Garden Island Mangroves — 7 February 2022

Entering Garden Island Mangroves

Frances, Linda and Peter C joined Anne and Simon at Garden Island today. If only the wind had read the BOM weather forecast and did as predicted!

Garden Island Mangroves

Instead it was blowing at well over 16 knots and then gusted even stronger as we prepared our boats for launch. We avoided the open water and explored up the two small creeks to the west of the boat ramp instead. The tide was very high so the creeks were topping their banks as we paddled up. We kept an eye on the tide to make sure we would have enough water to get back over the submerged branches. Back at the boat ramp, Linda took one of the Delta kayaks out to see the difference between it and her sit-on-top. While paddling out from the boat ramp a dolphin came quite close to her; the perfect finish to a pleasant day’s paddle.

Exploring Myponga Reservoir 4 February 2022

Going around Myponga Reservoir

Seven Adelaide Canoe Club members spent the morning kayaking around the perimeter of Myponga Reservoir on Friday, a great day exploring this stunning part of South Australia which we then topped off by a visit to The Smiling Samoyed Brewery. A perfect opportunity for some of our new members to build on their kayaking experience with the club.

It was great to be back paddling Myponga Reservoir today – and on a Friday! Thought we might try some weekday paddles to see how they went, particularity with our recent influx of new members. Ended up being a great day on water and the Reservoir is looking stunning at the moment with a good growth of duckweed in the shallows providing an interesting contrast for photographs.

A nice sunny day, and wind wasn’t too bad at 11kn from ESE.  We managed to seek out the protected south easterly shoreline, at least until we headed down to the dam wall – no group photos in front of the wall this time!

Paddlers were Julie Rohde, Courtney Kirkwood, Lisa Kerley, Liz Graham, Kaye and Stephen Parnell and Mark Loram. This was a Myponga first for most of our paddlers and I think they went away impressed with the setting.

We almost had the Reservoir to ourselves, hardly a fishing kayak in sight. A very friendly SA Water Ranger came over for a chat just after I arrived and again at the end of the paddle. Very keen to learn about our experience and I picked up a couple of bits of information such as the deepest part of the Reservoir is around 42metres – wow!

Paddlers in Myponga

We were on water by the civilised time of 10.30am and set off for a leisurely paddle exploring the accessible boundaries of the Reservoir in a clockwise direction. Had our lunch stop just past the line of buoys looking up to South Road before getting back on water and making a beeline for the dam wall. How I wish I could use my sail! Another thing I found out from the Ranger is that the buoys and underwater structure act as a containment barrier in case of a road tanker crash, isolating this part of the Reservoir from the main body of water.

We kept well clear of the dam wall this time to avoid any chance of the wind pushing us onto the exclusion zone buoys, and headed to the northern shoreline. Bit more effort required paddling into the wind on our return, but all good experience for the group.

We were soon back at the boat ramp and rolled the kayak trollies back to the almost empty carpark.

Next stop was The Smiling Samoyed Brewery, no pre-ordered pizza this time but the home brew was a very filling alternative – what a great way to finish off a paddle around Myponga Reservoir.

West Lakes Sunset Paddle — 3 February 2022

Choppy waters in West Lakes next to the North Bridge

Eight (8) paddlers – Bella, Anthony, Phil, Bruce, Abelardo, Charlie, Marina and Mark set of from Tiranna Way West Lakes about 6.30pm last Thursday (3rd Feb) to enjoy an evening paddle around Delfin Island. This paddle was a big day for Abelardo now in possession of his nice shiny Delta, a very racy looking red and white colour scheme.

We met up with potential member Tony, who Bella had invited to check out our kayaks and gear prior to launch. Sails being erected when I arrived – oops, mine is no good sitting in the garage!

We were soon on our way – bit on the windy side which does seem to be normal in the afternoons recently, I just had to paddle faster to keep up with the kayaks fitted with Flat Earth sails – at least for part of the lap around Delfin Island until we were all paddling into the wind.

Bella led us down towards Bower Road end, hoping to maximise the stretch under sail. Met up with another kayaker on water for a training run in his green P&H Delphin and getting along at a good pace. After an on water chat we discovered it was new member Pawel who joined the club only a week ago. He is jumping in the deep end and will be joining the Canoe Polo training group at Corcoran Drive footbridge at West Lakes. Pawel continued with the group for most of the circuit, but was in training mode and continued up to the Trimmer Parade at southerly end of West Lakes, while we relaxed on the last leg of the paddle.

Finished up with a bit of rolling practice back at Tiranna Way before adjourned to the Bartley to discuss paddling tactics.

Another great Thursday paddle and thanks for organising the outing Bella.

Downwind from Seaclif — 1 February 2022

Downwind from Seacliff

Great Seacliff paddle Tuesday with four (4) paddlers (Phil, Mark, Anthony and Simon) braving the forecasted conditions of a 20kn southerly. Phil opted for a downwind run to West Beach to take advantage of the blow. Started off well, at least until we had a capsize just before the Brighton Jetty but soon on our way again.

No need for sail, just had to hang on and get blown up the coast! We had adjusted to the conditions just of Somerton Park, just as well as the wind started to increase with horizontal spray spreading out in front of our kayaks, an indication that wind speed was getting up to 30kn. Aside from the Temptation Catamaran, we were the only ones out on water. She was heading south with the deck covered in fun seeking sailors, we could see waves breaking over the bows.

Riding waves from Seacliff

The last leg from Glenelg to West Beach Boat Ramp was the most challenging, when we got hit by 1.5 to 2m waves forming on the sandbars. After gusts of 30kn plus hitting us, we opted to seek the shelter of West Beach Boat Ramp. A fantastic paddle and enjoy the pics – I managed to get a couple while keeping a good lookout for inbound swell.

Peer Paddle Semaphore South 30 January 2022

Preparations under way before departure

Sails up on our way back to Semaphore

Another great Sunday morning paddle from Semaphore South last Sunday 30th Jan. A good turnout with six (6) paddlers out on water. Paddlers were Matt, Julie (up from Meningie – love that devotion to paddling!) , Abelardo, Shauna, Nicholas and Mark.

On water about 9am and paddled south to the West Lakes inlet and then that little bit extra to Grange Jetty. SW wind below 10-12kn, just enough for Shauna to unwrap her Flat Earth sail.

Once again we were entertained with a sky diving exhibition towards the end of the paddle and a friendly seal at the northern end of the breakwater – totally oblivious to the beach walkers. Finished up with coffee at Noonies, a great way to end the mornings paddling.

Sea Kayak Paddle at Rapid Bay and Environs — 15 January 2022

On Saturday 15th January 2022 we had 13 club members head down south to Rapid Bay for Phil Doddridge’s Rapid Bay Sea trip. Paddlers were Julie Rohde, Mark Loram, Charlie and Marina Walker, Bruce Gregor, Shauna Ashewood, Pete Drewry, Julie Palmer, Bella and Anthony, Matt Eldred and Simon Delaine. We weren’t the only ones enjoying this stunning area – the campground was packed, probably the busiest we have seen. Most of us drove down but newer member Julie Palmer joined us on the beach, showing great commitment having driven from Meningieand camped in amongst the multitude at the campground.

Getting on the water

After Phil’s paddle briefing we were on water about 9.30am and headed south aiming for Rapid Head, hoping to spot a few seals. Thought we might have lost a couple of paddlers after Phil’s explanation of “Essence of Shark” as part of the safety equipment!  (Always a handy item when paddling this area).

We grouped up just before the new jetty for final instructions about avoiding the collapsing sections of the old jetty. Wise advice considering that collapse looks imminent and many thanks to Peter Carter for the “Notice to Mariners” alert he sent. Good to see Peter is still looking after us at Sea Rescue!

We then proceeded under the new jetty, taking care to avoid the many fishing and crab net lines dangling into the water, before finding a clear section between the old jetty pylons that also offered a good photo opportunity.

Paddling around the jetties

As we paddled in between the two jetties, Phil explained how the mine and original jetty was developed and worked by BHP from 1942 until 1981, with the quarried limestone being shipped to BHP’s steelworks at Whyalla, Newcastle and Port Kembla where it was used for steel production.

In late 1981, the South Australian Government accepted BHP’s offer to transfer ownership of the mine and jetty at a cost of $1. Shortly afterwards, the mine was sold to Adelaide Brighton Cement (ABC) with the limestone shipped to its Birkenhead cement plant until 1988, when the Rapid Bay operation was scaled down. Shipping from the original jetty ceased in 1991 which was the start of its decay. The new jetty was completed in 2009 with the old jetty now off limits due to progressive collapse.

There was plenty of discussion about the state of the old jetty and mine, but Phil made the comment that without the mine tailings, there wouldn’t be a beach at Rapid Bay.

Rapid Bay is also one of SA’s best scuba diving locations with a Leafy Sea Dragon population inhabiting the bay and probably building up around the collapsing jetty.

Perfect paddle day

Perfect day to be paddling, with no wind, so it wasn’t long before we were nearing Rapid Head in search of the usually resident Australian Sea Lion population, and as always the seals didn’t disappoint! We played round for a while trying to get the perfect photo but also with eyes looking up at the stunning cliffs in search of a Sea Eagle – unfortunately no luck this trip.

After spotting the Starfish Hill Wind Farm looking towards Cape Jervis, the memories of all our Bass Strait training trips along this section of the coast came flooding back, nothing like the pleasant conditions we were experiencing with hardly any wind this time out but the memories were great.

Phil took the opportunity to check out potential rock gardening locations for future trips and it wasn’t long before Charlie was poking his nose into some of the smaller caves to take advantage of the low tide. The rest of us kept the seals company, not as many of them compared to springtime but still a good number, just wish they would be a bit more cooperative for the camera!

The turquoise colouring of the water on a calm day with the inquisitive fur seals coming close to investigate really makes this area very special! On the return paddle we even had a couple of friendly seals follow the kayaks towards Rapid Bay jetty.

Again we avoided the old jetty on our arrival, but Bruce took the opportunity to have a close look at the old rusted pylons on the way through.

Arrived back at the beach for a leg stretch and loo stop, seemed like even more people camping and enjoying the water as we navigated our way between the sit-ons and onto the beach.

After a brief stop we were soon back on water and heading north towards the sea cave then lunch stop at a small beach that Phil had selected. Wasn’t long before Mike and Shauna had their sails up taking advantage of the increasing SW wind.

Getting into the big cave

The trip date was well picked out by Phil with tides perfect for accessing the big cave. On the way north we passed plenty of come-and-try kayakers heading down to the same location, so very busy on water. Any little exposed beach seemed to have kayakers and swimmers taking advantage of the low tide.

After reaching the small rocky headland before Second Valley we turned kayaks to face into the increasing swell and wind, while those wanting to explore the cave ventured in one at a time. Others kept a good lookout for the cliff jumpers which were landing just in front of the cave entrance.

After most of us had explored the cave, we then headed back south hoping for a nice lunch stop at the larger beach – conveniently vacated by the come-and-try group just as we arrived. With the low tide, landing was easily achieved and it wasn’t long before all kayaks were nicely lined up ready for a quick exit if conditions changed.

This is a great spot for lunch, looking out over the sea without anyone else in sight. An enjoyable break for all the group, but Mike had a surprise when he discovered a skink (587) had made its home in his hat while he was busy eating lunch.

The exit channel from the beach is quite narrow, so we worked as a team to get kayaks launched and back on water again – no mishaps!

Casually paddled our way back, weaving through all the other craft heading back from Second Valley. Charlie didn’t want to leave and took a last opportunity to check out the smaller cave on the way.

Wrapping up

Bit of excitement when we arrived back at the beach, with one of the swimmers asking us to paddle out and rescue a swimmer drifting out towards Edithburgh on his car tyre tube insert – “didn’t realise how far out I was and the wind has picked up” he said as we towed him back to the beach.

Safely back on the beach about 2.30pm and soon packed up after another very enjoyable day padding from Rapid Bay. Many thanks to Phil for organising and leading the trip. Trusty GPS shows we covered 14km, with lots of twists and turns.

Semaphore South Peer Paddle — 9 January 2022

Towards North HavenEight of us (Matt, Bella, Anthony, Anthony, Abelardo, Bruce, Simon D and Nicholas) departed the sunny Semaphore South shores with almost no wind, very flat seas and lots of sunshine. Along the way to North Haven, we navigated through fleets of yachts, stand up paddlers, and boaties out fishing. Simon had his new kayak out for its longest paddle yet, which was completed with apparent ease. Some took a break at North Haven beach while others practised manoeuvres. The way back was a little more work, with headwinds up to 14 knots and the water a little more lumpy – yet it was still very pleasant. No one was eaten by sharks, run over by yachts, nor had aircraft land on them. So all-in-all, a successful paddle!

Thanks to Nicholas for pictures and very entertaining report.