Bumper Boats, Dodgem Cars and the Ghost Train were my favourite rides as a kid. Whenever there was a show or fair in town I was there looking for excitement and spending my money on rides, hot dogs and fairy floss. As I got a little older I still rode the Bumper Boats but often got kicked off for “rough play” and my fascination with the Ghost Train drifted towards the scantily clad girls on the high trapeze.
Times change but somethings stay the same. Hot Dogs were out and Falafel Rolls are in, and the Ghost Train is no longer scary, but I still get that Bumper Boat feeling every time I hit the surf.
The wind had dropped and the offshore wave recorder showed some activity, although the glassy waves were not as large as we hoped, but still provided some Monday Bumper Boat action.
It was a beautiful morning with a nice mob of paddlers and bound to be repeated soon.
The Witches Wind has been blowing relentlessly for weeks. The Witches reside in the East and blow across the Peninsula reeking havoc on the sea swell. At the bottom of the Peninsula they sweep across the swell making it choppy and confused and further up the Gulf they blow strong from the land, flattening any waves.
The Witches are not good for sea kayakers, causing a confused, often angry sea and certainly no good for surf kayakers chasing a wave.
The weather forecast came in. East winds below 10 knots and a small clean surf on the local beach. ACTION STATIONS. Load up my new Jackson Kayak Rockstar playboat and get there. Steve (King of England) was also on it. The swell was small but the water was crystal clear and warm enough to entice a number of rolls and other frivolity.
There were a few small peelers to be had.
I saw a flash of white break the surface nearby but luckily it was just a swimmer out for the first sunny day. No tan and lots of white flesh. Steve had a lunch appointment so he called it a day.
Then to prove it was “Almost Summer” I heard the “wump wump wump” of a helicopter overhead and the wail of a siren. Yep, you guessed it Shark Alert.
Public #SharkReport: SA – NEAR OCHRE POINT AT MOANA BEACH . 10:30, 28 Nov 21, 4m, White Shark, Aerial Survelliance → Report to Shark Watch. Helicopter pilot has seen a large 4 – 5m White Shark very close to shore (between 10 – 20m offshore) while flying over Moana Beach near Ochre Point. The Shark was seen close to surfers and it’s movement could not be established.
Oh well it made for a nice finish to the session, sitting on the beach, drinking coffee and watching everyone called to action stations. It’s almost Summer.
Many borders are closed and COVID is loose in several states across Australia so our only safe holiday choice was to stay in South Australia. Our first adventure was to clock up some mountain bike kilometres in the north Flinders Ranges with a couple of friends.
The weather was warm, the wind less than friendly but we still managed to travel loops on the Mawson Trail as well as other less travelled routes. Add in a hot day walking in the Aroona Valley, visiting the Blinman Hotel “the pub in the scrub” and we had a week of fun sorted.
The winds were still unfriendly when we left the North Flinders area and headed to the edge of the Nullabor plain to visit the iconic surf break of Cactus Beach. The surf was blown out by the southerly wind with no surfers out there today or for the next few days.
Where there’s Wind there’s Windmills. The town of Penong is several kilometres inland from the ocean but still has its’ share of wind and windmills. There is even a windmill museum with a number of restored windmills in action. These days they are for show as solar powered pumps have taken over the pumping duties.
My duty was that of photographers assistant, carrying gear and generally keeping out the way. We were in luck as in the late afternoon the wind abated and the giant Comet 35 windmill slowly came to a halt. The local Penong football team was in the grand final next weekend and was having their last training session under full lights at the nearby oval. The field of windmills slowly rotated to face the oval and the lights reflected off their blades.
Our time was running short so we headed back home to Adelaide with the surf forecast there showing signs of good swells. Sadly the swell had eased the day of our arrival and we were greeted by a less than impressive surf break. With the need to get wet I paddled out with Steve to grab what fun we could.
Here’s a 1 minute clip of fun. Thanks for visiting.
It’s a nice day with almost no wind and we decided to go for a paddle on the sea. Great idea ! The first thing you have to master is the “Kayak Launch” so that you can get out there and enjoy the fun times.
There’s all sorts of tips and tricks on internet media but a picture tells a thousand words (apparently) so here’s a few photos from Ian, Philip, Charles and Mike to show you how it’s done.
First make sure there are no small waves coming.
Remember a support stroke might be needed to stabilise your kayak.
Don’t worry if water splashes over you, it’s a wet sport.
When approaching a small wave lean forward to keep the kayak on an even keel.
Hope you have a nice day. Ian, Philip, Mike, Charles and Robyn (our Photographer)
“Happy Hump Day” to all you worker bees out there. Yep, it’s Wednesday and my Urban Dictionary confirms Wednesday has been known as hump day since at least the 1950’s. The expression figures Wednesday, the middle of the workweek, as the hump people get over to coast into the weekend.
But it’s also when us “no longer working” paddlers decide to paddle “The Hump” surf break. The text came in early this morning.
“Looks good. Get up. There’s light outside”.
So out of bed, on with surf kayak and hit the road. Unfortunately we also hit major roadworks and two accidents that brought us to a standstill on the way there, but the surf was good all morning.
I don’t want to make you too jealous so I have just grabbed 5 photos to show how much fun we had. Sun shining, water not too cold yet and only a few people on the beach.
Ian on a nice clean face
Steve breaking right
Mr Cool heading back into a green wave face
This could be nasty !!!
The Curtain comes down and wipes him out
Well that’s it for today from Steve and Ian. Thanks to Robyn our ever patient photographer.