Even with 6mths of travel (& much solo kayaking) during 2019 through Southern NSW, Victoria, South Australia & West Australia & back…. it was this memorable paddle of Jerseyville that I finally remembered to take the bloody camera.

 For those not acquainted with this region, we are talking Macleay River, South West Rocks nr. Kempsey NSW.

We’ve always wanted to but never have turned off the Pacific Hwy to check out SW Rocks, it’s simply a lovely seaside village with excellent waterways not to mention golf course, Trial Bay gaol, ocean beaches & plenty of seafood eateries. Great 😊

Just don’t go there during school holidays, Christmas or Easter I suggest.

 My paddle commenced at the Macleay River Marina paddling upstream with a turn left into Spencer’s C, then a long run towards Jerseyville, under the main road bridges & encircling ‘Jerseyville Island’ back into the Macleay River (yes on an outgoing tide) with inquisitive black angus following my progress down river.

The journey was broken by a morning tea before passing the fishing fleet vessels tied up along the wharf  (up on the right),

no river traffic was sighted just the occasional motor vehicle passing as I soaked up the ambience of ‘the peace of a estuary’ of the mighty Macleay. Not sure what distance I covered? Could have been 14~15kms felt like 20kms but who cares 😊.


Joyful paddler, Graeme Meade – Stellar Si18

Our first vision of the Sunshine Coast was in June 1980, it was a sight we loved of sea, rivers and waterways.

The first of our fleet of waterborne craft was a blow up canoe we bought for our kids at Christmas, we had a hell of a lot of fun with that, mainly around Cotton Tree.

After that we begged, borrowed and hired canoes from various sources. Loaded with the three kids we paddled around Chambers Island, canals and Mooloolah River. A neighbour loaned us her canoe on a “take it when you want it arrangement”… the thing must have weighed 35kg, but fitted nicely on our trailer.

Then we purchased our own canoe. One weekend we set off across Lake Cootharaba, but a wave jumped into the boat and we were a floating bathtub. Standing in the Lake we emptied what water we could then made our way to the Rangers Office to empty out the rest of the water. At Fig Tree Point we had fruit for lunch as the sodden sandwiches had become fish food.

And on another paddle up to Harry’s Hut to camp overnight the tent poles were left at home, so Malcolm hung the tent out of a tree with a piece of rope…. looked crazy, but it sort of worked.

Eventually camping at campsite 15…. then return.

Giving no consideration to tides or water movement, at the time, we got stuck in mud during a paddle in the Pumicestone Passage, it was a very hard push to get back to water depth suitable for paddling.

As retirement loomed on the horizon, Malcolm set about moving into Kayaking. The canoe gathered dust in the garage, until sold…. and if you cannot beat them, you join them, so now we have a kayak each.

Jenni R

Well, this is a bit sad, but my story is from early 2000 on a paddle with the former Sandgate Canoe Club out of Elimbah Creek to the Bribie passage. We were almost at the passage when we heard a commotion from the top of one of the trees in the middle of the entrance.  So, keen to see what was causing this, we paddled over and spotted a very distressed cormorant hanging by a large fish hook stuck into his bloodied chest. What a terrible sight.
I could not leave him that way, so we rafted up alongside the tree, with a plan to cut him free.
With my good buddies holding my kayak steady rafted up, and after discarding my life jacket and spray deck in order to fit through the branches, holding a sharp knife at the ready in my teeth, I managed to make my way up to the stricken bird.
I took hold of a branch near him to steady myself, avoiding his flapping wings, then I cut the line so that he fell free to the water below where he swam quickly away. It was very sad to see, and we all hoped that he managed to survive, or if not, he was better in the water than all his weight hanging by that hook.
It was a dreadful sight, but we eventually went safely on our way,
It is my most vivid kayaking memory even though it is a sad one.
Yvonne Harrison
DATES: September 2020
Please allow ample travel time.
Depart from Shute Harbour: Tuesday 1st September
Return to Shute Harbour: Tuesday 8th September
COORDINATORS: Bruce Nicholson & Albert Jensen.


For those interested in attending this camp, have just been notified, that National Parks office is now opened for bookings.
Phone number  137468 or book online

Cheers Albert ( Co Co-ordinator)


I knew little about paddling when I began, but two good blokes showed me how my paddling fantasies could be realised.
Chances are that you are not busy today, so join me as I string together the events that lead to one of my best and one of my worst efforts as I found my way to paddle the Whitsunday Islands with two good mates.

Cyclone Ada ..
It is January 1970 and cyclone Ada has ripped through the Whitsundays devastating Daydream, South Molle etc and killing 13 people.
I was a young chippie working around Townsville with my younger brother and we answered an add for tradies to go to the Islands for the rebuild. The boss man asked if I could drive a ‘Blitz ‘. Of course I said yes, even though I had never seen a ‘Blitz’. Good, you drive one and I drive the other and we leave at 5 am monday, drive to Bowen for material and onto Shute Harbour and take the ferry across to Sth Molle. It was a long day in the lumbering old ,smelly, noisy trucks and just on dark as we drove onto the barge at Shute Harbour.
Full dark by the time we ferried the 15k to what was left of Sth Molle. ” Just follow my tracks and don’t stop ” was the advice when we reached the beach.
The only building still standing was the main bar area and the rain dripped into our beer through the ceiling that had no roof over.
Brother Phil and I were given the task of doing the finishing work on the ‘ luxury’ cabins right on the water front and as the wet season receded I remember the gentle waves caressing the shingle beach and the few remaining coconut palms regaining some shape, and I decided that one day I will come back to explore the Islands at my leisure.

Jim’s Add ..
I am now almost 60 and thinking of slowing down. Since those days in Townsville, a lifetime ago, I have been responsible for the building of more houses than I care to remember, and that spread over 2 states and 2 territories. About then I found a little add in the free Buderim local paper. “If you are interested in joining a paddling club, contact Jim Blyth at this number “. Hmm, maybe one day, so I tucked the add away for a few years and decided to build my own timber kayak while still working too much.

Kerry Richards ..
Somehow, I got to meet Kerry Richards at Natureline kayaks. I heard that he was a helpful and very skilled kayak builder and I needed advice and materials. We chatted and Kerry told me of his trips to Whitsunday Is and to Fraser Island and the Kepples and my memories of Sth Molle were refreshed and fantasies of paddling the others began, so I called Jim and began my SSRKC adventure. I didn’t expect my involvement with the club to last too long, just enough to learn the basics, I’d heard that all they do is ” wash in and out with the tide”.

Mentors ..
So I met you all and after trying to rescue Arnie on the Noosa bar I realised that I had much to learn! Fortunately, I got to paddle with two very experienced paddlers, men who knew how to enjoy coming and going through the surf. Martin Dale had done most of his paddling on the exposed NSW coast and Terry McGary is a Kiwi used to open water and they were keen for us to paddle those exotic destinations, but we had a problem – me !!. No way was I going out into those waves ( note..they still terrify me ).
Many Sundays, we three along with others on occasion, crossed the Noosa bar and paddled around the National Park, I was getting better and relaxing a little.

Failure ..
So to the memorable failure. We three had crossed the Maroochy bar, the waves up a bit but not too bad. I made it and we paddled up and around old woman island, but my ‘mates’ decided on a beach landing at Mudjimba just for my education. The surf must have been up as a few surfer types were gathered on the boardwalk ‘watching’.
“Just follow a wave in Dave and you will be OK.” A complete 360 somersault and a loud cheer from the watchers on the beach !!
I don’t remember how we got back to the cars at Maroochydore.

Success ..
A lovely winter morning and we crossed the Noosa bar and paddled around to ‘A’ bay. I recall that Sue and maybe Peter J were with us. A nice firm wave was rolling across Granite bay and of course all those good paddlers were riding them. I decided to have a go and caught my first long, controlled ride right across the bay, but I did not know how to turn off the wave and the rocks were approaching at a terrifying rate ! Well, I got off without tipping in and the memory of that ride still brings a smile to my face.

So, my skills had improved a little and a good bond had developed between the three of us, but did we get to paddle the Whitsunday Islands at our leisure ?
You have time so go to the club web site and turn to ‘Reports’ 2010 and read the first reports of non club activities ‘ Three men and their kayaks ‘ and ‘ A dingo stole my PFD ‘.

Hi to all , we will paddle together one day.


On 11 November 2017 Eight paddlers from the Tasmanian Sea Canoe Club did a day paddle north to Deep Glen Bay on the Forestier Peninsula launching from Doo Town (George R and I did a little paddle south of Doo Town when he was down here a few years back). The paddle was coordinated by Tony Gaiswinkler. We crossed Pirates Bay, heading north along the coast past some magnificent sea caves set in the steep cliffs. It was too dangerous to enter too far because of the swell. The landing at Deep Glen Bay is tricky as there is no beach but we managed to get all of the kayaks ashore without much incident (I realised then why Tony had brought his well-used plastic boat instead of his usual smarter machine!). The bay is backed by steep cliffs which appeared to be unclimbable. After lunch we continued north around Sisters Rocks before heading directly back to Doo Town where we had fish and chips from the local caravan before heading back to Hobart.

The sinking of the Blythe Star was an event which had significant ramifications both nationally and internationally. On October the 12th 1973 the cargo ship was bound for King Island carrying a cargo of kegged  beer which was stowed in the hold and lashed on deck. There were 10 crew. The ship capsized suddenly. The reason for this is unknown. The crew dived into an inflatable rubber life raft and watched in disbelief as the ship’s bow lifted high in the air before sinking quickly. There was no time to send a distress message. For eight days they drifted more than 400km down the coast, enduring a huge storm during this time. One crewman died on the raft on the fourth day and two more later. Eventually they drifted into Deep Glen Bay and, despite two men being badly hurt in trying to climb the cliffs, three men managed to reach the top and raise the alarm.

After the inquiry into the incident and the botched search, the Australian Reporting system (AusRep) for vessels was introduced and the carrying of radio beacons was made compulsory. Nowadays the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is in force which ensures that 2 independent means of raising an alarm are used which includes the use of float-free EPIRBs which automatically start transmitting the GPS position once they hit the water.

Dave Edwards
While visiting Kenilworth one week end, I saw a notice requesting people of interest to show their support and join in a protest paddle down the Mary River to stop the future Traveston Dam construction.
I roped in Jim B, and Brian M. to join me, we were not really protesting but saw it as a golden opportunity to join in the carnival atmosphere and a introduction to paddling on the Mary River.
The day arrived and we entered the farmers property registered and set our kayaks on the river bank. There were all shapes and sizes – that’s including the home made rafts, canoes and kayaks as well.
After driving our cars to the finishing line, we were talking to an organiser to see if we could get a lift back to the starting point (about 5 klm.)  Close by we heard a voice say  “hop in I will take you.”
It was the local police officer, we were put into the paddy wagon and returned to the starting line.
Finally we were on the water after some very ceremonial tip outs by the many participants – the three of us could see the dangers ahead and automatically took up the roll of “Tail end Charlie”, showing some how to hold and use their paddles and rescuing  many by towing them to the river bank, as some obviously could not swim,   A great day was had by all, finishing with a B.B.Q. lunch.
Shortly after this experience we then programed our Club to paddle the Mary River from Kenilworth to Walker Rd bridge ( approx. 15 klm.) stopping at Moy Pocket Rd Bridge for morning tea, were we had back up cars parked there just in case.
We had 15 club paddlers on the water that day, many are still members and will definitely remember this paddle along with the very exciting grade 2 rapids which was new to most of us.
This “Paddle to Remember” is dedicated to the memory of our President at the time, the late – Bruce Gardiner – Bruce was my passenger in the car on the way back home, he couldn’t stop talking and reliving the experience of this fun days paddle.
Ron W.


Three men in a tub …

Only it wasn’t three men and it wasn’t a tub.  Instead we have three intrepid SSRKC women paddlers aboard the improbably named Banana Oil, travelling the Canal du Midi in France from Carcassone to Agde:  Sue Alcock, Chris Drysdale and Vivien Griffin.


It all started when Sue had organised a SSRKC group to head over to Croatia for a fantastic paddling trip (actually it was a birthday celebration for her but she kept that secret).  I mentioned that a canal trip through France had always been on my bucket list, and these two foolhardy women signed up for the experience with me.


We made it to the medieval fortress city of Carcassone via TGV  from Paris, checked into our hotel and headed over for our briefing with the boat hire company.  Our instructor was somewhat bemused to find that they had hired the boat to three women but what could go wrong?  Hmmm!


The next day we checked out of our hotel, with Chris proclaiming that she loved our female proprietor!  Mine hostess looked somewhat nonplussed, but turns out Chris was trying out her French and thought she was telling her that she had liked the room!  It could only get better – but it didn’t.  Instead Sue as our fearless navigator, decided that we should enter our first lock sideways.  We blamed the fierce wind blowing us off course …


However, we got better at this lock stuff, and over the next 7 days negotiated one, three and even the famous Fonserannes seven lock system near Beziers.  Chris managed to injure her ankle so was relieved of leaping out and tying up duties, and Sue was similarly excused because she was already injured, leaving moi to the joys of this challenge.


At the end of each day, Chris was in her element negotiating our food shopping in local markets, and thanks to her we ate as one should when in France, that is to say, magnificently!  Did I mention the wine? 


Over the journey, we traversed beautiful countryside,  dreamy waterways, aquaducts, tunnels and bridges, and as the travelogues say, bid a sad farewell to Banana Oil when it all ended.  We caught the TGV back to Charles de Gaulle airport and flew out to Zagreb and our next adventure.


Thanks Sue and Chris for a marvellous trip!


Going back a few years, I think it was about 1986/7 or thereabouts and we were living in Maryborough. I had my own business and was working very long hours and consequently had’t had my kayak in the water for a number of years. When it was suggested at Rotary one night that we should have a day kayaking on the Mary River I got excited. There had been recent rain and the rapids up Tiaro way were ideal for tackling.
From memory, I think Garth you may have had a hand in organizing this, is that right?

Anyway, I went home waxing lyrical to Shirl re the plans and said that if I worked longer the day before, I should be able to finish early and get out there in time. “That would be Ok wouldn’t it? What do you think?” Being a model husband, I always ask permission!

Shirl said “what days?” I told her. She said “what’s the date?” Women! what does it matter? Anyway, I said that I thought it was the 9th and 10th of February. There was silence for a few moments and then she said ” So you’re proposing to work longer on the 9th February so you can go paddling on the 10th of FEBRUARY?”

I said yeah, that should be OK hey? She said ” so your proposing to work longer on the 9th, my birthday, so you can paddle on the 10th which just happens to be our wedding anniversary?”

Bummer! I screwed up. But given I couldn’t get deeper in the you know what, I thought I may as well go.

Well, it was a great day. We’d put in above the race and whizz down through the rocks and when we hit the end would trudge back through the bush carrying the kayak, to do it all over again. I don’t know how many times but do know that by the time I finished I was completely knackered.

I will never forget the day, (Shirl will see to that!) and I’ve paid a heavy price. But boy, it was worth it!

Bob running the same stretch of water – Image by Garth P.

(This happened before we joined the club!)
We had just started kayaking & had bought our “Penguins” ( had to drive to Canberra to get them!!) Decided to try them out, with a paddle to Bribie Island. 5 of our friends, (also just starting to kayak) decided to join us.
We started from Golden Beach..beautiful sunny day. Too hot to wear lifejackets, all in agreement, not to take them!! (Also, didn’t have such a thing as a “skirt”!!) The plan was to overnight at Donnybrook, so all loaded up with camping gear..what an adventure we were going to have!!
Made it to the camping ground at Donnybrook, during the night, the wind came up & in the morning, thought it looked a bit rough! ( didn’t think about weather forecasts!!) So off we went to Bribie!!
Once out in the channel, conditions drastically became worse..paddling against the tide, wind & waves crashing over our kayaks (no skirts/pumps)..what a nightmare!! All being “first timers at this” we carried on!! Finally, the bridge was in sight (with our kayaks half full of water!!)  we made it to the Caravan Park.
Overnight, the wind still blowing, in the morning as well!! So made a decision to start back & Albert said..”If anyone not happy with conditions by the time we reach the bridge, head to the shore!!”
Conditions were very, very rough, so after about a couple of minutes,  the 3 ladies looked at each other, without a word, we headed to shore!
One of the guy’s wife, had to come from Golden Beach & drive the men back, to pick up the cars at Golden Beach… Loaded the kayaks on the cars & had to go back to Donnybrook to pick up our tents …which had all blown over because of the strong winds! ( we were to overnight there on the return journey ) So after many hours, we arrived home!
From that “experience ” we decided to always wear a lifejacket & bought skirts!!