ‘I’d love to carry more stories from Australian paddlers’. Now guys and gals this magazine (unlike your poverty stricken magazine) pays real dollars – and US ones to boot!

He has sent me a copy of the magazine’s ‘Writer’s Guidelines’ which I am happy to photocopy and send to anyone who is interested. It is too lenghy to include here. So if the chance to make money and have an even better excuse to go paddling appeal give me a call.

Wave~Length Magazine February/March 1995

Geneticist David Suzuki is now writing a regular column. In this edition he writes about ‘A need for Nature – part of our destiny’ and uses Biophilia, a biologist Edward O Wilson’s term based on the Greek words for ‘life’ and ‘love’. He quotes from two fascinating books Wilson’s ‘Biophilia: the Human Bond with Other Species (Harvard Uni Press 1984) and ‘The Biophilia Hypothesis’ (Island Press Washington 1993). In the latter, Yale Professor Stephen Keller says:

“The biophilia hypothesis proclaims a human dependency on nature that extends far beyond the simple issue of material and physical sustenance to encompass as well as the human craving for aesthetics, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual meaning and satisfaction … a scientific claim of a human need … for deep and initimate association with the natural environment… The degradation of this human dependence on nature brings the increased likelihood of a deprived and diminished existence … Much of the human search for a coherant and fulfilling existence is ultimately dependant on our relationship to nature.”

Little wonder sea kayaking is such joy.