From The President’s Deck [50]

By Rob Mercer

It’s 23:00 hours. We depart Sydney at 08:25 hours tomorrow, headed for Townsville. Between now and then I have to write this report (and hopefully get some sleep).

On Saturday 03 August the Club held a meeting to talk about all the big issues. Good will and ideas were in abundance. Thanks to all who contributed. The issues raised should be the focus of my report, but with the excitement of an expedition, and the satisfaction of presiding over a dynamic club about to release the 50th edition of Australia’s best sea kayaking publication, I’d rather lose some sleep talking about the NSWSKC magazine.

My earliest copy of the Club magazine is Issue 27. It is held together with masking tape and has dog-eared pages. It is no coincidence that this edition contains a seductive description of paddling in far north Queensland. After six years I am going to see what it is all about.

The overall quality of the magazine has for a long time deserved a colour format and, with the help of Trevor Gardner and Phil Mathewson from MacIMAGES Digital Design, this has become a reality. Ian’s contributions as Editor is obvious. What has been less apparent is the extent of his efforts in production and distribution. I assembled a team of a dozen members to pack, label and sort Issue 49 and arrange for its postage. We soon realised what an onerous task this must have been on top of editing.

Consistent with our Club policy of true editorial freedom Ian will have the final say over the shape of this issue but I have a couple of favourites from past editions which I believe are worthy of reprints. In Issue 41 we have Mark Pearson’s definitive parody of Club culture in A Cruiser Makes Mallacoota. If you are new to the Club and want to know about ‘Cruisers’, ‘Bruisers’ and the Nadgee Wilderness then this is essential reading. In the previous issue (number 40) we have Dave Winkworth’s chilling report of the croc attack on Arunas Pilka (save this one until after you have paddled in the tropics).

Between Issue 27 and now the magazine has been a document of many adventures both on the sea and for the Club as a whole. In Issue 51 we will cover the serious issues of membership fees, policy documents and affiliation with national organisations. In the meantime you may choose to speculate about the future directions of our Club. Just make sure it doesn’t use up valuable paddling time.

As one previous president said, “There is no substitute for time in your boat.”