Absence Hotline 03 5289 1745
 

Advance Sea Kayaking

Testing the equipment

Testing the equipment


By Emily Ross, Year 9.
After a reasonably good sleep and only a few interruptions from the sounds of nocturnal animals we woke up at 6:30 am. Or at least we tried to. Breakfast was bacon and egg sandwiches with a choice of tomato, cheese or mayonnaise with that.
Cereal was also an option with chunky packet milk. There was quite a bit of food we had left outside overnight but no animals had seemed to get to it. In the morning we had chosen to wake up early enough to get everything packed and in the kayaks by 9:00am when the tide would be in. We wanted to get in the water at high tide because we learnt the previous afternoon, how hard it is to drag kayaks through mud. We took down tents. Some had already fallen down overnight. By that morning the toilets smelt foul and my hair was like straw. We got everything for lunch together and set out to sandy point.
Firstly our instructor Andrew talked about the weather conditions that were against us. He scaled the difficulty for us and estimated the distance. We had a head wind, which was coming from the southeast. We had small waves coming across us from the south in the bay and luckily they weren’t breaking on us. Water did spray and fill some compartments. Unfortunately in the first few kilometres the sun didn’t want to come out. We were heading for Stony Point but the current swept most of the group out a little so we went along to Sandy Point. It took a long time for that first half of the trip, being there and paddling it felt like we weren’t moving anywhere. It felt like we were slower than the elderly in a retirement home. Stopping at Sandy Point was a relief and looking back at the distance we came was overwhelming. The sand was warm and the dunes were sheltered. Despite my freezing hands I couldn’t move very well, I managed to help make bucket lunch. It may have contained 5% sand but still tasted amazing. It was like nachos in a burrito with a good serving of sour cream. By then our faces had been covered with salt and Kaye’s tooth was giving her hell. After lunch we sat down and just complained about sore hands, shoulders and how long we had left to paddle. Tess brought the element of sass and blamed it on the fact that she hadn’t showered in a while. This brought along some laughs and reminded us we were all in it together.
Before we could jump back into the boats we had to get all the water out of the seat part. Even with the spray skirt water still got in. Little was I aware of the water in our compartments! With barely rested arms and wet clothes we set out for what we thought was seven kilometres but felt like a million. We had no waves but still wind against us. Mr Davidson went around with marshmallows and we ended up getting towed by the other instructor Greg. He wasn’t pulling us along because we kept up most of the time but he guided us when our steering was all over the place with the rudder. If you ever go sea kayaking here is a tip: Don’t rely on the rudder. We came across some rocks and worked as a team to get around them. Unfortunately some people got stuck on rocks.
Kaye and I looked over to find someone walking their dog along the shore. It was getting late. Then we realised the dog was running and walking much faster than we were going. This let us down a little. We found on this trip we really needed a lot of motivation to get places. The more you complain, get tired and try to give up, the slower you will end up going. Little motivations like being able to see the surf club we were heading for, was what really kept us going. As we were going along thinking about hot showers, Kaye spotted three fins in the water. “Dolphins!” she shouted with excitement. She saw them again and I missed them again. Then one or two came really close to our kayak. They were in the middle of our kayak and Greg’s. We thought they were a family. One had cuts on its fin. One stuck its whole head out of the water and Linda began to make dolphin noises. This gave us motivation and they were really cute. We had fallen behind that day but made it eventually.
With no energy left we stumbled along a reasonably long path to our campsite. We had to drop a few things off and go back to the beach to get more. Unfortunately I discovered my only pair of dry shoes floating in water in the front compartment of the kayak. This meant that I had to walk around camp in a really dirty pair of socks. It was so good to finish kayaking for the day and just run to the hot showers at camp. It was so nice to just wash the salt from my hair. After nice long showers work wasn’t over yet. It was getting dark but we still had to put up the tent. Well at least I had to put it up. It was hard to find a spot to put a four-man tent and I ended up going well behind the other tents. The trouble was that I was so worried about it getting too dark to see that I didn’t tell anyone that I went to set up the tent by myself. There wasn’t much light left when I set up my bed and everyone gathered for dinner. Mr Davidson and some students had gone to get chips for dinner, which sounded much better than the noodles we had planned to cook. I was finally found and caused a little panic for my friends.
Linda’s tent was small, hot, and stuffy and she couldn’t sleep in it for another night so she was very welcome to come in our tent. We all just wanted to sleep so we skipped whatever sweet food was left over for dessert. Everyone had been eating it, in their kayaks. We relaxed in bed and reflected on that long journey. We really wanted to stop all the kayaking there, as we knew there was still five kilometres to go. We really wanted to give up. We were considering getting out of it. Everyone was sore in the shoulders and felt like they were bobbing in their kayaks still. I seemed to have a really good sleep. I know Linda probably didn’t because of the stupid local night owls doing burn outs on the road nearby.