Friday 6 March 2009

Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay, NSW
I'm on the last day of a week's holiday with my family in beautiful Nelson Bay on the NSW mid-North Coast. It's a sea kayakers' dream destination, with spectacular offshore islands within an hour's paddle, or the full blown adventure of Broughton Island about 15km from the heads of the bay. It's been a sometime venue for Rock & Roll &  I've spent time exploring the outside of the bay, but this sunny week has given me a chance to explore the inside from our camp ground at Soldiers Pt, around 10km inland. I've had a few races in my Rapier 20, including a bizarre 17km tidal paddle from the jetty in Soldiers Pt to the Nelson Bay Marina & back, which took an hour on the outward journey & 26 minutes on the way back on a windless day. If the Rapier isn't the dead fastest sea kayak to have touched the briny I'm a poor judge; I just wish I had a strong enough stroke to get it to it's hull speed, which feels limitless. Two months of weekly paddles & it no longer has an 'edge' about it either, and the improvement in my paddling in less challenging kayaks like my Aquanaut is noticeable. I can only recommend that sea kayakers looking to make a quantum leap in their skills & confidence should also look at owning a tougher craft - a modern surf ski or racing ski, or of course one of our peerless Rapier 20's. Once you can ride one of these boats on a following or beam sea, it feels like you can do anything when you jump back into a sea kayak.
I've also had a great time with Nicole & our little girls, who are forever wanting to go for a 'paddle paddle' in Daddy's kayak. Look out Freya, these two little monkeys are gunning......
Deni Ginger demonstrating the high angle forward stroke.
Kiri Starr not watching where she's going......

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