Flotsam [79]

Selected lowlights from the Flotsam reporter

Commodore issues warning to ‘ageing males’

After a spate of hernias suffered by prominent club members in the past 12 months, Club Commodore Michael Steinfeld has seen fit to issue a warning to older males in the NSWSKC. Commodore Steinfeld told Flotsam: ‘We have done some research on the problem and it appears that this rash of pelvic and abdominal hernias is exclusively affecting middle age paddlers with a fit female partner who is 10-15 years younger’.

‘Medical advice has confirmed that an ageing male body will struggle to meet the demands of ocean kayaking while also trying to over-impress in the home environment. The NSWSKC strongly urges our older paddlers in such a domestic situation to exercise restraint where possible, maintain strong core strength through stretching or yoga, and know your limits.’

Meanwhile senior paddlers Mike Snoad and Dirk Stuber were unavailable to talk to Flotsam as they were apparently ‘recovering from medical procedures’.

Photographer wins coveted award

It is with great pride that Flotsam can announce that Rock’n’Roll 2010’s Most Unpopular Paddler (MUP) award has gone to the unique and individual Andre Janecki. Although Andre was not actually seen on the water in a kayak over the weekend, the indomitable Pole clinched the MUP by making hundreds of paddlers and their families pose for an estimated 9,356 photos for his high-powered camera.

Rock’n’Roll Coordinator Rob Richmond told Flotsam: ‘Yes, it was a well deserved award — and our decision was confirmed when we received a petition late Sunday afternoon, seemingly signed by everyone but Andre, demanding that photographers be banned from future Rock’n’Rolls! Apparently there were even some complaints to the Polish Embassy in Canberra, but Andre is an Australian, so he is our responsibility’.

A Flotsam reporter met with Mr Janecki to gauge his reaction to the award but he refused to be interviewed, instead forcing the Flotsam reporter into posing for an embarrassing and lengthy photo shoot in a very busy shopping mall.

Flotsam Presents — Tales from the Dark Side

It’s a fact that many bizarre events occur during sea kayaking adventures, and many of these off the water. This new Flotsam series allows club members to reveal, anonymously, the full details of weird and shocking incidents that they were never game to write up in trip reports.

Merrica River, 4 January 2009 — after a night of lively group discussion and some talk of a funnel web spider that had been seen on the last visit to this camp, the paddlers retire to their tents …

‘It was a hot evening so I stripped off all my clothes and lay on my sleeping mat. I was soon asleep but woke up about 2pm, and crawled out of my tent to answer the call of nature. The night was now cooler and, seeing my shorts lying in the external vestibule, I put them on so before getting back into the tent.

After slipping into my sleeping bag, a minute later I felt the sensation of something tickling my upper inner thigh. I casually brushed the area with my hand, but a moment later there was a strong stinging sensation. I grabbed my head torch and then peeled my shorts down, only to see in the flickering light something brown moving on my leg. Instinctively I lashed out at it and it was gone.

But gone where?

With dismay I realised that whatever it was could now be hidden in the deep folds of my sleeping bag. I didn’t like this — sitting in my tiny one man tent, having been bitten by something unknown, and with an injured and perhaps angry creature still in the small space with me making me not want to move. I slowly scanned the area with my head torch, looked into the corners of the tent space, then pushed the sleeping bag down carefully. But no sign of my attacker. I contemplated the unpleasant task of clearing everything out of the tent.

Then, in a moment of inspiration, I leaned forward and pointed the head torch beam straight down between my legs. And there I saw it! Dazed but still alive, and hanging precariously from my right testicle, it was a scorpion! I removed it with a sock and threw it out of the tent.

But was I dying? I had a vague memory that Australian scorpions were not dangerous — and the sting area was not that painful and not swelling. I didn’t want to wake my sleeping comrades, so just in case I wrote a note in my diary about what had happened. I woke up in the morning alive and well.’