Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Looking for Kingies

A paddle around the centre of Port Jackson on the trail of Kingfish ...

Sailing over to Shark Island in a light westerly.

That's not a Kingie.

Trolling along the east side of Bradleys Head.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Towards Clifton Gardens.

The Kingies have given us the slip.

A handful of local scallop shells.


Hawkesbury sandstone



The Westerly freshening for the paddle home.
No Kingies today.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Angophora Bay

The temptation with kayaking is to chase the furthest horizon.
However, often the closest trips to home are the best ...

Tucked away from the harbour's main channel is this quiet bay, framed by Angophoras and outcrops of weathered sand stone.

The water is clear and warm.

Burrowed beneath rock ledges were the cat-like eyes of many juvenile octopii, crouching and braced to pounce on the passing marine traffic.

Turning the tables, the above octopus was taken on a kayak trip ...

... and cooked up with garlic, chilli, olive oil and basil.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Sydney Harbour is a deep water estuary.
Around 18,000 years ago, at the height of the Last Glacial Period, the polar ice caps were at their peak volume and the planet's sea level was at a corresponding low. At this time, a river ran along the bottom of Sydney's present harbour. This river ran out to a sandy coastline which was approximately 15 km to the east of the present coastline and up to 120 m below the present sea level.
As the earth's climate warmed (and the polar ice-caps consequently melted) the sea level rose and spread, flooding the river valley and turning it into an estuary / harbour.
Today the shoreline of Sydney Harbour and its branching tributaries is characterised by a rocky shoreline broken by small sandy beaches, vast rock platforms and weathered sandstone cliffs.
Sydney Harbour's geology is principally composed of sandstone formed during the Triassic period (about 220 million years ago).
Text above transposed from the Australian Museum website.
Image above from the Australian Museum.
Orange = Sandstone
Grey = Shale
Pale yellow = Loose alluvial

This morning's short adventure by kayak was up one of the Harbour's more interesting tributaries - Middle Harbour to Roseville Bridge.

With a deep low pressure system rotating clockwise off the east coast and a high rotating anti-clockwise in the Southern Ocean this morning, a Sou-south westerly was rushing between these two pressure cells and across the Harbour in gusts of 20 to 25 knots.

As we paddled into the subdued dawn light the harbour was a torn grey and white river of breaking waves and spray.

In the image above Tony and Luke raced across the harbour's messy surface with the large V-sails bent side-ways by the strong wind. The wind strength proved too great, however, snapping one of Tony's woven kevlar mast poles like a dry twig.

Not to worry - Tony wrapped his sail away and hooked into a young Bonito in calmer waters along the inside of Middle Head ...

... where Jules was quietly celebrating his return to the harbour.

Jules and Derek paddling into the Middle Harbour tributary, beneath Grotto Point.

And Peter using sailpower ...

... to reel them in.

Our kayak flotilla travelling up the flooded tributary towards Bantry Bay ...

... with Tim (at right) appearing from the Spit.

Mimicking our passage in slow motion, a cloud of Moon Jellyfish (more often referred to as Jelly Blubbers) were observed drifting along near the Roseville Bridge. Here's an interesting little article on these harbour invaders :
Aeolian weathering has exposed this spectacular example of Sydney sandstone strata and the varying intensities of iron oxide concentration laid down with it many millenia ago. An example of the mutability of physical environments.

The sun drives our weather patterns. Here Peter taps into this solar-generated energy, transferred into a pressure cell forced-wind and captured in the belly of his sail.

The low tide revealed a nice landing area for a flotilla of kayaks.

In the shelter of a sandstone nook Tony and Peter conjured brunch from out of the bulkheads of their kayaks.

All smiles as the sun briefly breaks through for the return trip.

Heading back out into the Harbour to be greeted by a thunderous peeling right-hander at Middle Head.

As has been noted in an earlier post on this website, paddling on Sydney Harbour has an ancient indigenous history directly associated with survival - the catching of fish.
In accordance with this worthy pursuit, Tony caught the above two Tailor and Bonito from his kayak on today's passage. All of which were fed to his tribe ...

Another rewarding little adventure on Sydney Harbour.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Underwater garden

Beaching the kayak at Bradleys Head to snorkel amongst some of the harbour's residents ...

Moon Jellyfish

Swimming anemone

Coral-like sea sponge

A luminescent kelp.
A ballistic looking sea urchin.

A vibrant orange and green coloured resident of the garden.

A handful of shells from Sydney Harbour - including a small Abalone and a piece of Cowrie shell which are evidence of Sydney's temperate maritime climate. A blend of Coral Sea waters (delivered by the East Australian Current) and cooler southern seas when the EAC abates over winter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Furneaux Group of Islands ...

... 10 months to go !