Rock’n’Roll 2010 Trip Convenor’s Report [79]

by Sally Jacobs

There is something deeply satisfying about seeing a hundred kayaks lined up on a beach, ready to launch, and it’s even more satisfying to see an empty beach and a hundred happy punters enjoying themselves on the water.

Even the 6 am starts in preparation for the trip leaders’ briefing are made bearable by Stephan Meyn’s medicinal coffee. Decisions for the day’s trips are made according to the weather and the generosity of the leaders, and this weekend there was an abundance of co-operation from both for which I am extremely grateful.

Paul Loker saved my bacon by stepping in to assist in co-ordinating the trips and leaders before and during the event; the applause I received for my efforts must be attributed to him.

There’s an analogy that comes to mind of a duck swimming — on the surface all appears calm, while underneath it paddles furiously.

On Saturday I have to admit that the appearance of a ranger threatening to revoke our licence if we strayed into the jet boat exclusion zone — after all trips had been dispatched — had this duck swimming upside down!

Our beach masters Kevin, Brad and Dirk smoothed over the ripples and I appreciate their diligence in ensuring that all paddlers were subsequently informed.

Dave Winkworth, James Johnson and Brad stepped up to the post of sea shepherds, ensuring incoming pods were aware of the exclusion zone. With this support the duck managed a slow pawlata roll and breathed a sigh of relief. Thanks guys! And thanks to everyone for the good nature with which you accepted sharing our oceanic Uluru with the unenlightened.

There was an incident over the weekend but other than borrowing Mark’s analogy that it was a Mountaineering Accident and the Toll Gate Islands will be renamed the Tow Rope Islands, it is not my intention to cover the matter here.

Rob Richmond can be proud of his accomplishment in laying on a brilliant weekend. It is a Rock’n’Roll first that the most popular trip of the weekend was the ‘Coffee Cruise with an Instructor’ on Sunday morning — a clear indication of how much everyone enjoyed Saturday night’s entertainment with Beau Miles and the excellent choice of caterer. Oh, and did I mention an abundance of grog?

The rolling comp left me inspired. Bugger getting my sea skills accreditation, I WILL accomplish an offhand roll, even if it takes a brain implant and an aqualung to work out how to do it! A highlight for me was Claudia removing her underwear during a C to C roll. Ken showed us 10 excellent rolls with a paddle pop. Ginni Callahan was balletic to watch and only her injured shoulder prevented her demonstrating her full repertoire. Paul Tobin — you are the god of rolling! John Wilde, your inflatable contraption is not up to club standards and I forbid you to lead any trips until you have fitted deck lines and learned to roll it 🙂

Ginni led an exhaustive range of on and off water training and gave us food for thought in her informative and interactive trip leading workshop. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to gain a bommie’s perspective and enjoyed it so much I have decided to reincarnate as one when the time comes. Enthusiastic participants demonstrated how well they could imitate a 15 knot wind, in fact Harry was gusting up to 30 knots at times!

Even though a back injury put paid to any paddling for me over the weekend, the constant happy banter, gate crashing each other’s verandas and camps for a yarn and a beer, the fact that we could feel secure enough in each other’s company to leave thousands of dollars worth of gear laying around made me realise that I have reached Kayaking Nirvana. I no longer need to paddle to enjoy this sport. Just being near kayaks and their skippers is enough!

Till next time

Sally Jacobs