Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Coast Track Via Kayak: Cronulla to Stanwell Park

In 2012, Doug and I walked the Coast Track from Bundeena to Otford through the Royal National Park. We never gave a thought to kayaking this spectacular section of coast, but, as we spent more and more time in our kayaks, the idea of kayaking the Coast track became more and more appealing.

Near Burning Palms on the Coast Track

Jump forward four years and we found ourselves in Loftus after being rained out from a Blue Mountains climbing trip. What better way to spend a day between storms than paddling the east coast of the Royal National Park.

Mount Boyce waterfall after rain

Logistics for a car shuttle are relatively easy if time consuming. The South Coast rail line has hourly trains that stop at all the little stations south of - and including - Stanwell Park. So, if you launch from Cronulla it is convenient, if not quick, to walk to the train station from where ever you are able to land and take the train (two changes) back to Cronulla to retrieve your vehicle.

Sea cliff paddling south of Wattamolla

The first sheltered landing once you pass beyond the National Park boundary at Otford is Austinmer, although even this could be tricky with a northerly swell. We hoped to land at Stanwell Park, but were prepared to continue on to Austinmer.

Kilometres of sandstone cliffs

Sydney is so busy that even at 6.15 am the traffic was heavy on the suburban streets and it took 30 minutes to drive the short distance from Loftus to Cronulla. The boat ramp at Tonkin Park, just behind Cronulla train station, has about a dozen day long parking spaces so we launched from there.

It's hard to beat early mornings in a kayak

Paddling out to Jibbon Head, the sun was low in the sky and a gentle rolling swell was coming from the east. It was a fine day to spend on the water.
The first beaches and landing spots are at Marley which seems to come quickly as you enjoy the fantastic cliffs lining this section of the coast. It would have been easy to land at Marley, but we wanted to paddle in to the fresh waterfalls at Wattamolla Lagoon so carried on. Wattamolla is a deep bay sheltered in all weather and with the recent rainy weather, there were two waterfalls running over the sandstone cliffs into Wattamolla Lagoon. We had breakfast and a swim before continuing south.

Waterfalls at Wattamolla

Past Wattamolla, the cliffs get taller and the sandstone formations wilder. The little rocky bay at Curracurang is beautiful but it is the cliff top waterfalls at Curracurrong that are really spectacular. Curracurrong Creek was falling in a sheer twin drop over the 40 metre cliffs into clear green water below. Curra Brook was also running forming a third waterfall in this small rocky enclave. Past Curra Brook we started seeing huge schools of fish shoaling in the clear water. There are seaweed forests and rocky underwater reefs all easily visible from the kayak.

Curracurrong Falls

Garie North Head signals the end of the continuous cliff line. Beyond this point there are small wave washed beaches separated by shorter sections of cliff and the small enclaves of cabins tucked in semi-sheltered corner beaches. We landed at North Era for lunch noting that there was a lot more water in the creek than when we camped there 4 years before when we walked the Coast Track.

Curra Brook

Paddling south, there are more cliffs and small beaches, more schools of flashing fish until finally a couple of big landmarks appear - the elevated Sea Cliff Bridge south of Coalcliff and the paragliders launch site above Stanwell Park.

Near Curracurrang

Stanwell Park beach is steep, faces southeast and has no real shelter from the ocean swells. A nasty shore dump was running the length of the beach and it was hard to say any one place was better than another to land. We landed near the Surf Club because there were shelters and a big storm was obviously brewing. After carrying the boats up the beach, I trotted up a bush track, along suburban streets, past the shops, and across a pedestrian bridge to the railway station.

Doug landing at Stanwell Park in friendly conditions


Two changes of trains (Waterfall and Sutherland) later, as the rain was lashing down in sheets, I jogged along the streets to get the car. Doug, meanwhile, was sheltering in the stairwell of the Surf Club - at least until they locked the doors. In torrential rain, I drove from Cronulla to Stanwell Park chafing at the heavy traffic that is now a constant throughout Sydney. Amazingly, we got a break in the rain at Stanwell Park to load the boats on the roof before it began anew.   

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kayak Surfing at Maianbar in Port Hacking

With the right conditions, Maianbar in Port Hacking has great little waves for kayak surfing.  Watch the video here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hat Hill Canyon

If you live anywhere on the east coast of Australia you know it's been raining. Raining for hours, days, actually what is now stretching into weeks. Our rock climbing plans screeched to an abrupt halt when the second week long spell of rain began. Before that, we had got in five good days at a few different crags around the Blue Mountains. It was all grand fun, even as our fingertips were getting tender and our forearms swollen.

Pagoda country

On a rest day from climbing, we went canyoning. Doug's first time descending a canyon while for me it was a flashback to my youth when I used to canyon with a ragtag group of friends with more gusto than experience. As usual, I jumped into canyoning feet first and the first canyons I did were Kanangra, Thurat Rift and Claustral.

Hat Hill Creek

Back in those days, the late 1980's, no-one had dry bags, helmets, GPS units, head cams, harnesses, or expensive water shoes. We were old tennis shoes - Volleys were singularly popular - layered our gear in multiple plastic garbage bags, purloined second hand wet-suits from the "op-shop", rigged harnesses from webbing and used a map and compass to navigate through deep bush.

Doug in one of the creek sections

Trips were not without adventures, most notable for me was in Thurat Rift canyon when I fell down a 10 metre cliff while trying to downclimb a section of canyon where no abseil anchor was available. My friends stood over me while I lay bleeding among a jumble of rocks at the bottom and said "she'll either have to get up and walk out or we'll have to go get a helicopter." I got up and walked out. The next day, when I went to a medical clinic to get various X-rays taken and lacerations sutured closed, the nursing staff thought I had been in a car accident. A week off work, 10 days off canyoning, and I was back in Claustral Canyon, such is the resilience of youth.

Green, green canyon

But, on this day, we were simply out for an easy day in a spectacular location and chose the popular Hat Hill Canyon near Blackheath. I was tickled to see that the two old school canyoners we met at the car park were still wearing Volley tennis shoes and wetsuits from the op-shop.

It's another world in these canyons

A good track leads down to the Hat Hill Creek and within minutes of switching clothes for wetsuits and wading down the creek we entered the canyon. These wet oasis of greenery always have an otherworldly feel to them, and Hat Hill Canyon is no different. Giant tree ferns grow along the creek bank, moss clings to the walls and rocks, greenery literally drips from every surface. The light is dim and filtered green, except where shafts of sunlight pierce the gloom leaving steaming tendrils of humidity.

Gorgeous section of slot canyon

There are three discrete sections of slot canyon along Hat Hill Creek separated by long stretches of sandy or rocky creek bed. The first canyon requires a tricky little downclimb into a big pool. If you knew the pool was deep - which it is - you could simply jump in. Not knowing that, we eased into it and swam to the end of a narrow slot canyon before crawling out onto the further bank.

Doug looking into the entrance to the second section of canyon

The second canyon is the most spectacular requiring another downclimb or jump into a deep pool and then a long swim between the narrow walls of a green slot canyon. The light hardly penetrates here and it is easy to feel like an explorer only hours from the cafes of Blackheath.

Swimming

The third canyon features a big sweeping section of cliff above your head as you walk along rocks, wade the stream, swim through deep pools and scramble over logs. Near the end of the canyon sections a side creek leads up to a narrow waterfall tumbling through a hole in an arch.

Sliding into a pool

There are two exits, neither of which we found although I think we started up each. Both are before the third canyon so a short section of backtracking is required. We went roughly up the first exit (on your way down the canyon) which heads up a southeast facing tributary creek. Within minutes, however, we lost the rough track up the creek and ended up sidling around short bluffs until we could scramble up to a spur ridge from Bald Head Ridge. The bush was open and the going easy and soon enough we had joined the track that Bald Head Ridge.

Log jam


The walk back is very enjoyable as views of the surrounding mountains and valleys open up along the way. It had been a 30 year hiatus from canyoning but it was still as much fun as I remembered.  You can watch the video here.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Merrica River To Tathra By Sea Kayak

Preamble:

Sea kayakers speak longingly of Merrica River and the Nadgee Wilderness and one of the premier sea kayak trips along this southern section of NSW coast includes rounding Green Cape, camping in the melaleuca forest under Wonboyn Hill and paddling up the Merrica River gorge until you reach fresh water. So, when we set out to paddle from Wonboyn to Tathra, I wanted to land the kayaks on the tiny beach at the mouth of the Merrica River and camp for one night in the tea tree forest.

Ron and Jean packing the kayaks on Wonboyn Beach

Day One: Greenglade To Merrica River:

Doug and I drove south from Moruya, while Ron and Jean came down from Canberra and we met at Tathra surf club where a strong northerly was blowing. After looking at the swell at Tathra Beach, we decided launching from Greenglade and landing at Merrica River should be possible so we loaded all the gear and boats onto Ron's kayak trailer and, leaving one car at Tathra, drove south to Greenglade.

By the time the boats and gear were carried down to the water and every thing was loaded up, the wind was blowing a stout 20 to 25 knots. Jean launched first and seemed to paddle out forever as she bounced up and down over tightly packed waves. Shortly, we were all paddling out, heading into the wind to start so that we did not get blown onto the short cliffs and rocks at the south end of Wonboyn Beach. It was the strongest wind I have paddled into on the ocean and I had a hard time keeping the bow pointed into the wind. As my speed relative to the water was so low, the rudder did virtually nothing and I had to paddle constantly on the right to keep the bow pointed into the wind.

The single kilometre we had to paddle into the wind was hard work so once we were clear of hitting rocks we were glad to turn downwind and ride the wind and waves the short distance to the tiny sand beach at Merrica River mouth. Landing on the southern end of the beach was easy enough although the river channel was slightly to the north of where it usually is. After landing, we walked the boats into the outflowing Merrica River up to a small campsite in the shelter of a melaleuca forest. 

It was already late afternoon, so we unpacked the boats, put the tents up, had a quick snack and then paddled up the Merrica River until we reached the end of the navigable passage and fresh water running down rocky pools. A lovely fresh water swim and then back to camp to listen to the unceasing wind and waves during an otherwise peaceful night.

Jean enjoying Merrica River

Day Two: Merrica River to Bittangabee Bay:

The northerly winds were forecast to abate by evening with a southerly flow coming in before dawn with the strongest southerly winds due around midday. Our plan was to launch early, paddle ten kilometres across Disaster Bay to Green Cape, round Green Cape while the winds were still light and continue on, with the help of a tail wind to Mowarry Bay. But plans change with the weather when you are sea kayaking.

There was a gorgeous sun rise at Merrica River with just a sliver of new moon hanging to the south. Paddling out through the now incoming tide at Merrica River was easy, and we were soon heading northeast to Green Cape. Disturbingly, a northerly wind began to rise almost as soon as we left and by the time we had paddled half the distance to Green Cape, another stout 15 to 20 knot northerly was blowing.

We could not hang out in Disaster Bay waiting for the southerly wind change - which we had now begin to doubt was even coming - as we would simply get blown right back to Merrica River, so we punched into the wind until we got into the shelter of the cliffs that line Green Cape and paddled west to land on Wonboyn Beach.

There was just enough mobile telephone reception to call my brother in Sydney and get the updated forecast which now indicated northerly winds ahead of a southerly change forecast to arrive around 2.00 pm. We had six kilometres to paddle to Green Cape and decided to launch the kayaks again and paddle out to Green Cape, hopefully timing our arrival to catch the lull between northerly and southerly winds.

It was possible to sail a bit of the coastline heading east to Green Cape on drafts of wind blown down the cliffs but it was a gusty and insecure endeavour and Doug opted to simply paddle. The smaller Flat Earth sails on the more stable Mirage kayaks that Jean and Ron were paddling seemed to handle the conditions better than my Pacific Action sail on my Prijon and I had to brace a few times to avoid going over.

This is a delightful section of coast to paddle with clear green water, blocky cliffs and hidden rocky bays. We passed a small shark and a couple of resting seals. As we approached Green Cape, the northerly gradually abated and we paddled around the Cape with no wind to speak off. The swell, however was a healthy two to three meters with occaisionally much larger waves. Combined with the overlying wind waves from the northerly and a lot of rebound, rounding the Cape was a bumpy experience.

I think we all expected the lumpy seas to die down as we headed north from Green Cape but they did not and we continued in large messy seas heading north along this wild rocky stretch of coast. The southerly blew in around 2.00 pm reaching about 15 knots and further adding to the confused seas. No-one even thought about putting a sail up and without any discussion we all decided to head into Bittangabee Bay instead of continuing on to Mowarry Bay. Given the large northerly swell, I am not even sure we would have been able to land at Mowarry Bay. The next option for a sheltered landing would be in Twofold Bay many kilometres distant.

It is hard to see the small beach at the head of Bittangabee Bay from sea but I was pretty sure I recognised both the north and south headlands from the whale watching weekend in October, and Doug and I ventured closer into shore while Jean and Ron watched somewhat anxiously from further out. Apart from a few big rollers, the seas gradually calmed as we pulled into the shelter of the bay and once we were sure we had reached Bittangabee Bay we waved for Jean and Ron to follow us in.

Landing for the night when paddling conditions are challenging is always welcome and we were happy enough to stop at Bittangabee Bay given the prospect of stronger southerly winds. It was only around 2.30 pm so plenty of time to walk out to the southern headland and watch the waves crashing onto the rocks before setting up camp.

New Moon Over Merrica River

Day Three: Bittangabee Bay to Pinnacles Beach:

Each day is different sea kayaking and on our third morning both the sea and the wind had subsided. Paddling out of Bittangabee Bay was strikingly different to paddling in the previous day and we rounded the headland and headed north.
I have walked this section of coast on the Light to Light track and was looking forward to paddling it. It was as beautiful as I imagined and you could spend days paddling along this section of coast exploring caves and gauntlets and pulling in to the tiny bays. We paddled inside a small island at Mowarry Point and landed at Mowarry Bay for a break. This is probably the best campsite for kayakers along the 30 kilometre section of coast between Green Cape and Red Point as it is only accessible by foot or kayak.

Near Boyd's Tower, a massive cruise ship moved slowly up the coast and we thought at first it was going to pull into Twofold Bay but, once past Boyds Tower - far enough off-shore that nothing of the coast would be visible - the ship speeded up and headed rapidly north. We imagined the passengers saying to each other "Eden, check."

By the time we reached Red Point, a light southerly had blown up and we had quick kayak sailing across Twofold Bay to Worang Point. From Worang Point to Pambula this section of coast lies within Ben Boyd National Park and is accessible only by a few dirt roads. More red rock cliffs and rock platforms lead to Pinnacle Beach which is all but gone at high tide. It was mid afternoon when we landed at Pinnacle Beach and found a wonderful campsite, again in the shelter of melaleuca and with a view to Haycock Point. In the late afternoon, I walked along the rapidly disappearing Pinnacle Beach before we settled into a quiet night at our splendid campsite.

Just another empty south coast beach

Day Four: Pinnacle Beach to Bournda National Park:

Light to moderate southerlies were forecast and we were anticipating a pleasant day of kayak sailing with no pressure to get anywhere as Tathra was now less than 40 kilometres away. Launching off the beach was easier than anticipated and we paddled up the long stretch of beach to Haycock Point. Paddling through a shallow channel between Haystack Rock and Haycock Point, Jean managed to hit a rock with her Mirage while our plastic boats cruised through unscathed. Doug and I wanted to have a look at the camping situation in the Pambula River and also to drop off garbage and top up fresh water at Pambula so we paddled in the river against an outgoing to tide to a small park at the mouth of the Pambula River. The Pambula River is wonderfully clear and the shoreline is fringed by more national park so it is another lovely spot.

Ron was keen to visit a cafe, despite the fact that he does not drink coffee, and Doug wanted to pick up a cable to charge our camera, so we decided to also call into Merimbula as well. Ron and Jean pulled into a small beach and cafe at the Merimbula Bar while Doug and I fought the tide and paddled into Merimbula.
North of Merimbula the coast is an interesting mix of small beaches and rocky headlands. By the time we reached Merimbula Point, a moderate southerly wind had blown up and we kayak sailed past tiny Middle Beach and around Short Point. At Short Point we came upon a pod of dolphins who were swimming in small swells off Short Point. We pulled down the sails and floated with them for a time as they swam around our boats riding little waves and even right under our bows!

Short Point Beach passed quickly by and we rode wind and waves around Tura Head with the kayaks surfing rapidly down the waves. A large shark swam by our boats near Tura Beach and with the wind increasing and grey skies beginning to gather we continued north to Bournda National Park and a camp for the night.

Kayaks under a stormy sky

Day Five: Bournda National Park to Tathra:

This is another section of coast we had walked (the Kangarutha Track runs from Kianniny Bay to Wallagoot Beach and you can continue on to Tura Beach) but never paddled, and we were keen to see the coast from the water as the shoreline is riddled with sea caves, slots, and rocky islets. The sea state, however, had changed again from the constant southerly flow and the two metre swell was not conducive to paddling into narrow surge channels.

Getting off the beach was a little more exciting than previous days, but easy enough if you got the timing right and a push from Doug who was acting as beach master. I wanted to launch by myself but, at the last minute, opted for a push out once I saw how brief the breaks in big swells were. Jean got hit by a big wave and Doug got pushed sideways then turned 180 degrees and had to land and relaunch but we all got out intact.

From Turingal Head north, the sea was a lumpy, bumpy mess and it was a rough, if spectacular paddle north to Kianniny Bay. Jean and Doug went further off-shore in search of smoother water, but Ron and I paddled as close in as we dared marvelling at the narrow slots, caves, and occasionally dashing inside of rocky islets between sets.

Kianinny Bay is marked for boaters using the ramp and we paddled in for a short stop. I think everyone but me would have been happy enough to pull out at Kianinny Bay, but I knew that not paddling the last three kilometres of coast to Tathra would eat away at me. If we paddled round one more headland - Tathra Head - Doug and I would have paddled the entire coastline from Conjola to Merrica River. Jean and Ron were good sports and agreed to paddle on to Tathra Beach where we landed in a sheltered corner of the beach.

This is definitely one of the best stretches of southern NSW to paddle with ample wilderness campsites and continuously interesting coastline. I would paddle it again tomorrow if I got the chance. Jean and Ron were fabulous trip companions and I have now flagrantly copied their ingenious design for homemade collapsible water carriers.


Want more?  View the video here.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Gym List

Another year of training is over, and, in just over a week we will back traveling in our caravan watching our hard earned muscle mass wasting off. Closing out my last few gym sessions, I thought about all the weird and, mostly useless, things you see at the average gym and decided to make a list that should be posted in every gym. 

Ormiston Pound

  • Understand the difference between training and exercise. Sadly for all you BodyAttack devotees, anything from Les Mills is definitely exercise. 
  • Training is not done sitting or lying down because you must "be able to fall down when you do a barbell exercise so that you have to make sure you don't."1 Exceptions can be made if you are 92 and almost blind (see #6), otherwise, stand up.
  • Full range of motion, all the time, always.
  • Never, ever use the ab roller machine. 'Nuff said. 
  • Use a training log. It's impossible to know if you are getting stronger if you don't keep track of your sessions.
  • No one is too old to lift. No one.  
  • The likelihood of you actually needing a "recovery shake" after your work-out approaches the likelihood that Donald Trump will start telling the truth. 
  • You can't out train SAD (standard Australian diet), so put your big girl panties on and stop eating all the crap.
  • What you take out of your diet (sugar, grains, industrial seed oils) is far more important than what you add in.
  • It does not matter how much weight you have on the bar if your form sucks
  • Training is hard and requires grit. Toughen up, you're an adult now. 




1Mark Rippetoe

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More Kayak Adventures: Tuross Heads to Mosquito Bay via Narooma and Durras

I've been pretty slack with the blog lately just posting up links to videos of our trips instead of writing about them, but, I'll have to write this latest trip up as there is no video (yet). There were five of us with a very loose plan of paddling out through Tuross bar on Monday and pulling into land (and hopefully a pick-up) on Friday. While I prefer trips that have a destination, heading out to sea and turning north or south, depending on which way the wind blows is easier to organize and does not involve long and tedious car shuttles.

Pelican at Lavender Bay

Monday morning we all met at Lavender Bay at Tuross Head and packed our boats with five days of food and water. The tide was already running rapidly in so it was a bit of work to paddle out to the bar which was pretty friendly on this day and we all got out without even getting wet. A light northerly was blowing so the sails went up and off we went. Potato Point and then Jemisons Point came up quickly and we tucked in behind Jemisons Point for a bit of shelter. Apparently, at lower tides you can land easily - in northerly conditions - on a small bit of sand in the shelter of the point. The tide was a bit high for easy landing today and we had been going only an hour so no-one felt the need to land.

In the lee of Jemisons Point

By the time we got to Brou Beach the wind had died completely and suddenly the boats felt heavy and sluggish - or maybe it was me that felt heavy and sluggish; in any event, it was a long paddle down Brou Beach to Dalmeny. The little boat ramp at Dalmeny was not an easy place to land with a fairly easterly swell so we continued on to Narooma and paddled in through the bar instead. The usual seals were entertaining the tourists at Bar Rock. We had lunch in Narooma and then drifted up Wagonga Inlet with a rising tailwind.

Peter near Mullimburra Point

A southerly change was predicted to blow in with a rising swell and Peter was concerned about launching from Mystery Bay the next morning so consensus seemed to be camping in Wagonga Inlet. I would not recommend this unless you have to as it is a bit tough to find a good site and, let's admit it, beach camping is a big part of sea kayaking. We did manage to find a spot and I even got a nice long walk along a bush track before dark. It was a hot night, until around 2 am when a few drops of rain signaled the southerly change and we all jumped out of our tents to put our tent flies on.

Sailing south from Tuross Heads

On Tuesday, we got away early so we did not have to fight the tide paddling out of Narooma Bar. Although the tide was flowing in by the time we got to the bar, paddling out was pretty easy, but the ocean was big and bumpy once we got out. The southerly wind was only about 12 to 15 knots, but the seas were lumpy with a two metre swell running. Doug and I went down to our 2/3 sails as the full metre square sail would have been too exciting - or terrifying.

North of Batemans Bay

For the first hour or so, I felt as if I had embarked upon the longest and worst protected rock climbing lead of my life. The kind of pitch where the gear is non-existent, the fall long, and the belay so, so far away. But, after pitching, rolling and bracing into breaking waves for a while my nerves started to settle down, and by the time we got to Potato Point (we were heading back north) I was almost comfortable. Peter's rudder had broken as soon as we exited Wagonga Inlet so he had been using corrective strokes all the way to Potato Point.

Gauntlets at Mullimburra Point

There were surfers in the water north of Potato Point which is always a bit worrying when you are trying to land a sea kayak without killing anyone, but a rip was running out along the rocks made for a surprisingly easy landing. Peter immediately burrowed nose first into his boat to fix his rudder.

Peter effecting a rudder repair

Once the rudder was repaired, we set off again, pitching and rolling up past One Tree Point at Tuross Heads and north along Bingie Beach to Bingie Bingie Point. There must have been a strong current running off Bingie Bingie Point as it was hard work paddling out around the breaking reef and for a while I was not sure I was going to make it. North of Bingie Bingie Point, the paddling got easier and Mullimburra Point was a doddle in comparison. We stopped at Mullimburra where we met three young lads who were two weeks into a month long sea kayak trip from Sydney to Mallacoota. It was great to see some other kayakers, particularly under 50, out doing an epic trip and having their own adventures.

Rock passages near Burrewarra Point

On Wednesday, the fickle wind was forecast to switch again to the north but not particularly strongly so we continued our northward journey getting away early again so that we would lessen the amount of time we had to beat into a headwind. The morning was almost glassy calm as we paddled up long beaches all the way to Broulee where we took a break. On the north side of Burrewarra Point, Peter led us through a narrow gauntlet and a pod of dolphins swam around my boat.

Dolphins
PC, DB

We had lunch at Guerilla Bay and then with a light headwind blowing settled into a slow steady pull to the Tollgate Islands and then onto North Head. Our camp had a fantastic view of the Tollgate Islands and, breaking the pattern of a long dry summer, we got a few hours of rain in the evening.

Steve surfing the Nadgee
PC, DB

Thursday morning the wind was blowing from the south again but forecast to ease over the day so we had a lazy morning and I went for a long walk before we set off around 9.30 am. North Head was bumpy with exploding haystacks everywhere and a two to three metre swell rolling in. We paddled north giving all the reefs and bombies a wide berth. The wind had dropped almost to nothing but it was surprisingly rough all the way to Beagle Bay. Lunch was a long affair lounging about on some green grass above the beach and then we paddled a few more kilometres north to a sheltered camp. Steve took the Nadgee out for a surf and I had a wonderful walk along the rock platform and through a gorgeous spotted gum forest. Kangaroos grazed around the tents in the evening.

Spotted gum forest

Friday, of course the wind was northerly, so we headed back towards Batemans Bay. The non-paddling spouses had agreed to pick us up from Mosquito Bay after lunch. Calm winds and glassy seas gave way to a moderate northeasterly wind by the time we reached North Head again and we kayak-sailed past the Tollgates and into sheltered Mosquito Bay.

Beach landing

The tally for the trip was around 150 km and included one fish caught - and eaten raw! - a half dozen shark sightings (species unknown), many dolphins and seals, one broken rudder (twice), glassy calm mornings, heaving swells, exploding haystacks, and winds which never blew in the same direction for more than 24 hours straight. Don't you love sea kayaking.

Stop press, the video is here.  



Monday, February 6, 2017

Flashback: Skiing the Lizzie Loop

Every year we lived in Canada we did a spring ski traverse.  These trips are hard to describe to an Australian because the terrain is very rugged and there are no people - really NO people.  Here is the video of the ski traverse we did in 2012, the last year we lived in Canada.