|The annual 'Ode to the Flat Earth Sail'|
Our involvement was both as long term club members and participants and also as major sponsors for the tenth year running, bringing along our fleet of 14 demo kayaks as well as a big bunch of stuff. We also put on the now traditional Beer & Pizza (this year Beer & Fish) Party on the Friday evening which seems to set the weekend off on a well fed & well lubricated tone.
Rob & I ran informal mentoring-style training paddles out around the islands on the Saturday, a trip Rob repeated on the Sunday, whilst Sharon ran a heavily subscribed Sunday paddle across the bay, offering pearls as she went, as she does.
Huw Kingston came along on the Saturday night to tell the tall tale of his Mediter annee expedition, a near-circumnavigation of the Med by kayak, bike, foot, and eventually row boat, which began on Anzac Day at Gallipoli and finished on the 100th anniversary of Anzac, back at Anzac Cove. Can you even imagine how good it would be to go on an adventure like that....?!
My paddle was something of an unforgettable experience, for such a humble sea scootle. I had Stephen & Jenny down from Queensland who'd never paddled these waters, Christina, who this time last year hadn't even wanted to line up an island away yonder & paddle towards it, and Roy & Bronwyn, who are pretty seasoned, but have their own way of doing things.
|Christina and the first pos of pesky dolphins.|
|The remarkable Bronwyn|
|Rampaging Roy after painting the slot red|
|Jenny gets a yee-haa|
Around the Northern end the nor' easter had kicked up some fizzing clapotis or rebound, and as I turned to make sure everyone was dealing with it OK I saw Bronwyn busting a trail through the wave tops, looking very comfy. 'Maybe it's not that hard', I thought to myself, so I turned towards our island target in the distance, shut my eyes tight & paddled. Thirty seconds later, a few airswings and a late-exit-brace or two I opened them again to find I was side one to where I began & heading for the reef on the edge of the island. Not my thing, I reckon, this paddling rough water on the ocean without being able to see! Bloody hell.....
|My guys heading for Boondelbah, the Uluru of the East.|
|Bronwyn smokin' it....|
Highlights of the rest of the weekend included the short film festival the Pogies, which this year delivered enough entries to provide over an hour of grassroots, homemade paddling gratification. The winner was Lisa Bush, with a video featuring the single best bit of helmet cam filming I've ever seen (you can see it HERE). And of course, other than the scheduled events, the unscheduled ones provided the majority of the off-the-leash moments, and are what make this weekend such a beauty every year.
|Chris, Stephen, Mark, Jenny & Bronwyn. Roy asked where the photo was, I told him, over there to Starboard, and it was actually Port, so he's not here.|
|Sharon & Rob enjoying the Elvis tunes at the dinner, until they were controversially unplugged.|