Some time last year, I organised a paddle from Woorim on Bribie Island to the Caloundra Bar.  Eight of us met at the picnic area south of Woorim for a 7am departure.  It was a mixture of Sunny Coast paddlers and Claytons (Brisbane) paddlers.  Woorim Beach is quite steep, with dumping waves.  After helping several paddlers off the beach, through the surf, it was my turn to go.  I thought ‘this is no problem, I’ve done it all before’. I pulled my boat to the edge of the surf, hopped in, but before I could put my skirt on, I was sucked out by a receding wave into the pounding surf. Hence, a cockpit full of water and a roll-over.  Back to the beach!  Empty the water out & try again.  On the next attempt, I got side-on to a dumping wave – another roll-over. Back to the beach – again. Drain the water out, and finally made it out on the third attempt!
All this, of course, was to the great amusement of my wife Carol and some beach walkers, who thought it was the best entertainment they had had for a long time.  Carol’s part in this adventure was to take the car and trailer to Golden Beach, pick up several of us, and return to the car park at Woorim.  We had a great trip up the coast, with an outgoing tide and a SE breeze, we made very good time.  This presented a problem at the other end.  As we arrived early, and the tide was still running out, the swell had increased to about 2 metres, and the surf was crashing onto the bar.  This did not look good for crossing.  Bob Whiting and Trevor Zaretsky were a little ahead of the main group and radioed that they would attempt to cross the bar. The rest of us waited outside the breakers.  Both paddlers were barrelled on the bar. Bob hit the sand bar once, was sucked out by the current and slammed back onto the bar.  Between the waves, we could see Bob standing on the bar, with 2 pieces of kayak!  He then disappeared into the waves and next we saw him standing on the tip of Bribie Island, with no kayak.
Fortunately, the life saver from Kings Beach came out on his jet-ski. He had observed what had happened on the bar. He crossed the bar, picked up Trevor, brought him to the beach, then retrieved Bob from Bribie Is and the 2 halves of his kayak.  Unfortunately, Bob’s car keys were lost in the break-up of the boat.  The rest of us decided we were not going anywhere near that bar, so paddled around the headland to land at Moffat Beach.  Bob rang home to request a second set of car keys.
Because we landed at Moffat Beach, several phone calls needed to be made to pick-up drivers as to our location.  When we finally all got together again, we enjoyed a well earned lunch. We all agreed that plastic boats are not good on bar crossings.  At the end of such an exciting day, we were happy that it had ended safely.
George Reeman


Last August, a few of us travelled by car,  to the Western side of Fraser Island, with our kayaks on top. Camping at Awinya Creek. On the second day out, some of us paddled about a km  out..dead flat water, without any whales around. Oh well, maybe one may turn up!!  Sitting out there for a little while, with nothing happening, when out of the corner of my eye, under my kayak, the water went suddenly dark. An almighty bang occurred!!! Next…I apparently was knocked out..came to..boat upside down, blood coming out of my leg..all I could think of was “sharks”!! Luckily, Di, Lou & Jim  were fairly close by!! I yelled out to Jim, to help me turn the kayak the right way up. He then told me, the whale had smashed the deck 3 times, while I was out to it, unaware as to what had happened!!! Damaged the deck in a couple of places. Thankful I had a decent life jacket on, which kept me floating with my head up!!  Anyway..a happy ending, even though,  I never saw  the whale.

Cheers Albert

My first paddle ever was on the upper Brisbane river, at the ripe old age of 50. Thanks to a cycling friend, and the loan of a touring tk,  (which supposedly fell off the back of a truck), I started my paddling adventures.

My first kayak was a small seakayak. I knew nothing about seakayaking or the bay. Just wanted a boat with hatches so I could go camping. I still have this little boat and paddle it from time to time.I must stress, at this point, I knew alsolutely nothing about paddling. My friend kept pressuring me to join her on her paddles with the ‘Rosco Group’. They were quite an adventurous group. Some of whom paddled the Qld. coastline and other exotic places. 
Ross Cook put on training days as well. 
I was finally talked into joining the group.
One paddle on the bay and I fell in LOVE with seakayaking.

This incident happened just recently on the 12th March on a club paddle. There were only eight brave souls paddling due to the early rain and heavy clouds. We had launched at Caloundra, heading for Roys Rd.Some further showers fell… then as I paddled on quietly, lost in my thoughts, I was suddenly hit by something from beneath which lifted my kayak completely from the water! I struggled to remain upright and can’t recall what I yelled out. I had no time to react before I crashed back into the water thankfully still upright. Jim Lewis was closest to me and witnessed the incident but told me he could not see any creature as there was such a huge splash of water. We came to the conclusion that it must have been a dugong feeding on the sea grass and suddenly realised I was directly over him and objected to the threat above by reacting in the only way he knew. I can’t believe that I stayed upright…I think it was more by good luck than any skill on my part. Hmmmm…could it have been a bull shark?

JAN – “Hey ol’fella, I need a new Sun Deck for my Mirage Kayak, please?”
DON – “No worries .. I’ll grab one off Amazon, they’ve got everything there.”
DON – “Look here it is .. same size as the old unit .. Large.”
DON – “Hmmm .. Minor problem .. it’s in the USA.”
JAN – “USA, are you OK with that? .. Run a tape measure over it to be sure.”
DON – “Look, Large is universal .. how can we get it wrong?”

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

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