Sunday, 10 February 2013

The water cannon

Some time last year we visited the 'Dragon's Den'. I don't know if that is the real name but that was what we called it since. We didn't get to see the dragon but we heard it loud and clear. After that we never got to paddle to that point again, at least when I was present.
Last week that changed. With a relative benign sea state and a large group we managed to reach the point again. 'Would the dragon be inside?', 'What will be his mood today?' I was confident that with the NE swell the dragon would be happy and playfull.
Apparently the dragon is not such, it is a metamorphic entity that during this last visit mutated to the form of a water cannon. Still it was in a good mood and played with us a lot.

Rob bracing the rebound.
A few meters rised the courtain of water, who is behind?
Proud of Sydney, Mardi Gras city. Lots of rainbows that afternoon
Wade ready for the next rebound

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Blown for 30 km

I was going to help Rae with a club paddle. The club has some regulations and you can't organise a trip if the wind forecasted is above a threshold. That limit made us suspend the club trip. However it didn't stop us from doing a good paddle out of the club organisation. We decided to do a car shuffle with a paddle down wind and down swell of 30km. We told Matt what we were going to do and he jumped on board.
Sydney is split in 2 parts, north and south by Sydney Harbour. Also to the south there is a first limit to the urban expansion at Botany Bay. That stretch from the Bay to the Harbour is what we paddled.
I used to paddle that area a lot until I moved to the very north of Sydney but I had never paddled the whole coast in one go. Both launching and landing points were in protected waters, however well before being in the ocean we started to feel the force of the swell and the white cups hitting from the side. A small thin shower was added to the mix producing a very annoying sensation when it hit the face being blown by the wind.
Someone told you can't see the wind, but I can in this image!

Later the rain stopped and some sun light was filtered through the clouds producing a nice effect on the confused surface.
Matt floating on the conditions.
After a little while we turned and we started "flying" to our destination. Big swells, smaller seas and the wind in the back helped us along.
Rae Rides

Watch out Matt!!
The week before we had a big storm in all the east coast of our big island Australia. It produced floods in the north over 1000 km from Sydney. It also created traffic problem in the city. Apart from making some big conditions on the sea it also produced some confusion with birds. We saw more than the usual number, including an Albatross who flew between Rae and me with its legs still in the water.
A lot of birds, more than usual
Rae and the big swell modelling for the camera
After a bit over 3 hours of being carried by wind and swell we got to the harbour. After entering it, what usually is calm and pretty protected, was not. The harbour was funnelling the little west in the wind and causing a lot of little wind waves. I could not let the chance pass and went playing close to shore for a bit.

Recipe: take a wave, compress it under the rocks and then let the pressure out.
Neil, Rae's partner, picked us up from the harbour and drove us and the three kayaks back to the starting point to pick our cars. Thank you Neil!!! Before starting we told him we would be back at 1 pm. This was the best estimate for an ETA I have seen. At 1 o'clock Rae was resting her bow on the sand of the landing beach.
A really nice paddle. Enjoy the video.

PS: Rob, you missed a good one!! :-)

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Red Submarine

Miserable weather today gray, cold (for a summer day) and raining. No paddling. Hopefully tomorrow.

With off water time, my kid playing with his friends and my wife preparing her friends baby shower I decided to compile another short video from last week. Sorry about the fogged images.

I went surfing with my kayak. Not excellent waves but it was fun anyway. I have been practising some pirouettes on my sea kayak and I managed to do an endo (put the kayak perpendicular to the water surface while on the face of the wave and complete the 180 by falling with he tail pointing to the beach).
About to plunge head first back into the water
Later a wave decided to take revenge and when it broke on top of my head my skirt imploded. When the white water receded I was paddling a red submarine.
Red submarine