From the President’s deck [72]

Spring is here, so if you are fair weathered, it’s time to dust off your kayak, strap it to the roof of your hybrid car and head east to where the waves are breaking and the water is cool and clear.

Each winter many club members make a pilgrimage to northern climes. I followed the crowd this year and drove 2000 km to the Whitsundays with fellow club members, kayaking around the islands for 11 days. The rhythm of our days were dictated by the tide and the wind. With winds up to 25 knots it was not a walk in the park, but it was exhilarating all the same. Some of our photos are featured in the magazine.

I was privileged to attend a private showing of the film about Andrew McAuley’s fateful trip to New Zealand. Called ‘Solo’, it will screen on the ABC early next year. It is a soul searching insight into the mind of an amazing adventurer. A must-see film.

Learning first aid should be mandatory for every kayaker. You just never know when you will need it. I was fortunate enough to attend a remote first aid course presented by club member Bruce McNaughton. Dee Ratcliffe’s article gives a great insight into the weekend course.

The new committee for the 2008-9 year has been active. John Piotrowski and Sally Jacobs will be offering members training and trips. Keep checking the calendar on the website for updates. So far there are a number of members who have indicated that they would like to increase their level of responsibility within the club by training to be leaders or instructors. If that is also you, tell John of your interest. We are offering to pair these members with instructors/leaders on trips and at training events so that that they can build skills and gain experience through on the job training.

Jacqui Stone our editor is waiting on your articles and photos of trips, reviews of kayaking paraphernalia etc. If you want to find your way into Google just write an article for the magazine and you will be famous forever.

Rock’n’Roll will be held 27-30 March 2009 at Umina. The accommodation arrangements are a little different this year. To secure a site or cabin you will need to book one night’s accommodation direct with the holiday park by 12 December. The site is run by the NRMA and you can receive a discount if you are a member. Just see the information in the magazine on page 19. If you’d like to suggest a guest speaker or pass on other tips just email our dedicated team of Susan and Ken Day. We welcome aboard our platinum sponsors Expedition Kayaks and the Balanced Boater for next year’s event.

Our hard working Peter Kappelmann, with babies in one hand and laptop in the other, has kept the website updated. From next year we hope that thanks to Kirk Pitman our expert secretary/treasurer and Peter, we will be changing the way we renew our membership. It will be online using a financial agent such as PayPal and the membership form will be online, again keeping the club’s green credentials alive.

So until next time when the rolling season will have begun in earnest (don’t you hate to roll in cold water …)

Michael Steinfeld