Monday, October 7, 2013

Half a dozen of one and two of another

A paddle started to form for Sunday in Bay Bulls.  An early start was proposed.  Too early for me given its only a 30 minute drive and not that long of a paddle.  It was also too early for Clyde so six of our paddle buddies put-in at 8:30 and Clyde and I put-in at 10:00.  We left with the rain falling and overcast skies.

We didn't know where the others were.  There was no plan so we made decisions on the fly.  We paddled out along the north side ducking into this channel that's not always accessible.

Five kilometers later we were at North Head.  We paddled out a bit to have a look down the coast and the lighthouse at the head.

At North Head we decided to cross the mouth of the harbour towards, oddly enough, South Head.  Looking south with Gull Island off of South Head it seemed the sun was trying to break out.

The ocean wave model predicted swell coming from the north.  At South Head it could go no further and crashed on the rocks.

When Clyde and I reached South Head I spotted the early crew coming up from Witless Bay.  We stopped for a while and rafted up for a chat.  I observed I couldn't get an early start as I needed my beauty sleep.  Someone remarked I should have stayed in bed longer.  Point taken.

Clyde and I carried on towards Witless Bay where we would stop for lunch.  The rain made all the greenery really green which contrasted nicely with the red sandstones.

Clyde checks out a cave.

We stopped on this little beach for lunch as it was secluded and out of sight of the community of Witless Bay.  It was still raining and turning colder so we only stayed long enough to eat our lunch before ...

... heading back to Bay Bulls.

Earlier when we met our friends the swell was moderate at South Head at about a meter.  The wind had come up while we ate which had a dramatic effect on the sea state.  The larger swell was near two meters which in combination with the rebounding waves made for interesting paddling.

We got around the head without incident.  There's always a chance for an "incident" when taking pictures in choppy seas.  Anyway, the swell though smaller in the harbour, followed us down the south side making for a good push and some mini surf rides.

The take-out in Bay Bulls.  The rain continued and the northwest winds had dropped the temperature to 7C.  No matter, we were pleased with our day's activity.  Ticked off another 21 kms towards the annual target, now clearly in sight with the best part of three months left.

I'm sure the six early risers had a good paddle.  I know the two of us did.  Next time we'll all be together again.

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