Trip Report - An introduction to Sea Kayaking

On 21 January we had 10 paddlers under the leadership of Sea Guide David Page and assisted by Andrew Mathers for a days' skills session in sea kayaking. Whilst the weather was dour, the participants were energetic and eager to try the skills demonstrated.

The session started with a beachside discussion relating to the characteristics of the kayaks and paddles within the group, whilst waiting for some electrical activity to dissipate before venturing onto the water. This time also provided the opportunity to discuss issues such as beach surf landings and demonstrate the mechanics of paddle techniques such as the stern rudder.

The group then practiced the forward, draw and sculling strokes, edging and bracing under the shadow of Barrenjoey at Palm Beach before warming up and lunching at The Basin under cover. This enthuisiastic group were then all willing to spend time in the water whilst it was raining, to practice and refine their skills in assisted rescue techniques suitable to ocean circumstances.

After warming up again by paddling as a group to Rum Runners Beach, we held a debrief at the Boathouse over coffee.

It was there that we unanimously decided that this group would be paddling again on a regular basis under the auspices of PaddleNSW. A number of proposed future trips were discussed.

As Leader of the session, I rated this as one of the most memorable training sessions I have participated in. My crew was highly motivated and willing to get wet and practice the demonstrated skills with enthusiasm in adverse conditions. As a result there was a noticeable improvement in skill base.

We had a boat load of fun, and so I am very grateful to Vicki Longmuir, Gareth Baker, Tony Last and Phil Whalley from the Windsor CC, Charina Kullen, Michelle Mossfield, Dee Taylor, Lisa Carter, David Brooks, Tim Ring and Andrew Mathers for coming along.

David Page