Sunday, September 8, 2013

Club paddle in Aquaforte

Aquaforte was the destination of a club paddle on Saturday.  Its an arm of the sea that penetrates into the land some 6 kilometers, well protected from the wind.  A crew of 28 kayaks with paddlers of mixed skills showed up on a brilliantly sunny day.

Dean and I arrived early and decided to paddle up the river that flows into the harbour to crank out some paddle strokes while the rest arrived and were ready to put-in.  We returned as most were floating in their boats waiting for the starting gun.

And, they're off!  Looking down the long arm of the harbour.  Gerard, leading the trip, wisely decided on keeping to the north side as the forecast was for increasing winds later in the day when the south side would give better protection for the return.

The paddle along the north side was nondescript until we reached ...

... the Spout River falls.  Its been a wet end to summer so there was lots of water falling.

Some of us decided to paddle up to the thunderous falls close enough to feel the power in the water and spray on our faces.

Things started to look more interesting as we reached Howlett Point on our way towards Broom Cove and North Head.

A cave to explore carved out of the steeply dipping siltstones of the Conception Group.

We arrived at North Head, at the mouth of Aquaforte Harbour.  The wind had slowly picked up as the morning progressed and at North Head the water was a bit lumpy.  Some people got their first taste of more exposed waters but it was only a taste as the harbour is only a tad over one kilometer wide.  We set off for a beach on the south side where we would stop for lunch.

With everyone safely escorted across and deposited on the beach, Dean, Gerard, Ron and I made a short detour past Spurwink Island and past South Head to check out this impressive ...

... sea arch.

The four of us returned to a congested beach but found room to take out.  We had lunch under a gloriously sunny sky.

As chance would have it, the wind dropped out for our paddle back into the harbour.  A relief to most and, for some, different reasons I'm sure.

Dick paddles by this small sea stack adorned by a lone forlorn tree.  Amazing to see the places life decides to take hold.

The rest of the paddle back into the harbour was uneventful as a procession of kayaks passes.  Back in the inner reaches, part of the group tried to paddle up the river at the head of the harbour but the tide had fallen considerably since Dean and I had been there earlier to block access.

Kayaks were loaded and wet gear stowed for the hour long drive back to the big city.  A drive worth taking for a fun day on the water.

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