Jenni Harrison and Les Allen
Jenni Harrison and Les Allen are passionate paddlers. Now each retired, the couple spend as a lot time as They will out on the water. They’ve paddled numerous kilometres collectively and, Earlier to Covid-19, they spent three yrs kayaking sections of Australia’s east coast.
“We’ve paddled sections of the shoreline from Cairns to Tasmania and aspherical numerous islands Inside the Whitsundays. We clocked up Greater than 6000km in simply that journey. It was bliss,” Les says.
This couple love the isolation that sea kayaking provides.
Jenni says: “there’s nothing extremeer than being alone on an remoted island or large stretch of bevery”.
Really, alone means alone collectively for these paddling companions. Jenni and Les met all by way of a kayaking membership event Greater than a decade in the past. Jenni was already a proficient paddler, and Les was an expertised teacher, and The two shortly shaped a bond from which a relationship blossomed.
The couple’s love of journey has launched them with some superb encounters with marine life. Les has been menaced by a 5 metre Hammerhead shark and even had a seal Try and steal his paddle. They’ve additionally encountered difficult climate circumstances.
“We’ve paddled up the 15 metre face of a wave in 30 knot winds and Inside The huge tidal currents Inside the channel between the northeast tip of Tasmania and Flinders Island. Through all this, The one time I’ve heard Jenni swear at a wave was when An monumental one broke proper on prime of her. She’s A very competent paddler And she or he’s proper up there Amongst The numerous biggest feminine kayakers in Australia. And that i’m not simply saying that as a Outcome of she’s my companion.”
Both agree there’s been moments of unimaginable magnificence too; paddling in nonetheless waters by moonlight and having a pod of whales play aspherical and beneath their kayaks are simply A pair of of these memorable moments.
“People beneathestimate what You will Have The power to do in a sea kayak,” Jenni says. “It takes a yr To actually Discover your self to be competent and we now practice people on The biggest Method to be protected On the market on the water and what emergency gear to take. Rule Primary: On A daily basis tether your paddles to your boat.”
“We solely use conventional sea kayaks as They’re far protectedr than The favored ‘sit-on-prime’ kayaks. Traditional kayaks are ones the place you sit inside a cockpit so your decrease physique is encased Contained in the hull. There’s a ‘spray skirt’ hooked up to the cockpit opening To maintain You warmth And sprime water Getting into. These conventional-type kayaks have been invented by the Indigenous peoples of the arctic They typically’re masters of the kayak.
Whereas kayaking in extreme seas Might be terribly difficult, Jenni reassures People that becoming a member of An space kayaking group is extra about promoting expertise and protectedty in a social setting. She additionally says thOn The sport is turning into more and more properly-appreciated amongst women.
“As quickly as I first joined the Albany Sea Kayaking Club ten yrs in the past, I used to be The one feminine. Now Greater than 50 per cent Of latest members are women. It’s nonetheless a male dominated sport so We Really want to encourage women to take it up. We typically run a Wild Previous Women On Water (WOWOW) program involving 4 days of kayaking teaching mixed with management and expert enchancment expertise. It’s absolutely booked Each time.”
Jenni additionally provides that, as a Outcome of kayaking is a low influence sport, You will Have The power to do it into your 80s and 90s and it’s an exercise you can beneathtake yr spherical.
For anyone eager to try kayaking, Jenni and Les and the South Coast Kayaking group, are working two ‘come And look at out’ days this November. The primary Shall be at Albany’s Emu Level Marina on 21 November and the second Shall be On the Denmark River mouth on 28 November. Each session will run from 9am-1pm And also you’ll want a kayak with paddles and a life jacket. No expertise Is required and the durations are particularly catered for people over 50.
Anyone wanting information can e-mail tradi [email protected] or Take A look at the South Coast Kayakers’ Fb Website.