Hello Paddlers Did you say April? Where have the last two months gone? Well we know that March went to Flinders Island with Reg, Tory and Tom! In Hob

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Hello Paddlers

Did you say April? Where have the last two months gone? Well we know that March went to Flinders Island with Reg, Tory and Tom! In Hobart we hosted heaps of people on the waterfront paddle, having fun and getting out amongst the cruise ships and Antarctic exploration vessels (see video link below).

We've had great reports on the Flinders Island adventures. It really is a spectacular place and even more so when viewed from the water. We're currently planning dates for Flinders Island for next year and will announce them soon. But get in quickly – if this year's response was anything to go on, they'll sell out in a flash!

Poor Reg is doing it tough, after his three weeks on Flinders, we've packed him, along with Tom and Tim, off to the Southwest on the last trip for the season. We're hoping the weather gives them the myriad of experiences this special place is renowned for – sparkling waters and mysterious fog-shrouded days included.

If you're in Hobart over the holiday break, don't forget our day tours are all operating. Wishing everyone a safe and adventurous Easter (hopefully outdoors).

See you on the water
Reg and Jen

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Southwest Tasmanian Music!

To get you in the mood for a Southwest kayaking expedition, here’s a beautiful piece of music (if you like classical) called Spirit of the Wild that was inspired by a trip to Bathurst Harbour. Composer Nigel Westlake explains here on ABC Radio what moved him and gives a sample of the music (music starts at the 8 minute mark). See if it transports you to the mountains, rivers and drama of the Southwest.

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Paddling the Hobart waterfront

The Hobart waterfront is popular for walking around, enjoying fresh seafood, admiring the historic buildings, checking out the varied boats and enjoying the vista but kayaking around the waterfront gives you a whole new perspective. The view from the water is best explained in this video from our friends at Adventure Tasmania.

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SBS Video

In our last newsletter we mentioned Reg and Tory went kayaking with Mike Tomalaris from SBS. Mike has now produced a video and written about his kayaking adventure on the SBS website. It was great to see how blown away he was that in less than 10 kms from Hobart’s CBD he was paddling in clear water with abundant birdlife including the magnificent Sea Eagle.

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Benefits of Kayaking - BLOG

The feeling of bobbing around on the water and being immersed in the natural environment is benefit enough some would say, but there's more going on to make you feel even better. You're working out, de-stressing, and there's just the whole being outdoors thing. Checkout our latest BLOG here for more benefits.

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Shutterbug Walkabouts

Roaring 40°s Kayaking's friends, Shutterbug Walkabouts, can help you develop (pun intended!) your photography skills so those images you take on your Tasmanian adventure will be the even better. Coreena and Roy offer outdoor photography tuition so you can turn your lesson into some sightseeing as well! For the more dedicated check out their two fabulous photography retreats.

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The Jellyfish App

On the water we encounter many different creatures but perhaps one of the most mystifying is the jellyfish. For Hobart-based jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin they provide a fascinating world to work in (see 5 Questions below). Dr Gershwin and her business partners have developed The Jellyfish App to help with identification and provide advice on sting treatment. The App is highly recommended and has been downloaded in 61 countries.

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5 QUESTIONS WITH DR LISA-ANN GERSHWIN

We asked Dr Gershwin 5 jellyfish questions and she wowed us with her passionate answers. Below are shortened versions of her responses … but we recommend you read her full responses here and check out her Jellyfish App. You will love her passion too!

1.Why jellyfish? Is there one fascinating fact about them that drew you to study them so passionately?
Oh heavens, we definitely don't have enough space for me to fully explain all the things I love about jellies! They are simply amazing. They've got that whole beautiful-but-dangerous thing, and they are so weird and other-worldly that honestly, it just makes my heart pound with excitement. I also love that as a scientist I study something with such enormous potential for so many meaningful discoveries: in a recent week I found something in the order of four new records for Australia and at least one species new to science. I love that my work feels like Christmas morning most days☺

2. What jellyfish will we find around Tasmania?
We have about 50-100 jellyfish species around Tasmania, depending on how tightly or loosely you define jellyfish. These range from the brilliant blue Blue Bottle, to three species of Lion's Manes, all new to science, to dozens of species of fairly harmless teeny tiny species just a few millimetres tall, that come in the most astonishingly strange shapes. We have so many more other species, and so many more yet to discover. I still find that about 8 out of 10 times I go jellyfishing I find a species new to science – there aren't many things you can do in the world with that much excitement (at least not legally!).

3. Are any a threat to us?
We've got a few here that sting, but none that are life threatening. The Blue Bottle of course is fairly stingy. And the Long Stingy Stringy Thingy, obviously. And the Lion's Mane and Sea Nettle will get your attention but probably not drive you out of the water. Most of the species of jellies we have here in Tasmania are just cool to watch and wonder about.

4.What's the biggest one a) in the world and b) in our waters?
The biggest diameter jellyfish known in the world is one of the Lion's Mane species Cyanea arctica from the North Atlantic, which reaches about 3m across the bell. The longest jellyfish is a totally weird colonial beast from the deep seas of the world, which reaches about 50m – longer than a blue whale! It has hundreds of long tentacles that it deploys into essentially a wall of sting, or like a very long array of fly paper, catching any hapless creature that bumbles into it.

Here in Tassie, our biggest are almost miniature in comparison, with our biggest Lion's Mane species reaching about 1.5m in diameter.

5. One of our tours saw a large school off Constitution Dock – are we seeing an increase in jellyfish in our waters or is this normal?
This is a good question! The local Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia) can bloom fairly impressively, particularly at Constitution Dock. I've seen it there in numbers that really got my attention. Intriguingly, although it now occurs in large numbers most summers right across southern Tassie, a synopsis of local jellies in the 1980s didn't include it, suggesting that it wasn't so abundant then.

As for jellies in general, we know from overseas studies that many species are becoming more abundant in certain areas – bays and harbours for example – but we lack systematic sampling here to be able to really say with confidence.

For Dr Gershwin's more detailed answers go to our website.

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In our next newsletter ... Kayak hygiene, Tasmanian craft beer scene, 2018 Flinders Island dates (we hope) and more.

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