Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Fat Paddler book out next Monday

The Fat Paddler's (Sean Smith) first book is now published and will be available in bookstores & online from this coming Monday - it's called, funnily enough, The Fat Paddler!

A signed copy is on my wishlist for my birthday, next week!

I haven't been out paddling since the new year (just too busy - this blog is still waiting for a heap of photos to be added from last summer's paddling adventures out on various Sydney's waters as we tried out the Tequila, I will 'get a round tuit' - and now it's cold - though I did buy a pair of those fancy Lycra style wetsuit type pants & boots from Anaconda recently in an effort to motivate myself!) so reading his blog - and book, is the closest I'll get to the water apart from driving past Lane Cove River every day - but maybe it will be just what I need to get me to dig out my yak from under the tarp and empty a can of anti spider chemical in all those holes and grooves (having moved to a smaller house, the kayaks have to stay outside now - and no doubt there will be a few red backs and even funnel webs moved in - no wonder I haven't been out paddling!)

Back to the book - it's not just about Kayaking - it's an inspirational story of how one man beats terrible injury, depression and the threat of heart disease, the joy of the outdoor life and great Aussie team spirit - and I have no doubt it's going to be hilarious in parts too! Read more here.

Forgetting spider horrors, I still shudder every time I read about his night-time and dawn escapades on the water on the fat paddler blog - don't you know about shark feeding habits, Sean?

I know I am in for a very good read when I get hold of copy of his book - a review I just read gave it 4.5 out of 5 sausages!

So, my congratulations to Sean and best wishes for a sellout!


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Cheap, less than half price - Kayak Tour, and Paddleboard Lesson

(not sure about the guy with no
t-shirt, maybe he hasn't heard of
slip slap slop?!)

I already have a cut priced kayak tour lined up on the south side of Sydney after signing up for an online offer before Christmas, but another one came through via email today.

I decided I'd sign up for this one straight away, as I did miss one on offer from Sydney Harbour Kayaks abut a month ago and was kicking myself for not going for that one! I figure I don't mind paying for a guided tour of areas I've not been to - I can then take the family there and not get lost! And I have to admit to being pretty apprehensive of going into areas where there is a lot of 'traffic' i.e. Ferries, so would prefer to go there first on a supervised visit in a group!

The Kayak Tour is today's cheap deal is with Cudo (one of those online deal a day businesses, they generally are only available for 24-48 hours, so you have to be quick!) - 'Hit the harbour with a two-hour kayaking adventure from OzPaddle. Don't pay $110! This aquatic adventure is only $49. You save 55%! ' This offer is on until the end of today (thur.)

I haven't used Cudo before but have used Ouffer and the deal was all ok. There seems to be plenty of outdoor and water activity deals coming through the various online daily deal companies. In fact, Ouffer has a $26 for a 90 Minute Stand Up Paddleboard Lesson from Sydney Underworld! (Usually $80) on sale today - this offer is on until end of Friday.

With all of them you have to login/set up an account. You can get a daily email sent and payment is by credit card/sometimes paypal.

I'll keep you posted with other offers, so if you want to be sent updates, do subscribe!

Tequila Kayak Maiden Voyage in Middle Harbour

At last! We have our Tequila tandem kayaks from Anaconda and we are really happy - the guys in store were great, as we exchanged the other kayaks and gear and they helped with all the loading and unloading! (They are now back up to full price, $1,599 at Anaconda, but were on sale at Southern Adventures for around $750.)

They only had one Tequila backrest in stock (we had the last 2 Tequila kayaks) so at least I have one to be going on with and have ordered 3 more.

So yesterday we took one out in Sydney's Middle Harbour to give it a test and see how it went. Lydia and I we went out as a tandem with 3 pieces.

Here it is loaded into the back of our Prado: oops - didn't take photo, will upload next time!
I had to fold down the middle and back seats of the car to get the 3 pieces in - no room for a 2nd child or 2nd middle section (but I am working on that - maybe I can get the front and back sections on the roof bars by myself - as the only weigh 11kg each - and then hopefully I'll have room in the car for 1 of the middle seats to seat Benjamin and have room for 2 middle sections in the back of the car - we'll see. When the 4 of us are out, we shall put the tandems on the roof bars.) There are lots of small spaces for PFDs, rucksack etc.

It was a great morning for paddling - not too hot but sunny to start, so we didn't get too overheated hauling the sections down the track to the water. Amazing to be able to get waterside just 5 minutes from our house, although a lot of extra time was needed to carry the 3 pieces. I am not sure it's the easiest or quickest way - I'd rather be able to park right by the water and carry the sections a small way to the water instead of going up and down a track hauling kayak pieces down to the water.
With the optional backrest in place, the kayak is comfortable to sit in. Even for a short paddle, I think the backrest is essential. They retail at around $85, but can be bought cheaper. The backrest is unique to the Tequila and is made of plastic and slots into 2 pre-existing holes in the kayak. For more information, see Richard's blog.

Compared to my previous sit-on, the kayak's drainage holes worked and kept us dry, which is great! As a tandem it tracks pretty well and for a novice, I thought went pretty quick with the 2 of us paddling. As expected, when used as a solo with just the 2 pieces, it doesn't track so well, but far better than my previous single sit-on kayak. I am hopeful that once I am used to both kayak and paddle, I'll be fine and will be able to go at a reasonable pace for a sit-on.
I had to weigh up the pros and cons of sit-ons, then and those of this particular sit-on. The reassurance of having a sit-on, with the convenience and usability of a modular take-apart kayak, makes this the best kayak for me and my family at the moment. Not forgetting it is in the budget price category too!

Our trip took us from Sugarloaf Bay/Castle Cove towards Roseville Bridge - we kept to the left hand side of the harbour.

We didn't go as far as I'd have liked - up to Roseville Bridge would have been good - as we didn't have the time. But we had an hour and a half on the water enjoying the views and waving to passing paddlers of various types.

(no, I didn't wave to the serious rowers!)

I found the following 2 signs quite reassuring! The first photo (with the sign) shows the steps at the bottom of the a short bushwalk in the southern arm of Castle Cove's North Arm Track which you can get to from the corner of Cammeray Road/Emerstan Drive in Castle Cove. These steps were part of the landing jetty used in the 1870s, as this area of Castle Cove was a picnic ground - the Sunday ferries and boats brought parties of day-trippers. There are still remains of the dance hall and other facilities. After a walk, it's a great spot to stop, rest, enjoy the views and have a bite to eat.

And I thought this was funny - not sure if the fake Owl has been put on the boat ropes as a bird deterrent or not! It certainly hasn't put off this pair.

The water is so clear at the edges of the harbour - stunning views all along the way, I felt like I didn't want to paddle, just sit and enjoy the views! I spotted a great place for a picnic lunch on another day - a small beach - but as time was limited we had our peanut butter sandwiches on the water. Not my favourite, but quite delicious after an hour's paddling!

If you want to check out some awesome aerial views (as opposed to waterside views!) of Middle Harbour - try AirView Online.

By for now.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Anaconda Moore Park Sold Out!

Just to let you know - to save you a wasted journey - the Moore Park Store of Anaconda have sold out of the $620 Tequila Tandem Kayaks (see previous post). So, I have just reserved mine (two - so we can go triple, using 2 middle sections, when I go out with both kids) for when they next get them in stock.

Other NSW stores (it's a NSW offer, today only) have limited stock of various paddling items, so I suggest that you ring before you travel to a particular store.

Why am I so excited about these particular kayaks - check out some cool Tequila videos on YouTube:

YouTube Worlds Longest Kayak?

I am not sure how big your car boot needs to be to get that many sections in, but I know I shall easily manage to get 4 pieces (front & back plus 2 middles needed for a triple) in my Prado with the 2 kids.

(Tandem Tequila - 3 pieces in a Prius! There's enough space to spare for all your gear too.)

If we want to take both tandems out, then I just might have to put the other bits plus my DH on the roof bars, lol!

Tandem Kayak for less than £650 - it's a bargain!


For one day only Anaconda have a 20% discount on everything in store (NSW stores only) for their Anaconda Adventure Club members - including their already discounted items - today.

Which means their £799 price for a tandem Tequila Kayak is available today for £620. (The RRP for this Kayak is $1,599!) Read more about the Tequila in my previous posts.

It's free to become a Club Member - join up online (and print a temporary member card) or in store, and then get the extra 20% off! It's late night opening tonight, until 9pm -to find your local store, try

If you only want to use it as a single kayak that's fine, just take out the middle section (and if you don't want that middle section, I am happy to take it off you - just leave me a comment and I'll arrange to come and collect it!)
10 seconds to assemble/take apart? Amazing, and at $620, I don't think there is another Tandem out there close to that price!
To read more about the Tequila, go to the manufacturer's website - Point 65.
Anaconda's sale already has lots of reduced kayak items, including paddles and PFDs. And don't forget you probably want the Tequila backrests too!
I shall probably spend the day trying to prise open my DH's wallet.....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Oprah tours Sydney Harbour

On Monday, Oprah said she was having the time of her life whilst cruising on Sydney Harbour with Russell Crowe. So much so, she said she'd be keen to come back to the harbour once all the cameras were gone.

For her second trip on the water, I think she could not do better than getting to see what Sydney's Middle Harbour has to offer, up close, with a guided Kayak tour! It is an amazing, magical place. Of course, I'd happily be one of the entourage!

Sugarloaf Bay in Middle Harbour



Sunday, 12 December 2010

Kayak for Kids


I was doing a bit of blog hopping and kayak surfing on the net tonight (as you do!) and after reading all about that amazing horse rescue (you gotta read & view the FP's video!) noticed a new banner on the Fat Paddler's blog. It interested me as I had only just had a look at that particular website a few days ago, adding the same link to this blog - Kayak for Kids. It was still detailing the 2010 event when I looked. They have now posted the details for the 2011 event next March.

So what is this event? Lifestart Kayak for Kids is an inspirational paddling challenge on Sydney Harbour. They do say 'Never paddled? Don't own a kayak? Not a problem ...we got you covered.' (And the first 500 to register get a free K4K sunhat!)

I had initially thought this was just an event for kids to participate (as my daughter received details of the 2010 event via Girl Guides Australia earlier in the year.) But it is for everyone, particularly including families and children as it raises funds for very special kids aged from birth to school age who have an intellectual disability or development delay. Lifestart provides early childhood intervention services to ensure these kids have the best possible start in life.

For more information about Lifestart visit It's a fantastic cause and also looks like an awesome event to take part in.

So - I have decided to sign up and I shall be there in March. Hopefully I can get in some proper fitness training down in Middle Harbour on a regular basis soon, so I don't embarrass myself. I'll take my own Kayak, and will be registering a tandem (the Tequila!) in the hope that we will have got a Tequila by then, and will partner with a friend or maybe my daughter.

If you want to know a bit more about it from the paddlers point of view, read the Fat Paddlers report on his team FP entry last march on his blog. It's a great read and there are awesome aerial photos of the event, and cool harbour shots that will make you wonna be there in 2011!

If you were there for the 2010 Kids for Kayak event, do please tell me about it, what tips you have for us novices and if you have any photos - and let me know if you'll be entering for 2011. I'll post as many stories, tips and photos as I can on this blog.

And if you'd like to sponsor me - please send me an email and I'll send you a link to the official fundraiser site, once I have registered and got all that sorted.

Many Thanks!