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Forthcoming kayaking events:
• Tuesday 17 July 2018 - Wangi Road, Myuna Bay UBD Newc map ref
176 F2. Head north from Dora Creek, stop where the lake meets the road and
there are kayaks on the grass. Google Maps ref -33.061306, 151.551560
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| We are an informal group of friends who like the outdoors and a healthy
lifestyle. This page provides a Notice Board where we can display our kayaking
program, and any other information we might want to share, and some photographs
of our activities.
We meet on Tuesdays. Launch time is 0900, so if you want to join us arrive by 0845 please. We have morning tea/lunch afterwards. Bring something nice to eat if you can, and a couple of dollars to cover the tea, coffee, milk etc.
We paddle in all lakes, lagoons, creeks and rivers from Berowra to Clarence Town, and everywhere in between.
We generally paddle for 2 hours and travel between 6 and 12 km, at a gentle pace.
|Disclaimer - As we are not a club, just a group of individuals who go kayaking together now and then, we have no responsibilities as an organisation, and no organisational status. Anyone who decides to join us on our outings does so on the understanding that they are responsible for their own welfare and safety. We will provide all assistance and advice to visitors, but take no responsibility. Joining our group is on that understanding, and you will be asked to sign confirmation of that fact. We have no insurance - you should provide your own.|
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|Please feel free to send contributions, trip reports, photos or comments by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Weekly reports appear below.|
Tuesday 10 July 2018 - Sandy Beach Reserve, Summerland Point
Swans over Chain Valley Bay
Just a refreshing southerly breeze to wake us up on an otherwise perfect kayaking day at Sandy Beach. Fourteen kayakers were enrolled, and a few more non-paddlers showed up for morning tea, and welcome to them all.
There was a bit of a chop coming over from Mannering Park, so no way for us to avoid it. But once we got paddling it seemed to dissipate, then gave us a good tailwind for the return journey. We paddled south around Black Neds Point, and into Chain Valley Bay. Some guys found the little creek there and played in that for a while, while some others of us continued down to CVBS, looking for the Karignan Creek footbridge which forms the cycleway between north and south CVB. Rolf, Keith and I paddled up there as far as we could, then kayaked back to the lake and up towards the power station (Vales Point), trying to keep left to rendezvous with Mannering Park. By this time we had a very nice tailwind (10 knot WSW) so it seemed a waste not to use it so, halfway to Manno, Rolf and I turned downwind for a quick trip back to Sandy Beach.
By then the temperature had risen from 11 to about 17°C so was lovely and warm. Doug laid the table for m/t and we enjoyed our usual delicious repast. Thanks Doug, and Sue, who makes the sandwiches, whether she and Doug are coming or not. Dedication!
I will be away from Australia for the next month, so reports, if any, and photos will be on our FaceBook page here. If you're not on it, get on to it. Three billion FB users can't be wrong. You'll love it. Your grandchildren will be so impressed.
Photos are here.
Tuesday 3 July 2018 - Vales Point, Mannering Park
Dennis emerges unharmed from the pipe under Ruttleys Road, Wyee Point. 3 July 2018
Hey! Only 11 kayakers fronted at Vales Point Reserve today, and they were all blokes. John says Senator Leyonhelm could be responsible for that. The lack of women that is. Anyway we had excellent if cold conditions, so it was a very pleasant morning. Needless to say we paddled down Wyee Bay to the pipes under Rutleys Road and upstream to the Enchanted Lake, which, after a cursory glimpse, was left behind as we sought more adventures further upstream, till we ran out of water. Plenty of water, also piles of timber blocking us.
On the way back I think most guys took the course through Mannering Bay and under different pipes further east. We all got back OK and got stuck in to morning tea, courtesy Keith, as Doug and Sue are away. Thanks to everyone for coming. Today's photos are here.
Shingle Splitters Point on Tuesday 26 June 2018. Bill and Brian at the end of the spit, a stand-up paddle boarder near the tree, and a pelican flying past. No, not a photoshop confection.
Tuesday 26 June 2018 - Dora Creek
A beautiful winter's day, but only 8°C at eight o'clock. Soon warmed up for the paddle. Twenty-six kayakers had their names taken. The main group paddled west to the very beginning of the creek, while Bill A, Brian and I headed for the lake and the incomparable Shingle Splitters Point (SSP) at Balcolyn. After 4.7km we reached this magical arrangement of trees and water, took a few photos, then headed down towards Bonnells Bay. When I realised that it was 10.00am I turned for home, not wanting to miss m/t. I paddled 10.6km, not a bad morning's work. The people who paddled up to the top of the creek managed 12km. We all got back at the same time.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 19 June 2019 - Wyong River
Lonely little kayak - 19 June 2018
No paddling today. Temperature was 10°C at 0800, and still that at 10.30am. Raining nearly all the time, and windy.
Doug and I turned up of course, it's in our DNA (Doug/Dan Natural Activity). John L'Est also came up from Umina, in very heavy traffic, through the rain, thunder and lightning, and just arrived as Doug and I were contemplating going somewhere nice for coffee. He brought some home-baked macadamia brownies, so Doug dragged out the coffee stuff and we had a nice m/t by the river, at the picnic table.
Then we drove up to The Old Milk Factory and played around there for a while, before all heading home. See the photos here. Well worth the effort. Not a complete loss. John gets an award for the most determined kayaker in the club.
Tuesday 12 June 2018 - Woy Woy Bay
John Paterson's photo of Woy Woy Bay, 12 June 2018
Divine day for kayaking, cool, clear sky, no clouds or breeze, glassy water. Did cloud up a bit much later and even rained slightly on our m/t, no-one cared. Fourteen kayakers rolled up at Red Brick Wharf Road, Woy Woy, with the carpark almost deserted by everyone else. Lovely!
We paddled down to the channel and under Spike Milligan Bridge, and the other two bridges, in Parks Bay and around the corner towards Waterfall Bay. Stunning! I was expecting a good flow over the falls today, given all the rain we've had, but no, only a trickle. After checking the falls out, we headed back down the other side of the bay and around the corner into the next bay, further out from the township of Woy Woy Bay. Then we paddled back to the start, to find Doug and Sue had set up the morning tea table, then when it started raining, a pergola magically appeared and everything was perfect. Thanks to Doug and Sue for their unending efforts to keep the club running so beautifully, and thanks to everyone else for just turning up to make it all worthwhile. A few photos are here. Plus a few late ones.
Tuesday 5 June 2018 - Mannering Park
Early arrivals at bleak Vales Point Reserve 5 June 2018
My wish has been granted (see last week's report) - winter has arrived with a vengeance this week. Today was cold, rainy and windy. Four cars arrived with kayaks on top, and two more not paddling. Luckily, one of them was Doug, who brought the morning tea stuff, so we stood around drinking coffee and eating cake for a while, then went home. Brian, Bob W, Keith A, Rolf, Doug and I were the sad sacks who had our hopes for a late turn-around in the weather dashed. Rolf was the only one who really wanted to have a go, but nobody else could muster any enthusiasm. Awful conditions really. To those of you who stayed home in bed - well done!
On Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point, Tuesday 29 May 2019Tuesday 29 May 2018 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
Another day of clear skies, no wind, warm temperatures, perfect conditions, I'm so over it! Where's winter? Twenty-four kayakers made it to Sunshine Park for a paddle down the creek to Tuggerah Lake. From there we spread out in all directions, but most just went north into the vast shallow bay known as the western side of Tuggerah Lake. Others headed for The Entrance, but soon got lonely and came back.
There is so much shallow water in this lake. We paddled in about 250mm of water most of the time (that's ten inches). Bob took our photos today, and they are here. A very relaxed paddle with the average distance about 10km, except for Rolf, who paddled from home and was already up to 28km at morning tea, and still had to paddle home. He started out from Buff Point at 6.00am. You're a legend, Rolf!
We had a couple of newbies today viz John Paterson and Dave Fuller. John rode with the Coasters last Friday, and Dave is a long-term rider with the Toukley Club. Welcome! We had four guys named John today, but everybody else had their own unique name, like Friede, Rolf and Danny.
The launch venue at Wallarah Creek, San Remo. Tuesday 22 May 2018
Tuesday 22 May 2018 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo
Totally perfect day at Wallarah Creek (WCk), today, with 23 kayakers turning up. No breeze, and the water was so clear with no rain falling on the ground for ages.
We headed up the creek and took the left fork, keeping us on WCk, where most paddlers continued in a generally north-eastern direction, right up to the fallen impassable tree. Some of us tried our luck up a couple af minor tributaries, which, although only a few hundred meters long, were very pretty, with azure kingfishers keeping us entertained. A couple of us went back down to the confluence and up Spring Creek, which Nikki calls 'Dog Creek', owing to the number of yappie dogs in people's back yards, barking at us.
A lovely morning out in the fresh air, following up with a delicious morning tea, and a couple more people. Thanks everyone for coming. Next week is at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, via Geoffrey Road. Harry's and Bob's and my photos are here.
Trevor and Nikki up some little creek in Charmhaven 22/5/2018
Tuesday 15 May 2018 - Williams River, Clarence Town
Williams River, near Clarence Town. Tuesday 15 May 2018
Ideal conditions for kayaking this morning - sunny, no breeze, cool to start, still water. Twelve Kayakers only, but it is a long way, so you have to be keen. Not so far for Dean, as he and his wife Sue, who came for morning tea, don't live too far away near Seaham. Doug brought all the usual coffee stuff, plus a pile of sausages and bread and onions for a quick barbecue later.
We paddled upstream, mainly because the downstream section looked revolting, with weed and flotsam. It's beautiful country up there, so we pottered along till we reached the natural rock weir. We've been here before when it was flowing quite fast, and climbed over the weir, and zoomed back over the rapids. Great fun!. This time we just looked at it and remembered the good old days.
Funny, when we got there, my Strava said I had paddled 6.1km, then at the end my total was 11.1, so somehow I found a shorter way back. Everyone else did 12.2km for the day. A very pleasant morning up the country kayaking on a nice river, so I'm glad everyone came to share this enjoyable day. Our usual photographers were not in attendance, so you've only got my few phone pix. They are here.
Tuesday 8 May 2018 - Gosford Sailing Club
Near Point Frederick, Gosford, Tuesday 8 May 2018
An absolutely spiffing morning at Gosford - cloudy/sunny, no breeze, glassy water... Twenty-four kayakers came today, including many who we haven't seen for ages, if ever, like Virginia from the bike club, and her husband Paul, Graeme Batten, Azi, John L'Est also from cycling, now unable to ride due to cumulative effects of head injuries... Anyway, good to see old faces in new places. Especially our excellent photographers, whose contributions have been AWOL for a couple of weeks. Many people are following our adventures on our webpage, hoping to join us when they can one day. Don't leave it too long!
Into that beautiful morning sky (see my little header photos above) we headed south along Point Frederick Peninsular, rounding the rocky headland and paddling east through Caroline Bay and continuing towards Erina Creek. I never saw Punt Bridge as I followed the main bunch south again towards Rocky Point and Green Point.
A few of us found our kayaks heading inexorably towards Pt Fred again and the safety of a sandy beach, while others like Rolf and Viv kept going to parts unknown. I paddled 9.0km while Rolf did about 16km, a short paddle for him. The whole experience was sublime with every aspect perfection on the water. Cheers! Morning tea was also very enjoyable, with plenty to eat and such a great bunch of persons attending. Then I went home. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 1 May 2018 - Bonnells Bay
Just off Shingle Splitters Point, Lake Macquarie
Best laid plans... Roads and Merrytime Services decided to re-surface Wyee Road at the Morisset end, causing a tail-back to Wyee and a half-hour delay. Those who chose the freeway were wondering where everyone else was. Eventually we all got to Bonnells Bay and started our paddle half an hour late. No-body cared, as this was our day off, and conditions were beautiful - sunny, warmish, no breeze, just brilliant. According to my attendance record, filled in after the event, there were 25 paddlers.
Neither Harry nor Bob were there, so there are only my pictures, and a couple by John Stone. No wildlife, but beautiful photos anyway, given our location. We just headed off in all directions, some went across to Dora Creek, some to Myuna Bay, and others just floated around the bay, but most went to Shingle Splitters Point, as the most appealing place on the lake.
I took it easy, coming back after a few days crook, so mostly paddled with John Flipson, in his ordinary kayak, the back-to-front rowboat having disappeared somehow. We did about 6km. We all enjoyed our little voyages and arrived back at base just in time for a lovely morning tea, organised as usual by Sue, thanks Sue. My photos are here.
Tuesday 24 April 2018 - Nords Wharf
Today we went south from Cam's Wharf, then crossed the lake and proceeded north past Point Wolstoncraft National Fitness camp. We then (some of us) circumnavigated Pulbah Island, Debbie and Paul leading the way and then crossed a windy, choppy Lake to gorge ourselves on morning tea, after 12 km of hard paddle. My photos are here.
Patonga - 17 April 2018
This is a Clayton's Report, just doing my best without any help from people who were there. Bob's and Harry photos are here.
Tuesday 10 April 2018 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie West
Boat Harbour, Balcolyn, in beautiful Lake Macquarie
Exquisitely perfect day on Lake Macquarie this morning... sunny with clouds, slight S breeze, 24°C, best scenery ever! Twenty-three paddlers rolled up, some of whom we haven't seen for years, like Lyn and Neil, locals who are friends of Phyllis and Joolie, who also graced us with their presents, thanks.
Doug and Sue brought all the equipment to ensure a gratifying finale, thanks so much to you too. Doug's hip is better that it was ever, well done, mate. Doug said 'head north to Shingle Splitters', so we did.
Such a serene cruise, with most of us going as far as Bonnells Bay, giving us a trip of >10km. Some kayakers did completely different outings, but they didn't advise the commode door. Remember it's best if we all go together, or at least let someone know where you are going, so we know where to send the divers.
Photos are from me and Bob. They are here.
Tuesday 3 April 2018 - Hardys Bay
Dean in Booker Bay
It's a long drive to Hardys Bay for some of us, but worth it. A very exciting place to paddle, especially if there's a good breeze blowing, and there was today, a 15 knot southerly. Always plenty happening - ferries, big cruisers, barges, punts, tinnies... We're all part of the big scene. Just the 13 paddlers today, and we went different ways, so I've included my photos to show where Brian, Dean and I went. Bob was there to record the adventures of the larger group.
Quite choppy water, and lots of big waves from passing vessels, and cloudy skies, later opening up to a warm sunny day, so always wear your sun-block and hat. So the three of us went around Pretty Beach, and it is too, and around Wagstaff till we got near Half-tide Rocks, just close enough to see we weren't welcome there in our flimsy kayaks. So we crossed over to Ettalong Beach and travelled back towards the Rip Bridge, where we crossed back to the Daleys Point side and paddled back to the start, with Brian and Dean covering 8km, and me only 7.5, after cutting a few corners. The other group didn't go out towards the ocean but I'm not sure where they went, just fart-arsed around I think.
So we finished quite early and had time for a good chat and a nice m/t, thanks for bringing stuff you guys! Our photos are here.
Nikki out on Lake Munmorah 27 March 2018Tuesday 27 March 2018 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi
No report today, as no-one has done one, but Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 20 March 2018 - Picnic Point, The Entrance
Heading out to sea, The Entrance lagoon 20 March 2018
No report but there are some nice photos by Bob. Click here.
Tuesday 13 March 2018 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
Boat ramp launch site at Cockle Creek
Nice autumn day, warm, humid and cloudy. Twenty-five or so kayakers presented,including newbies Paul Mac and Nousha, hope Bob got a photo of them. Doug came of course, not able to paddle yet after new hip, but came anyway with the coffee and tea, thanks Dougie.
I wanted to go on the lake but the breeze looked a bit too strong. So we went up the creek again, only this time staying in the right lane, using Brush Creek and Winding Creek, right up to Frederick Street, Argenton, near Stockland Glendale, miles from where we started, 5km in fact. A couple of racers went up to the end of Cockle Creek for an extra couple of kms each way, not predicting the course their slower mates would take.
I didn't notice we were missing quite a few paddlers, who went out on to the lake, across to Marmong Point, back across to Eleebana, so they said, and back, also about ten kms. Here's a picture of the Seabreeze Graph from today, showing all the exciting details of the breeze near Newcastle:
So, quite breezy. There is a new toilet block near the boat ramp, so no more traipsing across the meadows for a leak. A very pleasant morning tea occurred, thanks to everyone who brought stuff. Bob took some photos and they are here.
Peaceful Wyong River, while at the lake it's blowing 30 knots
Tuesday 6 March 2018 - Wyong River
Lovely morning on the Wyong River, sunny, slight breeze, 22°C. That was after we shifted from our original venue at Tacoma, near the sports ground, where the wind was blowing at 25-30 knots. A few of us got there early, and stood around waiting for the others, but not unloading our watercraft, as there were whitecaps and spume on the river.
Eventually we drove the few kms down to the bridge at Wyong, where the water was like a mill pond - beautiful! Fifteen paddlers made it there, plus 5 non-paddlers to help with everything. Including Doug and Sue who brought the tea and coffee, thanks you guys. Doug is doing very well after his Hip op, so we'll see him paddling again in April. It's actually much nicer at the bridge, rather than Tacoma, with better facilities, but too far from the lake, where you might like to go on a nice day for a spin out to Pelican Island. Not today but.
So we launched into the river and paddled up towards the weir. Some more adventurous kayakers tried out Porters Creek, even with a fallen tree right across its mouth, but if you went right to la rîve drôite* you could get under and continue up to the next fallen tree, which is where it all stopped. Ray and I are coming back with a chain-saw one day... It was beautiful on the water, which we really appreciated after thinking we wouldn't get our hulls wet.
We only paddled 7km if you went up the creek, so not a big paddle but we were happy with that. At least I was, I didn't ask anyone else. Bob and Harry took a few photos, and they are here. We had a nice morning tea, thanks to everyone who brought something. Don't worry if you can't bring something, there's always plenty for everyone. Cheers
* the right bank (of the Seine, where I'll be in August)
Summerland Point, Frying Pan Bay - 27 February 2018
Pulbar Island in the background
Started off at 21°C but rose to about 25° by morning tea. Twenty-one kayakers came to Summerland Point, including the ones who didn't check their destination before they left home, but we all finished up at Frying Pan Bay eventually. It was cloudy and cool and there was a stiffish breeze blowing, 10-15 knots from around the south. Lovely to paddle north, but very choppy, and a struggle to get back, but we all made it anyway. Not that everybody went all the way to Point Wollstonecroft, some who had a sore shoulder, or who had paddled around from Sandy Beach, just went to the Youth Sport And Rec camp. John Flipson was a hit with the kids and the teacher at YSR with his back-to-front rowing boat.
It's so nice paddling on Lake Macquarie, whether you're going around the edges, or up the middle. Helps if you're not hydrophobic or agoraphobic though. Sticking to the shore heading north we paddled 5.3km, but coming back down the middle was only 4.6km, giving me a total for the day of 9.9km. Should have walked around the carpark for a bit.
A good paddle with a challenge in the wind, but lots of fun. Sue and Doug came up and had morning tea all ready for us when we got back, thanks Mr and Mrs Tucker! Thanks to everyone else who brought something for morning tea, especially Julie who whipped up some scones and jam and that white fluffy stuff, yum! Harry's, Bob's and my photos are here.
Lori on the Hawkesbury
Tuesday 13 February 2018 - Parsley Bay
Well, we say Parsley Bay (PB), but the suburb is Brooklyn, and where we spent most of our time was on the mighty Hawkesbury River, NSW. Conditions were very pleasant, despite the heavy rain in places north of here around brekky time. Warm, sunny/cloudy, a breeze of less than 10 knots from the north-east, which caused a bit of chop, but otherwise no complaints. Fourteen kayakers drove all the way to Brooklyn, including Keith V who was so late he didn't know which way we went, so finished up turning right at PB, and spent a pleasant 90 minutes paddling by himself somewhere else.
The rest of us turned left and headed towards Brooklyn Bay and the rail bridge. Water was quite choppy in places, often due to the passing boaty traffic, from tinnies to big pleasure ships, all stirring up the water. Some were very considerate, slowing down when they saw us to reduce the danger, thanks chaps!
We continued down the southern side of the river, past all the strange industrial constructs and beautiful sandstone wind sculptures and National Park, till we approached the highway bridges, where we turned left and went into Sandbrook Inlet, where they moor many expensive boats. After playing around in the everglades we then headed back home, mostly through pleasant water, but up near the railway the water was very turbulent. You won't see any photos of the rough conditions as photographers had their hands full staying upright. Anyway, better get these photos done.
By-the-way, Sue Tuckerbox made 2 boxes of sandwiches for us, even tho her husband is in hospital. Such dedication!
Photos are here.
Beautiful day on Budgewoi LakeTuesday 6 February 2018 - Canton Beach
Absolutely perfect weather for our first paddle of February this year. Slight southerly, warm, beautiful cloudy skies... Twenty-five paddlers attended Canton Beach, thanks for coming. Arthur brought his neighbour Lucas, young and about 1.95m tall. Nobody got a photo of him.
The plan was to paddle down to the Toukley Bridge, into Wallarah Bay, around Pipeclay Point, and back across the lake. Those at the front had other ideas though, and paddled under the bridge and back towards the Beachcomber, so those at the back just had to follow, except Jim Flipson, who rowed his little craft around the planned course by himself, and I met him up on the way back. Meanwhile, Barry Sq found a submerged boulder near the bridge, which he balanced on for a minute or so till Harry could help him.
At the Beachcomber I turned towards the middle of Budgewoi Lake, as it is named after you go under the bridge, in a big loop back to the bridge where I paddled under the western end and into Wallarah Bay (WB) to check out the WB Club. I was going to kayak to Pipeclay Pt but realised I couldn't manage it and headed back, where I saw Jim and we came back together, very chummy!
By the time we got back to the beach, it seemed everyone else was already there, eating all the morning tea, so I just left the kayak on the sand and got changed.
We saw Viv and Keith SUPping down to the bridge, so good on them. I paddled a total of 10.2km, more than enough, and Knut, who paddled down to Osborne Park in Toukley, did a bit less, not doing the big loops that I did.
The pictures from today on this page are mine, which is why I always take some, so I can get on with this business. But Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Gone swimming at Point WollstonecroftTuesday 30 January 2018 - Summerland Point
Kayaking from Sandy Beach at Summerland Point, Lake Macquarie, NSW to Point Wolstoncroft in absolutely balmy conditions. No wind, nice water temperature (good for a swim), calm lake, beautiful morning.
22 kayakers turned up at Sandy Beach Reserve for a paddle in glorious summer conditions. The sky was picture perfect with just a hint of cloud whilst the wind blew lightly from the North - East. The sea was tranquil with good visibility.
The group soon split up with some paddling to Pulbah Island whilst others paddled to Point Wolstoncroft. I paddled most of the the time with Bob who pointed out Keith's boat and regaled me with tales of his early days living at Summerland Point.
Thanks to Doug and Keith for bringing the tea and coffee and everybody else for providing a scrumptious morning tea.
Bob's photos are here.
Julie and Phyllis on Ourimbah Creek at the weirTuesday 23 January 2018 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
A lovely morning paddle, warm, about 30°C but no breeze at all, even on the lake, thirty-one paddlers - a good turn out after last week's disaster.
Most of us paddled upstream to the weir, and a few even went on from there, while a few more kayaked down to the lake and across to Pelican Island. Julie and Phyllis went up to the weir then down to the lake, but took ages, so I thought we'd lost them. Julie last came about 6 years ago, while Phyll is new. All three of us have lost our spouses in the last 2 years, so the kayakers is a good social activity now.
This is a very satisfying paddle with nice scenery and interesting water hazards. Harry's and Bob's pictures are here. Mine are at the top. Thanks for coming everyone. I just read that calling you 'guys' is no longer appropriate for the elderly.
|Tuesday 16 January 2018 - Eleebana|
30-40 knots southerly, so no paddling. Keith turned up with all the coffee and sandwiches, but he had to eat them all himself.
Tuesday 9 January 2018 - Wangi Wangi, Take 2 (Take 1 was too windy)
Pulbar Island from the Wangi Peninsular.
Rain, thunder and lightning all morning, so don't expect too much. As our protocol demands, we turned up anyway hoping for a better outlook. About 6 kayakers fronted on the south side of the Wangi peninsular, facing Pulbar Island (PI), with a 20 knot SSE breeze (warm though) in our faces, and the lake quite choppy, with whitecaps everywhere. After much humming and singing, we moved to the north side hoping for an improvement.
Sure enough - calm water, no breeze, so in we went. By now there are eight paddlers, viz me (Danny), Paul Allen, Ray King, Rolf, Bob W, two Darryls and Nikki. Perfect conditions, with the clouds thinning and blue sky visible, ideal for a kayaking adventure.
Out along the long peninsular to the point where we can see Pulbar, although not going there today, then come back. Only there are about 5 points to go round, but eventually we rounded the last one and there was PI in all its glory, and the water was fairly calm and there was no breeze. Bliss! The reason for this was that the wind had shifted from a SSE to NNE (90° shift), so we were now in the lee, but didn't know it till we headed back, right into the 20 knotter. Big waves (for a lake) and the strong wind made it very uncomfortable and not all that much fun, with the risk of tipping over or getting a cockpit full of seawater quite high.
Rolf ran aground near the public wharf, but no-one could help him as we all had our hands full. No drinking, no photographs, just all hands on deck to man the pumps. He managed to get himself embarked again, by walking the surf-ski he paddles down to a nice grassy spot safe from barnacles. It was a struggle but we finally all got back and had a good laugh.
Doug had brought the tea and coffee stuff, but had to leave early and took it with him as we said we would manage. We got our coffee from shops, or, in my case, the Wangi Club, and sat at the picnic table with our stuff, and the sandwiches which Sue had made for us. Thanks Sue!
No rain fell and it was always warm, just windy and choppy, so if you decided not to come I understand, and you are forgiven. Thanks to those who did come, including Trevor and Jill who came to see us then left immediately. My photos and Bob's are here. All photos on this page are mine, taken with my magical smart-phone.
Lake Macquarie, Wangi Wangi. Nice!
|Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi - 2 January 2018|
Never get used to how beautiful is this place where we live! Sunny skies, 28°C, 7-9 knot southerly breeze. Lake Munmorah is often under-rated as a wonderful venue for all watersports - water ski-ing, sailing, kayaking, SUP paddling. Had all of that happening today on this big lake. Twenty-three kayakers turned up, with Doug looking after us, and John Stone as support-staff. Dean brought his son-in-law, Luke, and many more familiar faces were there, including Mike Long, whom we haven't seen for a year.
We had planned to paddle out of the sailing club, but apparently it was too yukky, so we came back to our old haunt, Mackenzie Park, which is hard to beat for convenience and facilities. Never had a chance to talk about our plans for the morning, as the early-birds just headed off to the right, and hugged the shore most of the way right around the lake. For some, like George, it was 12km, if you paddle around a bit to make up extra distance so you can beat your wife, but mostly 10-11km was the total distance. It was nice to see people waterski-ing and paddleboarding and having lots of fun in the lake.
Didn't have any trouble with the grumpy old guy from the Quarantine Station, he probably succumbed to one of the nasty diseases he warned us about a few years ago.
This was all followed by a delicious morning tea and a high level of discourse on the social situation. Harry has a few photos for us here.
Lake Munmorah's Enchanted Forest
Tuesday 26 December 2017 - Morisset
Despite the foreboding weather conditions (cloudy, 12 knot SE breeze, choppy lake surface, warm), ten keen souls gathered amongst the kangaroos to paddle out of Lake Macquarie at Morisset. Actually there were no kangaroos right near us, but there were maybe 60 people on Acacia Avenue looking for warm furry marsupials to pat.
Some paddlers weren't that keen, but we soon convinced them that it was perfectly normal for lake water to splash into your kayak as you paddled around. Anyway, we knew there was a quite serviceable creek just up the shore a bit, offering shelter and adventure. Somehow Paul got the wrong message and failed to follow us, and finished up going to Wyee Creek. The rest of us found the fairly well hidden creek and just kept paddling up it, coming across more and more dead trees and obstacles till we could go no further. See the photos. then we re-traced our steps, or paddle strokes, till we got back to the lake, and experienced a bit more excitement as we tacked and gybed our way back to the cars.
Doug and Sue had brought the makings and had a cuppa ready for us on our return, along with the nice array of nibblies which we had ourselves brought. Thanks the Tucker crew. A very pleasant and worthwhile outing. I hope there weren't any of you who were considering paddling today but declined due to percieved adverse conditions. Some photos are here. Neither Bob nor Harry came so just my photos.
Colongra Bay, Lake Munmorah - 19 December 2017
No report, sorry. Everyone's too busy or wasn't there. Got some nice photos though. Bob and Harry's pix are here.
12 December 2017 - Tuggerah Lake Sunset paddle
Our annual sunset paddle took place at North Entrance in beautiful conditions, save for the 15 - 20 knot NE Fresh Breeze, in our faces heading up the east shore of said lake, giving us a strong following wind coming back, trying to spin us round. Bad luck if you didn't have a rudder, but I think everyone had one. Viv was the only one able to surf back on the waves, owing to the construction of her kayak, and her phenomenal seacraft skills. There she is at the top of last week's report!
I paddled a total of 8 point something k's, but most of the other 20 paddlers went further and faster and really I don't care anyway. These aren't tears on my cheeks, just seaspray.
After such a delightful paddle we had a super supper, thanks mainly to Doug and Sue who brought all the essentials, while others brought really nice food. I prepared a lovely bowl of fresh pineapple pieces, which I left in the fridge at home, so I'll keep them for next year.
Thanks everyone for coming, a good turn out for a windy evening. Bob's photos are on FaceBook here.
Stockton CreekTuesday 5 December 2017 - Dora Creek
We were scheduled to paddle at Wangi today, to Pulbar return, but there was a 20 - 25 knot southerly blowing, kicking up whitecaps of 50cm, and freezing, so we had a rethink, and decided on Dora Creek as the nearest protected waterway. Dora Creek was serene and lovely, good decision chaps! Thirteen kayakers took the trouble to come out on a chilly and windy day, and never regretted it.
Paddling away from the lake, we headed upstream to Stockton Creek. Apologies to those people whom I told the wrong creek names, but we turned up Stockton, leaving Dora Creek behind, with the only bridge we came to on that creek being the Freemans Drive bridge, not the M1. I knew it wasn't the freeway! I turned around 300 meters after the Freemans bridge, while the rest of the expedition kept on to the end, by the look of the photos, totalling over 14km, good on you guys, while I did only 10.3km - more than happy with that.
Eventually we all got back, happy to have had the chance to paddle in calm conditions today. Doug and Sue were there with our m/t ingrediants, and everybody brought nice food to keep us going till lunch, or tea. Well done everyone! Harry's photos are here.
Jacarandas on the Wyong River near Porters CreekTuesday 28 November 2017 - Wyong River
Perfect day for kayaking this morning, warm (25°C), 6-8 knot southerly breeze, sunny, not raining. Twenty-five kayakers turned up at Lions Park, near the bowling club in Wyong, next to the railway bridge. A new guy, Nick, from the CCCC (council) came, and brought keys to all the toilets.
John Phillips had a new version of paddle which I hadn't seen before, two pieces rowed like a row-boat, attached to a central superstructure. Hopefully Bob will have a photo of it. Harry left his camera at home, so it's all up to you Bob. Plus I took some pix with my phone, including all the photos on this page.
We all headed off upstream, not that the river was flowing anywhere, heading for the weir. But that's only 2.9km, so most people carried their kayaks over the weir, and kept going further upstream. A few of us didn't, but tried to make up distance by going up Porters Creek and further downstream past the start. I did 8.2km, including as far up Porters Creek as I could go (see photo), and back down towards the lake for a few hundred meters. Rolf beat us all, paddling from home, so I think pushing towards 50km by the time he gets back this afternoon.
Thanks everyone for coming. The photos are here.
Wyong River, with Porters Creek just on the right
Browns Point, Nords WharfTuesday 21 November 2017 - Gwandalan Wanderin'
A beautiful morning on Lake Macquarie - sunny then cloudy, warm, fine, SE breeze of 8 knots. Twenty-two paddlers including long lost members like Arthur Love, and Stan Dixon, and John Philipson, so welcome back guys. A good contingent of non-paddlers like Doug just back from NZ, and Garry with a sore back.
Plenty of parking at Lions Park, one of many with that name sorry, next time I'll include the address of the house opposite so you can put it in your GPS. It's 131 FYI. Toilets, picnic tables and barbecues, so a fully equipped park.
Down deep into Crangan Bay to the right, to Mangrove Gully Creek, which was better than no creek. Then up the eastern side of Crangan Bay as far as Nords Wharf, giving me a distance of 6.6km, but a few kayakers travelled much further so destinations unknown. The paddle very satifying, thanks for coming everyone. Sue made a boxful of gourmet sangers, and everyone brought nice stuff, thank you all.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Leaving Mangrove Gully Creek
Wyee Creek, near the pipesTuesday 14 November 2017 - Mannering Park/Wyee Creek
About 30 kayakers fronted at Vales Point Park this morning, with parking very difficult for those arriving after 8.20am. Conditions were beautiful, warm, cloudy with a slight southerly breeze.
Such a pleasant paddle down Wyee Bay to the pipes before we continued up to the Enchanted Forest. Unfortunately we all forgot about Lawrie in his little kayak with the pontoons, which couldn't get through the pipes, so I hope he found somewhere else to go.
Most of us paddled all the way up the top half of the creek, completing a solid 11km for the day. The breeze sprang up a bit on the way back across Wyee Bay, from the side, so not really all that much help.
Sue was there with m/t and coffee, thanks to all the bringers of fine food. Cheers
Photos are here.
Tuesday 7 November 2017 - Parsley Bay, Brooklyn
Lori near Parsley Bay
Only eleven paddlers came today to Parsley Bay, plus one other who arrived at morning tea (Kee). Conditions were mixed, with a pleasant 21°C, not too hot, sunny with some nice clouds, and a southerly breeze starting at 9.00am at 15 knots, rising to 20 knots by 11.00am. The wind arrived only at nine o'clock, just in time for us to cop it. Before that it was 7-8 knots SW.
So it was a bit rough for the first 15 minutes as we trudged across the wide river towards some welcoming countryside on the south side, into a stiff breeze, but that was the extent of the adverse conditions. After that it was very pleasant with very little air, and coming back with an incoming tide and a tail wind we hit 11kmh with very little effort.
The Kuring-Gai National Park is very beautiful along there, with little beaches, with their own waterfalls, craggy sandstone sculptures and clear water. One team explored the 2 bays near there, while the rest of us kept going till we had a clear view of Lion Island. Dean wanted to go round it, but it was still 6km away, so, no thanks.
Debbie and Keith brought the m/t stuff, including two boxes of gourmet sandwiches which Sue had made for us, and she didn't even come. Thanks, Sue. Much appreciated. Other paddlers included almost-forgotten guys like Graeme G and Lori B, and Ray, Brian (of course), Lawrie B with his ocean pontoons on today, and Bob and Harry, luckily, so we have a full portfolio of photographs.
Thanks for coming, you guys. Well worth the effort! Photos are here.
Tuesday 31 October 2017 - North Entrance, Tuggerah Lake
Conditions were not ideal at Tuggerah Lake this morning, with temperature at 16°C, 20-25 knot SSW breeze, but fine and cloudy skies. Twenty-five kayakers turned up to check it out, with some going home pretty quickly. Nobody really wanted to paddle up to Canton Beach, or anywhere, although a couple were keen to drive another 15 to 30km to a sheltered creek somewhere. In the end, Bill A quietly slid his kayak into the grey waters and paddled away into the rising sun.
It was a terrible mixture of guilt, shame, and coldness that hung over us as we tried to work out what to do. Eventually we decided to have a cup of tea in the lee of the toilet block, which made us all feel better. Now I'll have to go for a good walk to keep the metabolism ticking over. Try again next week. Well done to those who came anyway, especially Bill who just did his own thing.
Tuesday 24 October 2017 - Blackalls Park
Such a lovely day, no breeze, sunny, warm, birds tweeting (not on Twitter)... Twenty-two kayakers congregated at Blackall Park, and a few non-paddlers came to look after us.
We paddled around Fennell Bay and up LT Creek, a quite big waterway, full of sea-going motorboats, as far as we could. Back into Fennell Bay and under the FB bridge, and down towards Toronto. Some apparently went across Kooroora Bay to Bolton Point. Rolf said he did but it's a long way.
After we did that the general feeling was that we had done enough, and we paddled back to the starting point. I did 8.5km, and Dean did 10, as did a few others. A very pleasant paddle with no dramas, except we wondered where George was as we filled our faces with the delicious morning tea, but he eventually turned up, in fair to good condition. Well done for the effort everyone, especially the drive up there.
Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 17 October 2017 - Gosford Sailing Club
Only twenty-one kayakers this morning, and a few supporters. Conditions were nice - cloudy, warm, 10 knot NE breeze, making it interesting coming back from Koolewong, and no rain.
A fleet of teenage prisoners doing community service, or they may just have been school kids, were on a barge heading for the Narara Creek to clean up, so we didn't go there. At my suggestion we did a counter-clockwise lap of The Broad Water, taking in Iguana Joe's and the railway bridge, paddled down the west coast of Brisbane Water for miles towards Koolewong, then headed back across the wide expanse of lagoon towards Point Frederick, then back to the Sailing Club. Except for Brian who talks about Caroline bay and other far-away places where he went on his own and didn't see anyone else. No wonder!
The trip downwind was quite warm and calm, but coming back from Koolewong way it was quite choppy and fresh, but not really cold, seeing that the ambient temperature was about 23°C. It's a lovely place, Brisbane Water, so we all enjoyed our little excursion there. Bob and Harry took lots of excellent photos.
This was followed by a wonderful morning tea, with lots of edible stuff, including Sue's sandwiches, even though she wasn't paddling, thanks Sue. Fruit was very light on, as I didn't have time to get any pineapple, sorry. Try to do better next time. Photos are here.
Tuesday 10 October 2017 - Swansea, Black Neds Bay
Following is a brief report of our kayak today at Swansea:
An overcast day with very little wind (SW) and pleasant enough 22 C were the conditions we encountered at Swansea. The suggested route was to paddle into the channel up to and under the bridge and then explore Black Ned Bay. 14 of the Toukley Kayaker Group were on the water and completed the course.
The tide was still low when we set out, but once we returned from the bay she flowed with force back up the channel and into the lake. Brian, with the help of Bill A. salvaged a stranded and abandoned small sit-top kayak – this will make some kid happy...
We had a leisurely round trip of just under 10 km. Two, or three, of the more enthusiastic paddlers made their way further into the channel, before returning to a sumptuous morning tea. Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 3 October 2017 - Summerland Point, Sandy Beach
Twenty-three kayakers congregated at Sandy Beach, Summerland Point, this morning, in perfect conditions, no sun, no breeze, no inclement temperatures - just nice, as you can see from the photos.
There were a few non-paddlers who stayed behind to look after our stuff, and to get m/t ready. We set off straight across the bay towards Mannering Park about 1200 meters away across the glassy lake. We turned port at the opposite shore and headed down to Chain Valley Bay. This is quite a large body of water, so some of us didn't quite make it to Josh Porter Reserve, but close enough. Left again and follow the shore around into the middle of nowhere. Some paddlers went further into CVB than I did, and out wider into the vast northern reaches of the bay, reaching 11km for the day, while I did slightly less, cutting corners as I went, at 9.9km, more than enough for me. Can't say much else about the paddle except that it was divine, with such a calm surface on the bay, very peaceful.
The Sandy Beach Reserve is very nice too, with our own garbage truck coming to empty the bins in the middle of our morning tea. Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 26 September 2017 - Davistown
Eighteen kayakers and a couple of non-paddlers lobbed at Restella Street this morning, so keen to go, or so early, that they launched at 8.45 and were out-of-sight by 0900. Conditions were close to perfect, with a slight southerly breeze assisting when possible.
Up towards St Huberts Island, with Fred and Dennis trying to go through the oyster leases. Dennis gave up and rejoined the main fleet, but Fred perservered and came out near the S.H.I. bridge. Eventually we all went under the St Huberts bridge and found ourselves in a channel which had The Rip Bridge in one direction, and Woy Woy in the other. A couple of guys, like Ray, went under the Rip bridge, which was quite an experience for them, exciting at least.
Another group headed across to Woy Woy and paddled up the shore there, while I was way behind, so I just went up the middle, and eventually caught up again at the top of SHI.
I don't know where Debbie went, but she clocked up 10km, and I completed 7.5, which was enough for me. Narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with the Davistown Ferry, we scrambled back to Davistown. We struck some very shallow water, and some rough stuff, from speedboats and the ferry, but it was all part of the fun.
There's not much parking at D'town, so lucky there wasn't too many of us for a change. Doug and Sue were not able to come, due to the death of Doug's father last night, but never-the-less Sue made boxes of sandwiches which she sent with Deb and Keith who were our substitute m/t managers today. So sorry to hear the bad news, Doug. We're thinking of you and the family.
PS Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 19 September 2017 - Wallarah Creek, San Remo
Twenty-nine kayakers fronted at San Remo, on the banks of Wallarah Creek next to the Charmy Bridge. It was already quite warm, sunny, with a NW breeze blowing at about 10 knots, which changed quickly to a southerly, according to Seabreeze.com.
Today we paddled straight up the creek, under the bridge, and up to the junction with Spring Creek, the confluence if you like, but we stuck to the original creek, going up as far as we could. Not all of us of course, but most. I turned left into another creek on the left, and followed that for about 800 metres. Then I continued up Wallarah, till I met some others coming back down. Some of these guys went up my first little creek, sorry it doesn't have a name, while I paddled straight back for a total distance of 7.3km. Some of the more adventurous paddlers did over ten km, like Harry and Rolf, who didn't get back for ages. Rolf also paddled from home at Buff Point, so he would be the champion paddler for today.
Sue mentioned at m/t that we will be having a catered-for Xmas party on 19 December, so don't go away on holidays then.
A few extra non-paddlers arrived to join in the festivities, so we had a lovely sociable time, like we always do. Thanks for coming. Harry and Bob's photos are here. Cheers
Tuesday 12 September 2017 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
Perfect conditions met the 22 paddlers arriving at Creek reserve Road, Speers Point - warm, no breeze, a few clouds... With the threat of stronger winds later, we all chose to paddle up the creek, rather than out onto Lake Macquarie and down towards Warners Bay, with its attractive North and South Creeks.
The first few kms of this creek aren't that appealing, having an air of industry about them, but eventually the stunted trees, overhead powerlines and bridges gave way to more natural bushland. Forget about cliffs, huge angophoras and interesting creeks, it's just keep paddling all the way with this creek, as far as you can go, to the viaduct at a dam wall, some 7km from the boat ramp. Everybody kindly waited there until all the participants had arrived, before starting the long trip back.
The only interesting wildlife I saw was a beautiful eastern rosella hanging on the side of a reed on the bank, brilliant in its bright red head and chest. Thanks Ian.
Eventually we all got back safely, and after washing our kayaks and loading them on our cars, we indulged in a wonderful feast, thanks to all the nice food everyone brought. Thanks for coming you guys.Bob's photos are here.
Berowra Waters - 5 September 2017
Only eleven kayakers turned up at Berowra Waters this morning, shame. Nice sunny day, clear skies, not too cold, but a 20-30 knot WNW Near Gale kept the distances down, as it was hard to paddle into that wind. Still, we had a good time, went up some interesting creeks, saw a nice grotto, and dodged the ferry cables across the river...
We were glad to get back to base but, and tuck into some delicious morning tea. Thanks for coming and bringing something nice, everyone. Bob's and Harry's photos are here. I paddled 7.6km upstream and back.
See Knut's video here.
Tuesday 29 August 2017 - Budgewoi
About twenty kayakers fronted at Mackenzie Park, Budgewoi, for today's paddle, in pleasant winter conditions viz cloudy, fine, cool with a 6 knot westerly breeze. This helped make our first leg down to Elizabeth Bay (EB), on Lake Munmorah, easy and unruffled.
I fell in the water on my first attempt to board the kayak, so I was wet and clammy for the trip, then cold when I got back. I don't recommend it. The water surface was a bit choppy, and after reaching EB beach it became a headwind, so quite choppy and harder work making headway back to the west. Some of the paddlers headed down towards Lake Munmorah, the suburb, before swinging back to the west side of the lake for a round trip of 12km. Dean, Ray B and I made a more direct route towards the power station, then back to the channel, for me and Dean, to slightly encroach on Budgewoi Lake for 10 and 10.4km for the day.
There were quite a few non-paddlers at m/t, like Debbie, Sue, Gloria, Carmel and Claire, many bringing culinary delights. Doug announced that the Xmas party would be a catered affair this year, so it will cost more. More info later when we have organised the hall etc. Thanks for coming. Thanks to those who brought nice stuff to eat, and the tea and coffee (you know who you are). Today's photos by Bob and Harry are here.
Tuesday 22 August 2017 - Woy Woy/Waterfall Bay
A big improvement in the weather today - sunny, warm, no breeze, stupendous! Twenty-eight kayakers made their way to the Yellow Brick Wharf Road, Woy Woy, for today's adventure to Waterfall Bay. Nobody expected anything at the waterfall, as it hasn't rained for weeks, but there was a trickle.
Some people, Ray, did their own thing and paddled off to Koolewong or other places, but most of us went under the famous double bridge and into Parks Bay. Most of the big motor boats and yachts there are stamped with Parks Bay Yacht Club, even though it could fit in the railway carpark. We passed the beautiful little beach where we sometimes swim, but it was too cold today, or at least the water would have been. My GPS said the distance to the waterfall was 4.1km, so I did a big loop coming back, to add more distance - finished up doing 9.4km.
It's such a lovely little bay, with the spectacular Brisbane Water National Park on display, it's so nice paddling here. Anyone who doesn't paddle misses out on a lot of wonderful scenery and a mystical tranquillising effect.
Thanks for coming everyone. Harry's and bob's photos are here. Cheers
Dora Creek - 15 August 2017
Dora Creek knows when the kayakers are visiting: the reserve is full of kayaks and the street is full of cars and 4WDs with funny racks on the roof. Conditions were almost perfect today, with no apparent breeze, no sun and nice temperatures.
Twenty-seven kayakers arrived and by nine o'clock we were all in the water and paddling upstream towards the M1 Motorway.This is a very nice river, with lovely houses on the banks, then bush with many big trees, some of them in the water, horizontal. Most paddlers are faster than I so they disappeared out of sight, not to be seen again till we got back. Still, a few of us took the slower route and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Keeping an eye on the Strava, I wanted to go more than 5km before we turned around, so my total distance today was 10.6, while the others who paddled right up to the footbridge or the end would have done >12km. On the way back with a tailwind and with the current (neither was perceptible) the river surface was smooth and shiny, with ducks, cormorants and other waterbirds in abundance. A fine morning tea was awaiting us on our return, thanks to Doug for bringing all the stuff, and Sue for making sandwiches, which we ate before gorging ourselves on a huge variety of cake and other comestibles which everyone else brought. Claire made a particularly nice passionfruit sponge.
Thanks for coming everyone. Today's photos are here.
Tuesday 8 August 017 - Chittaway Point
A fine winter's day, clear sky, but a WNW breeze of 20-25 knots. Scheduled venue was Long Jetty, but I thought - that will be awful, they should go to Chittaway or something. And when I got to Long Jetty, Jill was meeting us and said - We're going to Chittaway! Good! So off we went to Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, and I was surprised to find myself the first one there. Eventually a few more turned up, so we launched and away I went. As I was coming back from the weir I found several new kayakers heading upstream. Eventually there were 12 paddlers.
That little trip made it 7km round trip, so I did a bit more further downstream, to come up with 8.8km - just right for me! Conditions there were much better than on the big Tuggerah Lake, with only a slight breeze pushing us towards the east. Sunny and not too cold, so well worth the effort of coming.
Morning tea was then held at the picnic area, with Doug and Sue bringing all the necessary items, including delicious sandwiches, thanks Sue, and others bringing yummy stuff, like Gloria's lemon tarts, and Brian's nutty cake. I would have brought my highly-sought-after pineapple chunks, but I left them on the kitchen bench, so you can have them next week instead. Thanks to everyone who came, sorry for those who just went home again from Long Jetty, you missed a nice day out.
PS Still no photographers, just these phone snaps I took for the page here. Here's another one:
Tuesday 1 August 2017 - Tacoma
A beautiful morning at Tacoma, just down the river from Wyong, this morning, bringing 25 paddlers out, plus a few more for m/t. Sunny, clear and cool, with a WSW breeze of 10 knots making it too dodgy out on the lake, so we all went upstream to the railway bridge at Wyong. We were supposed to park within walking distance of the toilets at the footy ground, but by the time those organising the venue got there, too many people had already parked about 800 metres away, so bad luck - no walk to the toilets.
The breeze was cool and persistent in our little faces as we headed west, but petered out about halfway along, no idea why. It was there again on the way back, giving us added impetus. The trip for me to the bridge was 1 hour, but the return journey was only about 45 minutes. Downhill too I suppose. I always love going around the little island, Charlton Island, with its quaint and quiet channel on the north side.
A very nice morning tea was on offer back at base, thanks to Sue and Doug for their unrelenting effort in this regard, and thanks to everyone who brung stuff, especially Fred who baked a fabulous cheesecake, and whoever made the scones and jam and cream creations. Thanks also to everyone who came and joined in - it's a magic part of my week, kayaking with you guys. Sorry, no photos today as our photographers are away on holiday. I did bang off a couple of shots for this page though, on my phone.
Tuesday 25 July 2017 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie
Twenty-two kayakers from down Toukley way came north to enjoy the delights of Sunshine, the village, on Lake Macquarie's western shores this morning. A bit chilly as expected, but soon got over that and enjoyed the paddle south along the lake shore towards Morisset, but not that far. As can be seen from the photograph above, the water was perfect. Further down into Sugar Bay the slight NW breeze (7 knots) became apparent, but it was very pleasant.
Some paddlers went out wide, heading straight for Bardens Bay, further west, but most of us took the time to investigate Sugar Bay and its lovely scenery. Then past the little reef off the Brightwaters point. Then into the larger and more interesting Bardens Bay, named after Able Seaman Willem Barden who discovered it while exploring the New Zealand north island (got lost).
John and I didn't go all the way into that bay, but we shoulda, as it has a nice creek and a little lake, appropriately called Lake Petite, but we missed it. Instead we took our time paddling back together, chatting our little faces off. Very informative. Back at the boat ramp, we all packed up and had a long lazy m/t, graciously organised by Sue Tucker and her faithful husband, Doug. We are all grateful to you two, too.
Gail, Glenn, Bill and Chris, forgot their last names, recently went on a wonderful holiday to The Arctic, near Canada, and I've included their photos and story in the Photo Album, which is here, along with most of Harry's photos from today.
Tuesday 18 July 2017 - Canton Beach, Tuggerah Lake
Even somewhere as ordinary as Canton beach can be inspirational on a morning such as this... Not a cloud anywhere, slight NW breeze, just brilliant. About 28 paddlers fronted for today's paddle, plus quite a few more guests arrived for our barbecue lunch, welcome to you all.
Rolf paddled from home so he would get the prize for the longest distance, maybe 30km. Good on you Rolf!
At 0900 we set off towards Toukley Bridge and Wallarah Bay. I actually paddled under the bridge, then weaved in and out the bridge pylons to draw a pattern on my Strava report. After passing the Wallarah Bay Club we then veered towards Pipeclay Point (PCP) and into the PCP Bay, where we saw Barry on his deck.
Most kayakers then kept on a southerly heading, disappearing in the distance towards Rocky Point. Friede and Di headed back early, and I just went straight out across the mighty lake towards the Wyrrabalong National Park. The breeze became more apparent as we paddled on, creating quite a chop, and giving us a push in the back towards Canton Beach.
We finally all got back and after washing our kayaks and loading them on our cars, we enjoyed a lovely bbq lunch prepared by Doug and Sue, thanks you two, and some other delicious munchies which we all brang. Thanks everyone for coming today. It really was a magical paddle.
Photos are here.
Hardys Bay - 11 July 2017
Report from Sue:
Eighteen paddlers, on a very cold, overcast morning, braved the elements and arrived at Hardy’s Bay. The air was cold, the breeze even colder, but undaunted they headed out toward Ettalong, to Half Tide Rocks to Lobster Beach. Had a short break on Lobster Beach and then headed back to Hardy’s Bay with the tide. When we got back, the sun was shining, the wind had gone and it was perfect weather for a paddle, pity we were all back and packed up by that stage. Morning tea was our usual mini feast in warm sunshine which was such a contrast to the way the day started. Fred and Colin joined us for morning tea having returned from their overseas sojourn. A great way to spend a winter morning. 8.8km was paddled today.
Report from Lori B:
Quite a good turnout for such a cold, cold morning. The wind was blowing and felt like it was straight off the Snowy Mountains – I don’t blame those who stayed to warm the tea and themselves in their cars… Some intrepid souls actually paddled out across the Brisbane Waters to Ettalong, through the swirling waters mid-channel near the surf and over to Lobster Beach (including Harry, Knut, Doug, Viv, and others) where it was sunny and warm at the southern sandy end of the beach. No one managed to get swamped by the Ferry, although one holiday yahoo-er in a speedboat did get mighty close to Brian. (Don’t think there was even anything there on Lobster Beach for Brian to pick up!) A leisurely paddle back around Wagstaffe to the launch point, where I noticed others coming back from Hardy’s Bay way as well. Another great day which finally warmed up in time for a brilliant morning tea – thanks Sue for braving the cold and keeping us well fed (and thanks Knut too for the savoury muffins with three kinds of condiments – as well as all the others who brought something tasty to the table). Well done, gang!
Photos are here.
Tuesday 4 July 2017 - Cams Wharf, Lake Macquarie East
A surprisingly warm day today, following the coldest day ever. Twenty-five paddlers came out of the woodwork, and a few non-paddlers fronted for morning tea, including JD and Annie who were convinced a big storm was coming, so by the time they realised their mistake it was too late.
A NW breeze of less than 5 knots rippled the surface, though Seabreeze showed a big blow all day at Newcastle, but it never got down here. Conditions were spectacular, with not a trace of cloud in the sky all morning, as we paddled north up the coast to the first little point, then most of us headed towards Pulbar Island, while a couple, viz Jill and Trevor, followed the shoreline north. The field became quite strung out on the paddle across the broad expanse of lake, about 3.5km,with some heading towards the north side and others favoring the southern edge for a clockwise circuit of the island.
I did both sides but didn't go around the full island (too far for me), just along the eastern edge. It was easier going back, with the full circumnavigators paddling about 11km and me doing only 8.5.
From the island it was quite difficult finding our launch point on the other side, but we eventually found it, pinpointed by a small red car which you could see above everything else from kilometres away.
All safely back, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and some delicious "tucker" whilst engaging in meaningless but comforting banter. Thanks everyone for coming and participating in our incredibly pleasant central coast lifestyle. Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 27 June 2017 - Morisset
Yes, back to the home of the kangaroos. Even at 8.30am you could see tourists walking the several kms down to the hospital looking for kangaroos. Bless 'em! Conditions for kayaking were superb - no breeze, a bit cloudy, cold to start but soon warming up. Check out the beautiful photos! Twenty-two paddlers found their way to the lake, some after a bit of a tour, including me. Doug, Sue, Jill and Trevor also made it for morning tea.
We pushed off about five past nine and headed down the shore southly, into that little nameless bay, which is also fairly waterless, so we got out of there fast and cruised towards Wyee Point, that big bushy bluff that you can't see through. Once around that we could see Mannering Park with the three chimneys of Vales Point power station poking skyward. I don't think anyone went over there, we all just followed the shore down to the Wyee Point marina and beyond. Some of us with doctor's certificates turned around here and slowly paddled back to base. Actually Laurie and Rolf couldn't get their kayaks through the pipes, but Greg and I had medical reasons. That's my excuse anyway.
So most kayakers made it to the pipes and filtered through to Wyee Creek where, after re-assembling, they continued up the creek a few hundred metres to the entrance to Mannering Bay, and went back through the pipes on the far side of that shallow bay, back into the warm waters of Wyee bay.
Everything was so picturesque with the clouds and smooth water, it was a delight to be in it.
A beautiful m/t was provided by our members, thanks to Doug and Sue for bringing the stuff. Everyone was very satisfied with our morning's work, maybe about 10 km. Such a wonderful social activity, and good for your mussels too. Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 20 June 2017 - Gosford, Brisbane Water
It may well have rained all over the coast at 8.00am, M1 a fog of spray, but at Gosford Sailing Club it was beautiful - no breeze, sunny, 18°C... Fourteen kayakers arrived, ready to make up for the disappointing day last week, even if they did paddle then at Swansea.
As the Broadwater looked so nice we decided to not go up any stupid creeks, but stay out in the sun, so we paddled across the lake to the western front, then followed the shore down to Point Clare railway station, just taking our time and having re-groups on the way. And paddling under all the jetties on the way.
A slight WSW breeze sprang up halfway down, giving the surface an endearing texture. This helped us get back quicker, too, after we eventually turned port and headed out into the middle of the big sea shining water. No dramas, nobody even got wet, just a lovely day out in the lake paddling with each other. Bliss!
When we got back there were some hangers-on, like Brian, who helped people get ashore and assisted lifting their kayaks up to the nearby cars.
A yummy m/t ensued, with interesting savoury snacks. Thanks for bringing that stuff, you mates. We paddled between about 8 and 12km. Last time we were at Point Frederick, we had a 35 knot NW gale, who can forget that! Harry and Bob's photos are here. They sent me 50 photos but I only used the best 16.
Tuesday 13 June 2017 - Swansea
Bleak day on Lake Macquarie, raining on the way up, but until arrival at the northern peninsular we didn't realise the breeze was so strong, and the temperature so cold. Viz Seabreeze says 20 knot southerly at 9.00am, then dropping to about 15, and about 15°C, plus wind-chill to be factored in. Plus threat of rain.
So some girls took one look and went straight home (names available on request), and some blokes didn't paddle, and even went home (I'm writing this at 10.30am), but many hardy souls got their kayaks in the water and went for a paddle, some down the sea channel, and some across to the eastern shore and further up. People like Debbie, Rolf, Bob, Knut, Ray, mates Bob and Keith, Paul A, Brian, Joe and Laurie in his tri-hulled concoction with no rudders, and no steering in the wind. Lori B arrived after the others had started, got her kayak into the water and took off after them, on her own - top marks! All these brave paddlers are a credit to the group and themselves.
Knut and Lori will give us up-to-date reports below. Cheers
Bob's photos are here.
A brief follow-up report from the hardy souls venturing on the waters at Swansea this morning:
About 10 of us braved the cold wind and headed down Swansea Channel towards the road bridge then under the bridge and right into Black Neds Bay for a look and see. The tide had turned and was coming in. A brief excursion into the channel (about halfway out) before we turned around to head back with the tide, running at approximately 2 ˝ km per hour.
Morning tea was most welcome and warmed us up. The sun had come out, but the wind remained cold.
Lori's Kayak report – 13 June 2017 – Swansea Channel
Late as usual, I arrived as the group was paddling away from the wind, around the Southern Side of the Swansea Point/Lake Head, while several others were packing up to go home. It sure was howling on the West Side of the Swansea Point… Danny, Harry and John had decided it was too cold to head out – but John stuck around to help with the kayaks and also later went around the East Side of the Point to take photos. Meanwhile (after some help from the boys), I finally made it in the water blowing south into the channel – then blown again out to get stuck on the small island’s sandbank – near Spectacle island! I think it happened to a few others as well, I learned later. So much for my bright idea to go around it while the wind was at my back.
Around the corner of Lake Head/Coon Island Point, however, it was another world! Peaceful, pretty and calm – even though I had yet to see any other kayakers! There were plenty of fish to be seen swimming in the clear shallow waters near the Coon Island wetlands, and it was protected from that wind. I ambled along the lee side of Swansea Channel, until I saw Rolf returning. He was great with providing critical advice regarding the tide and timings of the racing current directions. I continued kayaking to the bridge but never saw the gang – so headed back happy at least I had gotten into the water today – especially as the tide pushed me back. (And the three jet skiers didn't run me over.) Later I found out the group had gone under the bridge, and then turned up into sedate Black Head’s Bay – others even went as far out as the Swansea Heads. Everyone obviously glad they had made the effort as the rain held off.
Back at the launch point, Bob, Joe, Ray, Brian, Keith, Paul, Knut and others returned after a fun outing. Debbie also arrived wet from her paddle, but it didn’t stop her from getting the morning tea ready to go – plenty of sandwiches, fresh tangerines and cheese and biscuits - none of Danny’s pineapple,however [sorry, I took it home again]! Deb even had a tablecloth laid out as we feasted on the food and views. As I mentioned earlier, a ‘bad day kayaking beats a good day working’ – for those of us who even remember what a four-letter word like that means…thanks gang! Looking forward to our next adventure -
Tuesday 6 June 2017 - Blackalls Park
A belated report on Blackalls Park 6 June 2017. A good contingent turned up and paddled on a very chilly morning at Blackalls Park. Frank and Shirley walked down the road to say hello... all good. The majority did the still waters of Stoney Creek. The Limbo is a handy skill for the old rail bridge to get to the upper reaches. I heard a few intrepid members climbed over the boulders (which was a rocky road crossing many years ago) to reach the top end of the course. All looked relaxed on the return journey. A smaller contingent did a lake loop course .
A smooth cruise to Toronto via Fennel Bay Bridge around famous Fig Tree Point and through the many boats moored at RMYC and shoreline of Toronto Bay. Toronto looked at its best, reflected in the still water with early morning light. We picked a tailwind from Toronto to Bolton Point and travelled via the shore line of Fennel Bay back under the bridge to join the others.
Another great day on the water followed by nice refreshments. Thanks. Cheers
Got some photos. Click here.
Tuesday 30 May 2017 - Chittaway Bay
On a very chilly morning 26 kayakers came to Sunshine Park for a paddle up Ourimbah Creek. Several paddlers asked me which way we should go, and I said, let's go down to the lake. But when we got into the water, they all headed upstream, so never ask me again. A couple of visitors, viz Stan and Ann Ham.., and Garry Wilson. Welcome Guys.
It became quite warm in the sun, but freezing in the shade, remarkably, so we tried to stay in the sun. When we got to the weir only Friede climbed over it, up the rocky section, as he had the only sit-on kayak. When we got to the weir Bob, who had been banging off hots on his expensive camera all the way upstream, suddenly realised he had forgotten to insert the memory card, so his photography day was over. Still we had Harry, and his photos will be available.
The trip back was faster, being downstream, with many kayakers deciding to make the trip down to the lake. Not me though as I was in a sulk. And tired, having paddled all of 7km. Those reaching the Tuggerah Lake would have paddled about 12km, so well done u. A funny thing happened as I paddled under the old iron railway bridge, two trains crossed each other on the bridge, one being a 4-carriage passenger train, and the other a huge goods train. I could hear a whistling sound then all of a sudden a cacophany of steel - so exciting to be run over by 2 trains.
A lovely morning tea happened, because Trevor and Jill brought the drinks and Sue's sandwiches, and everybody else brung yummy stuff, thanks everyone! Thanks for coming. Harry's photos are here. Bob's will never come.
Tuesday 23 May 2017 - Summerland Point
About 30 faithful kayakers fronted Lake Macquarie at Sandy Beach, Summerland Point this morning.
The lake was flat as glass and as smooth as the proverbial baby’s ... . No wind and beautiful sunshine. Temperature pleasantly warm for this time of year.
We all set off left into the lake and then around Black Neds Point, to follow the shore line and entered and explored Tiembula Creek there – a favourite location/destination, I think.
Onwards into Chain Valley Bay, left again, where some enthusiastic kayakers decided to return via the far side of the lake. All others just executed a U-turn and made their way back to our morning tea location, where the table was laden with the usual excellent goodies, that some good souls bring along.
Some non-paddlers joined us here for a chat and to conclude the morning’s outing.
Bob's photos are here.
Valentine, Lake Macquarie West - 16 May 2017
Looks like it was a beautiful day at work today, up in beautiful Valentine. We may get a report from someone who was there, let's hope so. Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Danny (Sick leave)
Tuesday 9 May 2017 - Wyong River
Thirty-one kayakers populated Wyong Lions Park on a beautiful chilly morning. They paddled all over the place, up to the weir at the Old Milk Factory, up Porters Creek, and down the river to Charlton Island.
No more juicy details as I wasn't there with them. I did come later, after getting the Council to open the toilets. Just had m/t then had to rush off. Contrary to what I told everyone, my first appointment with the radiology is now on Thursday. Pacemaker clinic tomorrow.
Owing to a massive raise in website hosting costs we are changing our website address next week to: toukleykayakers.org so make a note.
Photos from Bob and Harry are here.
Tuesday 2 May 2017 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
Thirty-two brave kayakers fronted Cockle Creek at Speers Point to partake in a most glorious day's kayak adventure. Totally sunny, warm and wind still morning was nature's setting for us. All but 5 (these went up the creek with paddles) had their indicators on, when they turned left, after leaving Cockle Creek and heading towards Warners Bay. Tranquil North Creek (on the north side of Warners Bay) was a charming interlude in our distance grabbing paddle across this part of lovely Lake Macquarie. Then on to and into South Creek, which is...you guessed it....
An all round wonderful morning's activity for both body and soul.
Photos are here.
Tuesday 25 April 2017 - Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi
Nice day for kayaking - ©24°C, 10-15 knots N breeze, cloudy... Twenty-five kayakers and a few non-paddlers, especially at m/t.
Some new people today,viz. Warren, Richard and Kristina, and Di's husband George, who's trying us out before he retires in June. George had a mishap or two on the way back from Elizabeth bay (LB), falling into the water, then having to get back in by a wall of reeds. Finished up walking his kayak back a few hundred metres at the end. Stick with it, George. It can only get easier.
With the breeze up to 15 knots, the water was quite choppy, from the north, so we had the waves coming from the side the whole way - tricky! A headwind over, and a tailwind back, mostly. We soon spread out over a large area, so the early arrivers at LB contnued along the eastern shore line, past the beautiful cliffs, before coming back over the lake. I just went over near the shore, and straight back across, for a total of 8.5km. Generally considered to be a worthwhile and satisfying paddle, and not far to drive. Thanks for coming everyone.
Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 18 April 2017 - Killaben Bay, Rathmines
We've had a wonderful Easter, weatherwise, and today was even more so. Twenty-nine kayakers found their way to the Don Geddes Catalina Memorial car-park, an immense concrete slab, with boat ramp. Doug turned up early with the makings but couldn't paddle due to injury. We had some newbies today, Peter and Lorraine, from Eleebana, who have been stalking our website for months, and finally worked up the courage to give it a try. They have owned their kayaks for ages. Welcome guys, hope you enjoyed your paddle with us.
We started off by paddling straight across to the other side of the bay (killer-ben, not Killarben), then turning portwards and following the interesting coastline with all its nice houses and boats to Stockyard Creek, so called because there used to be a stockyard somewhere, and it's a creek. Up the creek, bringing back memories of doing this same creek on 8 November last year, so not that long ago. We didn't have any photographers today, so the photos on this page were borrowed from November. Luckily, many of the same people featured. We did launch in a different spot last time, viz Catalina Bay, and paddled around the war memorial to the creek.
A beautiful day for kayaking, thanks for coming, all you nice people, and thanks to Debbie for making the sandwiches, vice Sue.
Killaben Bay photos are here.
Patonga Creek - 11 April 2017
A very pleasant day, despite all the warning signs of rain, 22°C and a slight breeze. Fifteen paddlers made it to Meroo Avenue, and a few others came to watch, including Douglas who also brought our morning tea, Thanks Doug.
With only 15 we didn't get too spread out, with only Andrew going ahead to check on the apaches. We all paddled right up as far as we could go, the log jam, with the water getting very hard to find there. We had fun looking at the scenery, much of which is quite spectacular, beautiful angophora gum trees, ancient sandstone rocks and plenty of sea eagles.
Back again to Meroo Ave and a nice m/t and a good chat with friends. Many of our mates found other good stuff to do, we didn't miss them at all. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 4 April 2017 - Buff Point
Well, it poured rain all night, easing off by seven o'clock this morning, but we still had 23 kayakers in the water at 0900, well done! There was a stiffish breeze at 8.30 but it almost disappeared by 11.00 . There was sun, rain, sun, more rain, all morning, but not as much rain as when we were here on 28 February. The boat ramp at Edgewater Park had limited parking, but we all managed.
Rolf paddled from around the corner, and we all took off in a westerly direction (right, Di), towards the Charmy bridge, the opposite direction from 5 weeks ago. Some didn't quite make it that far. I got to the fork of Spring and Wallarah creeks then came back, but most of us went all the way up Wallarah for a long paddle. Good on youse! Conditions, apart from some rain, were very nice on the lake today.
A few more friends made it to m/t, so we had a good party. The grass was waterlogged, but we had our kayaking boots on so it didn't matter. I told a few people recently I had lost my newly purchased swimwear, not to be found anywhere, in my house or my cars, but I found it in my kayak box! Duhhh!
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 28 March 2017 - The Entrance. No report this week, as the editor has been bike-riding in Canberra, but here are the photos from Bob and Harry
Tuesday 21 March - Davistown
Just on 20 Toukley kayakers enjoyed the waters around Davistown this morning. No wind, no rain- just excellent kayaking conditions with an overcast sky. We went down Lintern Channel past Rileys Island and Pelican Island towards Woy Woy. Some then kayaked as far as the Rip Bridge, others decided to stay on the northern side of St Huberts Island on the way back to base. For Morning Tea we were joined by others of our group to round out the numbers and for a nice chat.
Perfect morning on the water, before the sun broke the cloud cover and heated up the day. Cheers, Knut.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 14 March 2017 - Canton Beach
With storm clouds and heavy, rain, unsurprisingly, 15 people turned up at Canton Beach. There was much discussion as to whether we will or won’t, a quick perusal of Weatherzone and more discussion. The only decision at this stage is to have morning tea and wait and see what develops. After our fist sitting of morning tea the sky cleared and 9 paddlers headed to The Entrance. After about an hour they returned, reloaded their kayaks and had their second sitting of morning tea. They did escape the rain, it held off until they were all back on land. That’s what we love about our paddlers, undaunted by thunder, lightning and heavy rain and with the promise of a hot cuppa, they always turn up. Well done guys. Next week we head to Davistown.
Photos are here.
Tuesday 7 March 2017 - Gwandalan
The morning started with mixed emotions as to what the Weather Gods were going to send us. Then, even more mix up when half of the paddlers were at one side of Gwandalan and the other half around the corner – oops! Not sure how that happened, so sorry guys for the confusion. Eventually 26 paddlers were on the water all heading in the same direction. No sooner had we hit the water, when the water hit us, from the sky, yes it rained, several times. We were quite protected from the wind where we were and apart from the rain, it was a very pleasant paddle. Brian arrived back at the launch site only to head back out again to a deserted campsite and return with twice as much rubbish as his first trip! Astounding for all the wrong reasons – what sort grubs leave that amount of rubbish on the bank of the lake?!? Great job Brian, you’re a champion. We paddled between 5 & 9kms today depending on which side of Gwandalan you launched from. Graeme & Jen paddled much further, having paddled from and back home, to Murrays Beach. We managed to have morning tea in dry weather and just as we packed up and everyone was starting to leave, the sky opened again – great timing.
Photos are here.
Buff Point, Budgewoi Lake - 28 Feb 2017
Yes Danny ...
A great paddle today on peaceful waters in moody conditions. Doug guiding us along the shore (despite a sore shoulder) and pointing the best passage around the odd rocky area. Going under the the bridges at Budgewoi and around the island "with the short-cut group" was my treat.
Thanks to our photographer at large Bob doing a great job with his moving subjects.. getting a good angle... keeping things level... a bit of rain then a bit of sun... some poor light... then paddle.
Not just paddling... some are looking at fish, Friede is giving weather reports and appreciation of grand approaching clouds, others talking to "strangers on the shore" who would like to join us... some setting up morning tea... thanks Sue.
I look forward to reading Danny's report each week and to see Harry and Bob's creative photos after each paddle whether I am there or not. The photos of previous paddle events over time I find a great reference.
Thanks all for a relaxed fun morning.
A lovely day kayaking, sorry all you guys didn't come too. Rainy all morning up till 9.00 o'clock, then - clear! Warm, humid and sunny. Then more rain, then more sun, rain, sun...
Only very light rain, so quite pleasant in one's paddling gear. We headed down to Budgewoi, most of us following the shore, others cutting straight across between the points. You can't go out too wide in this lake, as the water gets very shallow.
Most of us got to the bridge, even the footbridge, or within sight of them, like me. My Strava says I paddled 7.8km but it stopped talking to the satellite and took me straight back over Buff Point. A lovely paddle, just 15 of us, but an élite fleet. Plenty of room at the m/t shelter, with 4 tables to spread out on. You would have loved it! So, lesson - come, and decide at 0900 whether to paddle. Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 21 February 2017 - Dora Creek
About 30 of us braved the calm, warm, windstill and sunny waters of Dora Creek (such a hard life). We headed out into Lake Macquarie and across to Shingle Splitters Point. Some went into the bay just to the left of the creek's mouth. A round trip of just under 10 km.
Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Gorokan, Lake Budgewoi - 14 February 2017
Busy day at the Gorokan Fish Co-op! Forty-six kayakers, ten large electricity trucks, fishermen, passers-by... Still we all fitted in, and the trucks were mostly gone by the time we got back. Quite warm (26°C), cloudy with a dash, and a stiff SE breeze of 15 knots, so plenty of chop, as seen in the photos.
People asked me which way we were going, and I said Pipeclay Point (PCP), somebody said - that's in Narrabeen Lake! Anyway Doug said Peel Street, which to the non-cyclists wouldn't have meant anything, but off we went down past The Beachcomber, except for Garry and Brian, who paddled under the bridge in the direction of PCP as I suggested. Sorry, guys!
The further we went the stronger the wind got, so by the time we turned around down near the Toukley Golf Club, the lake surface was v choppy. Anyway, we all made it back OK, not many kms but a good taste of the outdoors and fresh air. Well done youse!
At m/t Sandra Brown got a commendation for surviving into her seventh decade, and a nice photo portrait to hang on the sitting room wall. Welcome back to all the lost kayakers, some of whom have had medical adventures, but are now paddling, well done! Bob and Harry's beautiful photos are here.
Mooney Mooney Creek/Hawkesbury River - 7 February 2017
A cloudy, rainy, warm and muggy morning at the rest area by the M1 at Mooney this morning, just 22 kayakers.The whole parking area was dominated by a huge crane lifting barges off giant trucks and into the water, where we usually launch. While providing entertainment, the crane project made us choose a much worse rocky muddy inlet over a rocky wall.
We don't let these things stop us, so we launched there (see the photos) and split into two groups - those who did, and those who didn't (want to go up Mooney Mooney). The non-goers chose instead to go up the Hawkesbury to the wreck of the Parramatta. They took Harry as their photographer, and the Mooney Crew had Bob to record our journey.
I can't say anything about the north-goers (Parramatta), as I went with the southern team, under the road bridges, turn left and up the Mooney Mooney Creek. There is an island just there called Spectacle Island, which you can paddle around if you have a spare ten minutes. With plenty of water under our keels, we paddled upstream, admiring the crazy houses perched on the tops of cliffs, and the various means they had of navigating the gap between the houses and the creek fifty metres below them. Ladders, pathways, elevators...
We kept paddling, after the civilisation ended we admired the beautiful State forest and the sandstone etchings. I thought we were still beside the island, and were contemplating going right around, so I was keen to do it. The others stopped and went back, and I thought, what are they doing! and kept going. Mile after mile till I finally realised this must be the Creek, and I was all alone. It was 11.20 and I still had all the way back, into a headwind, to go. The tide had gone out in the meantime and there was mud everywhere in the creek. I got back at 20 past noon, most people had gone home, sick of waiting or couldn't care less, but John D was waiting for me and helped me drag my kayak over the rocks and back to base. They had saved a little bit of food for me, but best of all was a hot cup of coffee, thanks guys!
A memorable day of kayaking at the Hawkesbury!
Harry's and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 31 January 2017 - Wyong River at Tacoma
A good turn-up, despite the hot weather, 29 kayakers, plus a few more for morning tea. NW breeze 15-29 knots, if you copped it in the shelter of the river valley. Seabreeze graphs are no longer available, due to re-formatting of their website, can't copy them.
Dead on 0900 we set off to the west, forgoing the delights of the lake on such a windy day. Some people paddled as far as the bridge, some apparently went to the weir, good for them (17km), and some just went to Charlton Island, 2km shy of the bridge, like me and Doug. Sensible on such a hot day, don't you think?
It was very nice paddling back, with a tail-wind, at times (the river is very winding along here), and eventually we all got back, where we enjoyed a nourishing and delicious m/t, with many yummy treats, like Claire's profiterôles. Photos by Harry and Bob are here.
This was the temperature at home (the inside one is with the air-con on) a bit later.
|Tuesday 24 January 2017 - Newcastle Waterfront|
Belated report, very hot day, only 13 contenders made their way north to Throsby Creek. Then the wind came up, so I'm glad I stayed in bed. No photos.
Tuesday 17 January 2017 - Saltwater Creek - 17 January 2017
A new venue for us today, the Saltwater Creek Reserve Boat Ramp at Long Jetty, on the cusp of Killarney Vale. All facilities, including a bike path right through the middle, lucky there weren't many cyclists passing, and plenty of parking, well picked Doug! Forty-two (42) kayakers signed on (I wrote their names in my attendance book), more than we've had for a long time, well done youse!
Just a concrete boat ramp, with lots of boaties competing for the space, and some mud at the edges. Horrible muddy bottom smelling like sewage, but clear when we got back. With a NE breeze starting at 5 knots and rising to 10 by the time we came back, all it did was refresh us, in the 32°C heat.
Many paddlers headed straight to Berkeley Vale, Frank and Debbie even went up to Ourimbah Creek, but a select group navigated up Tumbi Creek, a kilometer of pleasant winding waterway with plenty to see and people to talk to. In the past with higher water levels and sit-on kayaks, we have passed under the Wyong Road bridge, but not this time, with those conditions not present. When we came out we headed straight back to Salzwasser, but we couldn't see it. Just had to keep paddling in the general direction till we recognised something. The other crew were heading back at the same time so we all met at the boat ramp. A visitor (second time) Allan, couldn't get out of his kayak or stand up in the mud so that provided some entertainment for the spectators.
A few more hangers-on came to m/t, luckily we had 2 big tables to spread out on, so we dined in style. Bob took some photos and they are here. Thanks everyone for coming - we looked like a big professional kayaking group, instead of a bunch of unorganised pensioners (apologies to those still working).
Tuesday 10 January 2017 - Cams Wharf
Very warm this morning, otherwise perfect for kayaking (see Seabreeze Graph below). About 27 paddlers fronted at Cams Wharf, so keen to get started we were in the water by 8.45am. A new guy, Allan Carpntr, came with Nikki, but his kayak was very tippy, and chucked him out straight away, then he gave up.
We paddled north towards Swansea, and, amazingly, that's where most of us finished up! Not me, I realised we had to paddle back again, so I turned back near the caravan park while the others kept going right to the channel, good on you guys, clocking up about 14km.
It was so warm we all had a little dip in the lake before we beached near the boat-ramp at Cammy. A very pleasant thing to do, and that's why we're all here! Doug had all the paraphernalia for m/t, and everyone else brought stuff to eat, so we ate and chatted till we dropped from exhaustion. Thanks everyone for coming, especially Kee, who came late and then kept out of everyone's way, which is the decent thing to do. Photos from our two photographers are here. More photos and stuff on our FaceBook page here.
Tuesday 3 January 2017 - Kincumber
See Knut's report on FaceBook here.
Tuesday 27 December 2016 - Wyong River Old Milk Factory
Our plan of picking this day as one where we wouldn't get many paddlers didn't work, as 25 kayakers turned up, albeit one without a kayak (Jan). The plan for getting everyone to park in the top carpark also didn't work as I was the only one to park there, fully 40 metres away. Still, nobody objected to 25 grumpy old people parking their cars everywhere. A lovely sunny day, warm and perfect.
The tail-enders pushed off at 0900, with the front-runners gone long before the whistle. Rolf arrived sometime later, but he had the sense to work out which way we went. The first hurdle wasn't really a barrier, but some coy kayakers wanted to finish their paddle then. We pushed on to a better obstacle, a couple of big logs right over the river, where we de-boated and carried our craft across the sand to the next stretch of beautiful river water.
Further up, after nearly an hour on the water, another big logjam presented itself. By the time I got there several intrepid paddlers had already gone over - Doug, Debbie... The rest of us headed back at that stage, as we heard our mummy calling us for morning tea.
A nice paddle in our favorite wild waterway, from a picturesque venue. Thanks everyone for coming, it's such a good paddle there. Doug and I and the original kayakers have been paddling there for eight years. Knut has some nice photos, and they are here.
|Tuesday 20 December 2016 - Myunah Bay, Lake Macquarie|
Twenty-four kayakers agreed today was a perfect paddling day - sunny, a slight breeze, warm... Chris Fairman also attended, but after checking all our safety equipment, he went off to work.
We didn't go to the YSR camp nearby, mostly we headed straight out towards Pulbar Island, some missed it by miles, others went around it, I went around the NW corner, then back. There was a bit of a chop built up from the NW, which made a good resistance to brace ourselves against, and a tailwind to bring us back. Well done to those who went right around, 13.5km, and less for the rest of us, but still a good paddle.
Joe was involved in an accident at the entrance to the carpark - he was making his right-turn, as you must, when some inattentive drivers crashed into each other, wrecking some nice cars. Joe was somewhat shocked by this, especially when the poor woman crashee blamed him for the accident. Put him right off his day out paddling!
I forgot to check whether Keith Vallard came back from his late circumnavigation of the island, hope so. Left my record book at the morning tea, sorry Doug. New lady Jan had a nice day on the water, welcome to our little group! Our usual photographers weren't present, but Knut has some nice photos on our FB page here.
Tuesday 13 December 2016 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
For a non-club of unrelated friends, we are so organised! A beautiful sunny day on the creek, with a paddle up to the old bridge/weir.
The previous party had left by 10.30, so we started lunch earlier than expected. Sue had organised a beautiful lunch, with cold meat and salads, followed by trifle and pavlova. With fruity punch to drink - delicious! Fifty-two people attended, including partrners not usually seen so welcome to everyone, so lovely to see all your happy faces. Everybody got a lucky door prize, no tears at this party!
We are so lucky to have Sue and Doug looking after us, thank you so much S&D! Hoping to see some photos from Bob later. Got some from John Stone so far. Photos by Bob and John are here.
Tuesday 6 December 2016 - Gosford/Narara Creek
A nice quiet morning, cloudy, no breeze, tide out and 17 kayakers present. We paddled around the sailing club jetty to have a look at the new inflatable water-park (I wonder what pressure they have in them), then across The Broad Water, past Iguana Joe's, now called something else, under the bridge and into the wonderful world of shallow water, sand-bars and mangroves. My shoulders were hurting, so I turned around past the pipes, while the others kept going for miles. I went back to Brissy Water and paddled down towards Tascott.
Eventually we all got back to our launch venue and the rest is history.
Bob's photos are here. The photos from the last four weeks will arrive in due course. Thanks for your patients.
Tuesday 8 November 2016 - Rathmines
Warm start this morning with temperatures rising quickly to 35°C, but cooling with a change later at noon. See the Seabreeze® graph below for the breeze. About 25 kayakers, and a few supporters later. Ian had a quiet day as he forgot to bring his paddle. Unfortunately a couple of us saw the venue as Styles Point, which it was before I changed it about an hour later, but by then it was too late. So Nikki and Wayne had to paddle down to find us after they launched.
We launched in Catalina Bay and paddled north around the War Memorial and Styles Point into Killaben Bay, sticking to the shore till we found Stockyard Creek which went for miles upstream before we got sick of it. The water was quite choppy in the stiff breeze (not in the creek), which gave us a tailwind to come back by. About 10km apparently, except for Debbie and Frank who criss-crossed the whole lake to add extra distance.
We finished off as usual with a lovely morning tea, thanks everyone for coming. Bob's and Harry's photos are here.
While we're away in NZ you will need to go to our FaceBook page to see reports and photos. If you haven't joined FB yet, now is the time to do it. It's easy! Then you can click on the link above to see the latest news of our Kayaking Klub.
All the missing photos from October are now available. Click Photo Albums here.
Tuesday 1 November 2016 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
Lori's Report - Some of the punters, oops I mean kayakers, must have had a better offer today, as it seemed a smaller rollout then other days on the water. Or maybe just everyone was already paddling by 8.50 am when I arrived! However, we missed Danny as he was getting his car serviced. I did later count over 25 people though at our scrumptious morning tea. [Doug said there were 27 kayakers]
Although it seemed windy, the kayakers paddled out Ourimbah Creek towards the lake, where it turned out a beautiful morning indeed. Calm conditions with glassy waters as a few ventured towards the middle of the lake, while others hugged Chittaway Point heading north. The most ambitious kayakers made it all the way to the ruins of the old Tuggerah wharf, about 10-11 kilometres kayaking.
Clear waters, black swans flapping with their feet running across the waters before they were actually airborne, and cormorants doing a yoga balancing act checking us out as we paddled underneath- what more can we ask for other than a winning horse. Either way, I think we definitely backed a winner heading out to Sunshine Park at Chittaway Bay today!
We didn't have Clair to organise a sweep, but kayakers were seen in all manner of Melbourne Cup hats and even a neon tie at morning tea. A framed picture was given to Alan for his special birthday, and a great spread once again organised by Sue - thanks again to Ms Tucker for all her superb efforts in feeding and hydrating us! Hope the NZ bikers miss us and have a safe trip, while we continue to enjoy the scenic central coast of NSW while they are away.
PS Photos are here.
Tuesday 25 October 2016 - Sunshine, Lake Macquarie
Well, look at this! I'm back!
Meanwhile, in sunny Sunshine L/M, 25 kayakers fronted for a tough day on the water. Doug and a few others were up at the Nepean River, Penrith, but I had the coffee stuff, so we were laughing!
We (I) decided we'd go north for a change, but it doesn't matter which way you go, north, south or east, it's still heavenly, weather permitting. So, up past the little villages and bays, in excellent paddling conditions, till we finally came to the top of the peninsular, which I recognised as Shingle Splitters Point, a little paradise.
Some more energetic kayakers kept going to the opposite shore, towards Dora Creek I think, for extra (nautical) mileage. After a suitable rest (we all disembarked) we climbed aboard again and headed back to Sunshine Reserve boat ramp, cutting all the bays out and just touching the headlands. Got back in dribs and drabs after a paddle of 11 to 16km. There was a slight NE breeze, which helped us coming back, and stirred up the surface.
After a morning tea as good as ever, we packed up and tried to find our way back out of there. Thanks for coming along you guys, and girls, a perfect paddling morning!
|Tuesday 18 October 2016 - Summerland Point|
For those of you who thought we had become a “Secret Society”, no, it’s just that Danny’s computer wasn’t playing the game, so we have been off the air for a while. Now, Tuesday started out a perfect morning, warm without a cloud in the sky, perfect, until we arrived at Summerland Point that is. The wind was blowing straight across the lake and it was cold. Undaunted, some/most of us decided it was worth the effort, so we headed south and once around the bend, there was no wind and just about everyone was taking off their jackets.
Without the wind it was really quite hot. Once we entered the creek there was no wind at all, very pleasant in deed. Coming back it was choppy and windy, as expected and those of us that had stayed dry, got wet trying to get out of our boats, as the wind was even stronger and the waves decided to break on the side of the kayaks – nice! Could have done without that. We had lots of visitors for morning tea, from Canada and their Central Coast hosts. Welcome, we hope you enjoyed your morning on the banks of beautiful Lake Macquarie. I believe some of our visitors, the ones that didn’t paddle, actually had photos taken sitting in the kayaks, on the shore. There was a “cast of thousands” today. We had 32, plus the visitors, so we would have been up around the 50 in total, consequently morning tea was huge.
Next week’s paddle is at Sunshine – the suburb, not the park.
FOUND:- Someone left their trolley at Summerland Point on Tuesday. Claire noticed it and has taken it to her place. She isn’t paddling next week to bring it, so if it is yours, you can ring Claire on 0429 947 685 to make arrangements to pick it up, or not, as she said it is a very nice trolley and she could give it a good home. Sue
Tuesday 27 September 2016 - Woy Woy
Cool and cloudy day with a stiff NW breeze, about 30 kayakers and supporters attended Brick Wharf Road, Woy Woy. I forgot to take the roll or count everyone, been a bit distracted lately.
The breeze was worst in Woy Woy Channel, but surprisingly quieter in Woy Woy Bay, as this is more protected from the NW direction. We paddled under the triple bridge into Parks Bay, home of the famous Parks Bay Yacht Club (a rundown shed with a big sign on it).
Then into Woy Woy Bay and up into Waterfall Bay, with plenty of water to paddle in, it being high tide at that time. The water had dropped 30 or 40cm by the time we got back. Not much water coming down the falls, but at least you could see it and hear it. After a short rest next to the falls, most of us paddled around the opposite headland into the other arm of Woy Woy Bay, and up the the charming little creek for some skirmishing.
Then it was full steam home with a good tailwind. After washing and packing up our kayaks we relaxed and chatted around the campfire while we shared some billy tea. Another excellent morning on the water, thanks everyone who could make it. Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 20 September 2016 - Swansea
The morning had all our hopes high, sunny and warm, that is until we arrived at Swansea and there was a very cold breeze coming straight across the bay to where we were gathered, which took us all by surprise.
Twenty-four paddlers today, including Ray’s grandkids visiting from Qld, Jade and Diesel. Welcome kids. We all then donned our wind jackets and hit the water. With a little tuition for Jade and Diesel, we headed off in the incoming tide, which meant a little more work than usual. Once on the water, it wasn’t very long before all the jackets were removed and the water was surprisingly flat, so all good all round.
We paddled from Coon Island Point across the channel, around Swan Bay past Marks Point to Village Bay and Cave Point. We then paddled on to Cold Tea Creek where we turned to return across the bay on the outside of Pelican and Spectacle Islands, where some paddlers found the sandbars an inconvenience.
Swansea is the most beautiful clean waterway to show visitors from Qld. Morning tea was well appreciated after crossing the bay against the tide. By morning tea, the wind had gone, the sun had stayed and it was very pleasant dining on the shore of Lake Macquarie. 9.5km paddled today. Click here for Bob's photos.
Next week – Woy Woy Lions Park, Brickwharf Road Woy Woy.
|Myall Classic Sat 17 Sept 2016|
It was that time of year again and Toukley Kayakers were well represented this year with 5 paddlers taking part. It was a picture perfect day, not too hot, not too cold with lots of sunshine and a slight breeze. We set up “camp” again among the “big boys”, where we feel every part of the event.
This year we had Mark and Fred in their double for the 27kms; Rolf, Ray K; and Bob C in singles in the 12km. The land crew/support team consisted of Colin, Keith A, Wendell, Doug and Sue.
Mark and Fred finished in 3hrs 12 min placing 4th
Rolf finished in 1hr 28min placing 5th
Ray K finished in 1hr 37min placing 9th
Bob C finished in 1hr 43min placing 10th
Andrew Kucyper (paddling for Brisbane Water) was also in the 27km finishing in 3hrs 08min placing 13th and John Wood (paddling for Central Coast) in the 12km finishing in 1hr 30 min placing 6th.
What a fantastic effort all of you. You all did Toukley Kayakers proud. You never know, next year we might be able to entice a few more paddlers to take part. A great day out with good results.
Tuesday 13 September 2016 - Picnic Point, The Entrance
A beautiful spring morning, but just the 20 kayakers today. Another gaggle of non-paddlers also attended, to say high, or have a cuppa. Cloudy, 20°C and a slight southerly breeze (see Seabreeze© graph below), but all the water flowing out to sea, at one knot.
The channel in which we launch was flowing towards the lagoon, so that's where we headed. Under the bridge, but at that stage we started to split up, and never got back together, till morning tea. A few of us paddled right down to the ocean, as it looked quite benign, going right to the sandbar. Keith Valour pushed on into the big waves, but eventually came unstuck and capsized. I don't know how he managed to get ashore and empty his kayak, but he did.
We all, in a long drawn-out line, paddled back under the bridge, near the caravan park, and up the channel on the east side (right-hand side, Di) all the way up past all the little islands and eventually we turned left and out into the middle of the lake. There were issues with not enough depth, as there is everywhere on this lake now, with Ralph getting stuck by not keeping to starboard, necessitating a walk in the mud.
By this time there were kayaks everywhere, all heading across to Pelican Island, with some cutting the corner and paddling east back along the north side (sorry, Di) of the muddy little deposit, and most of us completing the loop around Pello and continuing towards Long Jetty. More kayaks appeared out of the gloom of my eyesight from Tumbi way, but we all finally got into the channel to Picnic Point (PP) and cruised along there till we got back to our start point, with between 7 and 11 kms accounted for. Except Keith, who didn't get the memo, and came straight across to PP from Pello, in the shallow and pelican-infested sandbars, but he found a hole in the barrier and made it back, to our relief.
By this time the breeze had dropped (see the turbulence between 10.00 and 11.30am on the graph?) and we enjoyed our m/t in the park with all our mates. Thanks for coming those boys and girls! Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 6 September 2016 - Patonga
Perfect conditions today at Patonga Creek, everything good! Twenty-five paddlers made the long trip south to this secluded wonderland, well worth the trip.
With the tide flowing in we headed upstream, past all the beautiful nature stuff, past the pesky oyster leases, with their hidden hazards, the sand-bars (I saw at least one kayakers walking his boat in the middle of the stream), till we got to the top. There we found the tide was not big enough nor early enough for us to safely navigate all the way to whatever is there. Rolf made a brave attempt, wading through knee-deep mud in his quest to go the furthest.
The highlight of the morning was seeing Harry chasing a sea eagle down the creek, then back up, to get a shot of it eating the big fish he was carrying. Should be in the photos today. Paddle all the way back (we need a creek where you don't have to backtrack to get back to were you started, like a circular creek).
Back at the start, most of us continued on to the bar to try our luck, looking for some excitement. We paddled over the bar into Broken Bay, with all that ocean and waves, but it wasn't challenging really, still good fun! Morning tea was held in Meroo Street, so, handy to our cars, not around at the beach fortifications. A wonderful day on the water, thanks everyone for coming, and bringing nice offerings for morning tea. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 30 August 2016 - Tuggerah Lake (Gorokan Fish Co-op)
Stunning weather conditions this morning - 18°C, no breeze, sunny, glassy water on the lakes... Twenty-eight kayakers fronted up, including 3 newbies, viz Milan and Nancy, and Kate. Welcome y'all, especially if you brought freshly-baked banana cake.
As per the plan, we paddled out under the Toukley Bridge and into Wallarah Bay, past Stan's house (not home) and the eponymous club, across said bay to Pipeclay Point. I noticed that there is a lot of very interesting rocks on that point, all different colours, possibly giving the name pipeclay. Around the point, being careful to avoid getting hung up on the very shallow rocky ground there, past Barry's place (he came out to wave at us) and past Craigie Park. It looked quite spectacular with all the kayaks and the pristine water. Hope someone got a photo of it.
It's a bit hard identifying all the rocky outcrops along that shore. We were heading to Rocky Point, but not sure if all of us got that far. Anyway, when we had had enough paddling south we headed back towards the middle of the beautiful Tuggerah Lake and set our sights on the bridge. It's a big difference paddling along in and out of the interesting bays and coves, where you don't notice the distance, and being in the middle of the lake with the bridge so far away you can't even see it. It seemed to take ages to paddle back, but it was divine anyway, given the perfect conditions.
Thanks everyone for bringing such nice stuff for m/t, some of you have gone to a lot of trouble. Well done!
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 23 August 2016 - Budgewoi Lake|
As you can see from the photo, a lovely sunny morning, about 14°C, with a slight breeze from somewhere (see Seabreeze® graph). Twenty-five kayakers eventually turned up at MacKenzie Park, Budgewoi, including the late contingent, with a plan to paddle on Budgewoi Lake, after travelling down the canal and under the road bridge.
The water was choppier than expected, with a stiff in-face aspect to it. Most of us paddled towards the hot water outlet at San Remo, and a couple went their own way. Fried headed across to Charmhaven and returned with an umbrella as a spinnaker. I followed Fried across the lake, but never got close enough to see who it was, or that it was even a kayaker. I then turned around and headed back to Budgewoi, while Fried sailed back across the lake.
Mark Os and Fred started at The North Entrance, with a round trip of 27km, arriving back at Mac Park in Mark's tiny car in time for some sausage sangers and chicken kebabs. Those of us who paddled to San Remo did about 11km. Once we got back we wondered what happened to the coldness, but we still had our jackets on in the shade of the barbecue.
A very pleasant day out in the open air with some good exercise and mateship thrown in. Thanks for coming!
PS Bob and Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 16 August 2016 - Summerland Point, Frying Pan Bay
Another glorious winter's morning, warming to an amazing 22°C. Twenty-nine kayakers took to the water, and another half a dozen visitors came to m/t.
Once we left Frying Pan Bay we split up somewhat, with a few heading over to Fishery Point, Sunshine, then up to Casuarina Point, after having a quiet cruise through Hampsons Bay, before joining the others on the point. Another contingent headed straight up the east side by the Wolstoncroft peninsula to the point, and five of them paddled right around Pulbar Island, like Andrew and Rolf. Those who went around the island did 14km, while the Wolly Point subscribers did ten and the Sunshine visitors paddled about eleven kilometres. So well done all of us.
Conditions were sublime with glassy surface and no breeze, such a pleasure to be out on the beautiful lake today. We eventually cruised back to Summers and enjoyed a lovely m/t with all our buddies. Lovely to see Sabina with her Mum Helga, Jill, Debbie, John Stone and Col for starters, plus all the kayakers. What a wonderful non-club!
Bob's photos are here.
|Thursday 11 August 2016 - Kayak for sale|
A 4-man kayak is for sale on our Club notices page here. Also Knut's recipe of last Tuesday's delight is here.
Tuesday 9 August 2016 - Morisset Hospital
An absolutely beautiful winter's morning saw 22 kayakers find their way to Eucalyptus Drive, Morisset, on the foreshore to the fabulous Lake Macquarie.
Bob and Harry were both there so there should be some great photos later. A new guy, Tom, is welcomed to our group. We paddled out onto the glass-surfaced lake towards Wyee Point and kept generally to the western shore. For those who don't know their cardinal points I'm sorry. I followed a flotilla into a little bay on the right, but it was very shallow, and we nearly got stuck in the mud. Paddling out of there we went around Wyee Point Point and down the very pleasant coast.
Eventually some of us found a little creek, Cobra Creek, just before the retirement villages. It looks hopeless, but you could get into it and travel about 400 meters towards Government Road bridge, which was as far as we could go. Next problem was turning my long kayak around in the little creek, but eventually I managed to find a spot that was ten centimetres wider than the length of my Prijon. There were a few little obstacles to make the creek interesting, but nothing too hard.
Finally we had had enough and headed back to base where Sue had set up a very pleasant table on which we placed all our offerings. Nice sangers, Sue, and thanks to you and Dougal for the hot water and makings. We are very lucky to have you in our group. Thanks everyone for coming and sharing such a gorgeous day on the water.
PS Harry and Bob's photos are here.
Tuesday 2 August 2016 - Cockle Creek, Speers Point
A perfect start to this morning's paddle - no wind, no rain, not too cool... Sevnteen kayakers fronted for today's outing in the limpid waters of Cockle Creek, and Cockle Bay, into which the creek flows.
We all headed up the creek, but I soon tired of featureless views and returned to the bay, where I found Bede, happily pottering around the Five Islands on his little Hobie. From there I paddled down the Booragul shore to Marmong Point, then back across the bay to Speers Point Park, where we started. I got back about 10.20am, and had to wait another hour before the main flotilla returned from their adventures up to the weir, a round trip of over 14km. They were a tired-out group of pensioners that's for sure.
By then the wind had picked up somewhat and turned cold, about 17°C, so we had to dress up for morning tea. See the Seabreeze® graph below for the proof. No photographers were present today, so no pictures, except for the one above found in the archives from last year. Pretty close to spot-on.
Thanks for coming, and bringing your nice food, including Sue's famous samwidges.
|Trevor's Ocky sit-on for sale|
Click here for details.
|Two small kayaks for sale|
See Rob n Robyn's ad on the Club Notices page. Click here.
|Invitation to join Linda and friends on a kayaking holiday in Indonesia. See Club Notices page.|
Tuesday 26 July 2016 - Vales Point (Manno)
A chilly but fine morning, normal for this time of year, with a steady 20 knot NWesterly breeze. About 23 kayakers fronted, as well as a few non-paddlers for morning tea, thanks for the ham and cheese toasties Judy.
It was a very pleasant and easy paddle down to the pipes under Rutleys Road, with the strong tail wind. Not looking forward to the trip back! Under the pipes without any problems, and plough on up Wyee Creek to the Enchanted Forest, where we had a rest, and Carol took some photos with her phone. Hope they come out alright. A few kayakers headed further up the creek, but most of us headed back towards Rutleys Rd, thinking of the struggle ahead of us going across Wyee Bay against the wind. The kickers-on soon re-joined us for the paddle across Mannering Bay to the other pipes at Mannering Inlet. These are good pipes, if you pick the right ones, up the right-hand end, big fat pipes in which I can sit up straight in my kayak and still not hit my head on the top.
Into Wyee Bay again for the paddle up to Vales Point, but it was not as bad as we had feared, a bit choppy, but quite manageable. The Seabreeze© Graph below suggests a stiffer wind than we got, but I reckon it was about 12 knots, with white caps just forming.
We all got back OK and after packing up our stuff we enjoyed a lovely morning tea, with lots of delicious tucker and hot drinks.
Thanks for coming with us you fellas, lovely to see you again. Cheers
Wallarah Creek, San Remo - 19 July 2016
Lovely little paddle today, so much more relaxing than last week's drama. About 25 paddlers, and a few visitors for m/t, conditions cloudy, warm, no breeze...
Head upstream to the fork, left up Wallarah Creek and keep on going as far as we can. Pretty soon come to a huge obstacle, a tree down completely covering the creek. Not being easily deterred we smashed our way through the sticks and twigs and continued to the next obstacle, a low log. Under that one and onwards, overcoming all till we hit a big log low on the water, too low, too high and too wide, so we turned around there and paddled back to San Remo for an 8km trip. A few of us didn't go all the way, but we all had a good time, eh!
Nikki didn't quite get under the low log on the way back, and got chucked in for her trouble (not by us but by the log). Nice pic of her all wet in the album.
Lovely to catch up with everyone, some of whom have been AWOL for a while. Thanks for coming. Thanks Sue and Doug for organising the hot drinks, and those who brung stuff to eat.
PS Harry's photos are here.
Tuesday 12 July 2016 - Gosford/Erina Creek
What an amazing morning! Temperature at 0630 was 17°, so it seemed like a perfect day. I didn't even take a jacket to the Gosford venue. Wind a pleasant 10 knots NW. The forecast big wind not due till after noon, so off we went down to Point Frederick and into Caroline Bay and Erina Creek. Twenty kayakers were present, namely me, Doug, Bede, Knut, new girl Leanne, Ray, Bob C, Keith A, Ian Moonie, Brian, Nikki, Carol, Judy and Andy, Barry Sql, Andrew, Alan and Sandra, Joe X and Keith V.
So down to Erina Creek, which I went only partly up then turned around knowing there was a slight headwind to come back into, Bede and Leanne in their little sit-ons just went into Caroline Bay (around the corner from Pt Fred), while a few went right up the creek. Only problem was, the forecast wind arrived about 3 hours early, around 10 o'clock blowing at 25 to 35 knots NW. See Seabreeze© graph below, good for Gosford too. I could barely make way across Caroline Bay, Bob headed across the wind, bad move, as he doesn't have a rudder. If you didn't have a rudder today you were in trouble.
Bede and Leanne made it back to Pt Fred, but Bede fell off his kayak before reaching the shore, leaving the new girl to stand alone on the rocky shore while Bede, hanging onto his little kayak, drifted ahead of the howling wind right across towards Rocky Point/Green Point. Joe also fell out of his craft, and Bob fell in while trying to rescue Joe, but amazingly swam his boat back to the point where he collapsed, but didn't require any treatment. Carol called the police and they sent a car and an ambulance, and the marine rescue boat.
Joe was found clinging to the front of Knut's kayak, like a bow ornament, till he too collapsed on the rugged shore, freezing cold, then stripped to his togs, shivering and groaning. The police came, and the nice police lady gave Joe her jacket, and a couple of guys, whom I took to be rescue personnel, but were in fact NBN technicians who happened to be nearby, also gave Joe a jacket. The Marine Rescue boat found Bede and his kayak, and Joe's kayak, and brought them all back to the sailing club. The ambulance took Bede and Joe to the hospital, where they still are as I write this. Bede is well, but Joe has a crook gut and is getting X-rays.
Leanne walked back to the sailing club and got her car, and Sue Tucker took her car and trailer down to the point to bring back all the kayaks and paddlers. A few of us tuff guys paddled back into the 35 knot wind, with very choppy waves, to the start. I could hardly make any headway at times, it was very hard, but my pacemaker kept me going.
A few friends, including Mark O on his new motorbike, turned up to give us support. Thanks to everyone who helped in this traumatic time. The best laid plans of mice and men, eh!
PS, Keith Vallard took some photos for us, and they are here.
Tuesday 5 July 2016 - Ourimbah Creek, Chittaway Point
It rained during the night and looked pretty bleak at 0800, but as per our rules, 12 of us turned up at Sunshine Park, Chittaway Point, with our kayaks. After a stern lecture we got them off our cars and into the water. Nikki already had hers in the creek, no stopping her!
A fine rain fell on us for a while, but soon cleared into a beautiful sunny day. No breeze was detected in the creek valley. We had Ray's two grandsons with us, in Doug's double sit-on, and they had a ball. Bare feet on the concrete - no worries! See the photos.
We all headed off upstream, but a couple didn't go over the weir and paddled down to the lake, which they said was beautiful. The rain had stopped completely by the time we reached the weir. Everybody found a way over the weir, either over the rocks, or up the concrete wall. We then paddled another 1500 meters into the bush before turning around, then negotiating the weir again.
We soon got back to Sunshine Park where Doug was waiting to help us get disembarked, and to ply us with hot drinks. Col and Fred were there, as well as Jill and Trevor, all warm and dry.
Rolf discovered he had lost his keys which were on a string around his neck. As you will see from the photos, he still had them at the weir coming back, so who knows what happened to them. I had to give him and his kayak a lift back home, to Buff Point, and Jill and Trev were going to take him back to his car later, after he got the locksmith to open his house. Bummer!
A pleasant if light morning tea was served, thanks everyone, rounding off a beaut morning on the creek, shame you other guys didn't give it a try. I know the boys are waiting for these photos, so I'll get on with it. They are here.
Tuesday 28 June 2016 - Tacoma, Wyong River
A bit warmer than the last few days, at 10°C. Twenty-six paddlers and a few hangers-on congregated at the grass between the Wyong River and Wolseley Road, where the horses swim. Hope you knew where that was. Welcome to new guy Nick!
Some kayakers launched from the grass, otherwise there was the concrete boat ramp. Most paddlers headed upstream towards the Wyong bridge, and further in some cases to Porters Creek, or even the Old Milk Factory weir. Rolf and I cruised down to the lake, Tuggerah, as it looked so inviting from the river, and was fairly close. Once the cold wind hit us on the open water, we had a re-think and turned upstream, Rolf going all the way to the weir, and me just circumnavigating Charlton Island and returning to the horse baths, still about an hour 45. On his way Rolf found a small pigeon in the water, being threatened by some seagulls, so he rescued it. He's a good guy!
When we arrived I remember Jill saying how cloudy it was, but it soon cleared into a sunny chilly day, with a breeze (see Seabreeze® graph below). In case you're wondering why I use the Seabreeze Nobbys graph, and not the Norah Head version, it's because of where the weather station is at NH, sheltered from the westerly breeze, so useless.
I didn't see most people during the paddle so I don't have any interesting stories. The photos by Harry and Bob are good, though, and you can form your own story from them. See the photos of the day here. Thanks for coming everyone.
|Tuesday 21 June 2016 - Patonga|
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 – Patonga Creek, Patonga
Just about 10 eager kayakers fronted for a paddle at Patonga today. It was probably the weather forecast, which kept most the Toukley Kayakers away.
On site we encountered a light wind only. No waves, no ripples, no whitecaps, no heavy headwind, no rain – only the best (if somewhat cool) kayaking condition. And the tide was high.
Very easy kayak up the creek and over the oyster leases into the very narrow part of the creek, where a fallen tree eventually stopped our progress (no one had thought of bringing a chainsaw, of course).
On our return, about halfway back, some paddlers came to the help of a “stranded” barefooted young man asking for directions. He appeared from the bush and was clearly disoriented. How he got to where he was in the first place, no one knows. He claimed to have walked from Patonga and had lost direction... Anyway the Police were contacted and they were sending someone to collect him.
Doug and Sue were waiting for us with coffee and morning tea and we all enjoyed our usual fine spread.
Next week’s kayak venue is in Tacoma, “where the horses swim” on Wolseley Ave, about halfway between the Fish Co-Op and Tacoma Oval and just past the boat ramp there.
Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 14 June 2016 - Crangan Bay Gwandalan|
Forty kayakers fronted for today's paddle, great response everyone! Plus half a dozen non-paddlers, like me, walking wounded.
Arthur and Liz were there, after a long absence. Liz fell and hit her head in Iceland last year, I think, and broke her neck (C6, C7). She is now a partial quadriplegic, in a chair, but has prospects of further recovery. Still smiling and cheery, good on you, Liz!
Conditions were cool to start, but by 1100 it had warmed nicely, sunny, not much NW breeze. That's all I can tell you as I didn't paddle (got a note from my mum). Sue and Doug will dream up a report and we should have it soon. Harry's and Bob's photos are here. Cheers, Danny
So, apparently the memo didn’t go out to advise it is winter. Our numbers always drop off in winter, but today we had 40 paddlers! Well done all of you. What a fantastic roll up! We also had some special visitors, Liz and Arthur Love and Liz’s sister, Merrilyn. How wonderful to see Liz finally home from hospital and out and about. Liz has made amazing progress given her initial prognosis and is continuing to very gradually improve, we all wish her well. Danny also paid us a visit in time for morning tea. With the 40 paddlers and 6 “land crew” we must have had a “winter” record. I’ll have to reassess the hot water for next week, with so many turning out today, we drank the air pots dry. Any complaints to be in writing to the Committee, 3 weeks in advance please. The majority of the group paddled toward Point Wolstoncroft and return although a few decided to paddle further on and around Pulbar Island. A smaller group decided to stick to the shoreline and paddle to the east and the north. The weather was just perfect, with a tail breeze on the way back. Morning tea was a very social affair which seemed to be enjoyed by everyone in the warm winter sun. The group paddled between 10km and 16.5kms. Next week – Patonga Creek.
Doug and Sue
|Tuesday 7 June 2016 - Blackalls Park|
What a difference a day makes! After the dreadful weather we endured all weekend, it was such a wonderful surprise to arrive at Blackalls Park with clear sunny skies and not overly cold. Twenty-two paddlers and a couple of land lovers, ie Colin and John Stone. With the wind coming from the NW, we paddled down Muddy Creek and under the first road bridge in beautiful paddling conditions, no wind and the warmth of the sun. We reached the next couple of bridges but with the lake up after the weekend’s rain and high tides, we couldn’t fit under, so we turned around and headed to Stony Creek.
When we hit the open lake it was a bit windy and the water was a bit choppy, but back into the bay and creek and no wind and flat water. As we headed down Stony creek we came across a huge colony of bats, literally thousands of them, hanging through the trees and some taking flight. Boy, were they noisy when an “unnamed” paddler decided to clap their hands really loudly. They didn’t take kindly to their sleep time being disturbed.
As we all arrived back for morning tea, Danny arrived with a “guest”, Col Fowler, to join us. Shirley and Frank were very generous and invited us all back to their place, just a few doors up from the launch spot, and had prepared all the tea, coffee, hot water etc and homemade scones, cream and jam, warm from the oven. Just look at us, being spoilt with Devonshire Teas in the luxury of Shirley and Frank’s home, out of the wind, which by now had increased, instead of standing around in the park exposed to the elements. Thank you so much Shirley and Frank for your hospitality. Paul’s wife Shirley arrived in time to join us for morning tea, but unfortunately, neither Paul nor Shirley could stay due to family commitments. It was also nice to see a familiar face after a long spell of absence, Mark. I hope we see you again soon.
Oh yes, the paddle, well, we all seemed to do a bit of our own thing today, with the distraction of the bats, some paddled on, some sat and watched, so between 8–10kms would be a reasonable guess.
As we didn’t supply the tea and coffee etc, Shirley and Frank very kindly did, we have sent “thank you & get well” flowers to Shirley and Frank, purchased with today’s tea and coffee donations.
Next week – Gwandalan
Sue and Doug
Bob's photos are here.
Have just completed a brief (and not smelly at all) video impression of the bat colony at Stony Creek, as encountered by some of us paddlers this morning. Please post on the web site for all to find and enjoy. Click here.
|Tuesday 31 May 2016 - San Remo, Wallarah Creek|
The forecast was for rain, but that didn’t deter us, as usual, or the other 24 paddlers that turned up. It didn’t rain, nor did it even threaten to and it was nowhere near as cold as Monday morning, so all in all a great start to the day.
Twenty-three kayakers paddled out into Budgewoi Lake where it was surprisingly calm, paddling around the shore to Toukley Bridge. A few took a break at the Co op before returning to Charmhaven. An uneventful paddle but very pleasant. Three more paddlers chose to paddle up Wallarah Creek. Not too sure how that paddle turned out, but Brian, as usual, returned with a load of rubbish.
Fred and Colin joined us for morning tea, as did Trevor and Jill. Fred and Colin are OK after their motor vehicle accident in SA on their way home from holidays, sadly not the same can be said for their car, caravan and kayaks.
Jill is powering on after her recent surgery and Trevor was in hospital yesterday having a “jump start”, hopefully they will both be back on the water soon. We all wish Danny a speedy recovery after his recent hospital stint where he received a “rewire” and “battery backup”. Take care Danny and we hope to see you back on the water and your bike soon.
11.3km was paddled today.
Next week’s paddle is at Blackalls Park.
PS Bob's photos are here.
|Tuesday 24 May 2016 - Avoca Lagoon|
A heavenly morning at Avoca Beach, cool to start, no breeze (see graph below). Twenty-one paddlers came, and a few more at m/t (Trevor and Jill and Carmel).
Into the limpid waters and around the whole lagoon, anti-clockwise, including up any creek we found, and under the road bridge and around that big lake. Viv was on her paddleboard, and pretty good she is too. Rolf had a go later on Viv's board, and made a good try of it, falling off only once. Pretty good effort, Rolf!
It was Knut's birthday today, so we had a lovely birthday cake which he himself cooked, and we ate most of it.
We had a new girl today, a friend of Gloria's I think, Alison, who, as a young person, had no trouble with anything. Welcome to our group, Alison!
This lagoon is such a lovely place, with miles of shoreline, and beautiful lakeside scenery, and a nice beach at our venue. Coming back we could see the sandy bank keeping all the water in the lagoon, with occasional huge plumes of spray flying over the horizon as the big waves crashed ashore. Surreal!
Thanks for coming you guys, and for bringing such nice stuff for m/t. Bob and Harry's photos are here.
|Tuesday 17 May 2016 - Gosford |
Still blowing a north-westerly at about 10 knots, sunny and warming up. About 27 kayakers turned up at Gosford sailing club for a morning on the water.
With no undue haste, we paddled across the Broad Water towards the railway bridge, and into Fagans Bay. There we found our cycling friend Roy Collins fishing in his kayak. Roy led us on a ride on Sunday from Cowan down to Crossland Reserve, and back out to Hornsby. Roy rode his bike from the bottom of the Berowra Creek Valley to the top without stopping. He is 79 years old. Well done, Roy!
Up Narara Creek we went, with the front runners making it to the end of the navigable section before returning, having covered over 15km. I didn't go half that far, turning around when I met Garry coming back the other way, so we then paddled out on to Brisbane Water and down to Point Claire, looking at the nice yachts there, before crossing the Water to Point Frederick, and back to the start.
There followed a delicious morning tea with a wide variety of yummy tucker. Thanks for coming everyone, a very enjoyable paddle!
Bob's photos are here.