A short but adventure packed kayak this morning. Great views of the city, wildlife and a police chase!
Set off from Balmoral and decided to make our way to South Head.
The trip over was uneventful aside from evading a ferry or two crossing the channel.
However, on the way back approximately 100m off South Head we found a Maritime Police boat racing towards us. Next thing we knew the boat was on top of us and we were promptly asked why we weren’t wearing life jackets. I generally carry a life jacket paddling but will only put it on if I’m going into open water or bad conditions.
Apparently (and I say apparently because despite my legal research skills I haven’t yet found the actual regulation) it is a requirement to wear a life jacket in NSW whenever you are more than 100m offshore in paddle craft.
The only reference I’ve found to the requirement so far is this pamphlet which references the requirement and includes an interesting map of Sydney Harbour kayaking: http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/docs/publications/Paddle_Sydney_Harbour.pdf
After a stern talking to we were supervised putting on our jackets and thankfully left without a fine.
The paddle back was terrific with the sun peaking out and some crystal blue waters rounding middle head. We even saw three penguins on the way back which were sadly just a little quick for my camera!