I earn my coffee

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 met another “Paddle Tragic” on the beach

We were not the only old dogs on the beach

I think I’m in trouble on this one.

Prayers answered. Still upright

Looking for a big bottom turn

But not quite getting it done in time.

Driving hard on a small wave

A nice fast drop

Not quite the wave exit I intended

Cutting a hard right on a small wave

Not everything goes to plan

The last ride before coffee time

Mr Cool heading for the beach on the last wave of the day.

 

Spring has Sprung

“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.

We got ready to launch as the rain started….. we were wet anyway

Remind me again how this is going to be fun

Ian picks up a ride as Steve paddles out

Charlie handles the conditions with ease in his Jackson Karma kayak

Steve gets bounced around in soup

Young Geoff shows us how to stay upright with class

…and Charlie does a quick “seabed inspection”

Geoff….Cool and calm

Geoff grabs another wave

Meanwhile Steve gets ready for a good thumping

Charlie tries to get airborne

Geoff looks on as Steve tries a “cartwheel”….unsuccessful  this time

Charlie demonstrates the use of sunglasses on a cloudy day

Geoff finishes the session. Cold, wet and happy

Four cold and wet but happy paddlers. Enjoy your day.

 

Mid week madness

It’s mid week. It’s too early in the morning. The tide is wrong. The surf is dumping. It’s freezing cold but still we decided that it would be better to get wet than sloth around drinking coffee and staying warm.

Here’s a little taste of our “late take offs” and other dumpings. Come share our madness !!!

This one is “gunna hurt”

 

Cold and Clean

It was just before dawn when I heard the central heating start up. Hmm…must be a cold morning. A quick check and I found the outside temperature was 5 degrees C. I saw the phone blinking at me with a “Surf Alert”, announcing clean conditions on the mid-coast this morning. The Winter Solstice is a couple of days away and this may be our last chance to get in a  “Solstice Paddle” so out of bed and on with the kayak.

We arrived at the beach in superb calm conditions and a small but diminishing swell, however, we never miss an opportunity to paddle with friends to celebrate the Solstice and the promise of better weather.

The estuary mouth reflects the houses on the cliff

Ibis mirrored in the water looks like a painting

Of course we were not the only ones looking forward to the warmer weather to come. A pack of friendly dogs were on the beach chasing balls, running in circles, sniffing bums and rolling in something that smelt like dead fish.

Rolling in something that smells like dead fish

No better way to celebrate than to catch a wave with a fellow paddler.

Ian heads out

Steve follows him

Ian gets a few clean rides

Steve works along a small dumping wave

As the tide changed the waves became more dumping and we found ourselves buried in freezing water.

Steve buried in freezing foam

Ian gets dumped again

Playing on the same wave

Having a quick game of tag

When Steve was not looking, Ian seized an opportunity, and surfed up on to his back deck.
Well maybe kayaks can sniff bums too.

Now where did he go ?

My hands were frozen and my ears stinging from the cold but it was still a great paddle with a Steve King (of England). Looking forward to the better weather and less thermal layers.

Happy Solstice….Ian Pope

Stay CALM…it’s Winter

Stay CALM. The winter weather pattern is starting to set in. When you talk about Winter in South Australia you automatically imagine SW swells battering the coastline, driving by high winds.

I remember the calmer moments of winter mornings. The stillness as the fog slowly lifts; the clear crisp mornings on the beach and especially the calm winds of early morning.

Reflections in the still waters of the Onkaparinga River mouth

The bridge to the beach

Sure we have lots of mornings of driving rain and un-paddleable seas but they pass over bringing back the CALM. The  bonus is that certain beaches that are normally “wave poor”, pick up a nice set on the lower tide. Such is the “Trough” surf break. I remember in my youth that it was a dirt road along the top of the cliffs that led to the beach, known as the “Trough” due to a sheep water trough on the farmers property. Now it’s in the middle of suburbia and a place of dog walkers, surf boats and the occasional kayak surfer.

Out for a morning trott along the beach

It’s amazing the entertainment a small piece of rubber can bring a dog

Today was a low tide with light northerly wind, winter morning and three intrepid paddlers set forth for a little calm winter play.

Ian and Steve push off into calm-ish waters waiting for Ian B to launch

Robyn shouted a final instruction. “You guys play nice now…Ian B may not be used to your antics.”

Ian starts with a nice small wave

Steve follows up with a similar size wave

……and shows how it’s done with a drop off the wave crest

Ian B follows with a nice ride

There are a few hazards when on a wave……

A surf boat barrells through to the shore

The main hazard for Ian B was Ian and Steve who love playing games.

Look out for that rogue wave Ian.

That scared him !!!!

Over the falls he goes.

Ooops. I think he’s practicing his roll.

“We didn’t do it on purpose Robyn. It was an accident ” Steve said, smiling.

Another great morning on the water.

Robyn and I have been wandering the west coast of South Australia enjoying the last of the autumn weather with some paddling and Fatbiking.(Our Fatbiking photos are here )  and return to Adelaide for some winter paddling.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Paddlers and kayaks
Ian Pope (green), Steve King (purple), Ian Brunning (orange)
Photographer
Robyn Pope