Not really my maiden voyage but it will do for an opening. This blog is as the description suggests-a place for me to track my progress in kayaking. I’m far from a beginner to kayaking as I have paddled for many years with my long-time training companion Iron Steve Turner in a fibreglass double seakayak of no particular brand. It is a heavy, unwieldy tub of a thing that would be considered laughable by modern standards but Steve and I have put in many k’s in often appalling conditions and got ourselves fit in the process which was our sole initial aim.
Steve and I have practiced karate for 25 years or more and kayaking was a way of keeping up our strength but Iron Steve is happy to plod along doing mindless trips for the sake of fitness, incessantly prattling on about how much he lost in the stock market but I craved more adventure and so I needed a boat of my own.
I’m not one to buy on a whim and spent years researching every aspect of seakayak design and performance before buying. Actually, the delay was caused by a total lack of funds for years but eventually I had the means to bring home my baby. Since I weigh 115kgs I settled on Perception’s Eco Bezhig which I bought from Southern Adventures on the NSW Central Coast.
The drive back to Belmont from Gosford takes about an hour so by the time I was home I was desparate to get in the water. So I went straight down to Valentine on Lake Macquarie where there’s a great place to put in and I was soon underway. Actually, I was soon fighting for my life as my brand new boat is rather unlike the old double. It’s more like trying to drive Kimi Raikkonen’s McLaren after learning to drive a Datsun 120Y. I therefore spent the next few hours learning to do solo deep water rescues until exhaustion forced me to drift back to shore straddling a near submerged eco bezhig. Humiliating.
Since then (October 2006) I have come to turns with this tippy boat and have managed some good trips out in the lake without falling out again. I am even a member of the NSW Sea Kayak Club and I am planning to do some formal training to ensure future survival. More to come.