Saturday, December 7, 2013

Paddling around

Some stats from our recent paddling ...

140 kms have been paddled in the last 6 days - that's with 30 kgs of bagged sand as load stashed into the fore compartment, cockpit and aft compartment..

Today Tony and I did a 70 km paddle from Sydney Harbour up to Broken Bay and back.
We were fortunate to have favourable weather and sea conditions - although there was a solid swell running.
We paddled the 70 kms in 9 hrs 27 mins. Average moving speed of 7.5kph. A good result with 30 kgs of sand on board.

In the preceeding weeks, four trips of greater distance than 50km each have been paddled out of Sydney.

And a total of 600kms has been paddled in the last few months. (Thanks to our wives for the multiple leave passes)

It's been satisfying to get these distances completed in varied sea and wind conditions.
Sometimes in grinding headwinds with lots of cliff rebound.
And sometimes with downwind bliss at our backs.

We've hardly taken any photos during this year's paddling.
However here are a few that we took today ...

Luke sailing northwards at dawn in Julian's Impex Force 4. The V-sail is custom made of Mylar with a reefable top section and an increased throat at the sail foot to minimise stalling when burying the foredeck in steep wind waves.

Tony on the way back from Broken Bay. Barrenjoey in the background.

"Only 35 k's to go"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Practising rescues

Derek and Ross at South Head


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cray hunting

Tony rolling for crays.
North Head.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Felix chasing his shadow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Derek rolling 8kms east of Manly.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


The image below summarises our last 3 months ...

Lots of paddling and a focus on improving our sea kayaking skills - rolling, surfing and other interesting stuff.

Below is a photo of Tony performing a roll, 9 kms east of North Head ... the cliffs are just visible through the bushfire smoke.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kavieng kanu

A recent trip for my work has taken me up to Kavieng, on the north-western tip of New Ireland, which lies off the north coast of the Papua New Guinea mainland.

I got up before dawn, borrowed an outrigger canoe and its single-bladed paddle, and wandered over the short distance to Nusa Island.

I think that this area of the world is pretty close to paddling heaven ...

A kayaker's dream ...

These pavilions are at the Nusa Island Retreat.

This was a nice way to start the day in PNG.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Australia to New Zealand by kayak

Scott Donaldson preparing his long distance ocean kayak for launch from Coffs Harbour to the north island of New Zealand. 

As of writing this, it is anticipated that he will launch at 9am tomorrow - ANZAC Day.

His understated yet quietly confident manner seems to belong to an earlier era - perhaps consistent with other towering New Zealanders who have knocked the odd bastard off. 

Podcast interview:

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Thanks to Rob for the skills session today.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Montague Island

The tribe has been exploring the far south coast of NSW.

Here is a small impression of the experience out at Montague Island ...



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Paddling origins

Papua New Guinea has a canoe culture that is strung out along its many spectacularly beautiful coastlines, river systems and island archipelagos.

Looking back on it now from the distant land that is adulthood, I was really fortunate to have been born and raised amongst the coastal culture of PNG.

That's me on the left, aged about 6 years old, standing beside a pair of Trobriand outrigger canoes on Muwo Island. The canoe behind me has an elaboratey carved bow and painted splashboard - typical of the manner in which Trobriand Islanders invested their paddle craft with meaning and spirit.

This is one of three scaled-down outrigger canoes that I still have from my childhood.
My oldest son's hand is included for scale.

I was back in Papua a few days ago and took these photos of gorgeous model canoes at the PNG National Museum located at Waigani, Port Moresby.

Innovative, decorative, spiritual, essential for survival, transport and war - canoe culture was once central to a life on the Papuan coastline.

Not a lot of rocker evidenced in this elegant beauty but she probably paddled like an arrow across the still surface of a Papuan lagoon.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The ledge at Sow 'n Pigs

Such a poor quality image ... but representative of conditions on the harbour this morning.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


 Tony and the nor'easter.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

South-West Solitary Island

On some charts this island is referred to as Groper Islet and good advice describes it as having some of the best snorkelling on the east coast. Its beautifully clear waters and marine life fall within a protected habitat zone. No trolling here ...

A view of S-W Solitary from just off today's launch location at Serenity Beach.
As with all of the islands in the Solitary Group this one gets regularly smashed by wind and waves. It's below the water's surface that these islands have much to offer, with abundant and diverse marine life from the warm Coral Sea currents co-habitating with species from the cooler Tasman Sea.


A view of South Solitary between a rock garden.

A Solitary turtle keeping an eye on this visitor.