Sunday, June 29, 2008

Follow the sun

This morning dawned beautifully clear. A light westerly blowing over our shoulders.

The sphinxes.

Tony paddling towards the North-east.

Scanning the horizon for whales.

About 6 kms off the coast three or four very big dolphins cruised up to the surface beside us.

Note the blast of spray from a whale to the top-right (photo above).

A dolphin glimpsed beneath our kayaks.

A humpback whale breaking the surface. We saw nine or ten of these shy creatures this morning.

Julian, Peter, and Luke enjoying a cup of coffee in the sunshine, 9.6 km out to sea.

Grey Petrel (Procellaria cinerea)

Julian, Tony and Peter paddling back towards the coast.

Trolling along at the base of North Head. We trolled lures all day without a catch.

The Mini gets in on the kayaking too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Winter solstice

The sea surface temperature off Sydney spiked to nearly 21 degrees today. (As we launched our kayaks the air temperature was a chilly 10 degrees.)

The East Australian Current is still drawing warm water down the coastline.

Winter solstice dawn.

The sun climbing towards its most northerly position of the year...

and illuminating the sandstone cliffs of Vaucluse.

Tony spots a seal.

Seal salute.

Seal departure.

Cool house.

Tony exploring a rock garden.

Having paddled south as far as Bronte we decided to head out to sea to take advantage of the freshening sou-westerly and to give the big lures a run.

Luke paddling towards the north-east.

North Head in the distance.

Paddling out to sea while scanning the horizon for the jets of spray from migrating whales.

Tony dragging his new 30-foot deep diving lure in the hope of catching a yellow fin tuna.

Not quite a yellow fin tuna but the new lure provided Tony's family with this much dinner.

Today we took the handheld GPS out to sea with us. It recorded a total travel distance of 24.94km from our launching point at Camp Cove, down to Bronte, out to sea and then back to Camp Cove..

Sunday, June 15, 2008


This morning a strong southerly blew us down the harbour and out the Heads in a cascading torrent of breaking waves and spray.
Tucked in behind the lee of the Vaucluse cliffs the seas were large but the wind less intense than on the harbour and further out to sea.
Tony trolling a lure beneath the cliffs.

We pushed on towards the south.

Occasionally large and steep sets came through.

Having had enough of the messy conditions, at Diamond Bay we turned around and rode the chop and swell back towards the north.

Tony caught a salmon off south head but, optimistically hoping to get a Kingfish instead, he let the salmon go. Soon after this, Tony's line was struck by a very large fish which snapped the line and absconded with a favourite lure.

A large set of waves charged across the reef at South Head just as we were in line with Hornby Lighthouse. With no room to maneouvre out of the way of the largest wave, a 4 to 5 meter barrelling monster, Tony took off down its steep breaking face and calmly surfed it until out of the breaking zone. I was 10 metres to Tony's right and able to avoid being swept up by the wave as it stood up and peeled over the reef - I had a great view of Tony disappearing into its jaws however. Unfortunately the camera was not at hand to record this moment.

On turning back into the harbour we were assaulted by 35 knots of southerly, breaking chop, spray and refracted swell. The short paddle around to Camp Cove was a hard one.