Steve King of the shorebreak

It’s late Autumn. The mornings are cooler now as we waited for the first rays of light to slowly rise over the Mt Lofty Ranges bringing a soft light if not warmth. The beach sand is cold on the feet.  You can hear the loud thud of the shorebreak almost drowning out the bark of a dog on it’s early morning run.

A guy riding a mountain bike with multiple flashing lights appears and he’s towing a kayak. That’s him; Steve King “King of the Shorebreak” here for his regular morning paddle and I have been crazy enough to join him.

Within a few minutes he has unhooked the kayak and is ready for another early morning paddle along the coastline. The first task is to negotiate the shorebreak and thankfully it seems quieter than normal although there are several lines of waves to negotiate.

Out through the first line of waves

Out through the first line of waves

Sometimes there a lull in the waves so you get through the first line easily……

Sometimes there a lull

Sometimes there a lull

……only to find the second line waiting for you.

About to get very wet

About to get very wet

The wind was light so we we headed along the coast stopping to play in waves generated by the offshore reefs. These waves can be savage at times as they break over the shallow reef shelf, however, today they were just lots of FUN.

Steve launches of the top of a small wave

Steve launches off the top of a small wave

Hey Steve…Just paddle over there. I think I can get a good photo.

Yep. He's in there somewhere

Yep. He’s in there somewhere

We bounced around for quite a while, enjoying the waves cascading across the reef in all directions.

Managing to keep control

Managing to keep control

The turbulence of the bluff

The turbulence off the bluff

We sat in the lee of a large chunk of reef and enjoyed the scenery.

Checking out an exposed rock

In the lee of the reef

That’s lots of fun on an early morning paddle, but I have housework to do, so it’s back to the run the shorebreak again.

Trying to come in on the back of a wave can work sometimes...but not always.

Trying to come in on the back of a wave can work sometimes…but not always.

You get through the outer line to find more surprises waiting for you.

Caught between 2 lines of waves

Caught between 2 lines of waves

And sneaking through the quiet part of the break we caught the last wave of the day.

and then the last wave home

the last wave home

Just in case you thought that some of the photos were a little blurred, think about this. I was in there with him, using a dinky toy Canon waterproof camera in one hand, meaning that I had only one hand on the paddle. This was quite often an interesting position to be in; but lots of FUN…. Ian

Ian                                                                        Steve
ian smurf crop (2)

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The Shorebreak

The Autumn weather arrived in Southern Australia this week bringing a mad search for thermal paddling tops, waterproof jackets and beanies. Those who ventured out were rewarded with a blustery beach launch and some light drizzle.

Overcast skies and choppy sea conditions were the order of the day as we gathered our kayaks for the launch.

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Do you think the shorebreak will get any worse ? It seems easy enough to get out but will be a little larger when the tide comes in.

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And sure enough; It was a little more fun landing.

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Has everyone landed…….or are we missing someone ?

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See, I told you it would calm down as soon as we got back on the beach !

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Just another day “Paddling South”.

 

Metric madness

We have been visiting Memory Cove in the Pt Lincoln National Park again. This is certainly one of my favourite places to spend a few days, either kayaking along the coast or if it’s too rough, spending time exploring the area by Mountain Bike. The park consists mainly of Sheoak and Eucalyptus woodland with a number of species being represented. The sandy beaches are unspoilt and the sheer cliffs and granite outcrops along the coast make for stunning paddling and the opportunity to see Southern Right Whales in winter.

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This is a place that has remained much the same since the days of Whaling in the early 1800’s, when whalers who were based at nearby Spalding Cove and Thistle Island pulled into this cove. They established a “mailbox” among the rocks on the southern end of the cove, where letters and messages were left for other passing vessels to collect and deliver to the township of Port Lincoln.

The letterbox is marked by an inscription in the rock, 4 ft and a direction arrow, meaning look 4 foot above this mark.

Mailbox

Now Australian currency was metricated in 1966 from pounds and pence to dollars and cents and distances gradually changed from feet and inches to metres and centimetres but I’m sure Whalers were still in the old ways.

However if you read the Department of Environment brochure  on Memory Cove the letterbox has moved somewhat to 1.2m Λ, changing to metric measures. Maybe the job of “proof reader” has been abolished with the job of “Whaler” but I certainly think it’s just a case of Metric Madness. 🙂

Cheers
Ian Pope
Still Paddling South….

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Sea caves and scorpions

We had decided to explore Memory Cove, in the Pt. Lincoln National Park for a few days.  The park, which is one of my favourite parts of South Australia, starts a few kilometres from Pt. Lincoln, is over 70 sq. km in size and includes a number of islands that I have visited by kayak in the past.

The park boasts some spectacular coastal scenery, and features the vast Sleaford-Wanna sand dune system, as well as the offshore islands.  Access to the cove is via a 15km 4WD track and only 5 vehicles are allowed camping access at any one time.

Matt decided to drive the track fearing that I might get us bogged again in sand dunes, however the drive is more rocky than sandy.

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We set up camp just metres from the beach and launched the kayaks.

Cove view

After being greeted by the local sea lions we explored the coastline.IMG_0013

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and found some sea caves to poke around in.

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Everywhere is luscious underwater growth with large abalone growing on the rock walls.

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The warm evening was enjoyed along with a few cold beers.

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The next day an approaching storm kept our exploration landlocked.

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We travelled a sandy 4WD track that hadn’t been used for some time…….

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and we found out why.

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Matt and Kathrin did some rock climbing and explored a deserted beach. If you look closely you will see them on the beach.

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Back at camp that night, while enjoying dinner and a red wine, Matt found a couple of unwelcome visitors heading for his tent. He quickly despatched the Scorpions back to the bush on the end of a shovel.

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Edithburgh : paddling the old wheat ports

On the road again. Kayaks, mountain bikes and other toys.

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Six of us met in Edithburgh for kayaking and bike riding. We managed a couple of paddles along the coast and offshore but the wind and catastrophic fire danger alert kept our mountain bike riding to the main tracks. The town of Pt. Lincoln was threatened by a bushfire and 50km away fires burnt towards the coastal town of Ardrossan. A week later and the Pt. Lincoln fire is still burning within containment lines.

Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula coast. A main street, jetty, 2 hotels, a couple of cafes and a wind farm.

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The Wind farm

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Old and New. Abandoned farmhouse with old windmill and the Wind farm in the distance.

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Glenn and Kathy decided to visit Troubridge Island 8 km offshore.
They landed at low tide.

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The sea is held back from the Lighthouse but only just.

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Kathy explored the walkway behind the Lighthouse.

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Meanwhile, Gavin and Ian explored the coastline between Edithburgh and Wool Bay 12km to the north.

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Past the Jetty and on to the Tidal swimming Pool. Deserted even on this hot day. I remember swimming here when I was about 10 years old and nothing much has changed.

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Following the coastline on a flooding tide we passed the oyster beds at Coobowie.

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Rounding the point we could see the wheat silos at Port Giles.The silos are full and waiting for the grain ships to arrive.

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A coastline of limestone cliffs, small caves and beaches that are only accessible at high tide.

Pulling into Wool Bay we see the old Lime burning kiln near the jetty.

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Best thing to do on a hot day – relax in the deserted swimming pool.

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