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Hello Paddlers!

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Reg has been busy planning some amazing expeditions for the spectacular Tasman and Freycinet Peninsulas for this summer. These trips are exclusive to you, our newsletter readers, and open for bookings now. Find out more below.

We are feeling very chuffed at our recent TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award as one of the top 10 experiences in Australia. We’re so proud of our crew who are all so passionate about what they do! Thank you too to everyone who has paddled with us and written a review. We love receiving reviews as it helps us keep improving and very motivated.

Congratulations to our amazing Melzie on winning bronze at the U23 Canoe Slalom World Team Championships last week. The only non-European team to win a medal! Fantastic effort – we are very proud of you.

Flinders Island trips have again proved very popular and are fully booked for 2020. Look out for 2021 dates soon.

We (Reg and Jen) recently returned from a wonderful short break on Vanuatu. This got us thinking about warm vs cold weather paddling so Reg put together a blog on some differences you may not have thought about. Also below a new 4-day Southwest Expedition, what sustainable tourism means to us and discover how important citizen science is with Toni Cooper from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in the latest of our ‘5 Questions’ series.

See you on the water
Reg and Jen

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5 and 7 day + NEW 4 day Southwest Tasmania expeditions

Sw Experience

The Southwest Tasmanian 4-day Experience - scenic flight, delicious food, comfortable bed

“It’s not long enough!” That’s what we hear about our 3 day trip to the Southwest wilderness! And we understand – there’s so much to absorb in this stunning remote environment. So...we’ve introduced a NEW 4 day/3 night Southwest Tasmania expedition in February 2019, staying exclusively at the standing camp on Bathurst Harbour. Read more here.

Had enough of Christmas hype and long for the natural sounds of the wilderness? Our 5-day Christmas/New Year trips are the perfect way to really get away from it all and breathe again.

For a longer exploration of the Southwest, there are still places left on our ever popular 7-day trips between December to April. It’s a true adventure in Tasmania’s glorious wilds. One of our guests last year said “I would rate this as an outstanding highlight of my long experience kayaking/canoeing.”

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Freycinet and Tasman multi day trips

Freycinet Tasman

Clear water and beaches of Freycinet and amazing caves on Tasman Peninsula

These two peninsulas offer stunning paddling so we’ve added some additional expeditions to the Freycinet and Tasman Peninsulas this summer. These are exclusively offered to you, our newsletter readers, and open for bookings now.

Freycinet Peninsula (30 Nov – 4 Dec - 5 days) - Paddle over stunning clear waters and under beautiful granite mountains aiming to make our way to Schouten Island. Camping on white sandy beaches to watch sun sink over the water and far off hills.

Tasman Peninsula (13-16 Feb - 4 days) - Massive sea cliffs, secluded bays, secret caves and other great paddling locations along this magnificent coastline in south east Tasmania are all within reach from our beachfront accommodation.

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Cold weather vs warm weather paddling

Cold vs warm paddling

Reg paddling in Queensland, dressed for the cold in Southwest Tassie and hammocks on the beach

As we paddled around Vanuatu, jumping off our kayaks at regular intervals to cool down, we got to thinking about the differences in kayaking in cold and warm places. Reg has put together the tips he’s picked up over the years, including his favourite pieces of clothing for different climates.

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Sustainable Tourism

When you live, work and play in a natural environment as spectacular as our island state, wanting to care for this place comes easily. We work hard to ensure our impact is as light as possible, to help others in conservation and to explain and share our ethos as widely as possible. We are also very proud of our Advanced Tourism Eco Certification, with annual audits ensuring we continue best practice. Check out more on what we do in our Blog on Sustainable Tourism.

We will also be joining the Global Climate Strike on 20th September to demand more action on climate change. Hope you can join us where ever you are in the world.

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5 questions with Toni Cooper (BSc (Hons)) from Reef Life Survey, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)

RLS 5 questions

While paddling we easily observe the natural environment above water but life below is often less clear. We know it’s an amazing world of immense bio-diversity that constantly surprises us with new discoveries. But it’s not just scientists doing the research – citizen science is making a huge contribution too. Reef Life Survey (RLS) is a non-profit citizen science program based in Hobart and we asked Toni Cooper to explain how volunteers are helping expand our marine knowledge.

1. How did Reef Life Survey (RLS) being?
The RLS program began in 2007, with Reef Life Survey Foundation (not-for-profit Australian organisation) established in 2011. The aim, and successful outcome, was to show that engaged volunteer divers could be trained to collect species-level information at a high, scientific standard. Eleven years later, we have over 13,000 surveys from 53 countries around the world, including Antarctica!

2. What happens to the data and can we see it?
Rigorously quality controlled RLS data goes into an IMAS database where it’s freely available and used by other scientists, informs decision makers on the changes occurring in our marine environment, builds greater public knowledge and provides resources like the Reef Species of the World database for marine enthusiasts. Here, users can filter and search for over 5000 fish and macro-mobile invertebrate species from around the world.

More recently, two Reef Life Survey indicators have been formally accepted by the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership for reporting on global biodiversity targets. This has been exceptional (and humbling) recognition of the quality and quantity of the data collected by RLS divers and international partners and its relevance to international policies and agreements.

3. What’s the most remarkable thing(s) that’s been discovered?
In 2018, RLS divers discovered a new population of arguably the world’s rarest fish, the Red handfish (Thymichthys politus) in Tasmanian waters! For nearly 10 years, RLS divers have been monitoring the red handfish at key historical locations, and it was thought there may be just 20 left. This discovery gives hope there may be other undiscovered populations and importantly it facilitated crucial scientific research into the species for conservation and protection.

4. Does the RLS cover the Southwest and Flinders?
Yes! Although RLS HQ is in Hobart, ironically much of our survey effort has had a heavy focus on other locations around Australia, mainly due to Tasmania already having an IMAS-supported, long-term monitoring program. Our divers have still been lucky enough to survey some of Tasmania’s finest coastlines, including our very first RLS training expedition on Flinders Island, the unique and remote Port Davey/Bathurst Harbour region and Rocky Cape on the State’s northwest coast. (See https://reeflifesurvey.com/species/search.php for locations)

5. How do volunteer divers (and others) get involved?
Due to the efforts and costs required, both from divers and trainers, we only train up the keenest and most dedicated of the recreational dive community when possible. The eligibility requirements are around dive experience to ensure diver safety, not usually an issue for most marine underwater enthusiasts!

Even if you’re not a diver, there are many other ways you could help the RLS see https://reeflifesurvey.com/how-to/

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