People venturing onto the water should be aware that all paddling activities pose a risk. How prepared are you?
Firstly review what GRADE means when reading the Waterways Guide. Grade is used to describe the type of white, flat or sea water you might encounter on a fine day. One then needs to consider the effect of rain and weather on this waterway. Review the information on Grades and always be realistic when you assess your own capability. Progress cautiously as you experience the ever increasing complexity of Grade when it comes to describing the waterway.
To plan a safe day on the water we recommend you download the PaddleSafe app from the itune store. It not only gives you the information on the waterways guide but also lets you create a trip plan and leave it with a home base incase you do not return by a designated time
Go to the website BOAT FOR LIFE. You will find all the information you need to help you keep safe on the water. Lifejackets, the rules of the water, the right equipment, trip planning are some of the topics outlined and displayed in the video. Save the link to the full PaddleSafe video to prepare yourself and equipment and review the Rules of the Water.
Paddle safe videos
The Paddle Safely on Sydney Harbour leaflet (PDF) shows the prohibited and heavy traffic areas
The Steer Clear zones (PDF) shows where a boater must never obstruct the shipping lanes in Sydney and Botany Harbours.
This publication "Paddle Your Own" (PDF) introduces the new paddler to the basics of canoeing and kayaking. To develop your capability join a group or Club to find like -minded paddlers and develop your paddling interest. Here is a list of certified Clubs affileated with PaddleNSW or turn on the Club layer on the map to find a Club near you.
Use Meteye to check the weather forecast before you go Paddling
Check the weather forecast on Meteye when you are planning a trip and then again before you get on the water to see the current conditions and up to date forecast.. Here is the Bureau of Metorology's brochure about what is available on Meteye. Or watch this video which shows you how to use Meteye
In June 2018 the Bureau of Metorology added Wind Wave Forecaste for inand waters for many inland lakes. the information is shown on the map on the Meteye web site http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/ this page is also accessed via a link of the river sections here are some instructions on how to see this information and which inland waters have wind wave forecats. Wind Wave Height now included on BOM Meteye Maps.pdf
Prepare yourself for all paddling trips by using checklists for good trip planning. Always leave emergency plans (Float Plans) with someone on shore. PaddleNSW the State Peak Body in NSW and Australian Canoeing have a great number of other recreational paddling resources, some of which are listed below.
Download the PaddleSafe APP and effeciently prepare your trip plans electonically. This APP enables you to send the plan to your HOMEBASE and use way points to track your trip. More details can be found here.
To learn from your own experience, keep a log of your trips to record the day, weather, river heights, distance traveled and suggestions for next time. The Waterways Community plan to provide a form for you to store your log on My Profile. Become a trip leader by completing a PaddleNSW course for Flat, whitewater and ocean paddling and share this great experience with your friends and family.
Be mindful of your surroundings when paddling. "Healthy Waterways: better boating, more fish" video. You can learn about some of the simple ways to help protect your favourite waterway now and into the future. .