Ever Tried Surfkayaking With a TK1? [68]

By Adrian Clayton

We’re rattling along towards Cave Beach in the Jervis Bay Kayaks Troopy. In the back we have two state-of-the-art surfkayaks, a Megatron and a Neutron, and related paraphernalia. At the wheel is Tracy Garner who, apart from being a member of our club, enjoys a very high ranking in world surfkayaking circles (she’s soon to head off for the World Championships in Spain). Also on board is my twelve-week-old (to the day), very expensive TK1 which I am planning to test in surf conditions.

I’m keen to have a go at surfkayaking, having been inspired by the reports from the super heroes who took up the challenge at the last Rock’n’Roll in the boats made available by Ross Boardman. My enthusiasm has also been stoked by the photos on the back cover of the Winter 2007 edition of NSW Seakayaker.

However, I’m no super hero, just a mere mortal, so Tracy is about to give me a lesson in surfkayaking. Despite my keenness, I’m feeling a little apprehensive — it’s been over forty years since I’ve ridden a surfboard (and a balsa one at that!). What’s more, the Megatron (this one with a completely rebuilt bow following an unfortunate incident involving one of the Club’s heavyweight super-heroes at R’n’R) is totally different to anything I’ve paddled before so I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to right it in the highly likely prospect of a capsize. Tracy senses my mood and asks if I’m nervous. “No way — it’ll be a piece of cake” I answer with bravado while secretly wishing to be elsewhere.

We arrive at the parking area approximately three hundred metres from the beach and don our paddling gear including helmets. We portage downhill to the beach with the aid of trolleys and shoulder carries, pausing in our descent at a lookout platform to get a view of the beach (which we will have mostly to ourselves) and to assess what’s happening with the surf.

We negotiate the steps — fifty of them — with the kayaks on our shoulders before we reach the beach where Tracy gives me a rundown on the characteristics of the boat and how to handle it in the surf. The hull of a surfkayak is not unlike a surfboard — but beamier. Upturned at the bow, it is mostly flat and has rails and three fins to improve its surfing performance. The deck looks similar to a play boat except there is a lot more volume behind the cockpit reflected in an afterdeck not unlike the back end of the old speedcars that used to burn the cinders at the Sydney showground years ago.

Today the surf is a bit messy due partly to the onshore wind, a south easterly aspect and the tail end of an ebbing tide. There are reasonably clean spilling waves out the back — maybe five feet at times — which break and reform a couple of times before they wash up on the sand. It’s confused water between the breaks — “difficult conditions” according to Tracy (although they look as though they would be a doddle in a seakayak). She wants me to start in close, only trying to catch the small fluffy stuff.

Just above the water’s edge, I shoehorn myself in to the boat for a seal take off. Once the skirt is on, I start bunny-hopping the boat in to the water by lifting my bum while simultaneously pushing off with the paddle and my free hand. It seems to be hard work as the fins dig in to the sand but eventually I’m nudging cautiously in to the barrier of the innermost break. Tracy stays on the beach and I notice she has a throw line at hand just in case.

I stop before the first break and turn around to attempt my first ride. No major problems so far. Although beamier, the boat seems a lot tippier than a seakayak. Being only about 8-foot long, and with a flat bottom, it’s a lot more manoeuvrable and a decent sweep stroke will spin it around 180 degrees. Soon I’m paddling in front of a small broken wave towards shore. It catches me, turns me sideways and tips me over before I have time to apply a brace. The roll is tested right away and, thankfully, the boat comes up easily. I’m embarrassed but decide that it was just an aberration. Unfortunately this is not the case. I’m tipped over quite a few more times trying to catch small waves. On one occasion in this first session I have to swim because I’ve run out of air, having had to roll up three times in quick succession as a result of drifting in to more turbulent surf.

A review with Tracy on the beach results in some padding being added at my thighs to give me a better connection with the boat. Back on the water I find that the padding helps me control the boat better, but I’m still capsizing more frequently than I should, and I still haven’t been able to catch a half-decent ride. I’m getting a bit dispirited from the unintentional rolling practice, and head back to shore for a break and a chance to observe Tracy demonstrating how it’s done in her Neutron. She’s playing in the surf for around ten minutes and I’m interested to see that she, too, is being trashed occasionally (although she’s catching much bigger waves than I attempted).

Another review and some more tips from Tracy and I venture in to the surf for my third session. This time something clicks and I start catching respectable rides, mostly across the waves. The capsizes are less frequent and I’m starting to enjoy myself. However, in the prevailing conditions, there’s little chance to rest. A brief ride on a wave is followed by a bash out through the surf to catch the next wave. I’m starting to tire and head back to the beach for another break. After I’ve had a short rest, Tracy seems to think that I’ve made enough progress to join her catching the clean waves out the back. I’m not sure that I agree but decide that I’ll have a go.

Tracy has punched through the first break and I’m still bunny-hopping my boat in to the water. She powers through the surf easily while I make the same task look difficult. I’m tired, have already capsized breaking out, and the force of the bigger sets at the second break is enough to put me off venturing further.

Some of the waves of the second break are sizeable enough to get the boat moving well. My first ride of this session is far better than anything I’ve experienced so far. I find that the bigger the wave the faster the boat goes. The faster the boat goes the easier it seems to handle and respond. I start catching unbroken waves and am now confident enough to throw in a few transitions. I’m going one way and then with a quick swing at the hips and transfer of the paddle I’m cutting back the other way. The confidence is growing, the adrenalin is flowing and I start becoming a lot more adventurous with my approach. I don’t know how many waves I caught in this final session — not many — but certainly enough to get hooked.

My last capsize of the day finds me so tired that I can’t roll up and I have to swim the boat in to the beach. Even so, my mood is euphoric and the offer of a hot coffee and a piece of freshly-baked carrot cake back up at the Troopy makes the fifty-step ascent (with kayak on shoulder) and the trolley return an easy task.

And what about the twelve-week-old very expensive TK1*? It stood up to the test in the surf extremely well.

Thanks, Tracy, for a fabulous day. I reckon I shed about thirty years at Cave Beach and I’m looking forward to getting back there sometime soon in my own Megatron. Best wishes for the World Championships.

* Titanium Knee (1 only)

Thank-you From The McAuley Family [68]

Vicki and Finlay Send Our Sincerest Thanks!

On Tuesday 7 August this year, my heart would have broken if it were not already shattered beyond repair. Finlay and I woke up to Andrew’s 40th birthday, without him. Andrew McAuley, of all people, deserved to be celebrating a wonderful 40 years of life. Ant has always been the one person I know who truly had the gift of reaching out and grabbing life, and living it to the fullest, and squeezing every ounce of excitement out of it. Perhaps that was the problem … perhaps he squeezed too hard … yet who can deny that he gave the rest of us hope and strength and encouragement and inspiration. He taught the rest of us the meaning of life. The really tricky bit for me now is to work out how to live the lessons he taught me without him.

Andrew was always a bit too modest and shy to talk about himself much. But I think it’s important for everyone to know that in this world, there are a small handful of truly great people, who have the ability to move mountains, and I believe Andrew was one of them.

It takes incredible courage to pursue your dreams, especially when they are as audacious as Andrew’s. One thing that was very important to Andrew though, was the hope that his efforts could provide inspiration to others. From the thousands of emails that I’ve received over the past months, it is obvious that he succeeded in that.

Andrew first started climbing at university, and quickly developed a passion for mountaineering. Here are just a few of his many achievements …

  • 1990–92 Ascents of numerous multi-pitch rockclimbs in the Italian Dolomites, Switzerland, France, Germany, Argentina
  • 1994 Ascents of numerous peaks in the New Zealand Alps, including record speed ascent of both Mt Cook and Mt Tasman in a day
  • 1994 Ascent of Ama Dablam, Nepal Himalaya by the SE ridge.
  • 1995/96 First Australian ascent of Torre Centrale in the Torres del Paine, Patagonia.
  • 1998 First ascent of Cerro La Paz — a combined climbing/kayaking expedition in the Chilean fiords of Patagonia.
  • 1999 First ascent of Jo Tower in Pakistan, attempts on Amin Brakk and Marpo Brakk – awarded Australian Geographic’s Spirit of Adventure medal for this expedition.
  • 1999 Paddling from Fortescue Bay up the East coast of Tasmania on our honeymoon.
  • 2001 Bass Strait – Eastern route; paddled the length of Cape York, and across Torres Strait
  • 2003 Bass Strait – Western route via King Island; First ever direct crossing of Bass Strait, from Wilson’s Prom, Vic, to Boat Harbour, Tas. 220km in 35 hours.
  • 2004 First solo kayak crossing of the Gulf of Carpentaria — 530km in 6.5days. Slept in kayak at sea for 6 nights.
  • 2005 Named the Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year
  • 2006 Led three-man kayaking expedition along the Antarctic Peninsula — over 800km to the Antarctic Circle.
  • 2007 Departed Fortescue Bay in Tasmania on January 11 to become the first person to kayak across the Tasman!!!

Words seem so inadequate for expressing my sincerest gratitude to everyone in the NSWSKC for the overwhelming support you have given Finlay and I since that tragic day back in February this year. Actually, not only since that dreaded day, but throughout the duration of the Tasman Solo expedition, I was flooded with emails and phone calls of support from the wider kayaking and adventuring community, both here in Australia, and abroad. The interest Andrew’s trip generated was, I feel, quite phenomenal. I had people telling me that they couldn’t wait to get to work each day, so they could check the dot and the latest blog on http://www.andrewmcauley.com. Andrew’s voyage proved to be an incredible journey of inspiration right across the globe.

So, in failing to find any other way of offering my most eternal appreciation, all I can manage is “Thankyou!!!”

Thankyou to each and every person who emailed words of encouragement to both Andrew and I throughout the trip. It gave me strength, and I know all those positive vibes you were sending Andrew did reach him, and kept him going through what we mere mortals couldn’t even imagine, out there, alone for 30 days in a tiny kayak on that unforgiving sea.

Thankyou for the flood of support after the tragedy, to all the wonderful people who phoned, wrote, sent flowers, sent cards, cooked food and visited.

Thankyou to Laurie Geoghegan for arranging the fund for Finlay and I, and a huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the fund. I take it as the greatest honour that my Andrew was held in such high esteem, that people felt they should give Finlay and I a helping hand.

Thanks to Mark Sundin for his incredible effort in organising the fundraising dinner, which was a humungous success. And a huge thanks to all who attended that evening.

Thanks to Stu and Sharon Trueman for their incredible support and friendship, and for helping out so much with Finlay.

Thanks to Tony Hystek for doing such an excellent job with the audio for Andrew’s memorial service.

Thankyou to Elisabeth Thompson for arranging flowers and for speaking on behalf of NSWSKC, and for reading messages from other clubs.

Any solo venture is never just that. It’s a huge collaboration of efforts by many. And in Andrew’s absence, I’d like to take the opportunity of thanking the many that made the Tasman Solo Expedition possible.

A huge thankyou to Paul Hewitson of Mirage Sea Kayaks, not only for his belief in Andrew and for building a most seaworthy kayak, but also for his incredible support for me throughout and after the trip.

And thankyou to Jonathan Bogais, who worked tirelessly to update Andrew with accurate weather forecasts to help him prepare for each day on the water. Jonathan was, essentially, the communication lifeline.

Thanks to the team doctors, Richard Stiles and Sharnie Wu, and for their attention to detail and for ongoing support and friendship.

Thankyou to Peter Keppalmann for all his behind the scenes work in uploading my daily blog and photos on the website each day throughout the expedition.

Thanks to Ben Deacon for bringing the documenatry to life and for being such a good friend.

Thanks to Jen Peedom, who became my lifesaver.

And of course, without sponsors, it’s pretty hard to get a project off the ground.

Thankyou most especially to all the team at Australian Geographic. Thanks for all your support for Andrew over the years, and a huge thanks to Deb Light and Ian Connellan and Kathy Riley, who have been a great support to me over the last few months.

Thanks to Bill Alexiou-Hucker at GPSM, to Paddy Pallin, to Roger & Julie at Blue Earth, to Dick Smith, to Goretex, Garmin, Fastwave Communications, Aquapac, Back Country Cuisine, Fenton Pharmaceuticals, H2OAudio, Highgear, Icom, Lendl, Merrell, Mountain Hardware, Sea to Summit, SkyEye, Silverstorm, Solution, Walker and Associates.

And, in case I missed anyone, thankyou!

Members of the NSW Sea Kayak Club,
Thank you all so much for the beautiful red wild flowers you provided for Andrew’s Memorial Service. Many of us still have them. The next day Peter and I went back to the place they were thrown into the ocean. Because of the wind hundreds blew back and were affixed in the fence. It was a very moving sight and Andrew would have been so proud of you all.

Fond regards, Peter and Jill.

Peter, Jilly, Michael and Juliet wish to express their thanks and sincere appreciation for all your loving thoughts, warmth and concern you have shown during this sad time for our tragic loss of Andrew. Your support has helped bring our family much comfort and is deeply appreciated.

President’s Report [68]

By Michael Steinfeld

It is indeed an honour to be the president of the Club.

I should briefly tell you a bit about myself and my introduction to kayaking. At first, the mere mention of sea kayaking was a scary proposition. Although I grew up close to Bondi Beach, I always had my feet firmly on terra firma.

My partner and I started kayaking in Rose Bay. Audrey was in a homemade fibreglass boat that had a broomstick to control the rudder. It was winter, the water was cold, and Audrey capsized after a Iarger boat swamped her. We had not learned any rescue techniques. I dragged her swamped boat for 20 minutes to a ramp with Audrey hanging on. She was cold, it was getting dark and we still had to paddle our way back to the wharf. We learned that kayaking without skills in an unseaworthy boat, was stupid and dangerous.

A couple of weeks later we “accosted” some paddlers who had landed at Coogee Beach. We looked at the sea kayaks and we heard about the NSW Sea Kayak Club for the first time.

After completing the membership forms, we did not hear much from the Club (except for the old chat line) and we were disappointed that there were very few Club trips (grade 1 paddles) that we could participate in. A similar complaint echoed at this year’s AGM. However we persisted, due to our love of the water, the fresh air and the environment of paddling.

We attended our first Rock’n’Roll when Rob Mercer was president. By then I had purchased a second-hand kayak. Our first training session on rescue techniques was conducted by instructors Andrew Eddy and Sharon Bettridge. I recall Andrew asking me to paddle over to raft up, but somehow my boat went in the opposite direction. I was indeed a novice. We came away from the weekend impressed by the friendliness of the members and the willingness of the instructors to assist.

After about three years in the Club, I attended the Sea Skills II workshop on weekends over a period of six months. During the course, we made many friends and were in awe at the depth of leadership and commitment offered by the volunteer instructors. (I hope to become a grade 3 paddler sometime soon.)

I have been on the Committee for three years and have enjoyed working with other like-minded paddlers. We must accept that the Club is not service orientated. It is a social club for paddlers to develop skills and social networks that allow them to paddle on their own or with the Club in safety. After all the sea is an unforgiving environment and you have to be prepared and skilled up.

The voluntary contributions of the instructors, guides and leaders and of the long-term members, make this Club one of the most respected of sea kayaking clubs. It is one of my goals as president to encourage further communication within this core group to meet the changing and challenging environment of sea kayaking and the needs of the membership.

I would like to thank Elizabeth Thompson, the past president, for her valuable work and dedication to the Club. It will require a big effort to fit into her kayaking shoes.

We have a great committee and would like to welcome Kirk Pitman who has volunteered his services as secretary/ treasurer. Until next time… Michael

Paradise Lost and Found [68]

By Trevor Costa

Try as I might to shut it out, I could no longer deny that there was something floating off to the right. About thirty metres away, bobbing in the milky blue waves, was something black and shiny, triangular in shape and it seemed to be on a course that would bring it alongside our double kayak very soon.

My partner and I were well into what was supposed to be fourteen days of relaxing island hopping, the ultimate paddle in paradise. But with winds gusting twenty to thirty knots for the tenth day straight and with little relief in sight, the trip had begun to place demands on us in ways we had not anticipated. We had just completed another difficult passage which had left our nerves raw and our mental and physical reserves low. Now, finally in the relative safety of the inlet where our intended camp lay, we had decided to explore one inviting cove too many. We found ourselves once again grinding against the ever-present wind, making slow headway towards our beach camp. The sun was setting and seemed to be taking our spirits with it. But the tide was rising. It was feeding time on the reef.

There was no need to draw attention to the thing off to the right, as my partner in the bow had already seen it and was also trying to “watch but deny”. We know what dolphins look like and turtles, eagle rays and even small reef sharks, as we had already seen plenty on this trip. But this thing didn’t fit any of those and if the iceberg principle held in this instance, the body below this thing would be very large indeed. As I applied the brakes in an attempt to avoid our inevitable meeting, the thing appeared to respond and alter course to compensate, the low sun flashing off its shiny black surface as it did so.

We had limited experience at expedition-type paddling on our own and this was one of the reasons we had hired the double, thinking one big boat would be safer than two small ones. And apart from intending to be a relaxing paddle, this trip was also meant to test our own decision-making skills without being influenced by others. But that was all we had done since hitting the water, the relaxing element was sorely lacking as reality wasn’t matching the paradise plan. I know some thrive on such challenges, but for us the vulnerability of a lone kayak, even a large double, in a big ocean had us longing for some paddling company.

The thing just kept on getting closer despite our attempts to avoid contact. As it came nearer we began to get a better look at it as it crested on the sets of waves and caught the angled sunlight. As the triangle shape began to fill out and the tip became somewhat hairy looking, our initial assessment as to its identity began to look shaky. We soon found ourselves shouting in disbelief, confirming to each other its true identity..it’s a coconut!

After our close encounter, we were charged with adrenaline and we made it to our beach camp quicker than anticipated. The whole incident made us realise the impact the relentless conditions were having on us and that we needed to do something different to get a reprieve and make this trip meet our expectations. The paddle plan that looked so good back home after so much research was finally surrendered to the relentless SE winds. A quick call on the mobile had a rendezvous with a boat arranged for a transfer across open waters to another island closer to the mainland.

Once at our new destination the winds did eventually abate. Of course we could have waited out the weather and made the big crossings when conditions improved. But time was running out and, once made, our decision to catch a lift heralded the retreat of the white knuckled paddler and the return of the happy camper. The remaining days took on a new importance and were spent relaxing, paddling crystal-clear waters over coral reefs, exploring rugged shorelines, snorkelling or just lazing on the beach. As we took in another magnificent tropical sunset while munching on Pringles and sipping wine, we gave thanks to the coconut.

Welcome to New Members [68]

By Adrian Clayton

Welcome to the following people who have joined the Club since the last edition of NSW Seakayaker went to press: Richard and Linn Kriedemann; Eva Schonstein; Michael Whitehead; Karen and Tony Murphy; Graham Smith; Catherine and John Hatfield; John Giibson and Tracy Garner; Ross Steele; Terrance Casey.

A warm welcome to all. It was nice to meet some of you and some other new members at the latest Newbies night at Blue Earth late in June. We look forward to seeing more of you participating in Club trips and training programs.

The Newbies night was well attended — about forty people came along despite it being a very cold night. The mix was approximately 50/50 new members/existing members. Thanks again to Julie and Roger for making the Blue Earth premises available for the night. Also, thanks to Dee Ratcliffe for taking on the catering duties, Tony Hystek for supplying audio/visual equipment, and all those keen photographers out there who provided some great images for the slide show.

New stocks of the Club’s log book have arrived and were available at the AGM at Bundeena on 26 August. If you couldn’t make the AGM and need a log book you can get a copy posted to you if you email your request to either the Club’s Training Coordinator or Trips Convenor. A well-documented log book is a great aid in assisting Trip Leaders establish an unknown paddler’s suitability for a particular trip.

This is my final report as Vice President. I’d like to thank my fellow committee members for making my stint as VP an enjoyable one. Also, I’d like to take the liberty to congratulate, on behalf of all Club members, our outgoing President, Elizabeth Thomson on the way she guided the Club through the interesting and contentious challenges that were served up during her two years in the job. ET, you’re a class act and your influence will be sorely missed.

Adrian Clayton
Vice President

Navigation Weekend [68]

By Michael Steinfeld

It was a bright but chilly Saturday morning when twelve club members rolled up at Red Point, Jervis Bay to attend Stuart Trueman’s annual navigation weekend.

Right on 8am, just like in the army, Stuart commenced. We were given a chart of Jervis Bay. You will notice that I didn’t write “map” of Jervis Bay. A map is land-focused whereas a chart has a water or ocean-based orientation. We brought our own protractors, compasses and rulers. A member pulled out a flash new GPS, recently won at Rock ‘n’ Roll and asked, “Why do we need to know all this? Hasn’t the GPS made navigation skills redundant?”

Stuart’s reply was swift. He delivered a sermon on one of his worst paddling days in western Tasmania when he relied on his GPS for his position. He suddenly realised he was dangerously off course. He was struggling in strong head winds and he decided to return to his starting point, exhausted. You can read his harrowing account in the March 2007 issue of the magazine. Stuart says that he no longer relies on GPS on long trips. Like anything electronic, it breaks down or runs out of battery just when you need it or on Stuart’s trip he could not get a fix. Proper chart navigation and compass skills must be learned irrespective of your use of the GPS.

What is the difference between deviation and variation? Stuart showed us that deviation is the movement of the compass needle when affected by metal. To test this, we lined up our kayaks on the beach facing north. As we passed a can of beans around, the needle moved. We learned to keep metal objects well way from the compass when packing a kayak. In the process we noticed that some compasses did not show north accurately. It’s worth buying a good compass.

Variation is just a little more complicated. The acronym CMA, meaning Compass to Map Add, certainly helped. The variation is the difference between magnetic north on a compass and true north found on charts. You use true north readings when plotting a course on a chart and you need to adjust to a compass reading when paddling. For example, Sydney charts have a magnetic variation of +12 degrees. Therefore, assuming you have taken a reading of 80 degrees from the chart or True North then you must deduct the variation of 12 degrees and follow 68 degrees Magnetic North when using the compass. Stuart advised us to convert all the readings for our trips to magnetic readings before we get into the kayak.

Stuart recommended two books on navigation: “Sea Kayak Navigation Simplified” by Lee Meyer and “Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation” by David Burch.

After Stuart’s lecture he handed out an assignment. One question was to find two points on the Jervis Bay chart. It looked easy until the concept of a “bearing” appeared. When you have lost your whereabouts on the water you need to take a bearing. This requires learning to recognise land-based markers such as mountains or other fixed land markers where you can take a compass reading. For this purpose it is useful to carry a second handheld compass in your PFD. You take compass readings from the two or three fixed markers on land, translate the compass readings to take into account the variation, then draw intersecting lines to find where you are on the chart.

You need to know how long it will take to paddle a certain distance. Assuming on average you paddle 3 knots or 5.5 km per hour then you can plot where you should be after each hour, or work out how long it should take to get to a particular point. This is all very dependent on the wind and current. Your chart should give you an idea of the current and the coastal waters forecast should give you the wind speed, favourable or otherwise to your paddling time.

We jumped into our kayaks and tried to locate the plotted points. It was difficult for some of us to distinguish one headland from another and match them up with the chart. Stuart turned up with a GPS which he used to confirm that our point was out by a couple of hundred metres.

This navigation day was a great learning experience. Navigation skills are essential for kayakers.

On Sunday, we all went out for a paddle. I ended up in Stuart’s group. Our proposed route was kayaking around Beecroft Peninsula, into Currurong, then after a short portage across the road to the creek in Jervis Bay and back to Red Point. But where was that portage point? Stuart relied on good old memory and so at Currurong, after a number of surf entries and re-entries, the sun going down in the west, a swearing, bedraggled Stuart found the point on the beach leading to the road which had been marked by a big pole but was hard to see in the fading light.

We all gave Stuart a “not yet competent” marking for his navigation skills and told him to come back next year for retesting. In all, it was a fantastic paddle.

A big thanks to Stuart and his assistants, Sharon, Rob and Andrew for the weekend.

Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking [68]

By Trevor Costa

One of the stated aims and objectives of the New South Wales Sea Kayak Club is: “to encourage respect for our environment and wild places and the practice of minimum impact camping”.

Most, if not all, sea kayakers already have an appreciation of the marine and coastal environment and the wild places we paddle and respect such places accordingly. For many, sea kayaking is an integral component of expressing that respect and appreciation. However a clear reference source to better inform Club members of the environment and further encourage respect would be a handy thing.

Equally, to meet the second component of the Club’s statement that refers to “minimal impact camping” a clear reference source may be helpful. Perhaps more so as it involves the encouragement of a practice and practices involve adherence to stated guidelines or codes of conduct to direct desired behaviour. Although there is some literature on minimal impact camping available, it is more often than not pitched at the bushwalker and the land-locked environment and not the coastal camping environment experienced by a sea kayaker.

So how are we as Club members to meet the Club’s objective of encouraging “the practice of minimum impact camping”? I suspect most of us do it by commonsense and by modifying bush camping skills to the terrestrial component of our more marine oriented activity. The result, I also suspect, may be a variety of interpretations within the Club of what is minimal impact camping and an equal variety of behaviour undertaken in accordance. Some behaviour may actually minimise the impact of our coastal camping and other behaviours may not, even given the best intentions.

One reference source that may assist the Club and its members in meeting the above mentioned aims and objectives is the Code of Conduct for sea kayakers visiting sensitive coastal environments in Tasmania — Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking (the MISK). The MISK was developed with Federal and State Government assistance through the Coastcare program by a community group representing sea kayakers in Tasmania (sea kayaking clubs, commercial operators, environmental groups and land managers).

The principles and practices outlined in the MISK are actively promoted by the Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania under a document entitled “Leave No Wake — A Guide to Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking in Tasmania”. This document can be found on their website at: www.parks.tas.gov.au/recreation/misk/. Although the MISK is targeted at sea kayakers in Tasmania and some of the species identified are found primarily in that State, the basic principles and practices could be readily applied to sea kayakers paddling NSW waters or waters anywhere in the country. Therefore reference to “Leave No Wake — A Guide to Minimal Impact Sea Kayaking in Tasmania” could be utilised by the Club and its members to meet its stated environmental aims and objectives.