Search This Blog

08 March 2013

8 March 2013 Heading to Whitemark

Leaving Trousers Pt we detoured to Fotheringate Bch. It was beautiful with little rocky coves and white sandy beaches and blue/green water. Back to the white granite gravel rd for the easy ride up to the main bitumen rd to Whitemark. It was an easy ride. The afternoon was spent washing clothes at the hotel, relaxing and looking around Whitemark.

7 March 2013 Mt Strzelecki walk

On previous walks to Mt Strzelecki we had to walk the 6km to & from Trousers Pt to the srart of the walk but this time we had the luxury of the bikes to cruise to the start.

We started up the track at 9am in clear skies & hot weather. It would have been better to start at 7am. The track was hard work in the heat & we were very happy to get up onto the peak in spectacular 360 deg views. We could see between Deal Is. & back to Tassie. The sea was glassy calm.

Our legs were feelin a bit weary when we got back to our bikes at 2pm. Back at Trousers Pt we had a swim to sooth sore bodies.

We had dinner at Vistas Restaurant just up the road. My flathead was great & Dad enjoyed his chicken, washed down with some cold beers then back to camp.

6 March 2013 Ride Flinders Trail Lady Barron to Trousers Pt

We left Yellow Beach at 9.30am & headed along the Coast Rd then onto Badgers Corner Rd. This is where the road changed from a good gravel rd to a very rough, soft, sandy fire trail. It would be a nice mtn bike ride without all of our panniers & gear, but it took more effort with our full load onboard.

As the trail roughly followed the coast we passed beautiful bays & beaches. The track also passes through nice forest areas as well and big grasstrees.  By 2pm ish we reached Big River Rd at the other end then had about 10km of gravel rd to Trousers Pt. We cooled off with a swim at the end if the hot, sunny day.

05 March 2013

Travel to Flinders Island

Our bikes had already gone to Flinders Is. on the ferry from Bridport so we drove to Launcestn Airport to fly over in a small plane with Sharp Airlines. It was a 30 min comfortable flight. We flew into Whitemark & the weather was spectacular.  We bought a couple of nice salad rolls & drinks to have later & got a lift down to Lady Barron to collect our bikes.

We were relieved that the bikes & gear were all undamaged. We set up our tents at Yellow Bch 2km east of Lady Barron at a great picnic/camp area.

To blow out the cobwebs, we rode up Vinegar Hill for great views all around. There is a lookout off a big granite slab for good viewing.

Back to camp for our salad roll, cup of tea (using my new wood burner stove which just uses little twigs).

Later we had a quick beer at the Lady Barron pub & headed back to see the beautiful sunset up Franklin Sound.

As I lie in my tent typing this with my phone, there are the sounds of wallabies, crickets and Cape Barren Geese honking.

It is a lovely, peaceful place.

04 March 2013

Heading to Flinders Island

Looking forward to flying from Launceston to Whitemark on Flinders Island tomorrow.  We then have to get down to Lady Barron to collect our bikes and then continue on a bike tour.

It will be a fairly casual tour - with 2 weeks to soak it up.

03 March 2013

Friday 1 March 2013 - Flinders Island preparation

Dad & I headed up to Bridport to drop off our bikes, with panniers packed for a 2 week tour of Flinders Island.  We dropped off the bikes at Furneaux Freight & hoped that they would keep the bikes secure over the weekend before the boat left on Monday.  We didn't have a lot of faith in them.

We are flying over to Flinders on Tuesday to start our trip.

Thursday 28 Feb 2013 - where am I

Thursday 28/2 - I can remember dreaming before waking up and then my eyes slowly opened.  

Initially I couldn't focus but slowly realised that I was lying on ground covered with leaves.  My brain was trying to work out why I was lying on leaves but I had no idea.

I tried to get up but I couldn't and I had no idea why I couldn't get up.  I couldn't work out why I couldn't push myself up with my arms or why I couldn't sit up.

As my head became clearer I found that I was lying face down on a the ground in deep wet leaves.  I tried to roll over but I couldn't.  As I writhed around trying to get up, I managed to wriggle onto my side and tried to climb out of the hole I was in.

It was only then that I realised where I was.

I was climbing out of a hole on the side of the road on the side of the Pinnacle Road on the way up Mt Wellington and I heard a car stopping next to me.

As I crawled out of the hole the man from the car got to me and helped me out - asking if I was ok.  I had no idea if I was or not.  I was totally confused (and had lots of leeches on me searching for a good entry site)

The man (James, a staff training guy from Pure Tasmania/Federal Group & bike rider) steadied me as I tried to stand.  As things became clearer I noticed I was next to my bike and things started to come back to me.

Back to the start of the day...

Ralph & Christian were doing the Nth/Sth Track loop ride & decided to tag along.  They are both faster so I knew it would be hard work.  Instead of getting up early and having a nice breakfast I decided to sleep a bit longer and missed breakfast.  I drove to Tolosa Park and left my car there and rode into Hobart along the bike track.

I was riding my new dual-suspension mountain bike and it had wide, knobbly tyres.  I headed up Strickland Av ahead of the others because I was going slower.  They passed me just after Marlyn Rd jcn.  They were cruising but I was pushing 80-90% effort.
My next mistake was that my drink bottle was in my backpack because I didn't have a bidon holder on the bike yet.  SO as well as not having breakfast I didn't drink on the way up to Fern Tree.

I turned up the Pinnacle Rd & kept plugging away although I was feeling stuffed.  About 1km before Shoebridge Bend I got up out of the seat and went up a chainring - to use some different muscles.  After doing this for about 50m I thought - wow I just need to rest for a bit.

I stopped on the side of the road and stood over the bike, leaning against a wooden guide post that marked a drain that ran under the road.  I took some deep breaths but I realised that I was feeling a little 'light-headed' or dizzy.

I got off the bike and leaned it against the guide post.........

That was the last think I remembered before 'waking up' down in the culvert/drain a metre below the road.  It was lucky that when I passed out, I was still wearing my bike helmet.  When I got home I looked at fainting videos on the internet & virtually all of the videos showed the person falling over with a straight body and there heads getting smashed on the ground (if no-one caught them).

Before watching the videos I thought that your legs would give way first and you would just collapse straight down but it looked like peoples eyes roll back, and they just fall forwards - already unconscious without putting their hands out & land face or head first.

Get fitter
Eat breakfast first
Drink during the ride
and again ... get fitter.

If you ever see anyone about to faint... catch them before they crack their skull on the ground.  I ended up with cuts on my side & legs and smashed my riding glasses from falling down into the culvert.  I wished I had my gopro camera on filming as I dropped into the hole & to know how long I was out of it.

After recovering next to my bike and drinking my 1L of Gatorade I rolled back down to town and along the bike track to Cornelian Bay where I was going to meet Ralph who was bringing my car from Glenorchy MTB Park.

Thanks to James for stopping to check on the guy lying in the hole, Ralph & Christian for riding back down to me to check on me & for collecting my car from Glenorchy.

Monday 25 February 2013 - broken ribs

Monday 25/2 - Thursday 28/2 - continued pain in the right side of my chest, especially when my ribs are squashed.  I feel pretty sure that I have broken ribs on the right side.  The Dr said that it would take about 4-6 weeks to heal.  There is really nothing you can do for them.

Sunday 24 February 2013 - mtb ride

Sunday 24 February 2013

After a night of watching youtube mountain bike videos of the Belbins Rd (Stringy Bark Gully) area, I headed out to meet Ralph & Sam for some laps around a cross country course there.  It was a warm, sunny day so it was very sweaty work.  There is a maze of tracks here so I had to pay attention.  By the second lap around I knew what to expect ahead.  After 4 or 5 laps Ralph & Sam had to go & I stayed to explore more & found another area a short distance up on the left in a gully.

There were steep switchbacks uphill then down to a dry creek-bed then a series of steep left & right berms which ended over a blind crest down to a rickety wooden bridge then a metal bridge which looked like some roofing tin laid onto some logs.  This then either re-joined the xc track that we had previous ridden on or you could head steeply uphill on steep, dusty switchbacks - along the side of a hill with lots of small fallen trees & roots then steeply down onto the previous (easier) xc track.  On that downhill I had one stack where I used some momentum to get over a small log but landed on a bad angle that caused me to lose the front wheel and I went down - giving me a total dust bath.

After a bit more exploring and some sunburn in the heat of day I headed back to the car hoping it wasn't broken into or torched.  The carpark is littered with smashed glass and the remnants of burnt out cars which is never a good sign.  As soon as I got home I sprayed the dust off my bike and had a shower under the hose.

WARNING:  Sport is a health hazard

Later at home while dragging a heavy sea kayak around the back yard I felt a sharp & sudden painful tweak/tear from under my right arm around to under my right shoulder blade.  After a while it was agony from my right chest, under my right arm & around to my r.shoulder blade.

I still had a painful chest & possible broken ribs on the right side from a fly over the handle bars onto hard lump of ground - winding me for a while.  This was about a week ago at Clarence MTB Park.  I should have had my weight back further when I went down into a deep ditch and the front wheel stopped & I continued & my chest landed on the hump of the other side of the ditch.  I lay there groaning as I waited for the air to slowly come back to my lungs to be able to breathe again.

Now I had a muscle strain or tear in the same part of my chest as the possible broken ribs.  I should be more careful.

new toy - dual suspension mtb

Saturday 23 February 2013

I took my new dual suspension Merida 120 XT-M mountain bike out for its maiden voyage today.  I headed to 7 Mile Beach to go along the track to Lauderdale.  I soon found at the 7M Bch end they had been doing track repairs and there was a lot of soft new gravel on the track making it hard to ride.  This only lasted for about 100m and then it was the 'regular' track to Roches Beach.  

My first impression of a dual suspension bike was that it was so comfortable over bumps.  The bike has 3 settings for Climb, Trail or Descend for both front & rear suspension.  The climb setting locked the suspension out, trail gave about half travel & descend was full travel.

As I rode to Lauderdale via the Tangara Trail the new bike felt great.  I visited Dad at home then headed back via the Tangara Trail, over the top of Single Hill & down the steep descent back to track at the end of 7 Mile Bch then back home.

Wednesday 8 August 2012 - back to swimming training

Wednesday 8 August 2012

After a short break of roughly 18 years, I went to do a swimming session.  The last time I went to Clarence pool - it had the 'bubble' over the top.  The bubble was originally put on for a short-term of about 5 years but stayed for 20 (from 1982 - 2002).  Inside the bubble everything was covered in mildew & mould.  

The giant air compressors pumping air inside to keep the bubble inflated created an oppressive feeling.  During some swimming races one year there was a pop and a giant split appeared at one end.  As it collapsed, everyone made there way to the exits at each corner.

Anyway... back to the story... I turned up to the newly roofed Clarence Aquatic Centre at 8am, hoping to avoid anyone I knew so I could struggle up & down the pool in anonymity.  As I walked in I spotted Don Marsh & Stuart McKinlay

Huon Series Race 4 - Franklin 10km

Huon Series Race 4 - Franklin 10km

Kayak - Grafton Chrono

The forecast maximum temperature was only going to be 10°C but it was zero at the start with frost on the sides of the road, a cold wind and heavy rain showers.
No-one was looking forward to getting in the water.
I didn't get in early enough and did a rushed warm-up.  My hands were freezing at the start.  After some good races in Div 2, I started in Div 1 this time.  I lined up with Trav, Ian C, Seb, Ben M.

Ben & Seb started hard over to my left and Ian was trying to stay on their wash.  Travis was to my right.  We headed up river to the large passage between Egg Islands (not the canal).  After 2km's I started to feel my hands again.  On the stretch up the eastern side of the northern Egg Island we started to pass the Div 2 paddlers. 

At the half way point I came up behind a group of 4 paddlers.  I was feeling a bit ordinary - possibly due to a some hard training during the week and a terrible warm-up.  At the back of this group I paused briefly.  Their 4 skis were making some reasonable waves which would be fine if I was planning to stay there but I needed to keep going past or Travis would catch up.

As I slowly moved past the group I could tell that someone was on my wash but feeling weary I just tried to paddle a steady pace & thought about my stroke.  I counted down the distance on my gps to the end and it was a relief to finish.  I then realised that it was Ian Parker who had come behind me and finished strongly on his V10 sport.

kayak training Tuesday 27 July 2012

Tuesday 27 July 2012
Midway Point paddle
wind - glassy calm with a very slight incoming tide
Kayak - Grafton Chrono
I couldn't pass up going for a paddle as I saw the glassy water when driving home.  I did a moderate lap of my course, said hello to 'my sea eagles' and finished in a comfortable 38.10
After using my big paddle for yesterday's session I returned to the Epic paddle (smaller blade) that I have been racing with lately.

Kayak Training Thurs 26 July 2012

Thursday night group paddle session - Sandy Bay
Thurs 26 July 2012
Kayak - Grafton Time Bandit

After finishing work at 2pm I headed over to the DSS & found Carol about to head out for a paddle.  It was cold and trying to rain but calm.  I quickly got changed & went for an early paddle to the bridge & back (8km).

When I got back there was a good turnout for Ben's session and they were doing some interviews for the upcoming Winter Challenge.

At least 20 had turned up for training and the plan was to head up to the bridge (again) practicing wash-riding, swapping every 3-4 mins.  On the way back we did 2 x 4km efforts.  I was trying out a 212cm grafton paddle which I have found to be slightly too big in the past.  I was hoping my recent training would help me to use that paddle without wearing myself out too quickly.  I soon found out that I need more strength & less weight to use that paddle better.

Training Tuesday 24 July 2012

Tuesday 24 July 2012
Midway Point paddle
wind - calm with a very slight incoming tide of 0.5 - 2km/h
Kayak - Epic V10L
Today was as good as a winter day gets - sunny, calm & not too cold.
I headed out for a lap of my course using my Grafton paddle which is a bit bigger than the Epic paddle that I have been using.
I had a good, strong paddle and saw the 2 sea eagles.  Sometime I have to take my camera to I finished right on 38 mins at 11.4km/h average.  This isn't my best time but ok for my first paddle of this ski in a couple of years.  There was about 1km of shallow water where I was going about 10km/h.

Bushwalk - Fortescue Bay - Cape Hauy - Mt Fortescue return via Cape Pillar Track Monday 23 July 2012

Bushwalk - Fortescue Bay - Cape Hauy - Mt Fortescue return via Cape Pillar Track
Monday 23 July 2012

Dad suggested a bushwalk & we decided to go to Cape Hauy near Fortescue Bay on Tasman Peninsula.  We got down there at 9.15am and there was no-one else around - except for 2 Parks guys with their boat at the ramp.

The track to Cape Hauy has been upgraded to the level of a gravel footpath with very professional stone work - similar to the walk up to Wineglass Bay lookout.  The upgrade will be part of the Three Capes Track.

We came across a few wallabies happily grazing in the morning sun on the early sections.  It seemed that the new track followed a more scenic route looking over Fortescue Bay than the old one.

After a short time we reached a track junction to the right that lead to Mt Fortescue.  We had a quick chat and headed that way.  This is a 'regular' bushwalking rough track that initially follows the cliff-tops with some awesome views.

There were occasional numbered pink tags on pegs which we guessed were marking the route of the Three Capes Track.  The climb up to Mt Fortescue was pretty gradual and we reached the top at 12.45.

The top is about 490m high and is covered in tall trees with a small gap for views down to Cape Pillar and the lighthouse of Tasman Island beyond it.  After a sandwich and a mug of hot chocolate we continued down a much steeper track south towards the Cape Pillar Track.
This had been in shade for a few months and was pretty slippery.  After a few kilometres in the dense bush we reached a rocky cliff that reminded us of Sphinx Rock from Mt Wellington.

We followed a path below the cliff & climbed up at the other end & realised that there was another path we could have taken along the top.  We continued a short distance to a creek and small waterfall.  There was a log crossing here and an old sign pointing across it saying 'Camping' - pointing across the log crossing.

I thought that this might just be a side-trip to a campsite.  There were a few other tracks following up next to the creek and we looked up those but they all faded away.  We returned to the log-crossing to 'Camping' and followed that well-worn track.  It seemed to head the correct direction so we kept going.  It eventually turned to run parallel with the creek that we had just crossed - but was up about 10m higher than the creek - to the south of it.

After a few hundred metres we reached another log crossing with a sign to Camping and another sign the way we had come to Mt Fortescue.  We headed up the only route that didn't have a sign which was up hill towards the Cape Pillar Track.
After some steep & scrubby climbing we eventually reached the sign-posted junction with the Cape Pillar Track.  It was now about 2.45 but the sky was clear & sunny.  We headed back to the n/w and at 4pm we reached an open plain we spotted a 5 men ahead and then noticed the Parks Helicopter on the ground in buttongrass.  They were about to leave & we said hello as we passed. 

We continued along the track with was partly boards (in the boggy spots) and dry, rocky track in other areas.  At 5pm it was getting dark and we got our head torches out of our packs to be ready for the darkness.  We started heading down to the creek near the end at 5.30pm and my eyes were adjusting to the dusk so I didn't use the head-torch.

We reached the road at 5.45pm and strolled back to the car.  It was nice to sit down in the comfy car seats after about 8 hours of walking and a good day out.

Kayak 500m time trials - Lauderdale Canal Saturday 21 July 2012

Kayak 500m time trials - Lauderdale Canal
Saturday 21 July 2012

Derwent Canoe Club put on an afternoon of 500m time trials in the Lauderdale Canal.  The canal is fairly shallow, but sheltered and is a handy, user-friendly spot for testing out times on various craft.

It was fairly casual and you could do as many (or as few) painful efforts as you wanted.  I started in my Grafton Chrono and did a few warm-up laps then a hard on at 2.19.
I swapped to my evolution edge & was surprised that it was nearly the same at 2.20 and I could feel the pain from the previous efforts.

A 500m kayak isn't a sprint.  I approached it by about 30 sprint strokes to get the kayak moving, then settled into a hard, steady stroke - concentrating on keeping my stroke together until trying to finish the last 50m off as hard as I could.

After a few Chrono & Evo Edge efforts I tried a Stellar SES.  I didn't get the leg length set up properly and couldn't keep it straight but it felt ok on the flat.

Later I had a go in a Think Uno (fibreglass version).  It felt sleek.  I didn't get to try a timed lap as Jon was getting too cold standing around.

Ben ended up with the fastest time paddling Seb's Nelo K1.

Kayak Training - Thursday 19 July 2012

Thursday night group paddle session - Sandy Bay
Thurs 19 July 2012

A big group turned up for the session with lots of new faces.  I took my time bandit as my 'more-stable' option in the gusty n/w wind.  I the warm-up Ian spotted a dolphin cruising past the casino.  A few seconds later 4 dolphins surfaced, following the shore towards the DSS.  We haven't had much rain in the last week so the water was less dirty than normal.  A couple of weeks ago a seal was loitering near the DSS appearing to catch a few fish near the boat ramp.

We headed up to the docks for what we thought was some 2 minute efforts.  This turned out to be 6-7 minute endurance efforts.  At least the days are getting longer and we had half the session in light and partial light.

We started out at the end of the docks near CSIRO and headed into the marina, under the foot bridge that goes out to the marina (near Mures) then back out to CSIRO.
I worked on my starts because that is where I have been losing out to the faster paddlers.  It was good to have Seb, Bucks & Marty to paddle with.  It is a fine balance to work out how many really hard strokes to do before you settle down into your steady endurance rating.  I definitely depends on your training.

At the start of the year my endurance was gone & after one sprint I had nothing left - because I had a year off kayak training - initially due to injuries but then due to apathy & laziness.  But with these group sessions and regular races it keeps you motivated to train in between to improve against the other paddlers.

Kayak Training Wednesday 18 July 2012

Wednesday 18 July 2012
Midway Point paddle
wind - 20-30km/h n/w with a very slight outgoing tide in the same direction
Kayak - Grafton Time Bandit
It seems like the strong spring winds have come early.  We have had lots of very strong wind in the last week from the west to n/w.
Today's Midway Point circuit was a moderate cruise because I stupidly decided to go for a paddle just after having a bowl of cereal & I felt sluggish.  I cruised around the loop at 10.4km/h average in the strong wind in a time of 41.20 for the 7.2km
In the early morning sun, the sea eagles white chest really stood out as it watched me from a gum tree as I paddled below it.

Yay ... my tax return just appeared in my bank account.  After a bit of recent saving as well I have enough to buy an ocean ski again.  I had to sell my Epic v10L to pay for my bathroom repairs 2 years ago.

[The tiles started falling off in my shower and I found that there were gaps in the non-waterproof plaster board behind that had been getting wet.  I removed all the tiles & scraped the wall back, & fixed the holes then Dad helped as we put in waterproof bathroom wall sheeting then laminex 'lamipanel'.  I had to also fix a crack in the shower base then put lots of coats of sealing paint on top.  It was finished with a lovely new frosted glass door.]

After selling the V10L I have gone through withdrawal and missed it.  I have been looking at the available skis for the 'not-very-tall people'.  The options are:

Stellar SES
Fenn Elite - Aussie version with the seat closer to the pedals
Epic V10L
The other issue is that after my test paddle of the Fenn Swordfish I loved the secure feeling in rough weather.

Saturday 14 July 2012 - kayak training

Saturday 14 July 2012

Midway Point paddle

wind - 26km/h nw with an outgoing tide in the same direction

Kayak - Grafton Chrono

The conditions were messy.  I did a 7.2km anti-clockwise lap of my course at a cruising pace of 10.4km/h av - time 41.40

I saw the 2 sea eagles again as I paddled - 1 flying and 1 watching from an old tree.
As I packed up a bloke was taking out an old aluminium dinghy with an even older mercury outboard.  His 'missus' looked absolutely thrilled to be going out fishing in the cold wind and approaching rain.  

I left while he was still trying to start the motor as she rowed the boat - battling the current & wind.

Thursday 12 July 2012 - Thursday night group paddle session - Sandy Bay

Thursday night group paddle session - Sandy Bay
Thurs 12 July 2012

I collected my Grafton Time Bandit kayak from Pure Surf/Nick Stranger at midday.  He had fixed up a few minor chips & a couple of cracks on the boat that I bought second hand from Ash Noble.  

The session for the Thursday night Ben Maynard group was going to be a 60 minute time trial.  At this time of year it is mostly in the dark so I decided to use my bandit kayak for the extra stability in the dark - rather than take my Chrono or Evolution Edge.

From our start point off the end of the DSS boat ramp the course headed to the Casino Point, 'Wrest Point' and around the corner to the big red pole.  This turning mark was about 640m from the start.  The course headed back to the start and into a sheltered area behind the Royal Yacht Club's breakwater & around 3 buoys and back to the start line.  This was right on 1.5km.  The conditions were calm with virtually no wind and a high tide.
At the start Scott Knighton (epic v12) got away well and I was next to Ben Maynard who was paddling a DR kayak.  

At the first turning mark around the red pole Scott was just in front but his v12 couldn't turn very tightly so I got inside him and pulled level with Ben next to us.  Andrew Buckley had turned up late and was putting his Chrono in the water as we were starting - so he had to catch up a bit and also had no warm up.

As I headed into the yacht club turn I managed to stay ahead of Ben & Scott partly due to my bandit's good turning circle.  Into the second lap I tried to get in a good rhythm at 11.5km/h ish.  About 2/3 of the way around the second lap Bucks came up on my left and I put in a spurt to get a ride and stayed on his side for a couple of hundred metres and stayed on his tail to the yacht club turn.  This wash ride managed to open little gap on Ben & Scott.  For the next 4 laps this gap stayed pretty constant of about 20m back to Ben & Scott with Bucks creeping away in front.

At the start of the 8th lap I saw that Ben had pulled ahead of Scott and was close behind me.  I knew this would be the last lap as I started this lap at 56mins approx.  I tried to lift on the way to the casino turn and heard Ben close on my tail just approaching the turn.  I squeezed him out at the pole turn but he still cut his DR kayak inside and picked up the pace.  I managed to stay on his right side as we headed back past the casino jetty when the 60 minutes was up.  I had done 11.43km and pretty much paddled at race pace.  The buoy turns at each end were 180° turns which slow the pace a bit - compared to a straight paddle.

The course provoked a bit of discussion about buoy turns and Ben mentioned that I squeezed him out on the turns.  I will have to concede that I had my 'racing goggles' on - and took every turn as seriously as Lewis Hamilton trying to overtake to get the lead on the last lap of the last race of the season to win the F1 title.  Maybe I took it a little too seriously - but I love a race - even if Ben was just cruising behind me.  It was clear that he had effort to spare when he can still speak while he is paddling.  If I said anything more than 2 words it was taking valuable energy away from paddling.

kayak training Midway Point course

kayak training Midway Point course

Tuesday 10 July 2012 -

As I drove home from work I could saw that the conditions at Midway Point were glassy calm and the tide seemed pretty high.  It seemed like perfect conditions to try for a 'PB' around my 7.2km course around the two islands and the under both ends of McGees Bridge.  My previous best time was 37.50.  I decided to use my sleekest kayak for the attempt - my carbon Evolution Edge.

In my warm-up I checked for current flow under the bridge and there seemed to be no flow at all so it seemed to be high tide time which also gave me less shallow water around the islands - another bonus.  I headed off on the first stretch down to Woody Island at a steady 11.7 to 12km/h.  

My pace slowed a bit in the shallow water around the island but picked back up to 11.5 ish heading across to Barren Island.  Is is very shallow for a long way around Barren Island and I was down to 10km/h.  

I put in a big effort to get back to 12km/h towards the western end of the bridge and went under to the northern side and then sprinted the final stretch to the eastern end of the bridge finishing in a best time of 36m45sec averaging 11.6km/h.  I am pretty happy with that speed because it includes 1-2km of water only one or two feet deep.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Returned Swordfish to Angus - (foot setting 2 1/2 holes visible).  Bought a new router & usb hub from Harvey Norman.  Evening training - treadmill - hill 5km session, 8x25 push ups, weights shoulder press & upright row.

Fenn Swordfish test paddle

Monday 25 June 2012

windy test paddle of Swordfish at Dodges Ferry - filmed on gopro.

I loved the feel of it.  I took it out from Dodges Ferry in gale force westerly conditions to give it a good test.  I always felt comfortable which I can't say for those conditions in my Epic V10L

Huon Race 3, Sunday 24 June 2012

Huon Race 3
Sunday 24 June 2012

Started in Div 2 & got a good start.  Stayed with Andy Palmer until the mess on final bend where we were caught by Seb, Ben Maynard & Bucks.  Everyone wanted to take the shortest route around the final bend.  

Ben came up on the inside of me but he bent his rudder earlier in the race and couldn't turn to the left so I couldn't turn left at the bend - until Ben stopped to slowly turn his ski.

Evening - 5km treadmill, pushups & weights.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Thurs 21 June 2012

I was happy that this was the shortest day and was looking forward to longer daylight hours.

Ben Maynard's kayak training was at Sandy Bay at 4.45pm.  It was pretty chilly and dark at the start of the session.  

We did a repeat of a session from 11th of May - 3 x 2.2km efforts with a couple of minutes between the efforts - trying to do an even pace over the 3 efforts.

Before starting I knew that I was paddling faster now than I was for the May session, as a result of doing a minimum of 3 paddling sessions a week as well as some jogging & gym sessions each week.  

For as long as I can remember I have gone months during winter without doing any paddling training so the summer ahead should be far stronger than previous years.
For my 3 efforts last night, the first one went ok at 10m52s.  

The second was 10m48s when I got a better ride as Ben went past me.  The third was a bit messy getting around the Casino point when a couple of paddlers became caught up on the concrete above a pipe and I ran straight into a buoy near the finish.  I was a bit slower at 10.56 but I was getting tired without the obstacles.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Wed 20 June 2012

After work I took my Evolution Edge out at Midway Point in a strong westerly with white-caps and a lumpy current around McGee's Bridge.  I was pretty careful & deliberate when I started & headed straight into the wind for stability.  

I made it across to the Tasmania Golf Course & did some efforts in the sheltered water near the shore & the causeway.  I headed back down next to the causeway catching the run nervously.  

The evo edge is so tippy and narrow.  I turned right under the bridge slogged back upwind next to the causeway on the southern side until I reached the sheltered, shallow water again.  I turned and ran back with the swells with the evo edge slicing easily through the waves.  I carefully crossed the rough, tidal flow under the bridge and headed back to the beach for a short & sharp session - cold and windy.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Sunday 17 June 2012 - Dad had bought some water tanks and they were stack in his trailer.  They were the plastic tank with metal frame that people put in a box trailer to take water to their shack.  Dad & I got them out of the trailer and moved them to his back yard to collect future roof water.  Nice home-made potato & leak soup for lunch.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Sat 16 June 2012 - 8am training with the Clifton slsc guys at Lauderdale.  

It was a mixture of stroke work and some short efforts & a longer one at the end.  

I called in to a Telstra shop to buy another pre-paid sim for internet access to try and workout what settings I needed to configure my router to my new ISP.  

This didn't help so I had to resort to the Tech Support where my sub-continental comprehension got a workout.  

As frutstrating as it was, in the end it was a setting at the ISP's end that rectified the problem and I was up and running.  This made me pretty happy as the new ISP was reducing the monthly cost by $50 for the same speed & bigger data allowance.

Friday 15 June 2012

Fri 15 June 2012 

To escape the frustration of no internet access, I headed out for a paddle.  After missing the 'Ben Thursday night session' I was motivated to do a good session to make up for it.  There was virtually no wind and it was a high tide during the early afternoon.  I headed out in my Grafton Bandit for a lap of my 7.2km Midway Point course.

With perfect conditions I thought that I had a reasonable chance of a PB.  My best previous time was 38.10 in my Grafton Chrono.

I went for a short warm up to establish which way the tidal current was going.  There was about a 0.5 to 1.0 km/h approx incoming flow under the bridge.  I headed off at a solid, steady pace for the 2.5km down to Woody Island in flat conditions at 10 to 11km/h against a variable strength current.  

The tide was unusually high and I could paddle closely around Woody Island without suffering from the bottom drag that normally slows me to 9km/h.

From Woody to Barren Island there were patches of 13km/h to lift my average pace but this slowed as the water became shallow again near the island.  Once the drag released me I put in the big ones to the left end gap of McGee's Bridge, went through, turned right and finished hard along the north side of it to the end of the bridge where I finish.  Along the final stretch next to the bridge, I was glancing down at the stopwatch and I could see that I would be close to a fastest time.

I tried to lift but also keep my stroke efficient and struggled to the end in 37m55s - a PB by 15 seconds.  My times for this course vary a lot due to wind, current, waves and low tide.  In the worst conditions, with low tide (& more bottom drag) my times are generally 42.30 to 43mins.

I like this training course because you usually get wind & waves from different angles and you also have to put in effort in the increased drag of the shallow water.  In a lot of sessions that people do they head off directly into the wind and come back directly with the wind and they don't do enough side-on work and 45° up or downwind.  When you have a fixed triangle or rectangular course (anything except up & back straight into the wind) you will get a great variety in your sessions as the wind comes from different directions.