|Wade about to run dry.|
Last October I went there with Matt. We had envisioned to do a week long paddle on the area. However when the date arrived he was busy with work and me in bad terms with my boss so the week long was reduced to 4 days... But what 4 days!!!
|Lots of fun around.|
We were invited to stay with Neil 'honey' at his home in Long Beach. He is a nice guy but 'honey' is not from that. He has some bee hives and produces yummy honey, if you are in the area make sure you get some :-)
|Mr Honey in his boat|
|Paddling inside the islands|
|And around the islands|
|Sometimes I run aground.|
|In the club paddle a guy came and almost drawn while practicing roll, right Joel?|
|Some of the locals came to check the visitors|
The Rock and Roll weekend, or RnR, is the premier event for sea kayaking in New South Wales. Paddling, honing skills, socialising, presentations and lots of fun. During RnR there were plenty of kayaks going to the Tollgate islands. Some like Josh posted his videos. After watching some of them I think I won not due to my editing skills but because of the islands. It is a magical place.
This year I volunteered as training coordinator for the club. Because of that during the RnR I was a bit busier than other years when off the water coordinating on water training. That made the weekend go away too quickly :-). I am also trying to become a sea kayak instructor so I helped running a couple of instruction sessions during the weekend.
One was helping Nick with a session called 'pushing it in the surf'. We had to drive a bit of distance to find some surf. However, despite calm forecast, we managed to have a good session in 'smallish' waves. The smaller size of the waves allowed the participant to focus more on the technique rather than the anxiety that is normal when you are about to be run by a wave. However the smaller size didn't give the participants the opportunity to overcome that anxiety that inhibits you sometimes when confronted with bigger surf. No matter how small the surf was, we all enjoyed the 'play' time and there were plenty of rolls, even a few swims. It is not that easy to stay upright when trying to surf backwards.
The next day I run a training session helped by Eddie. We focused on advanced rescues. It was lots of fun as we simulated situations for rescues close and sometimes among rocks. In one of those I was being rescued and it was going too smoothly. I decided to add some spice so I started screaming like I was being eaten by a shark. The guys were not sure what to do. I kept screaming until I told them my shoulder hurt. They eventually put me back in my boat. Later, during the debrief, someone said he was very anxious on that particular rescue due to my screaming and not being completely sure if it was for real or not.
The last day I run a trip to the islands. I stipulated you could only come with me if you were ready to scratch your boat. Only 2 participants came but that was good. We could become very intimate with the island and not many scratches were found on the plastic hulls.
|Selim testing how hard the rocks can be|
|Vincent is decapitated by the water hole|