Sunday, October 25, 2009

Purple people eaters

Capt Peter writes:
Overcast skies and calm conditions greeted Derek and Peter at Little Manly for our journey to Shelly Beach and back.

Heading north around the Heads the sun popped out occasionally to highlight the soaring sandstone formations.
A school of dolphins joined us at Salmon Cove and a little further on were busy dining on Bonito that boiled across the surface. A thought went out to Luke and Tony who would have reaped the benefit of this moment.

As we reached Shelly our favourite surfing break was disappointingly absent.

Donned with snorkels and flippers we carefully entered the water at the southern end of the beach to avoid an unpleasant mass of purple stinging jellyfish, which from below the surface were a magnificent translucent maroon colour.

The Purple People Eater (Pelagica noctiluca) is a delicate, small and attractively coloured jellyfish with four fragile mouth arms and eight tentacles around the bell. It is found throughout eastern Australia.

The tentacles, mouth, arms and bell are covered in tiny dots, which are bundles of stinging cells (nematocysts) that will leave a painful, itchy rash if you come into contact with them.
These jellyfish can deliver a painful sting. If stung, apply a cold pack to relieve the pain.

(The Australian Museum)

A purple person.

Derek found a large eastern blue groper sporting a few speargun wounds that surprisingly was still friendly enough to enjoy a pat!

Heading back home was relatively uneventful, finishing with a few less than impressive Eskimo rolls!...more practice needed!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


A brief paddle to the east side of Bradley's Head.

How much more satisfying this composition of organic forms would be with a kayak that was constructed out of local Australian woods rather than ubiquitous / cold-hearted fibreglass ...
Perhaps using a combination of the following woods:
1. Australian Red Cedar
Wood Colour: Light to dark red colour.
Weight (seasoned 12% m.c.) approx: 450 kg/cu.m.
"This tree was once the pride of the east coast rainforests from the Shoalhaven River to Cape York."
2.Southern Sassafras
Wood Colour: Pale white to very light grey, sometimes with black streaks (Blackheart Sassafras).
Weight (seasoned 12% m.c.) approx: 530 kg/cu.m.
3. Sydney Blue Gum (in small amounts due to its weight)
Wood Colour: Pale pink to Pinkish Red.
Weight (seasoned 12% m.c.) approx: 910 kg/cu.m.

The Guillemot Expedition Single

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ride to work day

While the bicycles were duelling with the cars and trucks on the city's network of roads, the harbour was a broad field of calm spaciousness.
(Kayaks occupy a parallel universe.)

Arrival at the city's front door.

Kayak parking spot.