Letters to the Editor [26]

Dear Editor

Many thanks for a most informative article about your experiences on the bar at Tuross. No doubt there are many members who are glad of the hance to learn from your experiences rather than going out and enjoying for themselves all the benefits of extended immersion in cold water. It took considerable courage to publicly admit the errors you made that day, and by telling us all about it we can all become better paddlers.

The two things that I see in this are firstly, as you observe yourself, there is no substitute for time in your boat. Secondly, if you can’t get in your boat then the next best thing is reading about someone else in a boat.

Once again the club owes you a debt of gratitude for publishing such a fine magazine and I should encourage all members to actively contribute their thoughts and experiences so that we can all have the opportunity to learn from each other. The wheel has already been inverted. We don’t need to reinvent it to go forward.

PS On the subject of other people’s knowledge, is there anybody out there who knows how to securely attach prescription sunglasses whilst paddling? The thought of rolling or being dumped in the surf usually means I leave mine at home. However it would be nice to see past the end of my boat sometimes.

Philip Winkworth

Dear Editor,

I am very keen to find out more about our Club President, Dirk Stuber. Dirk does not know me (in fact doesn’t even know I exist!), but I have long been his No. 1 admirer. Many’s the time I have secretly admired his courage and skill in the surf at Coledale beach. Unfortunately my shyness stops me approaching Dirk, although I long to talk to him. Could you give me an address so I could write to him personally, or perhaps there is a Fan Club I could join? I know I am being silly, but I dream of paddling with Dirk all the time. Please help!

Adolescent Female Paddler, South Coast, NSW

Dear AFP – I get many letters from impressionable young kayakers who have developed such feelings for our President. However, I must warn you that Dirk is rumoured to have a wife and children, so your dream of paddling alone with him is unlikely to be fulfilled. Your parents would also quite rightly disapprove of such a liaison. The gulf in experience is vast – he is a mature ocean paddler, with all the support strokes and several rolls, whereas even a simple brace maybe beyond you. Your fixation can be cured by simply observing the object of desire emerge from his tent after a night round the Trangia, typically unshaven, hungover and excessively flatulent. If even this fails, my advice to you would be to develop friendships with club members of your own age, rather than risk further heartbreak over this one charismatic man.

Dear Editor,

Although I enjoy the camping at Club weekends, I have suffered several sleepless nights due to a high-spirited element in the club, to the detrimentof my paddling performance the next day. What should I do?

Tired and Grumpy, Tuross Heads, NSW

I sympathise with you here – the NSWSKC has long favoured the more primitive camp-sites in an effort to escape urban hoons and their partying. Unfortunately, the club has developed (since the infamous Tallawa Dam paddle) it’s own group of, shall we say, ‘revellers’, who, now that they are grown men, are simply not content to be tucked up in their sleeping bags by 9pm like the rest of us. The only solution is to anticipate where the revellers Trangier site’ is likely to be, and pitch your tent some distance away. Unfortunately, in the light of day, it is sometimes difficult to predict which club members are likely to become the night-time revellers. They are often socially inadequate Jeckyl and Hyde types, who transform alarmingly from mild-mannered nobodies into shrieking extroverts on the sniff of a Lite beer. However, as a general rule, a good night’s sleep is normally had if your tent can be pitched some distance away from any paddler from the greater Wollongong area, or from inner north Canberra .The following diagram has been scientifically prepared, and indicates the minimum distances required from the noise source for a good sleep. I believe our esteemed President has also felt the need to address this issue in his report. Sweet dreams!

Dear Editor,

On long expeditions my teeth start to feel rough and furry after a few days. Worse still, my breath becomes quite unpleasant (even to me) after about a week. I now find that I am seldom invited to significant paddles, and I suspect that this is the reason. Please help!

Solo Paddler, Manly, NSW

I’ve been on several trips where my co-paddlers had precisely this problem. I would advise you purchase the following articles immediately;

1 X toothbrush, 1 X toothpaste (available at Chemists and large retailers)

These discreet units are small and light, last for weeks, are not affected by salt water, and fit into the smallest deck hatch. A must for any expedition, I was happy to notice several other kayakers brushing away at the recent Rock’n’Roll weekend as if they’d been doing it all their lives!

Dear Editor,

At the last Rock’n’Roll weekend a number of paddlers wore T-shirts bearing the name of the kayak they paddled. Why do they do this?

Puzzled Bowral

Even though I can’t think of a practical reason, this is a great idea! In fact, I think all club members should be encouraged to wear gear that proclaims not just the name of their kayak, but also its length, beam and weight, handling characteristics, where and when purchased, and price paid. The resultant removal of the basis of much mundane kayaking chatter will mean an improvement in conversation standards at club weekends!