Flotsam and Jetsam [29]

Sea Kites

Saturday afternoon: the almost unpaddleable 25 knot westerly gave intrepid salesman Ron Mudie the chance to demonstrate another facet of his hand crafted kayaks. Amazing as it may seem. these featherweight kevlar craft also make pretty handy kites, yes you heard right- kites!

In an impromptu demonstration using tow ropes attached fore and aft, Ron and Gordon Carswell had the sleek white 18 footer soaring and pirouetting high above the trees, displaying manoeuvres impossible even in the surf! The 20 minute performance ended with the skilled duo bringing the 6.2 kg kayak gently down to earth in a perfectly controlled ‘updraft-broach’ to thunderous applause from the appreciative landlocked crowd!

Asked how he had made the discovery that his boats could fly, an exhilarated Mr Mudie replied “I left a new kayak out in the sun to cure one day when a southerly came through – found the thing weeks later a mile away half way up a tree -always tie ’em down now if it’s blowing a bit”.

And how light does the designer think he can go with his new generation kayaks “I think that 4.5 kg would have to be the limit, otherwise there’s the risk of kayak and paddler becoming airborne.”

AGM Fury

Saturday night -the newly elected Executive underwent a baptism of fire at an AGM that threatened to get out of control as a group of aggrieved members attacked aspects of club administration in the past year. An established member of the Executive later stated that “if that motley assortment of Pedants, Whingers and Rednecks are representative of our members, then this Club is in deep trouble”!


Sunday afternoon -Club member John Caldwell brazenly questioned the nutritional value of Semolina (for those who have just Joined the club -this is the definitive sea kayakers “food of the 90’s”).

At a class B Trangia Site in the presence of a small group of relaxed fellow paddlers, the noted vegie-grower stunned the gathering with the bombshell “I’ve researched this and there’s nothing in the stuff that’s any good for a sea paddler -you’re better off eating porridge, even Home Brand…it’s crap”.

Following an investigation of this serious incident by zealots of the Paddlers Inquisition, Mr Caldwell was arrested and tried before the NSWSKC Supreme Council on 14 December 1996.

The following is a transcript of the President’s Judgement.

“Semolina is the official club ‘Holy Grain’, a standing befitting the primary sustenance for so many paddlers as they battle mighty oceans in puny vessels. No punishment can be too severe for those who seek to spread such malicious beliefs. Given the prisoner’s refusal to repent on no less than three occasions at this hearing, it brings me no pleasure to announce that from this day forth, the accused, John C. Caldwell, also known as John the Herbalist of Mittagong, is declared a heretic. Befitting the magnitude of this crime, I hereby sentence you to the ultimate and cruellest deterrent known to our kind -an eternity of paddling a rudderless Arctic Raider in windy conditions! May the lord have mercy on your soul -take him down!”

Straight and Narrow

Sunday afternoon: Internet Guru, Jim Croft, had a humiliating solo experience in John Wilde’s rare Vynek. After paddling this very British kayak out into Jervis Bay in fine style, Jim found that, try as he might, he could not convince the tippy, hard chined and rudderless craft to change direction.

After much wasted effort invested in various combinations of sweeping, leaning and cursing, Jim eventually gave up trying and allowed the stubborn Vynec to maintain it’s speedy course all the way to Huskisson, a full 12km across the Bay. Here he alighted, turned the boat round, and paddled all the way back to Honeymoon Bay, again in a remarkably straight line!

On his return to the sheltered haven of Honeymoon Bay, an exhausted Mr Croft growled “the worst boat on the beach, bar none -should be warning signs on it, pommy bastard”

Low Acts

(Yes, even at the Rock’n’Roll weekend, there were some who let the side down!)

Shame on the person who proposed a ‘payment for tuition services’ motion at the AGM which, if passed, would have financially benefited this individual to the detriment of the club’s limited finances! Fortunately the membership rejected this attack on our club’s tradition of honourable amateurism! Word has it that this individual (apparently a hairy, acne- infested, generally unattractive type!) was desperate for funds needed to maintain an expensive habit involving performance- enhancing drugs!

Shame also on the heavily built individual (a 100kg+ brute according to witnesses) who borrowed another member’s new and beautifully customised kayak and inevitably shattered one of the fibreglass reinforced hip pads. The heartbroken owner (incidentally of slim build) passes this message on: “Lose weight or keep out of my 1 boat, Bargearse!”