Catch up with friends

The sun broke through the early morning mist revealing a beautiful blue sky. The sun on my back feels great as I paddle northwards to catch up with some friends on the water. I’m almost tempted to stow away my woollen beanie and neoprene gloves. Hell, the temperature must have soared to at least 4°C.

COVID restrictions have been further eased in South Australia and it was great to catch up with a few old friends. The 45 minute paddle to the meetup place was perfect, with a light wind chop making the bow rise and fall on the small troughs. I was feeling great being out on the water on such a morning and the beauty of the coastline was an added bonus.

The sun reaches over the cliffs and lights up the rock pillars

I approached a rocky headland expecting to see my friends waiting but the horizon was empty. Still no sign of them as I drifted towards the rocks. Then they all jumped out in front of me. SURPRISE !!!!.. They swam around my kayak with big grins on their faces, duck diving and splashing about in the cold clear water.

It’s so good to be back on the water and with friends it’s so much better. After a playful catchup it was off along the coast again. They shouted a reminder, “bring pizza next time; we’re getting sick of sushi”.

The morning sun was lighting up the ocean capturing fellow paddler Steve in its rays.

Sparkling rays as the sun clears the cliffs

We paddled in close to some of the reefs that were exposed at the low tide and checked out the rocky coastline.

Another great morning and happy to be alive.

CS Canoe MySun kayak. My favourite Italian ride

Stay Safe. Social distance. Wash your hands :)-

What lurks below ?

It’s cold morning on the beach. NO; that’s a lie. It’s a freezing morning on the beach. After a night of crystal clear skies, there’s no wind and the sea is mirror smooth. It’s so cold even the sand feels stiff and frozen.

I’m not normally found paddling around areas at the northern reaches of Spencer Gulf but these are not normal times. The cold fronts have been pushing across southern Australia bringing big seas to the Southern Ocean so I have moved inland a few hundred kilometres. South Australians have been let off the COVID leash, with no infections for around 2 weeks, we are allowed to travel intrastate.

Healthy mangrove forests along the coast

Sometimes you can pull up at a nice lunch spot on the edge of the mangroves and find that after sandwiches and coffee you have a problem. In nautical terms it’s said to be “aground”. A bit of pushing and shoving gets you back on the ocean.

Aground !!!

The water is cold and clear as you glide along alone. It’s these times that I sometimes wonder “What lurks below ?”. I often see dolphins, fur seals and sea lions as well as several species of water diving cormorants, but today I’m sure of seeing the Australian Giant Cuttlefish. I come in close to shore at the prearranged place so that Robyn can get some photos.

Now being our group photographer, she has not only has to be a fair paddler but also ready to make sacrifices to get good shots. Into the freezing water she goes looking for photo opportunities.

Freezing cold water is no barrier

Here’s a slide show of the congregation of Australian Giant Cuttlefish as they come into the cold, shallow waters of Pt Lowly to mate. They grow up to 60 cm weighing around 5kg. and have the ability to change colour and texture to camoflague themselves.

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Unfortunately we are not travelling with Gavin, our group Sommelier, which limited our choice of wine,  but I was able to temp her with a decent Pinot Noir as reward for her work.

Luckily we didn’t come across anything more sinister than Giant Cuttlefish which more than can be said for well known S.A. paddler Mike Dunn. You can see his “encounter” in the video below.

Stay safe. Social distance and wash your hands.
Ian and Robyn