Those poor buggers in the UK and the US. Constantly lamenting the icing up of their paddle world. Derrick at Kayaking Quixotica is left to wax philosophical, spending the North American winter in introspection. The UK boys are rugging up but are still getting out it seems. I have gently teased about the scorching Australian summers traditionally had here, about getting about in thongs (flip flops to the Murrigans), wearing nothing but your Billabongs and Mambo, feasting on prawns and beer and of course…paddling. The thing is, the weather is just weird. Freezing cold winds (to an Australian) then hot and steamy with a cold southerly late in the day. Rain the next day, overcast for a week, storms, then hot. This week the temperature got down to 18ºC. I had to put on a shirt with sleeves. God, it’s so overwhelmingly pleasant!
But there is a down side.
Photo by George Trinkler
This thing was out smiling for the camera of fisherman George Trinkler at Stockton. Read the article in the Herald. The warm seas are bringing millions of school fish close to the shore. More than normal. The marine reserves set up by the State government and the commercial fishing moratorium in the Lake are seeing large increases in the population of fish. And where there are millions of fish there are things that eat fish. Big things. Like that big bastard up there and all his mates. Someone got bit on the arse by a bull shark last week and there will be more to come. Forgive me for being paranoid but it has been said that the paranoid are just people with acute situational awareness. I’ve lived along the beaches of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie all my life and I’ve never seen shark incidents of this frequency. Everyone agrees it’s only a matter of time before they take someone. I’m thinking of getting a Shark Shield but I don’t know how effective they are. Some small depth charges and a sonar mounted on Eco would be desirable as well. Surely there’s a technological solution out there. Give me freezing any day.