Flotsam and Jetsam [39]


Norm Sanders recently opened his huge new state-of-the-art workshop in his new home on Tuross Lake, but those eager to see further sea kayaking innovations roll out of the new facility have been bitterly disappointed. The only marine offering to date has been a repaired paddle blade! Tragically, it looks as if the much vaunted workshop’s only output is likely to be repainted furniture and repaired chairs.

On the other scale, a new and flashy looking shed has started turning out the much talked-about kayak, the Winky II. This slick-looking boat is bound to turn a few heads, though it was five years in the making. Although you can shave in the gel coat finish, the colour scheme makes you think you’ve been on a LSD trip.

Flotsam has become aware of a senior south coast paddler, who, despite having recently suffered a trip-cancelling back injury, is still up to his old tricks. On a June club paddle, the senior club paddler was heard to berate other paddlers for dragging (rather than lifting) their fully loaded kayaks out of the wave zone on a beach. Some people obviously prefer efficient shiny smooth hulls to efficient shiny smooth vertebrae! Has anyone wondered how this experienced kayaker came to do his back in? The answer is in the following photo.

Designing a hat that was crocodile proof, for the Kimberley coastline, the aforementioned paddler came up with the five kilogram version. Here you can see him resting his neck muscles for a spell. Bending down one day, his back went!


An American businessman was at the pier of a small NSW south coastal town when 3 sea kayaks came ashore. The American complimented the kayakers on the quality of their boats and asked how long they took to make them.

The kayakers replied only a little while. The American then asked why they didn’t stay home longer and make more kayaks?

The kayakers said they made enough to support their family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, but what do you all do with the rest of your time?

One kayaker said, “I sleep late, fish a little, paddle a little, play with my children, take a nap with my wife, stroll into town”.

The second paddler said “I get up early, work out, go out and paddle hard, and spend the evenings planning expeditions”.

The third paddler said “Each evening I sip wine, play on the internet and write articles for the NSWSKC magazine. I have a full and busy life …”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you all. You should spend more time making kayaks and with the proceeds, buy a bigger factory and hire many staff making lots of boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of sea kayaks with factories turning them out everywhere. Instead of selling your kayaks to a middleman you would sell directly to the public through your own chain of boating shops. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Sydney where you will run your expanding enterprise. Your kayaks would become a household name .. sold all over the world – you would all be invited to the most prestigious sea kayaking symposiums .. you would be legends”

The third kayaker asked, “But how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?” said the first kayaker?

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.

“Millions, mate? Then what? “said the second kayaker

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small town on the south coast where you would sleep late, fish a little, paddle a little, play with your grankids, take a nap with your wife, stroll to the town, work out, go out and paddle hard, plan expeditions. In the evenings you could sip wine and play on the internet.”

The Pippy

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He walked on the beach
before he began his work.

One day he was walking along
the beach.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human
figure moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself to think
of someone who would
dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster
to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw
that it was a young man
and the young man wasn’t dancing,
but instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently throwing it
out into the surf.

As he got closer he said,
‘Good morning! What are you doing?’

The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
‘Putting pippies back in the ocean.
The sun is up and the tide is going out.
If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.’

‘But, young man, don’t you realize that
there are miles and miles of beach here
with pippies all along it.
You can’t possibly make a difference.’

The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another pippy
And threw it into the receding surf,
past the shore dump and said
‘It made a difference for that one.’