Hello Paddlers!

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A late dusting of snow in Hobart last weekend

Summer is on the horizon and we’re very excited about being back on the water. We hope you’re keeping safe and that we will be able to welcome everyone from across Australia to “Come down for Air” in Tasmania this summer.

Reg and Jen were very lucky this winter having just returned from a driving holiday through western Queensland and the Northern Territory, including 17 days walking on the Larapinta Track. We loved our desert travels but are happy to be home and swapping the red dust for the crisp, clean Tasmanian air - and a dusting of snow last weekend! We tested out our new Scrubba bag during our travels – see the review below.

You’re obviously all keen to travel, and who isn’t! Our expedition trips are almost fully booked for this summer with just a few places on the Gordon River and Bathurst Harbour/Port Davey in November 2021. Dates are now available for our 2022/23 season too. Details follow.

Also below:
* Friends of Melaleuca have been busy with the walking huts
* Kayak instruction dates
* Meet Linda Gaskell, Voyage Co-ordinator/Manager with CSIRO

Looking to book? If the dates you’re after aren’t on the website, please contact us as changes and cancellations are happening almost daily as travel plans are amended. Our office is open Monday to Friday and you can contact us on info@roaring40skayaking.com.au or 0455 949 777.

See you on the water
Reg and Jen


Multiday expeditions

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We have some new spots on our Gordon River expedition on 17th November and our Bathurst Harbour/Port Davey expedition on 27th November. Get in quick though – these are almost our only availabilities for this summer!

Places for our summer 2022/23 multi day expeditions are also available now – check the website for dates:


Vaccinations for Tassie Travel

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All our fingers are crossed that visitors will be coming south this summer, although in this COVID-19 world the possibility that borders may close or other restrictions put in place at any time is real.

Some media reports have suggested vaccination requirements for visitors to Tasmania may apply in the future. Whilst this isn’t the case right now, we encourage everyone thinking of visiting Tasmania to get vaccinated so you won't be disappointed and you help keep our island state safe.


Sea Kayaking Instruction

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Our kayak instruction sessions aim to give you the confidence and inspiration to get out and enjoy the water this summer and are also perfect for improving your skills for longer kayaking trips. The following sessions are starting in October.

Rescue Pool – essential skills to manage capsize situations
Intro to Sea Kayaking – also includes safety and boat set up
Kayak Sea Skills – full day of intermediate kayaking skills training

Click the links below for more info.


Review of the Scrubba Wash Bag

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After writing about the Scrubba wash bag in our recent “Camp Hygiene” blog, we (Reg and Jen) decided to test this Australian invention out on our travels.

We used it regularly and it washed better than other camping washing options (i.e., Reg’s favourite - putting his socks under a rock in a flowing stream). We think it would be a great addition for any kayaking trips. Read full review here.


Bushwalking at Melaleuca since the 1940s

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Last year, Friends of Melaleuca decided to showcase the stories of the Melaleuca walking huts and the history of bushwalking in this wilderness. A collaborative project has resulted in new interpretative panels with beautiful images and interesting tales, including of a visit by Sir Edmund Hillary! If you’ve ever visited the area, you’ll love this depiction of Melalueca. Read the signs HERE.


5 questions – Linda Gaskell, Marine National Facility (MNF) Voyage Delivery Co-ordinator and Voyage Manager at sea, CSIRO

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Marine research ships Investigator and Aurora Australis have long been features of Hobart’s waterfront and always spark interest on our City Paddles. Curious about life on board we asked Voyage Delivery Co-ordinator/Voyage Manager, Linda Gaskell, about planning and working on research vessel (RV) Investigator.

Below are abbreviated responses to the questions we asked Linda. See the full responses here.

1. When does voyage planning on RV Investigator start and how different is trip preparation/experience under COVID?
Planning starts around 12 months out from voyage departure. My role is to manage all aspects of voyage planning with internal and external stakeholders, to ensure the ship departs with everything and everyone onboard.

COVID has had a significant impact; initially with the delay of all voyages until around mid 2020. The health, wellbeing and safety of everyone on the ship is paramount and we've adapted onboard activities to reflect the same restrictions you may face onshore i.e. physical distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes and separating teams of people on board.

2. What science programs are coming up in 2022?
January – March (Dr Alix Post, Geoscience Australia). Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) is cold and salty seawater, produced uniquely around Antarctica. To understand future oceans, our research aims to understand past changes in AABW production.

March-April (Dr Martin Jutzeler, UTas). This expedition will collect new information on volcanoes responsible for the largest types of eruptions, focusing on northeast of New Zealand. It will provide novel data on hazards linked to submarine volcanic eruptions, such as tsunamis and breakage of underwater communication cables.

April-May (Dr Elizabeth Shadwick, Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO). This voyage will maintain the Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS), a set of deep-ocean moorings that provide world-leading automated observations of the exchanges of heat, carbon dioxide, and oxygen between the ocean and atmosphere, and the physical and biological processes that control them. Sensor data is delivered live online.

For more information on these science programs see the full responses here.

3. Are there any peculiarities for working with science teams on board?
Our scientists are incredibly passionate about their work and their projects are many years in the making – being on RV Investigator is just one part of their overall research. It's not an easy process to get on board, so they are very focussed on their objectives in the finite time at sea. The entire ship's complement becomes a mini community, everybody collaborating in the work being undertaken with the scientists, support staff and crew all pulling together to make science happen.

4. Is there such a thing as a normal day at sea?
I don't think there is much which would be considered 'normal' whilst at sea! RV Investigator is a moving platform exposed to rapidly changing conditions, in what can be unfamiliar and remote circumstances. It is a closed community working 12-hour shifts, 24/7 in a dynamic and sometimes challenging environment. There is a real sense of achievement when we tie up alongside at the end of a voyage – a feeling of 'yes, we did that!'.

5. What was your most memorable part of your 60 day Antarctic this year?
There are so many: our first sighting of an iceberg, watching the stunning southern lights – Aurora Australis – overhead at night, a snowflake landing on my jacket during an onboard BBQ, being surrounded by more than 30 curious whales – so close I could almost touch them! And, of course, the food! The catering staff do an amazing job providing 3 meals a day and all the snacks you could ever wish for. The gym gets quite a workout – although walking up 10 flights of stairs multiple times a day also keeps you reasonably fit!

RV Investigator is part of the Marine National Facility, a national research capability funded by the Australian Government and operated by CSIRO on behalf of nation.

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For more information:

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