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Author Topic: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser  (Read 5837 times)

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Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« on: October 05, 2010, 12:55:17 AM »
Here's Day 1 report from Phil Curry who is paddling 320km down the Hunter River to raise money for Camp Quality.
It would be great if people support Phil in his quest.


Information
Kayak solo from Glenbourne Dam (North east of Muswellbrook) to Horseshoe Beach Newcastle. Covering approx 310 Km's over 12 days.

Link to Phil's Trip BLOG http://brook2beaches.blogspot.com/
Donations to http://www.campquality.org.au/events/newcastle/brook-2-beaches.aspx



Day 1 of Brook to Beaches – nice day for a walk

Well today was the day that all the planning and training came together. I laid awake most of the night listening to the rain on the campers roof and thought this is gonna be nice.

It all started with a quick shower to feel human but soon went pear shaped when I dropped my glasses while undressing. Those that know me will know that I never do anything without my glasses and this is for good reason. I am as blind as a bat. Well the tiles on the floor were brown with dark brown grout so I had no chance of seeing my glasses.  Here I am stark naked on my hands and knees feeling around for my specs but do you think I could find them!! Nope – so still naked I check the other two stalls – lucky there was no one else up and using the showers!!! Imagine what they would have thought of a scrawny little nude bloke on hands and knees in the bottom of a shower cubicle!!  Eventually I found them hard up against the wall in my cubicle. This was not a good start I am thinking – Lucky I don’t believe in omens otherwise I would have just gone back to bed and pretended that it was only the third of October.
Anyway despite my novel approach to the start of the day the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds over Glenbawn for the start of Brook to Beaches. Ya!! To my surprise There were a group of family and close friends who turned up (even in ordinary weather) to cheer me off and show their support. Thank you so much to Team Nev, The Bidstrup's and the Boardman’s. You will never know how much it meant to me to see a group of people turn out for the start of my big adventure.

The river was pretty much what I expected for the upper reaches – I did allot of walking and carrying (probably more than paddling for the first 1 or 2 hours ) and there were lots of fences (4 electric and 2 barbed wire) ,fallen trees and general obstructions  in those first couple of hours!
The shiny new Necky kayak has a couple of new battle scars (sorry to whoever wins it but I will try not to scratch it too much) but I made it to Dartbrook in about 5 Hours so all is well and I am primed for another big day to get through to Bengalla Mine tomorrow afternoon.

Talk tomorrow

Phil



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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 03:45:28 AM »
Thanks for that Fitzy, With the original links gone I was getting curious as to when he was going to start.

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 09:47:32 AM »
Thanks for that Fitzy, With the original links gone I was getting curious as to when he was going to start.

Yeah, my bad. Too many things going on fixing things around here I work stuff. It kind of snuck up on me.



The site (sweetwater) made a $100 donation last night to help encourage Phil on his journey. Any donations from sweetwater members & I'll increase your post count 1 point for every $1 you donate to Camp Quality.

Cheers,

fitzy..

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 01:22:36 AM »
Day 2 update from Phil via SMS

Quote
Gday Fitzy made it 2 Bengalla bridge 2day the necky is proving a gr8 all rounder havin some trouble with email hopefully better luck 2moro 45km down with better water 2 come hopefully

  :youbeauty

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Re: Brook To Beaches - DAY 3
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 09:09:39 AM »
Day 3 update via SMS

Quote
Gday Fitzy made it 2 Denman 2day lots of rapids + fallen trees 2 contend with but managed 2 make reasonable progress more of same 2moro i think will get Sue 2 email copy of blog 2moro when she does it

Phil


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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2010, 04:54:10 PM »
This is getting pretty scary.
Sounds like Phil had a very close call today.
He really is putting it on the line for these kids

Donations up to $650.

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2010, 05:11:14 PM »
Day 3 – Bengalla Bridge to Denman
Today started out cool and overcast so I thought it prudent to put my cag (wet weather paddling jacket) on straight away. I only got a few spots and then the sun came out which was pretty exciting – so exciting that I took a photo of the blue skies!
Yet  again I forgot to turn the GPS on straight away so I was guessing a little as to how far I had travelled but it was a rough enough estimate to gauge how I was going. I was happy to settle into some paddling early with a mixture of rapids and tree obstructions. It never ceases to amaze me that a river can gain speed over rapids and then make a 90 degree turn but this was to be the order of the day.  I was pumped at one point with my progress and confidence in the rapids so much so that I was singing the “Fully Loaded “ advertisement  to myself when all at once I rounded a bend and saw that a new set of rapids head off in another direction straight for an undercut bank! I remember capsizing at this point in training once before and promptly ejected myself from the kayak in time to avert imminent crashing sounds!! From fully loaded to fully ejected in about half a verse – never mind no good busting myself or the new Yak and I am sure that whoever wins the kayak expects it to be in one piece not in two like the ad!
That said I managed a nice steady 6km/h average that allowed me to enjoy the journey while still making progress. I keep reminding myself to do this as I probably will not get the chance to paddle the river in its entirety again in my lifetime.
The leg turned more difficult as time went on with rapid after rapid and fallen tree after fallen tree for the last 5km or so meaning that I was constantly in and out of the Yak to drag it around/ over obstacles.
Mental note – It’s not just about the destination but the journey too
Looking forward to some more challenges with over 30Km to cover to get to Jerry’s Plains tomorrow afternoon. From memory more rapids (some biggins too) and even some wire ropes to avoid so should be fun
Phil

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Day 5
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 05:22:12 PM »
Day 5 – Jerry’s Plains to Maison Dieu
Heartbreak Hotel
What a tough day today turned out to be. We had to pack up the camper so Sue could move it to Singleton before I could paddle so I felt like I had done a day’s work before I started. I was making reasonable Headway, although paddling into a strong headwind till I got to the Power Station.
It was here that things took a turn for the worse. As I headed in I had intended to get out and carry the Yak down over the wall that has been constructed to provide a head for the river pumps but as I approached it looked pretty straight forward. Sure the water was flowing strongly and it was deep but it looked like it was a clear path around the wall. What I couldn’t see was just around a turn was some large boulders directly in the path of any kayaker silly enough to be still be there! I knew I was in serious trouble and jumped out but the water was too deep and flowing too hard to make any real difference to the inevitable. The yak hit broadside on a large rock in the middle of the river, closely followed by me. The Yak filled with water quickly and began folding around the rock. I had my own problems with a wedged ankle in the rocks but at least I had my head above water. After some scary moments I managed to get my ankle free and tried to budge the Yak. I managed to lift (not sure how – probably adrenalin) and once started the water started assisting in the lift of the nose of the Yak. I was devastated that it appeared that I had destroyed the Yak only a third of the way into my paddle but I persisted to free the Yak (after an hour of grunting groaning and being tossed down the rapids a few times.
The paddle (the leash broke the bungy straps it was attached to), my lunch and my drinks were gone but I managed to get the yak free.
Eventually I decided I would push on and walk (dragging the now empty yak) to the next causeway which I thought was  about another 6-7 Km – I had some new cuts, bruises and had managed to twist an knee but I was still in one piece. While dragging the yak I found my lunch, 1 small water bottle and eventually the paddle also.
The Yak has sustained a couple of creases on its side but to the necky’s credit she has proved herself to be tough and is still tracking true. I am so sorry to those that expected a nice newish Kayak. I am not sure whether people want raffle ticket money back but in the Yaks defence I went on to paddle another 30Km today in her and she never missed a beat. Please let me know what you think as I really wanted to hand this thing over in pristine condition.
Anyway the next 30 km continued to test my mental and physical abilities as I paddled into a relentless headwind to reach my destination at Maison Dieu (just shy of Singleton). When I arrived at my pick up point, which was a challenge in itself, I was stoked to find that the Milling family had come to help me disembark and load the yak onto the roof. You guys are absolute legends I don’t think I could have loaded it without you and Dad today. P.S. The hot chocky was an absolute godsend too!  I have now managed about 140Km and will be past half way by tomorrow afternoon.
Bruised and dented the Yak and myself will push on towards the sea.

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 07:58:18 PM »
Wow, glad you're OK Phil.  I wouldn't worry too much about a couple of marks in a Yak.  Three are only two types of Kayaks, brand new ones, and scratched ones.  The scratches add character.

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 05:35:33 AM »
Phil finishes his epic journey tomorrow.

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Re: Brook To Beaches - Camp Quality Fundraiser
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 04:18:04 AM »
Well its all done and dusted and prizes doled out.

Congratulations Phil, what you did was fantastic, your a champion.
http://brook2beaches.blogspot.com/

 

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