Editor's columnRobin Copeland 

Kayak fishing for marlin

It takes experience, skill, water awareness and balls to paddle out to sea and specifically target big fish and even more skill to successfully handle and release any marlin that come along.
But that’s exactly what Jeff Sheppeard a 40-year-old policeman from Gerringong, NSW, did last month. He stalks some of the ocean’s largest creatures on a one-man kayak – for the sheer thrill of it.
For almost 10 years, the game fisherman has spent his summers roaming the open ocean in a kayak, hoping to fulfil his boyhood dream of landing a giant marlin. That magical moment finally arrived in February when a 100-kilogram monster snatched his bait.
Perched on a four-metre piece of orange plastic seven kilometres out to sea, he spent the next 90 minutes engaged in an epic battle with one of the ocean’s most voracious creatures.
While fishing from a kayak dates back some 4,000 years, it certainly would be fair to say that modern-day kayak fishing is a relatively new sport and is growing rapidly.
Not everyone takes up the sport with the sole aim of catching more fish. For some it’s all about the experience. The sense of adventure that comes with kayaking is a completely different experience than offered by any other form of boating.
Fishing from a kayak, I’m told, challenges the mind and the body more so than any other form of angling you’re ever likely to undertake. That’s because it’s not just fishing and it’s not just kayaking. As such, it rewards the participant with all of the fun and challenges associated with kayaking, as well as all of the challenges and fun associated with fishing.
The combination makes a recipe for an adrenalin rush. Ultimately, that is precisely why those who participate in the sport consider kayak fishing to be the very best way to wet a line. As a relative novice to kayaking, plaice me more than 100m offshore and I’d be floundering.
Bridge of sighs
News that the Spit Bridge will open less often during upcoming maintenance may be welcomed by the 130,000 daily drivers that cross it, but it’s not so good for sailors who moor west of the low bridge at Middle Harbour in Sydney.
Roads and Maritime Services is upgrading the operating system that raises and lower the bridge. Bad news is the Spit Bridge will not open for vessels with a clearance of over six metres for two weeks  from Monday 16 April. In better news, RMS has secured a number of temporary moorings the eastern side (see p52).
Greenwich granted extra time
Further to last month’s column, where scientists from France were pushing for a plan which would see worldwide time based on atomic clocks … without reference to the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.
Delegates from about 150 countries at the ITU Conference in Geneva reached a state of confusion, rather than consensus, so the decision has been deferred to 2015.

Robin Copeland