Lessons From Rock n Roll 2012

30 Mar

Last post was just the synopsis of events at Rock n Roll. The important part for me is what I gleaned from it. Each year shows up shortcomings or highlights areas of improvement. Here’s some:


Always an area where things go wrong despite my efforts to make it perfect. Last year I left towels and toothpaste and lamented the lack of refrigeration. This year I remembered the toothpaste, the towels and had refrigeration sorted with my new Evakool 55l Fridge and solar panels to charge the 100Ah battery. I had eggs, milk, bacon, beer, wine and cool Tim Tams. Awesome. That crazy Turk, Selim, either forgot all his stuff or packed it and couldn’t find it so naturally he gravitated to my hacienda for luxury dining.

The Taj Mahal now with solar power

Cooking became an issue with Selim moving in. The Trangia is a wonderful piece of kit that has served me well and always will but if I’m going to have tenants then a better kitchen is to be acquired. Not sure which way to go, here. I could get a Coleman cooker and new folding table or a Drifta car kitchen. Hmm, what to do.

Drifta 300

Mold has become a problem. I discovered that the Taj had some mold inside and some corrosion on the skeleton knuckles which made it hard to collapse the tent when packing up so maintenance will have to be done. I should also get a tarp so I can set up a covered awning over the front of the tent. Watch out next year.


Rockpool Taran

Several people remarked at my loss of weight and increased fitness. There were comments on my speed in the Assateague using my GP. Marvelous what divorce can do for a man. I have a lot more work to do on this but I really need to hone my sea skills. They’re not bad but not elite and I like elite. The Assateague has become increasingly uncomfortable to sit in and really needs a refit. That will happen but I have taken a real shine to the Rockpool Taran and after my excursion with Chris Walker and Chris James have decided to buy one and soon. Once this is set up I can concentrate on fitness and speed and am entertaining an entry in the Hawkesbury Classic! So when people ask if I’ve done the Hawkesbury, instead of saying ” nah, I’m too much of a girly fat boy with no ticker and numb legs” I will say “why, of course, shit it in”. Basically, I need lots more time on the water with skilled paddlers like the core klanners. Less coffee cruises and more bump and mess. A new boat won’t fix this just focus and application. I’m still getting a new boat, though. And a kayak trolley. Definitely a kayak trolley and soon.

The Car

Car choice is important for a kayaker. You have to carry so much crap that the right car makes life so much easier and the wrong car is a hindrance. The Subaru Outback is mostly excellent. It carries my gear if packed right and good off-road capability without being a truck. It is also comfortable and reliable. Problem is that it is a bit gutless and a bit small. Packing it is a bit like playing Tetris. What I’m thinking of is a Toyota Landcruiser Troopie or Land Rove Defender. That way I will have full 4WD capability, tons of space, dual battery and charger setup. I can also fit two boats on the roof where the Subie can only take one. A big turbo diesel will be handy and if I eventually go to a camper trailer then these trucks can haul it.

Some of these goals will be ready by Rock n Roll 2013. The Troopie might take a bit longer but I’ve come a long way since my first Rock n Roll when I slummed it in a Blackwolf Tanami with a cold sleeping bag, an old quilt and the Trangia on the ground.


Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Kayaking Life


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5 responses to “Lessons From Rock n Roll 2012

  1. Owen Walton

    April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Real men drive twin cab, diesel powered, 4WD utes; not big (albeit 4WD) station wagons!
    Could be some interesting times in store for us soon, with several of the Klan on a fitness thing. Will have to get some sort of a Ski versus “sports” Seakayak rivalry going; no excuses, blood on the water, take no prisoners, stuff.

  2. rjimlad

    April 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Great point Owen. Not only is the Taran a fast sea kayak that will certainly shame you ski paddlers but IT HAS A RUDDER!
    The old squabbles are dead issues now and we need this new ski vs. seakayak rivalry to get some passion. I’ve nearly got the money, I’ve lost 10kg, I’m thinking Hawkesbury so let’s get this show on the water.

    • Owen Walton

      April 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I just went out and had a look at the mighty Stellar ( a modest, stable cruising ski, suitable for “mature ” aged gents) and underneath it has a beautiful piece of crafted carbon fibre; bugger me! it is a rudder. Score 1-1 so far.
      So tonight at dinner I had a smaller portion and will soon be on my way to a sleek, svelte, ripped, athlete; however, will I be able to claim an Age Allowance?
      I already have one Hawkesbury Classic in my CV, albeit as one of the Landcrew; does that count?
      May we live in interesting times!

  3. rjimlad

    April 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    No and no. I am so unfit that I should be classed as disabled. That evens us up. I am hoping that just owning a Taran makes you seem fitter.

  4. dirkl9

    September 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Brad, I don’t know much about tarans or eskis however, re: mould on your tent, you should try cleaning it with white household vinegear. I know, I’ve brought that useful product up before as a gammy ear fixer, but there y’go, I just can’t fault it. Environmentally friendly & all.


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