NSW Sea Kayak Club – From the President’s deck [73]

By Michael Steinfeld

The holiday season is upon us. If you are not reading this with a martini in one hand, magazine in the other, lying in a hammock by a secluded pristine beach you need to get a life (or plan a kayak trip).

Some might think that kayaking is all about paddling a kayak forward and getting wet occasionally. But it is much more than that. When I started paddling some seven years ago, just paddling forward in a line was difficult and there was a continuous fear of falling out and perishing in the deep blue yonder.

Fast forward seven years and with the benefit of the club’s human resources department, I feel relatively confident in planning this years paddling holiday in Tassie, away from the maddening hordes. I will be carrying my EPIRB, VHF radio, flares, GPS, mobile phone/PDA, all attached to my PFD. As they say in the scouts: ‘Be prepared’. I hope I won’t look like a Los Angeles policeman with all that stuff hanging from me, and trust that the weight will not sink the kayak, otherwise I will be rolling continuously.

We are all lucky to have a number of exceptional people in the club who give freely of their time to instruct, lead and mentor the club’s ‘proletariat’. A number of members have become leaders and flatwater instructors this year. The club actively encourages women to volunteer to committee positions and into on-water leadership roles. This is what makes our club extra special.

The training opportunities are not just limited to aspiring leaders and instructors. There have been rolling and sea skills training sessions, and many paddle with an instructor days. There have also been first aid and VHF radio courses taught by professionals, and navigation and weather courses — all designed to develop skills on the water to enable your trip to be well planned and safe.

The next step is to provide courses in rescue management with the likely involvement of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

Rock’n’Roll is headed our way in late March and it should be an exciting event with a number of guest speakers and many great prizes from our generous sponsors. The venue being close to Sydney should make it easier to travel for the majority.

The committee wishes you well for 2009, and remember to keep safe.

Until next time …

Michael Steinfeld