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2012 Family & Friends Surf Weekend

Report by Jeanette Droop

Surf DudeOn the weekend of the 17-19 February 2012, six members their partners and families ventured down the coast for the club’s annual family and friends surf trip. This year we stayed at a large holiday house at Longbeach (5 minutes north of Batemans Bay).

It was with a fair amount of concern that we all drove down the Clyde on Friday evening as the weather was wet and miserable. It was bucketing down and visibility was close to nil. Not a great start to a weekend away with 18 people sharing a house. Thankfully, there was no need to worry as we woke to a bright, hot and clear Saturday morning with no sign of clouds anywhere.

The surfers got off to the traditional early start to meet the instructor (www.soulrider.com.au) at Cookies Beach near Durras Village. This beach was ideal: tucked away, quiet and thankfully rolling in small to medium waves with regular intervals. The water was fantastic, crystal clear and refreshingly cool. A great place for beginner and novice surfers.  On the beach we practiced the correct method to lie on the board and move quickly to a standing position (easily done by the supple and lighter members of the group). The real challenge began when we got into the water.

As shown during the past trips the ‘nippers’ within the group proved to be fast learners. Helen’s children Rachel, Benny and Josh easily mastered the lying down, reading the swell and standing on the board. They were soon catching waves and hanging ten into the beach. The adults among us also managed to hang ten quite a few times with Luke, Atsuko, Jeanette and Richard catching many a wave.  At one stage the group was joined by a group of dolphins but they left before we had a chance to paddle closer.

Meanwhile, back on the beach our contingent of non surfers had set up camp and also enjoyed a swim and paddle. Annette, Veronica, Rod and Garry looked after the younger members.  Many a sandcastle was constructed with moats and walls only to be demolished by rogue waves and young feet having a great time jumping on them.

Saturday afternoon was down time as everyone recovered and relaxed. The seven children got along extremely well and played games from the house’s well stocked games cupboard or had a sleep to recharge the batteries. The adults mingled over lunch and relaxed as well.

Everyone pitched in to prepare a large and tasty feast shared by all on Saturday night. This was a barbeque held at Maloney’s Beach.  As usual the group entertained themselves in the Australian way: men doing the cooking and participating in secret man’ business, ladies having a pleasant wine and chat and the children running around having a great time.

Sunday was another gorgeous day with the weather and coast picture perfect. Everyone went their own way. Richard and Greg went to Bawley Point for another surf lesson but miss judged the travelling time and missed the lesson. Jeanette and Rod launched the canoe at Longbeach and paddled with a dolphin flicking water at them and swimming under the bow.

“Fun, friendship” … and a little bit of “fitness” was had by all of us over the weekend and we were all thankfully our prayers for the rain to stop were answered.

We look forward to heading off again too the coast in February 2013 and we hope to see lots of members and family/friends taking part in this annual event.

2011 Family & Friends Surf Weekend

Surf DudeFollowing on from successful surf weekends in previous years, this year’s Family & Friends Surf Weekend took place on 25-28 February 2011 in Narooma.

Report by Jeanette Droop

Thirteen members, family and friends travelled to Narooma on the last weekend of February to participate in the FRIENDSHIP and FUN element of masters swimming. We stayed at the Island View Resort in their large Olympic Cottage.

Fun was an essential ingredient and it was evident that people were enjoying themselves. Lots of laughs and joviality was heard in, out and on the water!  Current Vikings caught up with some past members: Di Gregory and Steve Walker and it was good to see both of them. It was unfortunate that we did not manage to catch up with some other past members: David, Jill, Katrina (Winky) and Matt, as we had hoped.

Saturday morning was an early start as we travelled North to Broulee to ride the swell. Our surfing lessons were held with Broulee Surf School.  We donned our wetsuits — not the most comfortable or attractive items of clothing and they proved a challenge both to get into and out of for most of us and especially Rod.  The water was clean and clear and the temperature was terrific – . Not too cold and not too warm, as the saying goes “just right”.

For our seasoned annual surfers the conditions in the water looked disappointing at first as the waves were few and far between. The bay seemed to be as flat as Lake Burley Griffin, however the swell picked up and we managed to ‘hang ten’, hang loose, fall off and miss a few waves, a few times each.

As the tide went out the waves crested and broke close to the shore. This was a recipe for dumpers. Many of us got dumped and came up spluttering sand and some colourful adjectives.  Getting back through the dumpers was almost more challenging than standing up on the board.

Josh, Lochan and Nick had their first surfing lessons and did very well reading the waves, paddling and balancing on the boards. They are all keen to come back next year for another lesson. At least one boy was heard saying “I am going to ask for a surfboard for my birthday.” We believe that all our beginner surfers managed to ride several waves into the beach.

After a few hours surfing and some more time swimming at our leisure most of us enjoyed a relaxing meal and refreshing drink on the foreshore at Narooma. Annette shared her chips with a not so friendly but extremely greedy seagull. She had no choice but to share as the seagull flew across and stole a chip from her mouth as she was munching on it … thankfully the local pelicans had had their breakfast at dawn!

As is traditional the group pulled together to prepare a feast of gastronomic proportions on the Saturday evening. We had a tasty barbeque for tea and settled down to read, talk and play cards.  Annette and Andrea beat Jeanette and Rod playing 500.

On Sunday most of us kayaked on Durras Lake with Bay and Beyond Sea Kayak Tours for a few hours. Others took the opportunity to visit friends and family along the coast. The lake was sheltered and not very deep, we paddled for a few kilometres up and down the channels. Leisa fell out of the craft and James being the concerned son, went to her rescue (or he wanted an excuse to get in the water) and assisted her back into the craft. This proved to be more difficult than it looked. Rod and Jeanette can vouch that there are no fish in Lake Durras… not a nibble was felt on their lines … both of them caught terra-firma, but nothing else.

As Sunday progressed, the wind picked up and the weather from the south looked stormy so we headed back to the boat ramp, helped load the kayaks onto the trailer and headed back up the mountain to home. The weekend was very pleasant and provided lots of fun and relaxation.

We are planning to do it again in 2012 and are open to suggestions about activities and accommodation. Remember to mark the last weekend in February on your calendar, as we hope to make this the date for the 2012 Surfing Weekend. Everyone is invited, to come along and have a good time!

View photos from the Surf Weekend 2011.

2010 Family & Friends Surf Weekend

Surf DudeOn the last weekend in March 2010, a group of about 15 members and family, made their way to East’s Van Park in Kiama for our annual surfing weekend. This was only our second year to Kiama and we just managed to squeeze the visit in, in between the NSW Short Course Championships and Easter.

After a quiet evening Friday, we were up early to make our way down to Gerroa where we met the surf school instructor. After organising ourselves with wetsuits and boards, we headed off down the track to cross the estuary to the northern end of 7 Mile Beach. Well, crossing the usually narrow, very shallow and gentle flowing water proved to be interesting and just a little frightening in fact. The water was much deeper than usual, and the undertow another story completely!   Even Ian Thorpe at his best would have been hard pressed to swim against it with any effect. After regrouping, doing a head count to make sure we all had actually fact made it across, and checking ourselves over for injuries, we trudged down the beach until the instructor found a spot for us to set up.

The surf was a little small, but ‘The Grommets’ aka Suzie’s son Sam, Leisa’s son James and big kid Greg were up and surfing in no time at all. Annette, Suzie, Jeanette and Rod are regular surf weekenders, so it was not long before they were up or almost up at least. Veronika, a first timer, got a little extra one on one from the instructor and was soon getting to the kneeling and then the crouching position and riding the waves in. The two hours passed all too quickly as usual, and it was soon time to head back. Fortunately, the change in tide ensured that the estuary had calmed right down and the super-surfers crossed back without incident. Most of us headed back into Kiama for a well earned coffee and bite to eat then back to the van park. Some headed off to go fishing, while others just relaxed in or by the fantastic pool they have there. We all enjoyed a relaxing evening with a BBQ and a drink or two before heading off to bed. On Sunday some headed home and off to do other things, while smaller group of us went to Jamberoo Water Park for the day. This again proved to be a great day out. When threatening cloud loomed over the escarpment late in the afternoon, we called it quits and headed for home too.

This weekend away certainly met the “friendship and fun” element of the Masters Swimming motto, and we look forward to heading off again next year, either surfing or maybe on a new adventure. We hope to see lots of members and family next year taking part. Thanks to Leisa Cass, who did a fantastic job of organising the trip which proved to be a terrific weekend for all those involved.