Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Buffels Bay to Simon's Town 17kms - Sunday 2nd September

Some snaps of the trip.
Lower picture is Basil passing a Southern Right on the way in to Smits for a break.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have read the Article Posted by Mr Loots.

Firstly it appears (to me) that if the writer truly intended to enter into an objective discourse on the relative pros and cons of sit - in versus sit - on sea kayaks then he ought not to have elected to include a direct reference to a product which he manufactures. Instead of promoting an objective discussion he has regretfully debased his contribution. It always seems to me that one who purports to present an objective argument without considering both sides entertains an agenda. As an attorney I am familiar with this concept – after all we always argue from one point of view – our clients. We however do so transparently and not under the guise of objectivity. Had Mr Loots not subsequently tried to defend his position with his purile acceptance of responsibility for the safety of all kayakers he may perhaps have been mistaken for an Attorney and been forgiven for his sins. After all - even I have friends.

That the argument has, in my opinion, some merit, makes the transgression of the writer that much sadder.

As a paddler, admittedly not as experienced as Mr. Loots, I use 2 Kayaks. One is a sit – on – top and one a sit – inside. The first is manufactured by a well known New Zealand outfit and the second by a local manufacturer. The sit-inside is affectionately referred to by my fellow paddlers as “that Tupperware Tub”. The second is revered as a constant threat to all those who harbour any hope of winning in a well known winter Sea Kayak race series. (For some inexplicable reason it has not yet lived up to its reputation).

Both craft deliver substantial enjoyment. The former has no hope that it will ever present its ass to the air except when followed by a six metre following shorebreak by which time one’s own personal safety pales into insignificance next to the untimely demise of bathers and surfers met along the way (a flag is hoisted on the beach when it approaches). However, in seriousness, I have come off it in a fairly strong following South Easter in the open water when its lack of controllability in a sudden broach caused me to… fly off the darn thing, landing some two metres away from it. The palpable lack of control for the more experienced Sea Kayaker is significant. I have experienced a similar deficiency in control in the hybrid version of my all conquering sit - inside. Bottom line - the centre of gravity is too high and you cannot brace the knees sufficiently. I have never paddled the version paddled (peddled) by Mr Loots and so I cannot, in all fairness, say whether these are universal problems. One of my regular paddling mates however uses one and I wonder whether he would express an opinion?

You would also have to have the dexterity of a brick not to be able to climb back on to my Per..(oops) … sit on top. It is truly sublime off a place like Cape Point where it affords one the time and opportunity to admire all the local wildlife.

The sit - inside is a completely different kettle of fish . In large open - sea swells it begins to take on the guise of the infamous s(h)it inside. However having ventured into such places with paddlers in even less stable makes I am convinced that this is more a product of my own incompetence/lack of confidence than that of the boat itself. It is fast, highly controllable and encourages and facilitates improvement in all round paddling skills.

I am however mindful, and this, finally, is my point: that most of us do not practice recovery and mounting techniques, to say nothing of learning to roll, adequately. Those rare and talented creatures who can roll venture confidently into places where most of us only have nightmares about. They are always bloody good paddlers as well. Of my regular group only 2 or 3 can roll properly. Is that a good thing?

In closing May I proffer 2 pearls of wisdom to Mr. Loots:

1) It is, in my respectful opinion, unacceptable that you did not discuss the incident in Struisbaai with the person involved. Had you done so you may have felt compelled to address the issue somewhat differently. The person is a member of my regular paddling group and I have detailed knowledge of the incident. The incident was not near fatal and the fact the she was outside her Kayak at some point had nothing whatsoever to do with her boat.

2) Next time you wish to embark on disengenuious journalism (I assume it is journalism?) – give me a call. I will help you (in my professional capacity of course) to write the article.

Paul Weber


As Sea – Kayakers (which includes we think, Surfskiers (fast and fit Kayakers)) we recognise how much pleasure we get out of Paddling and would like to invite all fellow Paddlers to join in giving something back to the marine environment that we enjoy so much.

Every year, Simonstown holds a “Penguin Festival” with the primary aim of raising funds for environmental causes – particularly SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds)

THE PADDLE: This year, the Festival will be held on 15 – 16 Sept 2007 and we would like to invite all willing Paddlers to participate in and support the festival in the following ways:

1. We meet at Long Beach Simonstown at 09h30 on 16 September 2007 for the usual Simonstown Sunday morning paddle, but, during the paddle we conduct a sea and beach clean-up – collecting all the rubbish we can and then returning to Berthas in a long convoy to deliver the collected rubbish. No loading your Kayaks with rubbish from home!

1.1. The publishers of The Enviropaedia http://www.enviropaedia.com
will receive and weigh all the rubbish and will donate 3 copies of The Enviropaedia (worth R295.00 each) as a prize to the top 3 who have collected the most sea and beach litter.

1.2. At the same time, we will invite SANCCOB to join us – to enable the Paddlers to make a cash donation to SANCCOB as they pass by. In this way – Paddlers will be publicly seen to be both looking after the Marine Environment they use and also making a positive contribution to Marine Life in general

1.3. We are trying to arrange a braai venue for the Paddlers after the Paddle. Details to follow.

2. THE PARADE: We take part in the Parade through Simonstown 10h00 on Saturday 15/09/07. Paddlers will join in driving as part of the parade with our boats on our roof - in support of SANCCOB – We meet at 09h00 in the Navy Dockyard )

3. The Start of a Concept? – Environmentally Conscious Paddlers

3.1. We will even take the concept further by inviting Kayakers to join an informal group of “environmentally responsible kayakers” – Perhaps K.A.K (Kayakers Against Kak - in the sea?) – Note: This is Double Barrel” Dave’s KAK suggestion

3.2. Please post your suggestions for a name on this post (as a comment). We will collect them all and the top 3 suggestions will be automatically entered into a competition currently being run by The Enviropaedia

We deliberately say “Informal Group”– because we are mostly / all ‘free spirits and we do not need to make this a heavy, serious issue – but we could make a very positive contribution whilst having fun – there are no end of possibilities here: KAK paddlers could declare that:
They will help to keep our seas clean (whenever they see litter (Surfskiers) (joke) at sea, they will pick it up (if it is blonde) and deposit appropriately on land;
They will assist any sea life in need of help wherever possible (report injured birds or tangled sailors whales etc );
Hard - core KAK members might be given a 00 code and be licensed to KAK on anyone seen throwing litter into the sea – just joking – the point is, we could actually make this whole thing a bit of fun also

Please advise as many people as possible know about the event.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Here's a point of view

Frosch on the soaked forum pointed to an interesting article out so I'll just link you there where you can link to the article in question. It would be most illuminating to extend the debate so have a read of it and put in your pennies worth.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Enough with the Shark pictures already!

You may have received via email some pictures of sharks in the bay and the implication is that they were taken this week. Every so often someone pulls them out again and starts a little panic. Please be aware that they were taken a couple of years ago from a fishing boat that had actually lured the shark from quite far out by cleaning its catch.

You have probably seen the Orca and kayak video? This has been posted dozens of times on YouTube and if you have not seen it you must - click here . Alarming isn't it? Actually it's a documented fake but so well done that almost everyone who sees it is taken in.

If you're still scared of sharks then these will really blow your mind!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Epic sea kayak beats the surfskiers

Gregg Barton, Olympic champion and co-owner and co-designer of the Epic Kayaks, recently won his third Blackburn Challenge kayak race in a row. He was paddling the new Epic 18. Nothing amazing about that - except that he beat a field of surfskiers!

click here to read about it.

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