Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy B'day King T

A spectacular sky saluted the last calendar day of Summer ...
... as Tony and Luke cut across the apricot and plum-coloured harbour from Point Piper.
Passing South Reef as Tony completes his 40th circumnavigation of the sun.

Between the Heads, an all too familiar local leapt onboard Luke's kayak.

At the start of this summer we had held high hopes of the East-Australian Current delivering us boat-loads of Kingfish. Instead we've found ourselves throwing Salmon back into the sea. Tony was the only one of us to be successful in landing a Kingfish off Sydney this summer.

Peter paddling before an autumn-like skyscape near North Head.

Approaching the Bower via the orange cliffs of Deep Cove.

Three grainy videos of wave-catching at Fairy Bower.

Click on the play buttons below ...

Tony surfing into Shelly Beach.

Peter catches a nice wave.

Tony gets another one.

Shelly Beach Parking lot.
A stranded traveller blown ashore by the recent pattern of easterlies and nor-easterlies.

Exploring the sea gardens of Fairy Bower.

Clara's self-portrait. Snorkelling with Blue Groper.

King Tony finds a message in a bottle - courtesy of Capt. Pete.

The support crew convenes a harbour-side brunch to celebrate Tony's birthday.
Happy B'day King T.

With the arrival of autumn, conditions will improve for sea-kayaking and the many preparations for the Furneaux Group of Islands can progress with increased focus.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fireball dawn

With bushfires burning to the north of Sydney, this morning's dawn was coppery red and smoke-filled.

Derek (above) and Peter (below) paddling through the lumpy waters along the base of the Sphinxes on the way to Shelly Beach.

The sea surface temperature felt strangely cold this morning.
The satellite image below indicates the passage of the East Australian Current and the finger of cooler water that is being left behind along the coastal edge.

After an aborted snorkel at Shelly Beach (the water was too cloudy after many days of nor-easterly chop) we paddled back along the base of Sphinxes to the harbour.

Luke caught the first gentle currents of today's nor-easter as it streamed into the smokey harbour.

If there is such a thing as a Sydney kayaking season it probably begins in March and concludes in December. In these 10 months of the year the marine and atmospheric conditions are typically pretty pleasant for being out on the water within a fibreglass tube and rotating one's arms a few thousand times in succession. Whereas the months of January and February are often too hot and humid for this activity and are probably best spent making fishing lures under a shady tree and plotting other adventures.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prospectus for a kayaking adventure through the Furneaux Group of Islands

The idea:
To paddle kayaks for about 10 days through the Furneaux Group of Islands, Tasmania.

The date:
Feb 2010

The philosophy:
To paddle throughout this stunning archipeligo without a particular end-destination in mind.
To pause where the conditions invite a longer stay.
To "read" the seascape and begin to understand at first hand its enormously strong tidal conditions.

The method:
To prepare with focus over the next twelve months.

To travel cost-effectively.
To drink Tasmanian Pinot Noir along the way.
To hunt and gather our own food - squid, abalone, crays and local fish.
To photograph and draw the sea and landscapes.
To camp on remote islands.
To search for the elusive Paper Shell Nautilus.
To support and take responsibility for one another.

The fine details:
To be resolved over the course of the next 12 months.

The Furneaux Group, Tasmania.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


With the south-east of Australia enjoying hot and stable conditions we packed up the kayaklings for a refreshing overnighter at The Basin - to introduce them to the complimentary arts of kayaking and camping.
. Clara, Ollie and Felix having a quick dip on the eastern shore of Pittwater while Tony packs up the kayaks.
The Molnar-Freeman contingent cruising down-wind with a light nor'easter.

Felix and Luke pausing to cool off with fingers plunging into the water.

Our little campsite at The Basin.
Allegra and Pete had arrived earlier in the day in their Umiak (foreground).

The kayaklings modelling their pyjamas during a post-dinner amble along the shore.
(The kayaklings are: Ollie, Clara, Felix and Allegra.)

The kayaklings feasting on marshmellows back at the camp.

Waking up to a brilliant morning ...

"See, this is a hermit crab".

A visitor to the campsite.

Ollie navigating on the way home as the adventure comes to an all-too-soon-end.

Allegra and Clara take in the view while Pete propels the Umiak towards Palm Beach.

Back seat driver.

It was a long trip home.