Sea Kayaking: Malabar

On the last day of summer 2016/17 it was time for another sea kayak paddle with the Tuesday group.
The wind was dying off, only about 10 knots and the swell was only 1 to 1.5 metres and pretty much lined up with the wind. Although we had a light shower after the start, we were to experience quite a bit of blue sky.
Near the headland and along the cliffs, the swell, combined with the bounce back from the cliffs, gave us quite a ride. Soon Ken was swimming, so the whistles were blowing to stop and regroup. After a few missed practice rolls, Caroline reentered cowboy style. Maybe it was the extra effort, but shortly she was about to succumb to sea sickness and was escorted home.
Regrouping on the gently rolling ocean
Out in the ocean the  group tends to regroup every 1 to 2 kilometres. This gives the chance for a rest. It also gave me a chance to practice some of the manoeuver techniques that Rob taught me this afternoon.
Like a lot of these paddles, the way home was downwind and with the swell. Great waves to catch.
Finally, we rounded off the day catching some waves on the reef inside the bay.




New Adventure: Sea Kayaking

With excitement, and some trepidation I was starting a whole new adventure. Sea Kayaking. For many years I had wanted to kayak but for various reasons this did not eventuate. Even when I bought the surf ski three years ago, I thought very hard about getting a sea kayak instead. Is 60 too old to learn to sea kayak. No way…

Today I was joining Rob Mercer of Expedition Kayaks. Rob and Mark Sundin have been very supportive of me learning to ride my ocean surf ski and they were instrumental in setting up the Doll’s Point Paddlers group to introduce people to moving water and wind on their ski in a safe and social environment. This group today is one of the paddles run by NSW Sea Kayak


I was taking a Tiderace Pace 17 tour for a test paddle. Testing the kayak and testing me. This Tuesday kayaking group is one of the best in Australia (yes I know that will start discussion). They are skilled and love to practice these skills. They are passionate about paddling, especially in challenging conditions but are happy to paddle with and shadow  newcomers.

So after being allocated a buddy (Andrew) it was off to explore.

Firstly the Pace 17 is such a great kayak. Handles well, is stable enough and really looks after the paddler.

Wherever I went, Andrew was only a couple of boat lengths away. That was reassuring. Up and over the waves, through the side chop and along the cliffs. My smile was bigger than the kayak. cropped-img_0358.jpg

At the turning point (about 6 kms out to sea) it was rolling practice for everyone. As I could not roll yet, it was wet exit and assisted reentry for me. Again there was no shortage of volunteer to assist. img_4961

The downwind leg on the way back was a little slower than I had hoped for. This was a combination of my tiredness and the fact that the Kayak handled a bit differently to the ski. Something that I would have to get used to.

I was definitely coming back.

(All photos courtesy of Rob Mercer)