Adelaide is a Coffee Scene town on a Sunday morning. People stroll the beach fronts, taking in the sea air, exercising their dogs or pushing babies in prams before invading the local coffee shops. I have been known to frequent these beach side establishments on occasions but I earn my coffee.
The sea was calm and the wind gentle giving me choices. I could launch my sea kayak and plod along the coastline visiting the normal reef areas, knowing that there would be hardly any play waves to be had. A nice idea, but that would not earn me a lot of “coffee points” in the exertion or fun categories. Maybe just enough points for a decaffeinated skinny soy latte and a plain biscuit.
Or I could hit a few waves and in an hour build a tally of points that would easily go a large long black and even larger apricot filled pastry and still have points left over. So there was not really much of a decision to be made, and an hour sprinting a playboat through the surf certainly counts as interval training.
I earn my coffee and I have the photos to prove it.
I lay in bed keeping warm as the first rays of light appeared over the bay. I could hear that the wind had not abated from the 25+ knots it had been all night, however it was forecast to drop in the next few hours.
It’s been a strange week of weather with the prevailing wind from the NW which meant the normally sheltered bay and coastline of Pt Turton and Harwicke Bay on Yorke Peninsula, have been a mass of whitecaps and confused seas. We hoped to get out for at least a short kayak down the rocky coastline towards Pt Souttar, so it was unload the kayak and wait for the wind to abate.
Even the dolphins had taken refuge in the marina.
We launched in the lee of the marina and made our way southward along the coast. The wind had dropped a lot but was still enough to create a confused sea close to the rocks.
We came across the local swimming pool, although at present it was well under water as the tide was driven high up on the beach by the wind. I don’t think we will see many swimmers here today.
We paddled on until it became a bit of a slog as the wind increased and we then turned for home. The short wind chop combined with clapatis made for quick support strokes when trying to take photos, otherwise I could have been the first swimmer of the day.
Next day the wind again reached 25 knots making for a day of land based activities. We decided to ride our Fatbikes along the beach to the tiny township of Hardwicke Bay, hoping the local store to be open. The sand was hard packed and the tail wind made for excellent progress as we bounced the 15 km around the bay. The local store provided us with coffee and muffins, which gave our butts a rest and gave the wind a chance to increase to another level.
Watching the whitecaps streak across the bay we decided that our easiest route home would be to follow the road behind the sand dunes where we should find some wind protection. Things started off fine for the first few kilometers, until the wind changed direction and increased again. Quite a novel experience being blown sideways off the road by the gusts, with Robyn suffering the most occurrences and Gavin the least, maybe due to weight differences, or was it just skill. After over 30 km of hard riding we hit the last downhill into camp and a well deserved icecream.
November in Pt Turton normally brings great weather as well as lots of Silver Schoolies ! We had first seen some of this group when we rode into Pt Turton on our “Walk the Yorke” bike tour and again a year later.
Wikipedia gives an insight to Schoolies.
Schoolies or schoolies week refers to the Australian tradition of high-school graduates having week-long holiday following the end of their final exams in November. Schoolies week is seen as a final party with schoolmates before they head their separate ways.
Silver Schoolies are much much older revelers having a week long holiday, just because they can.
They sure know how to celebrate and get together daily for strange activities and from what I could see consuming a variety of beverages. Apparently it is obligatory not to act your age and partake in as many crazy sports as possible. Of course we joined in some of the fun.
The first event on the card was a horse race with horse supplied. You all start on the line and throw a huge dice and pace out the number on the dice.
After the winners and losers were sorted out it was on with a huge BBQ lunch and of course a variety of beverages.
The festivities continued all week with unusual events. We witnessed a paper aeroplane competition judged first for accuracy and then distance.
So if your in the vicinity during that week in November and see some odd sights, don’t panic it’s only “Silver Schoolies” at play. In fact why not join in the activities and stay at the Caravan Park.
One fact that may interest you is that the pharmacy in a near town reported a ten fold increase in prescriptions for blood pressure and cholesterol medication and yes you guessed it, Viagra.
“Spring has sprung.
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the sunshine iz.”
Well it’s sure not anywhere near here.
Last night at my place, the winds stayed at 30 knots and dropped a little at dawn. It was definitely not a day to try out the new double sea kayak but I was getting desperate for a soak in salt water. Four desperate souls met in the lee of the Pt Noarlunga reef with the hope of getting in a little playboating fun.
So for those who stayed in bed, nice and warm, here’s some photos to prove our insanity.
Four cold and wet but happy paddlers. Enjoy your day.
The morning had dawned cold and still which is a little unusual for these parts. There is normally a breeze from one direction or other that has to be taken into account. No wind, however, a sea fog was rolling in but didn’t discourage a paddle along the rocky coast line of the upper Spencer Gulf. We spent time wandering along the coastline passing Douglas Point and Fitzgerald Bay, headed towards Stony Point on the edge of False Bay.
Not much changes in this part of the coast. This is a photo of Pt Lowly in 1905 and again below on our visit. All of the buildings are still there.
Many overseas visitors seem to think that all the animals of Australia are out to sting, bite or eat them. Of course this is not true, but the snakes, sharks and crocodiles do seem to sit heavy on their mind.
But what about Sepia Apama ? They can camouflage themselves and spring out at their prey from behind a rock. Luckily they don’t have much of an appetite for German Backpackers or in fact any nationality, although, if you start poking your finger in his/her direction you night get a very nasty bite. So who is Sepia Apama ? Sepia Apama is more commonly called the Giant Australian Cuttlefish. Giant because they grow up to 60cm long and weigh up to 5kg.
It’s winter and that is mating season for tens of thousands of these interesting creatures who change color to camouflage themselves. The water was very clear and calm so they could be seen all along the rocky coastline of False Bay.
The best way to meet up with Sepia Apama is a dip into the rather chilly 11 degree C water with your camera wearing every bit of wetsuit you own, so here’s 2 minutes of what we saw on our quick dip. You will see the” mating procedure” at around 55 sec. on the video. After mating the female attaches her eggs under a rock
Great paddling area and some unusual creatures.
Ian and Robyn