Sea Kayaking Course Week #2

Sea Kayaking Course Week #2

 

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Our surprisingly good weather on Saturday.

 

“It’s a good weekend for ducks!”  This was Andrews less than hopeful outlook for the weekends weather.  It just seemed inevitable, this was going to be a very wet weekend.  While we had planned or an overnight trip everyone was pleasantly surprised when Andrew booked another comfy beach hut.

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Somehow FIFA had scheduled a Soceroos game during our sea kayaking course.

It’s fair to say that we may have experienced some…  Lets call it “coziness creep” during the weekend.  This wasn’t helped when the Soceroos game started Satruday morning.

 

After finally getting on the water, the group paddled well away from shore and got into the nitty gritty of rescue drills.

 

With our rescue skills practiced it was time to use them for real.  As we were about to find out, Sea Kayaks are not really meant for surfing.  They can do it.  It  is exhilarating.  Then you get caught in the wrong place by a large breaking wave  the fun’s over.  Our biggest take away from the weekend was not to dick around in the break zone with your kayak sideways.

The fun stopped for Rowan when he was dumped so hard his kayak actually split.  That same set of waves took a heavy toll on ANUMC kayakers.  A full round of swims later and the total damage list was  a broken kayak, three lost hatches and a lost river knife.

 

While there was some talk Sunday about heading back to Canberra early the desire to train in slightly unpleasant conditions prevailed.  A diminished and more cautious crew headed once again, through the breakers for more training.
While it all started well, it seems there is a need to push luck just a little further than it will stretch.  We finally called an end to the weekend after  two kayaks being swept onto the shallow rocks of the beach and another swim which narrowly avoided a lost paddle.

Sea Kayaking course Week #1

Sea Kayaking course Week #1

I love camping.  But some weekends, you don’t mind going without.  At times during last weekends ANUMC’s organised sea kayaking course the rain was so heavy it would have been drier upside down in the kayak.  Luckily, we had access to a cute little beach hut chock full of cakes, tea and warm showers.

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Sea Kayaking, a sport for all conditions.

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During heavy rain kayakers can shelter under their sea kayak

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Dave relates one of his shark stomping adventures.

But as they say in the army, “if it ain’t raining, you ain’t training”.  There was a lot of rain and we certainly did plenty of training.  Of course we covered the basics like rolling, rescues and sailing, but our instructor were keen to show us the lesser practiced skills of sea Kayaking.  Among these were Dave Winkowrths karate kid style shark stomp.  Andrew Collins explained the best ruder and braces to be used when being towed by a Walrus.  An incorrect brace could break your back, it pays to get this right.

Terry demonstrating the high brace.  Used when being towed by a Walrus

Terry demonstrating the high brace. Used when being towed by a Walrus

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Knowing the correct sea shanty during sailing is essential for morale.

I certainly had not realized that Walruses posed such a problem to sea kayakers.  luckily, we were able to practice non walrus related activities during the weekend.  While the seas were intimidating on the Sunday, Saturday provided the course with perfect beach conditions for working on our entering and exiting surf beaches.

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Terry shows how long Walrus teeth can grow.

Chris looks to catch a lift to shore

Chris looks to catch a ride to shore

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Course participants and instructors.

Despite the weathers determined effort to rain on our sea kayaking parade we were able to leave with some solid skills and look forward to part two of the course in two weeks time.  Part two will be camping for real, so less tea and coffee cake.  It is unclear how plentiful the Walrus and sharks will be.