It’s been months and at last I have been out in Eco. The flood in June which wrote off my car, no winter paddling kit and a multitude of other issues prevented any maritime activity. And now that I’ve been sacked from Wineselectors I can’t justify the expense of replacement roof racks on my Volvo until I find a new place to work.
However, my old school mate and rival Steve has reappeared in my life. He is reasonably wealthy (I suspect), has taken up kayaking and has a Lexus 4wd with roofracks and is is keen to paddle with me. So today we hit the water at Newcastle harbour and paddled out the heads and south to Merewether beach. We attempted a beach landing with hilarious results and rested for a bit before carrying out a surf re-entry. Fortunately, my entry was clean and I got out OK. Steve got smashed by shore-dumping waves and was frustrated every time. Eventually, he just pushed his Touryak out and swam after it. Both of us were competitive swimmers when young and he is still very strong so it was the easiest option for him. I helped him with an assisted recovery and pumped out his cockpit and we were away. Looks like we need some serious practice here. I looked pretty good on my re-entry but was also lucky with the sets. Steve wasn’t.
The paddle back was good until the wind changed and a North easter pushed us into the swell and some choppy water. When we got into the harbour we were totally knackered but also very happy with our day.