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!! :-)

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