Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last paddle of Spring.

This morning our aim was to head out to sea to lure a dozen Kingfish into our tuckerbox.
A mountain range of clouds loomed over the eastern horizon as we paddled out past South Head.

Not waving, not drowning ... just stretching.

Having trolled Xmas tree lures down to Ben Buckler without any strikes, Tony decided to give the deep diver a run out to sea.

Heading out towards the eastern horizon with a 5 to 10 knot Sou-wester filling our sails.

The Impex getting some air.
Our new V-sails performed very well - allowing us to set and run lures while the kayaks made easy distance.

Some kayaking-puritans furrow their brows and turn up their noses at those of us who attach sails to our kayaks.
Well, unless these kayaking purists are casting their criticisms from the position of paddling kayaks constructed out of seal skins, beech wood frames and seal guts they should take a long look at themselves (and their carbon-fibre kayaks) and observe the irony of their views.
The Inuit fashioned their sea-craft out of the materials at their disposal to meet the needs of their survival. If cotton had been cultivated in Arctic latitudes the Inuit may well have sewn up sails too. Certainly the Melanesian and Polynesian inhabitants of the south-west Pacific were not adverse to mounting a wooden mast and a tapa cloth sail onto their marine craft - outrigger canoes included.
Besides, sailing is an enjoyable skill that over long distances can re-tune the paddle-numbed mind to the subtleties of aerodynamics and to the dynamic nature of atmospheric conditions.
On a port tack back towards the coastline.

The sea temperature off Sydney remains cool - 16 to 17 degrees. This is our excuse for not having caught any Kingies today.

Farewell to Spring.
Let's hope that Summer brings the East Australian Current closer to our coastline and with it the pelagic fish.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cool change

Under sail in cool conditions on the harbour.
15 seconds after this calm photo was taken a 30 knot wall of cold air poured in from the WSW. Within a few seconds the harbour's surface turned white with chop and spray. In the mayhem the sails dragged the kayak sideways and over she went - with both sails up, the lure trolling somewhere out the back and me still holding on to the camera. Upside-down beneath the turmoil of white and green water, I had a moment to reflect on the sudden change in my circumstance and the puzzle of how to self-rescue while double-rigged.

It was relatively cold in the water.
The sea surface temperature is going the wrong way for this time of year.

And here's why ... the East Australian Current is kissing the coast at South-West Rocks and then, east of Forster, it's taking a detour out towards new Zealand.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

King Tony

Having returned from Broughton Island with a Kingie under his belt, Tony finds that he is still in the groove.

Below is the sweet Kingie that Tony caught while kayaking below the Vaucluse cliffs this morning.

And then filleted into delicious mouthfuls of fresh sashimi and sushi ...

Well done, King Tony!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Expedition Broughton Island

We are back from our adventure to Broughton Island.
See our trip report here:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pittwater to Sydney Harbour (solo).

Tony's comments on his solo paddle today ...

Setting up at Pittwater. Being the maiden voyage with a sail there was anticipation of an adventure ahead.

After weaving between the congested moorings in search of the elusive Kingfish, the view opened up towards Broken Bay. Lion Island and the heads are in the middle distance. A slight head wind boding well for the opposite side of Barrenjoey and the passage down the coast.

Pulling in a tailor before leaving the shelter of Pittwater.

An old time traveller expires but its story lives on. This turtle's barnacle-encrusted carapice gives just an inkling of the life it has lived and the places it has travelled to.

Barrenjoey’s swirling sandstone cliffs flow by on the outgoing tide.
One last corner before the downwind leg and the sail can be hoisted.

Ah, the "Pacific Action" 1.5m sail is flipped into position and the instant lift of the tail breeze kicks in.

Leaving Barrenjoey behind and feeling good to be out at sea.

Under sail and making for the eastern horizon.

Barrenjoey disappearing over the stern. Feeling confident enough with the sail to troll the lure once again. Where are those Kingies ??

After sighting a whale and hundreds of Shearwaters, the sail and skeg positions were adjusted to head a few miles further offshore. Wind starting to pick up.

Something unidentified passing beneath the kayak's hull.

North Head and the Sphinxes in view. Wind picked up, south east swell bouncing off cliffs, a swirling wind and the rebound chop made the passage towards the Heads very fickle and generated numerous wobbly moments. There was no oppportunity for photographing along here.

In through the Heads. Tacking sail for the first time since Barrenjoey and after 30 kms leaning one way a bit of adjustment was needed to keep the kayak level.
A little sail in a big land and sea-scape.

A large wind shadow under North Head.
Cruising ..

... near South Head.

Waving to the welcoming party.

Almost home.

Drifting into Camp Cove.

Still water.

To think that skinny boat can take you so far. Approx 4 hours and, thanks to the sail, plenty of energy left. Can’t wait to get out there again.
Above: The overall GPS record of Tony's solo adventure
(yellow line with dots).
Distance travelled = 37 kilometres.

Above: Start location at Pittwater.

Above: Passing Long Reef.

Above: Through the Heads to finish at Camp Cove.

Well done, Tony.