Thursday, December 7, 2017

DRIVES, KAYAK, MOUNTAIN BIKING AND CHRISTMAS STARTS - 7 DECEMBER 2017

3 December 2017

A long drive today. Six hours of driving return trip picking up my daughter from a music festival.


4 December 2017

Very tired after the drive so had a nothing day.


5 December 2017


After a surf check, I drove over to Hardys Bay in Brisbane Water for a kayak to Rileys Bay. Just as I was about to start, I had a chat with lady who wished to buy a kayak. We talked of the pros and cons and costs.



 The paddle was a good test for the new kayak as the wind was fresh but increasing.  Along the way there were a couple of piers. One of the piers was high enough to go under it.



Rileys bay was lined in mangroves and white sand beaches. I parked the kayak under the shade of the mangroves and enjoyed the silence and solitude. I turned back at the end of the bay due to the very shallow water, rocks cov ered in oyster shells and an outgoing tide.



The wind was getting stronger and was against me as I paddled but the kaayak held its speed and line well.


6 December 2017

I had a surf check at Macmasters Beach. It was sort of okay but decided to check it again with a higher tide.

In the meantime, I drove to Bouddi National park to mountain bike ride the tracks towards Daleys Point.


This ride was very challenging in sections. There are lots of tracks that sort of run parallel to the main trail. Each track was so relatively different with drops, steep sections, spiky plants, very narrow sections, rocks, logs and cliffs. The more I do these tracks the more I am liking it.



The flannel flowers were in full bloom along some of the tracks.


I tried a chest harness for part of the ride. I made a few adjustments as I was using it but it retrospect I need to point the camera higher and tighten the mountings.


I check Macmasters on the way home with a higher tide but surf was way too crowded.


7 December 2017

Kara had a medical appointment in Sydney.

While she was at the appointment, I had a 12 km bike ride along the cycleway at Cooks River. It was fun and very hot.




Back home and I had an ocean swim at Terrigal Haven.

In the evening, e started putting up the Christmas decorations under Kara's supervision. A lot of laughs.


Kara decided the angel on top of the tree needed to be modernized.






Saturday, December 2, 2017

HIKING, MOUNTAIN BIKING, SURFING AND OCEAN SWIMMING - 2 DECEMBER 2017

29 November 2017

My daughter, Chloe and I had a hike around Warrah Trig in Brisbane Waters National Park.


We left home and it started to sprinkle, then rain and then it stated pouring. We thought about going back home but decided to try our luck. Unbelievably, we arrived at Warrah Trig and it was dry with no sign of rain.



We took advantage of the situation and had a fun and pleasant hike to the Warrah Lookout. The view was amazing across the bay and out towards the ocean.



We also stopped along Warrah Road and did a short walk to the escarpment for some views over Box Head.



I dropped Chloe back home then drove down to North Avoca Beach for a surf.

There were nice lefts breaking on a sandbank. I had a fun time before the crowd built up.


30 November 2017

About mid morning, I had a surf at North Avoca beach. There were only three surfers out with heaps of  right waves breaking. The waves broke a little randomly and then finished with a fast hard session along the shore.


1 December 2017

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month.

The surf was looking poor so I headed over to Bouddi National Park for a mountain bike ride along the tracks - Turkey, NW ridge and Strom.


I have a course that I generally follow on these tracks and I try to improve my riding in one way or another.



It was a hot ride so I drove over to Terrigal Haven for an ocean swim. Nice.



I picked up my new kayak but the wind was howling too much for a kayak.


Later in the afternoon, Jacinta, Kara and I went to dinner and music at Beery, Terrigal. 


2 December 2017

Now and again, I have bad sleeps. Last night was one of them. I don't try to fight it, I just accept that the following day will be a right-off.

I was determined to ride the kayak so I took it out at Avoca lagoon despite my body and head reluctance. 

The kayak paddled well - the seating was better and firmer, the kayak trimmed along straighter and faster and it sat higher in the water. I also tried a chest harness for the go pro camera - seems okay but  not the best for a kayak as the paddling cuts across the camera view. I will need to try it on some other sports.


The lagoon had a great variety of birds. At least a dozen species but i hadn't brought the camera gear for bird photos. 

The rest of the day was spent filling in time and dozing.

By late afternoon, I was starting to feel human again.

Monday, November 27, 2017

MUNMORAH BEACHES - OLNEY SF HIKE/MTB - HEATON, HUNTER AND MACLEANS LOOKOUT - 26 NOVEMBER 2017

25 November 2017

I drove over to Avoca Point to catch up with my old mates one more time. It was another great catch up with some drama the night before involving attempted strangulation ... ah boys will be boys even at 60+.

I had a swim at Avoca Beach then headed home for a nap before Jacinta and I set off for a night camp at Munmorah SCA.

At Munmorah, we unfortunately discovered that the camping area was full. We headed down to Red Ochre Beach and had a few swims and a sit in the sun.


Next, we tried the small camp area at Frazer Park but that was also full. We had lunch and decided to head to The Pines Camping Area at Olney State Forest about an hour drive away.



A good decision. We parked between a couple of tall pines and settled in for the evening - reading and having dinner with a few beers and wine.


26 November 2017

We had parked the van on a slight angle so I spent most of the night rolling. Not the best sleep.
When we woke, Jacinta and I had a bush hike along the tracks near the camping area. A great hike as I did this one a few weeks ago on my own so I knew where I was going. There are a lot of tracks leading in a number of directions in this area so it can become very confusing. On this hike we walked in the opposite direction to my last hike.






After the hike, we had breakfast and then I went for a mountain bike ride. I don't know the names of the tracks but I had a fun time exploring and testing myself. Most of the tracks had been highly eroded by dirt bikes so it was a challenging ride with unexpected obstacles.  I found the start of the Abbots Falls Track which I rode part way but will do more on another occasion as I didn't have a map and the ride was going to be long.



Back at the camp, we packed and then hit the road for a number of lookouts located on the dirt roads. the first was Heaton Lookout with a vista across the east to the ocean. It looked like a future camp spot as there was two walks in the area.




The next lookouts were Macleans and Hunter. They both were great views looking out over the valleys to the west. the road on this section was relatively flat and a track ran sort of parallel.  A possible mountain bike ride on a future trip.







We had lunch then drove back home.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

AVOCA LAGOON KAYAK - BOUDDI MTB - NORTH AVOCA BEACH SURF - HAVEN SNORKEL - 24 NOVEMBER 2017

22 November 2017

A surf check of North Avoca Beach and Wamberal Beach were not very inspiring despite being very little wind.



I drove to the Haven, had an ocean swim, a coffee, a read and a sit in the early morning sun.


Back at home, and a group decision lead to an outting at Avoca Lagoon for some kayaking. It was Mr Archibald's first attempt at kayaking. He didn't settle to well with myself but was fine with Kara.
We had a fun time paddling the kayak around, posing for photos and being silly. We saw some kangaroos playing in the water on the small island.

It ended with a big feed from the fish and chip shop when we got back home.





23 November 2017

A surf check at North Avoca - tide too low so back later.

I drove to Bouddi NP and parked at the top of Wards Hill and rode the tracks off Maitland Bay Road.
The tracks were fun curving here, there and everywhere with some hard sections. The return ride was easier as I was able to go the steeper rocky sections.


There were a few points where the view lookout north across the Broadwater and Brisbane Water. There was a track at the base of the escarpment which I'll try hiking along on another day.




At one steep and rocky section, I got off my bike to walk it but tripped over a tree root, fell on a log, rolled over the log and into the bracken fern. Luckily, I landed where I corked my thigh on a ride a few days ago ... nah, it hurt. Anyway, I escaped with three series of scrape marks and a cut on my left leg.

I checked Copacabana Beach next. the conditions were nice but the waves were breaking only a few metres from shore.


I drove back to North Avoca and had a fun and small surf. The waves were okay and I had fun using the gopro5 as well. The videos were okay but I need to use different settings for surfing photographs.
Back home to tidying, mulching and mowing the yard.





24 November 2017

I checked the waves at North Avoca but it was too small and crumbly.

I call Paul to meet up for coffee at the Haven. I had a bit of time to spare so I went for a snorkel around the rock pool.

As soon as I was in the water, I saw a stingray. The water visibility was okay but still a little murky.
Next, there were a lot of different fish, another stingray and a Wobbegone shark. The shark was over a metre in length. I followed it for awhile and enjoyed watching it flowing low over the rocks and seaweed and in between crevices.




Wobbegong is the common name given to the 12 species of carpet sharks in the family Orectolobidae. The word wobbegong is believed to come from an Australian Aboriginal language meaning "shaggy beard", referring to the growths around the mouth of the shark of the western Pacific.

Wobbegongs are bottom-dwelling sharks, so they spend much of their time resting on the sea floor. Wobbegongs are well camouflaged with a symmetrical pattern of bold markings which resembles a carpet. The camouflage is improved by the presence of small weed-like whisker lobes  surrounding the wobbegong's jaw, which help to camouflage it and act as sensory barbs. Wobbegongs make use of their relative invisibility to hide among rocks and catch smaller fish which swim too close.
Wobbegongs are generally not dangerous to humans. However, they have bitten people who accidentally stepped on them in shallow water or underwater divers who have poked or touched them. Unprovoked, they may also bite those who swim near their hiding spots. Wobbegongs are very flexible and can easily bite a hand holding onto their tail.

They have many small but sharp teeth and their bite can be severe, even through a wetsuit; having once bitten, they have been known to hang on and can be very difficult to remove.

After the snorkel, I meet up with Paul and Chris for coffee at the Cove Cafe.

Next, I headed over to Avoca Point to join up with a number of old friends whom I went to school with, surfed with or lived in the area I grew up in. Ray arranges the get together and it is always a lot of laughs chatting about past, present and future.

Finally, I was back home and then took Kara and Mr Archibald down to the Haven Beach. By the time we left, I was feeling a bit sun-out-of-it.

Later, Jacinta and I had a few drinks and dinner at the Beery at Terrigal and listened to a pleasant two man band.

DRIVES, KAYAK, MOUNTAIN BIKING AND CHRISTMAS STARTS - 7 DECEMBER 2017

3 December 2017 A long drive today. Six hours of driving return trip picking up my daughter from a music festival. 4 December 2017...