Busselton Sea Kayaking Weekend 2006

10-12 Feb 2006

A happy crowd of Swan Canoeists gathered at the Uniting Church camping grounds near Busselton for another great weekend.

Our accommodation was comfortable little hutch like bunks.  Upon arrival it was a matter of checking out each little room and taking your key.  Even though they were all identical you felt impelled to check out each one before taking possession.

SaturdayÕs paddle was led by Colin Priest our trip leader for the weekend and Gisela.  Two groups put in near old Dunsborough after a quick car shuffle to Meelup Bay.  We had a slight easterly behind us as we paddled out in beautiful calm conditions towards Meelup Bay.  The ocean was beautiful and the scenery past Dunsborough made an interesting paddle with much bird life around the beautiful rock formations.

We stopped at Meelup Bay for morning tea and then paddled on towards Cape Naturaliste, passing Eagle Bay and rafting up occasionally to enjoy the stunning scenery.  DonÕt miss this paddle next year, Geographe Bay is such a beautiful place to paddle and the area from Meelup Bay to Bunker simply stunning.

Around Meelup Bay a few of us noticed a couple of black objects protruding from the surface, ..shark?, dolphin?, old tyres?, dead seal?  Finally, rather than keep guessing we paddled over there.  To our delight it was a young seal.  Just laying around with its fins out of the water.  When we approached it just played around and put on a bit of a show for us.

As we paddled into Bunker Bay we got exited by a slight swell and played around a bit in the gentle advancing surf under the ever watching eyes of our leader Gisela.  Phew! We were ready for lunch in the shade at Bunker Bay.

After lunch it was time to paddle back to Meelup Bay.  By now the wind had picked up, but rather than the expected south westerly which would have blown us back it was a very strong easterly that we had to paddle directly into.  A very strenuous paddle that seemed to take forever.  Not so much chat on this leg of the paddle.  However at the end we were rewarded by those crystal clear turquoise waters of Meelup Bay and picturesque scenes of yachts at anchor and the sea birds on the rocky outrcrops.  A great finish to our 21 km paddle.   ÔDo you think they painted that rock white?Õ says Gina?!! (you mean the one with that bird standing on it?)

After swimming and relaxing at Meelup we made our way back to base by car, some of us stopping at a nice cafŽ in Dunsborough for a nice cuppa and cake.  Saturday night was spent preparing and eating dinner together as we shared experiences of the day.

Sunday morning was a paddle from the campground to Busselton (about 8 km away) and return.  This was quite pleasant and declared a great workout by all.  Most of us had lunch back at the camp before packing up and heading for home.  A few lucky paddlers stayed on for an extra night to make the most of what the area offers, snorkeling, swimming, wine tasting, cafes and to read the Sunday Papers.

Thanks to all who came, it was fantastic.  Special thanks to Colin and Gisela for keeping us on the straight and narrow and Colin for all the organisation of the weekend.

Lesley Hadnett

Walpole Trip – 2005/2006

27 Dec 05 to 2 Jan 06


About 19 happy paddlers came and went from Walpole over the New Year period.  The campsite at Coalmine Beach was a great location and well set up with many trees providing shade and a feeling of (almost) being in the bush.  Some stayed for a week, some stayed for a few days.  The weather wasnÕt hot, but there was very little rain and an ideal temperature for paddling and walking.


There were no organized activities for the week and everyone made up there mind in the morning which way they were heading and groups went off in all directions.  There was plenty of paddling, walking, surfing and sightseeing done as well as plenty of chill out time at the camp.  Evenings began with a bbq on one of the campsites.


Just about everyone paddled the Frankland River at some stage over the week.  Various groups headed off there at different times.  Most paddled from Nornalup to the Monastery Jetty about 5 or 6 km upstream.  Maggie and Terry paddled from Nornalup back to Coalmine Beachone day.  The Frankland is a beautiful paddle, big tall trees either side of the river and totally protected from the wind.  The water is like glass with beautiful reflections from all the trees on the river bank.


Another river paddle was the Deep River.  Jennifer, Laura and one of the Robs headed off for a paddle there one day.  ÔPlenty of log jams and out of the boat more than in itÕ was one description, however a beautiful paddle all the same.


Paddling in the inlet was also great.  The area at the mouth of the Nornalup Inlet is stunning, big granite boulders, lush green trees, calm turquoise waters and beautiful sandy beaches.  A group headed off over there from the campsite at Coalmine beach one day, Chris, Gina, Glenn, Lesley, Jennifer and Laura.  It was a great paddle over as the wind hadnÕt picked up at that stage and a stunning sight at the mouth.  They bumped in to Terry who was over there fishing (allegedly Ð we didnÕt see any fish).  The paddle back was interesting as the wind had picked up considerably (about 5-6 kms each way).


Glenn and Lesley paddled over there again with Steve the following day.  This time leaving from just up the Deep River.   Again a beautiful paddle and more protected from the wind on the return journey.


Many spent time walking amongst the tall trees.  A group one day headed out from the camp and along the Bibblemun track up the hill to the tall tingle trees.  Another day they headed off to Mount Frankland.


Other popular places to visit were, Greens Pool, Peaceful Bay and the surf beach a few kms down the road.  Russell was off on his surfboard each day and joined a few times by others in their playboats.



In the evening everyone congregated around the campfire on one of the sites.  A bbq dinner was usually on the menu.  A few glasses of wine usually followed which in turn was followed by the usual level of stories and noise.  New Years eve was a great night for those who managed to see the night out (IÕd say they didnÕt make it because of their age, but there was one not so old member who passed out at about 10 Ð not before whacking every guy in sight at least 10 times each, should I mention names? Ð your nice girl reputation would be destroyed forever).  The usual resolutions were made, the most humorous being ÒIÕm going to listen moreÓ and was that a romantic liaison brewing (just who was that sneaking off to the beach to look at the stars?).


Thanks Maggie for booking the campsites and making it all happen.  Thanks to everyone for attending and bringing along a sense of humour and desire to have fun.

Blackwood Tour – November 2005

This is a popular annual Club river tour from Sues Bridge to Chapmans Pool held in November 2005 with about 38 paddlers coming this time.

We paddled about 28 km of marvelous river winding its way through State forest with lots of spring flowers blooming.

The river is graded as 1 to 2 mainly flat flowing water with a few easy rapids, suitable for beginners with good basic skills.

We spent Friday and Saturday nights at a base camp on the bank of the river.