The new years eve paddle from a beginners perspective
-By Jessica Lai
Survived NYE unscathed but very wet!
Lessons learnt so far this year:
1) It can be a very scary experience being on a tiny canoe in a harbour with massive big boats around you. Steer clear of ALL the boats to the best of your ability!
2) Make sure you pack a spare change of clothes or you’ll be freezing the whole night. Don’t just assume that because you have a waterproof jacket on, you’ll be guaranteed to stay dry. Likely chances are you’ll still get massively soaked!
3) Coordinate your paddle stokes with your partner otherwise you may end up going around in circles and not get anywhere
4) Not a good idea to try and race other boats…you’ll NEVER beat them. Just more chances of you capsizing and getting even more soaked!
5) Don’t panick kicking and screaming freaking out about a little spider being on the boat…again more likelihood you’ll capsize and get more drenched.
6) If you want to take pictures, make sure you bring a waterproof camera. Wrapping a non-waterproof camera in a plastic bag does not waterproof it!
7) It’s a very wise idea to bring a proper head torch with you as it can get quite dark paddling to and from the midnight fireworks. Trying to make one out of a normal torch and attempting to secure it onto a hat with sticky tape and assuming it’ll stay on may not be the best idea. It WILL fall off! Also make sure you bring a waterproof torch. Thank goodness we bought a tonne of glow sticks to light up the canoe and ourselves in!
Overall, it was an awesome and memorable experience. Definitely a fantastic way to start off 2012! We had the BEST view of the bridge and had a 360 degree view of all the other fireworks around us. (Definitely a much better view than all those poor suckers who had to camp out for hours on end just to secure a good spot to watch the fireworks on land). I was surprised how friendly most of the people on the boats were as they sipped their wines and cheered us on as we paddled into the harbour. Also got plenty of cheers from the crowds on shore screaming and wishing us happy new year.