Flotsam & Jetsam [53]

The Fishkiller Files

By Mark Pearson

Gill Yet Again

Yes, the controversial Nick Gill is again making headlines! Flotsam’s Chatline Watch has revealed that Mr Gill has attempted to blatantly use the Chatline to seek advice on a matter totally unrelated to sea kayaking!

Mr Gill submitted a request earlier this year for information on how to waterproof “some old Cordura bicycle panniers” which were apparently getting wet on his daily ride to work, then revealed a tawdry financial motive for doing so, in that he “didn’t really want to buy new ones.”

Although Chatline moderator Max Brettargh immediately stepped in to Yellow Card Mr Gill for this flagrant transgression of Chatline regulations, this action did not satisfy everyone. The Club’s SAD (Super Anal Diehard) faction, the Chatline’s self proclaimed knowledge bank (with the proud motto ‘What we don’t know could be written on the testicle of a sand flea’) were fuming about Mr Gill’s request, a senior SAD told Flotsam, “None of us had a clue about waterproofing treatments for Cordura bicycle panniers, and that’s not easy to take with ego’s like ours.”

Half Century to Prolific News Maker

The Flotsam Research Department has confirmed that the above story marks Nick Gill’s 50th appearance in Flotsam since this column started in 1992, a record of notoriety unlikely to be bettered in the modern era of sea kayaking. The archives reveal that the multi-talented Instructor has gained publicity for a vast range of activities, including animal cruelty, kayak damage incidents, extreme gear freakism, membership scams and much more.

Although Flotsam did seek an interview to mark his achievement, Mr Gill, who has moved to the East Coast of the US to escape further Flotsam probing, again refused to talk to our reporter, issuing a brief statement that Flotsam was “conducting a vendetta” against him.

Sailors Find a Name

During a recent lavish Club Executive function at the Sebel Townhouse at which copious quantities of alcohol were consumed, Club President Rob Mercer announced the winner of the competition to find a name for sailors in the NSW Sea Kayak Club.

“I’m pleased to announce, said Mr Mercer, “that at long last we have chosen a winner in this popular competition. Sailors in this Club have long needed an identity within the Club to set them apart from non-sailing members. Now they will have it.”

Mr Mercer then declared that the winner of the competition was Club member Mr Phillip Upton Thomas Sticks of Gymea for his detailed submission that kayak sailors be henceforth known as ‘Faireys’ in honour of the Reverend Fred Fairey who kayak sailed the east Tasmanian coast in 1882. He is believed to have been the first person to sail a sea kayak in Australia. Mr Mercer, thumping the lectern, said, “I’m a kayak sailor and I am proud to be known as a Fairey. Name-calling doesn’t worry me. In fact I’m sure I can speak for all the Faireys in the Executive when I say that sticks and stones will gather no moss.”

Flotsam later sought comment from other prominent Faireys in the Club. Mark Pearson, a well known sailor from Canberra gushed, “Well, I think it’s a wonderful name and I find it all so very exciting. Now we can all stick together. I’m going to write the word Fairey across my sail in 6 inch letters. We may even form a club here in the ACT.”

Mike Snoad, another prominent Fairey from the ACT declined to comment except for a recommendation that Mr F Lord of Tasmania be elected Head Fairey.

Wollongong Fairey Mr T Gardner commented, “I think it’s a t’riffic name and we should hold a celebratory sail-past parade on Sydney Harbour finishing in Farm Cove.”

One onlooker was heard to mutter that this would be known as “Fairey’s at the bottom of the Gardens.” Flotsam reporters will continue to monitor developments.

Meanwhile female members have voted overwhelmingly for the name ‘Charlie’ to be used to describe those in the Club philosophically opposed to sailing. Spokeswoman Margot Manhunter told Flotsam, “We thought it a great name, given when you think of a non-sailor you automatically think slow, plodding, so Tail End Charlie!”

Margot continued, “One thing that was very clear in the voting responses was that, although our female members were attracted to Faireys, they thought that Charlies, to a man, lacked any semblance of sex appeal.”

Can’t See the Wood Cos There’s no Trees

Club Training Officer Andrew ‘Professor’ Eddy has announced that the Club has received a Good Citizen Award from the Forest Products Association of Australia (FPAA) for supporting Australia’s woodchip industry.

Mr Eddy said, “This award comes as a pleasant surprise to us. We knew we were using reams and reams of paper in implementing the new AC award scheme but we weren’t sure how much. It now appears that the Club is close to the annual per capita rate of paper consumption for Federal Parliament. This has given us something to aim for! It’s also great to know we are helping to provide forestry and wood chipping jobs.”

Mr Eddy went on to say that his quick calculations have shown that the paper required for one AC award/person consumes 49.36 cubic metres of Australian hardwood woodchips.

“I’m sure we can find an extra competency or two to bring us up to an even 50 CM,” he said.

Meanwhile, a group of concerned club members have condemned the FPAA award and the Club’s huge paper consumption rate for AC awards. A spokesperson for the group, Mr L Geoghegan, said this week that he is dismayed at the wholesale wood chipping of Australia’s native forests for bureaucratic record-keeping purposes.

“Look,” he said, “surely there is a better way here. We think the poxy award stuff could just as easily be hand written on last year’s Christmas cards.” Mr Geoghegan said a demonstration was being organised for next Tuesday outside the Club office suites at Double Bay. Flotsam reporters will continue to report developments on this issue.

Bruisers Face Extinction

And in yet another AC linked story it appears a number of South Coast Bruisers are living to regret they ever dozed off at the 2002 AGM.

This follows rumours that previously gained awards would no longer be accepted under the tough new AC regime, no matter how many difficult trips have been accomplished! Making matters worse, several illiterate Bruisers now face the daunting challenge of facing a written exam to acquire even the most basic qualifications!

The controversial AC awards and skills training curriculum, apparently set by a group of mentally deranged South Australians in the 1980s (just before they were re captured), has come in for criticism from a wide range of sources in recent months. Given the gravity of this situation, in that the Club may be faced with the sudden and drastic loss of so many experienced paddlers, a full Flotsam report will be published in the next issue.