Sunday, December 4, 2011

One Degree South

Welcome to the blog documenting the lead up to & hopefully successful completion of our attempt to paddle from Sydney to Jervis Bay in a day, a distance of 60 nautical miles, or one single degree of latitude.
Besides the attraction of a rollicking good day on the sea, racing over 110km down the coast on the back of a typical summer Nor' Easter, we are hoping to achieve a few other goals along the way:

1. Support for RU OK Day.
Simple campfire discussions over the years have identified depression related illness as a seriously widespread problem, prevalent among the demographic we sea kayakers typically inhabit. In teaming up with R U OK Day, we'd like to help raise awareness of the terrible toll suicide takes in our community, and promote the idea of prevention through the simple words we can all share with a friend, 'are you OK'? You can donate to the cause via the link in the right frame of the page. Don't forget to add the words 1DegS in the comments section of your donation so the good folks at R U OK can provice us with a running tally.

2. Promote safe paddling at sea in groups. 
We're paddling as a threesome, the minimum safe sea group, and have a long series of safety protocols in place to minimise the risk associated with such a long, exposed rough water paddle. We'll outline our protocols & the reasoning behind them shortly, & would love to hear the thoughts of our paddling peers on this important subject.

3. Lay down a benchmark for other paddlers to follow. 
Attempting a distance of this magnitude on the open ocean is not something to be taken lightly. However, a skillful, dedicated and well conditioned group should be able to have a crack, and it would be great for the idea to develop over time. Not everyone has the time or inclination to do a multi day 'classic' expedition, and we'd like to think that this challenge provides another nice gauge for sea kayakers to aspire towards, without being such a time committment so as to inhibit a good slice of sea kayakers from even considering the trip.

The Rules!
The idea of 'a degree in a day' should more properly read '60 nautical miles in a day', we understand that paddling a degree of latitude isn't always as convenient as it is around our home coastline! There is a recent upsurge overseas of sea paddling courses designed to be paddled in an athletic way, with participants posting times & developing a friendly rivalry, with times & feats of note dutifully recorded for posterity.
Our rules for 1 Degree are simple. Paddle power only, the trip must be on the open sea, no support craft, due consideration to safety, and some form of charitable fundraising. We think this encompasses the spirit of our idea, and with all due respect to kayak sailing, which we love, if it's a time we're trying to establish we'd prefer the benchmark of paddle power-only to be consistent. 

This blog will document our training & lead up, as well as the paddle itself, which will again be tracked in real time via Spot Messenger, some time towards the end of January (weather dependent).

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