Let’s jump straight to SUMMER

I vote we jump straight to Summer. Forget about Spring; do we really need it? Winter was tough with lots of time spent mountain biking in the Flinders Ranges and snow falling to blanket the trails. I hate the cold.

But I knew how to raise the temperature almost immediately. I bought myself a kayaking drysuit from Liquid Life and Canoes Plus in Melbourne. Not only did I have instant body heat but during the first use at rolling training it reached 30 degrees Celsuis. I nearly cooked. What a strange sight it must have been with me flopping about in a pillar box red drysuit while others strolled past in board shorts and bikinis.

However, I was able to put it to good use today during an enjoyable surf session . The water is still cold or so I was told by the others.

Joined by Steve (King of England) and Gianni (the Italian Greyhound) we gave the Jackson Rockstar and Jackson Fun kayaks a good work out.

Here’s a sequence of photos of Gianni.

The wave about to close out

Duck your head !!

I bet that hurt !!

…and Steve attacked many good rides

Steve shows how it’s done

But not all rides end perfectly

…and here’s a few more photos to make you wish you joined us.

Gianni gets buried again…..

….and again

…..a nice clean ride at last

Of course the old guy just picks the best waves.

Ian goes down the face and comes out untouched

Have a great day. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

Cinderella

I’m cold. The water is  freezing. My head aches and my ears are hurting. The SW wind has sprung up and the balmy 10° C morning now feels like 5° C. I’m wearing every bit of rubber I own, wetsuit rubber I’m talking about, and the layers are not enough.  I start to shiver and decide the next wave will be my last for the day.

The previous wave jacked up vertical with the dropping tide and increased wind. I went vertical as well, straight down the wave face and out of control. My attempt at a saving big bottom turn on the biggest wave of the day failed and I was smashed then dragged upside down. The only upside is I now have very clean sinuses.

It’s just us and a crazy dog braving the ocean today.

Dogs don’t feel the cold

It started to rain but at least we had a nice rainbow above us.

Lucky Rainbow to the south of us

I picked a small wave and headed in knowing that I still had to get through the savage shorebreak and undertow.

Thankful of a small wave to take me home

Steve was following me and took a pounding in the shallows.

That’s Steve sand blasting the kayak hull

The trick is to paddle as far as possible then jump out. Quickly drag your kayak whilst fighting the undertow that wants to knock you over and roll you around in 20cm of water and swirling sand.

I managed a sort of graceful exit and watched Steve trying to look graceful as he staggered onto the beach.

He looked a little lopsided. Oh dear!! Cinderella has lost a slipper but not his thermal sock. Yep that undertow can be powerful.

Something missing Steve ?

Cinderella is missing a slipper

Sometimes there was a lull in the wave action and it was easy to break out.

Remember to close your mouth

Try not to get looped backwards

Out the back you get to pick one of the nicer looking waves.

Nice and steady

About to meet the wave breaking from both directions

A nice slide on a well behaved wave

Stretching exercise or water draining ?

We climbed the 56 stairs to the car as some warmth returned and reflected on another day in COVID lockdown. Here we are doing great with no infections for 12 days, but other states are not so good. You notice that people on the beach keep their distance, not only because of COVID, but straying close to a couple of loony paddlers is to be avoided.

 

The Shore Break

Shore Break: Definition
Waves that break very close to the beach. Usually more powerful and steeper than a normal beach break because the waves shoal and break quickly due to the fast transition from deep to shallow water.

Sometimes you have to work hard for your thrills. Getting an adrenaline rush from surfing your kayak down a steep green face has to be earned and that often means paddling the “Shore Break” to make it to the outer wave.

I peered over the railing to see some nice wave sets barreling in towards the shore. A great day for a couple of old salty dogs to get in a little exercise and maybe a few thrills in the surf. Out the back there was large rideable waves, but first we would have to paddle the “Shore Break”. Today it was thumping into only 40cm of water on the sandbar and was just waiting to crush any mistakes;  grinding you into the sand as well as flushing through every orifice.

I geared up and sat in the shallows waiting for a lull. There was often 3 sets of dumping waves to get through before heading out further for clean waves. You keep telling yourself that they don’t look that bad, but you know even a small shore break wave can knock the wind out of you, and being dragged along upside down is never fun.

Waiting for a lull in the action

I saw a lull in the wave action and charge outwards. The first wave smashed on my lap and I was suddenly surfing back to where I started. Your mind is concentrated on the task at hand and little else, except maybe the location of the nearest hospital.

I’m actually going backwards at this point

I saw Steve charging the next set of waves. He got through the first line of waves easily …..

Through the first line of waves

…..and was buried by the next. Remarkably he just popped to the surface upright.

Steve pops up

But the next one gave him a good thumping and a long drag towards shore, where he eventually rolled back up.

Seabed inspection

Meanwhile I made another charge out, only to end up back in the shallows again, and not upright.

Washed back in

Eventually we made it through the shore break and were able a enjoy some fast and furious rides on the outer break. We were on the edge of camera range so not a lot of photos but here’s a good one.

Steve sliding left and hoping he will make it.

With energy levels dwindling and smiles on our faces we then had to time our run towards shore.

Heading for shore

Another great paddle to remind us that it’s great to be alive. Of course we practiced social distancing both on and off the water.

Don’t stand so close to me

Stay Safe
Ian, Robyn and Steve

 

 

 

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.