Letters to the Editor [27]

Star Letter

Dear Sir,

I am surprised to note a change in editorial policy that allowed you to publish an article of fiction (GaleForce Kayaking by Andrew Todhunter) in the last issue. Although suffering from melodrama, the story is interesting in that it uses the clever ploy of reverse psychology to actually promote sea kayaks, whilst seemingly praising the virtues of surf skis.

I can attest only too well to this psychology as I recall my paddling a surf ski in 15 – 20 knot winds on Port Stephens in winter actually hastening my purchase of a sea kayak. It’s a pity the colourful, macho character in the story is not sustainable as his preference to paddle in a rubber suit would ensure his premature demise from acute fungicidal dermatitis and wheltinduced gangrene. On the other hand, this story is disturbing as it is part of an insidious infiltration of our worthy journal by yankee drivel. This has to stop. It’s just silly!

My, my, it’s remarkable how prolific a contributor Norm Sanders has become in just the last two issues. Any more prolific and we’ll have to change the title of the magazine to “The Sanders’ Sea Kayaking Weekly.” I do, however, have a concern about Norm Sanders’ feverishly flourishing quill and that is his incessant victimisation of anglers, referring to them as fish killers.

At first I presumed that Mr Sanders was wrong in his terminology. Perhaps he was really referring to those neanderthal types known as fish slaughterers who ravage the reefs in their stink boats and return home with fish brimming to the gunwales. But no, I was wrong. His taunts are aimed at honest fisher folk concerned merely with providing modest sustenance for themselves and their families. Worse still, among the subjects of his derision are socalled paddling companions. Does Mr Sanders cringe from killing things? In his own way, I think not. I have witnessed him cooking and it is a sight that would make even a hardened paramedic turn pale. Yes, Mr Sanders indulges in his own brand of killing – he is guilty of lentilcide!

The tragedy of Mr Sanders’ paranoia is that it has blinded both himself and the vast majority of club members to a much, much more serious threat, a threat made all the more evil and sinister because it comes from within our very own ranks! For you see we are being stalked by the Kayak Killers!

This small knot of perverse paddlers, commonly known as the Surf Surf Boys, camouflage their real purpose by pretending to frolic in the surf and wherever there is white water and foam amongst the rocks. But look closely and note how calculatingly they scrape, nick, crack, gouge and rent apart by excruciating degrees their kayaks and how they extract the ultimate gratification from their boats’ eventual deaths. Not content with killing their own crafts, the Kayak Killers prey on other, unsuspecting kayaks and lead them unto destruction. They have been particularly active lately. Talk to those paddlers who attended the club events at Mystery Bay and Broughton Island recently.

So, Mr Sanders, the time has come for you to wake up. Get real. Have the guts to kill the fish you eat (when you’re not eating disgusting baby foods such as pureed lentils and Farax). Shape up or get out. There’s no room for whimps in this club!

Finally, Mr Editor, I wish to make a request. Could you please publish this letter while Mr Sanders is away on holidays in the States. May the walrus herds prosper!

Nashnuk of the North
Lithgow, NSW

Nothing to be ashamed of!

Dear Ed,

I have developed a fancy for pink nylon, some even describe it as a fetish. I now have to keep a rolled up section on the foredeck of my kayak.

At the slightest excuse I am urged to unfold this pink delight, and watch it flutter in the breeze. The resulting emphoria causes my kayak to burst forth with increased velocity, and I leave my less fortunate comrades in my wake. This has caused some animosity, and I have been described as a wimp and not really a sea paddler at all. What should I do?

Deeply disturbed
Narrabundah, ACT

Don’t worry – you are a perfectly normal paddler and should feel no shame! Your so-called comrades are obviously puritanical types who believe that paddling should only be done in the missionary position (and preferably at night at that)! As an adult over 18 years old, you have every right to use whatever technique you choose to get you to your destination. I would suggest you seek out the company of more open-minded kayakers – the new Lonely Paddlers column might be a good place to start – Ed

Pain & Suffering

Dear Sir, At the recent Jervis Bay weekend I tried out a number of members’ kayaks in the surf.

I was shocked to find that many of these ‘beloved vessels’ had cockpit interiors so rough and unprepared I was very lucky to escape with only multiple abrasions and severe bruising! How can this be so? Have we been infiltrated by an obscure sect of masochists, or perhaps by a group of closet Fakirs, who, so in love with their beds of nails, seek to translate such features into their kayaks!

Thankfully there was one notable exception to this – I briefly paddled a white Seafarer Plus that was an absolute joy to be in. Such was the quality of padding I was instantly ‘at one’ with the boat. No matter how rough the ride, no part of my body ever touched fibreglass. This is how it should be. Unfortunately I did not get the owner’s name, but I commend him on his design and workmanship, and for showing me (and hopefully others) the way.

Skinned Alive
Croydon, NSW

Lonely Paddlers

Female, 26, fit, slim, seeks sensitive, good-looking, mature guy (please, no Pittarak/Mirage/Raider paddlers) for fun day-paddles with a view to full-on wilderness trips if compatible. Gear freak OK. (02) 9998 1234.

Male, 32, good physique, seeks cute lady to 28 to fill a big hole in my life and my double kayak. PO Box 25609, Sydney.

Couple, mid-forties, uninhibited, with double sea-kayak, seek like minded couple for crew swapping, kinky excursions etc. PO Box 87692, Newcastle.

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