Monday, December 22, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER - PELICAN ISLAND - KAYAK - 21 DECEMBER 2014

A brilliant morning! The sun was shining and not much wind.




I launched off a small sandy beach along Brick Wharf Road at Woy Woy. My objective was to paddle around Pelican Island.


Along the shore and in and under the casuarina trees were a flock of 'Little Corellas'. These birds are unusual in the bird world as they like to play.


I paddled across to Pelican Island and followed the mangrove shoreline turning into the Woy Woy channel. The waters became shallower and the fish jumped or darted away when startled by the kayak.

Two 'Australian Pied Oystercatcher' birds were foraging in the mangroves. It was enjoyable watching them cautiously feeding. These birds a have a bright orange bill and striking black and white feathers.


Next, was an 'Whimbrel', which is from the curlew family. It was also foraging in the mangroves.



A 'Little Egret' was in the mangroves. This bird had two ribbons hanging from the head which apparently appear during the breeding season.

A sea eagle was perched high above watching and waiting.


An enjoyable part of this kayak was paddling under branches and through the mangroves. The perfect reflections give it such an ancient worldly look. Where's the giant crocs!

On the eastern side of the island were rows of oyster farms. I paddled between the rows feeling like I was on a race track.


Towards the end of the paddle, there was a small beach with a number of birds. The beach was wide and long enough to make it a pleasant sit plus the water was swimmable.


A pretty 4.2 km kayak with heaps of bird close ups.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER - ST HUBERTS ISLANDS - KAYAK - 16 december 2014

Well, firstly, I thought that St Huberts Island was the one island covered in houses. BUT the two smaller islands next to it were marked down as St Huberts Island so there must be a few of them.



I parked at Park Road, Woy Woy. The shore was lined with a sandstone retaining wall. At Park Road, there was a break in the wall with a few steps down to the water.


I launched into the bright morning sunrise and paddled across to the first island.


The island was lined with mangroves and a few breaks with small white and beaches. It is shallow near the shore and clusters of oyster periodically scrapped along the hull of the kayak. Luckily, the kayak was made of plastic! It was very quiet. The water carried  a few voices of boaties so that they seemed very close.


After circumnavigating half the island, I paddled over to the second island. This island was totally covered with mangroves and there wasn't really any dry land. I was able to partially paddle under a few trees but it would be better with a high tide as it was too shallow.


I paddled back over to the first island where there was a small wharf attached to an oyster farmer shed. A little further on, there were some oystercatcher birds on a small, white, sand beach. I watched them for awhile then landed the kayak a little further around on another small beach. From here, I explored the island but the dry land was very small.


I landed at another beach on the island then headed back to the start.

There were a lot of birds, mainly in flight, but they were too fast for me today to photograph.


A nice paddle of 2.08 km with a beautiful sunrise and relaxing, calming water.








Monday, December 15, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BOUDDI NP - MTB - 14 december 2014 - 'TRACKS'

An eventful bike ride at Bouddi National Park.



It started out well and I was feeling good. I was approaching the turkey trail from the better side. The tracks were heaps of fun and I was feeling confident.

The first fall was when I stopped to check the steepest of the drop. I just started to slide and fell into the tree.

The second fall was abrupt when going over some tree roots. I just came to  dead stop.

The crash was hard. I thought I was lucky I didn't hurt myself, then luckier still that I didn't damage the bike. I thought I was okay but the bike hit soft sand and wham I hit the rock.

The next event, was the flat tyre. That's two in the last two rides.

The next hit was towards the end. I thought I was fine on the concrete path when my right foot and pedal hit one of the concrete uprights. It hurt a bit but I was happy there was no damage to me or the bike.


Conclusion, I'm trying hard and pushing it or I'm getting sloppier. hmmm! food for thought.

distance - 5.61 km
average speed - 9 km/h
elevation range - 40 metres

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - WAMBERAL LAGOON - KAYAK - 10 DECEMBER 2014

An early morning kayak on Wamberal Lagoon.



This morning I was joined by my friend, John.


The conditions were glassy and the sky cloudy.


The water was high so we were able to paddle across a few usually dry places.


There were  number of birds including cormorants and black swans.


The small tributary at the west end of the lagoon was a great paddle. It was still, dark and narrow. We were able to paddle through the reeds and between the trees.


It was a fun and pleasant paddle.


distance  - 4.54 km


Monday, December 8, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER - RILEYS ISLAND - KAYAK/HIKE - 7 DECEMBER 2014

I parked at the pubic wharf at Davistown. It is a pretty area with Rileys Island opposite and sandy beaches on either side of the wharf at low tide.



The paddle was enjoyable and I was able to keep close to the island as the tide become fuller. The island shore was mainly mangroves and surrounded at parts by oyster leases.




















There was a lot of activity in the area - fishing boats and other kayakers. Some of the fishing boats caused a wake that oscillated in the still morning.


The birds were abundant - ibis, cormorants, lapwing, oystercatcher, silver gull, egret and I think a whimbrel. They were roosting on signs and trees or foraging in the mangroves, shallows or deeper water.

I landed on the island in two places but there were no real paths to follow. At one point, where there were a lot of grasses where spiders had made webs that were sheet like between the blades.



A pleasant kayak with mirrorr reflections, birds and an island.

3.60 km

Friday, December 5, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER - COCKLE BAY - KAYAK/HIKE - 5 DECEMBER 2014

The morning sky was brewing with potential storms with patches of clear sky. As the morning progressed it cleared more and more.



I launched at the boat ramp at Empire Bay. The tide was going high so it was an easy paddle. The water was swirling and uplifting along the jetties on Cockle Channel. The kayak had a different feel when I passed over these eddies.


Once out of the channel and around a small island, I paddled towards Cockle Bay. The shoreline was mangrove with taller trees behind them. The sun was rising and twinkling across the water. The ride became more natural and prettier at this point.


The birds were out this morning. The first sight were two white bellied sea eagles who were roosted in one of the taller trees. They flew so effortlessly in flight.


Entering Cockle Bay there is a narrow fast flowing channel with mud flats and mangroves along its banks. There were a number of birds here. The Eastern Great Egrets and White Faced Herons were he stand outs. They were foraging for food in the mud and shallows. The Egret is a slow bird to take flight with slow wing flaps and then a glide.


There were fish and sting rays scooting off on my approach leaving a muddy trail in the water.


The return paddle was harder with the tide working against me. I landed on the two islands at the end of the Cockle Channel. The first landing was on a beach. It was a pleasant walk around the small island and would be a great spot for an overnight camp. I landed on the second island through a small gap in the mangroves. The vegetation was thicker here so walking was difficult. The mosquitoes were insane and descended on me ferociously.


A pretty ride with a beautiful sunrise, islands, eagles and natural vegetation.


4.89 km
1 hour 32 m

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER NP - ROCKY PONDS - MTB/HIKE - 3 december 2014

I parked at the speed camera in Woy Woy Road. It was an early start as it was predicted to be a hot day.



The ride started well along the service roads. The quarry is always a welcome watery break from the dry scenery. There are a number of pools in the quarry remains. On a previous ride, there was a group of girls swimming in the quarry pool. During a conversation, they informed me the water was nice and clean and that they had swam there a number of times.


Further along the ride, there were a number of steep and rocky descents. The second descent ended with a flat tyre. It took 10 minutes to change the tube. Later, I stopped at the top of one descent and admired the flowers along the edge of the service road and the hussle and bustle of the ant colonies.


Finally, I reached the turnoff for the track to Rocky Ponds. I rode for a short distance but found the going too hard with large water filled ditches. I put the bike into the bush and continued by foot.

It was a pleasant hike along a narrow, rough and vegetation clogged track. It had rain the night before so the bush was very damp. By the time I reached the start of the cascades, I was drenched.


The cascades were pretty and very slippery. The water flowed shallowly over the flat sandstone then fell over the drop to the next tier.

The highlight was Jeannies Pool. The water fell about 10 metres to the rocks then flowed into the pool. The pool is surrounded by thick vegetation and a concave cliff. The cliff dripped of water and could be walked under.


I put my wet gear on a sunny rock and waded into the water. The bottom of the pool was sand and gradually got deeper closer to the rocks at the base of the falls. It was a pretty sight and I enjoyed sitting on various rocks and soaking in the vista.

Not much in the way of birds toady... heard a lot but saw only a couple briefly. There were a few flowers about in various locations where they could get enough sun.

I did see a small lizard!


The journey back was harder. The hike section was hard due the damp bush and me now becoming the steamy bush and the steamy me. Once I was back on the bike, the temperature was quickly rising and there were a number of places where I had to push the bike due the service road steepness.

All in all, a great ride and now I'm a mite tired.

bike - 14.8 km
hike/swim - 1:14
bike - 1:25
av bike speed - 10.45 km/h
max bike speed - 33 km/h

Monday, December 1, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - BRISBANE WATER NP - WARRAH TRIG - HIKE - 1 december 2014

Well, I was going to go for a bike ride but I arrived at the starting point a little later than expected so I settled for a short hike.



The morning light had lit up the bush. The light filtered through the leaves of the trees creating vibrant shades of green - pretty. The bark of some trees was highlighted into more vibrant colours.


There were a number of flowers blooming though not in huge abundance. They tended to stand out from the greenery with their shades of purple, white, yellow and red. A closer inspection showed the intricate and delicate detail of their form. remarkable!


The orb weaver spider were stationed strategically along the path for catching prey. Part of the way down the track, a half web indicated that someone had walked the path before me. Lucky them! The webs are so perfect and in its centre lies the spider waiting patiently for prey.


Yellow and brown coloured moths flitted on the rocks at the trig point.


The birds were too quick for me this morning but I watched a kookaburra stream through the trees and vanish. Two lyrebirds walked ahead of me but took off at speed once I was noticed.


The view at the end of the hike was over Broken Bay at the end of the Hawkesbury River's journey. The view spanned over Pittwater, Palm Beach, Ku-ring-gai National Park and Patonga. A hazy mist hung over the western view.


The striking feature of the hike was the silence. No bird calls. No insects buzzing. Just silence and an awakening sun.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

CENTRAL COAST - TUGGERAH LAKE - TERILBAH ISLAND - KAYAK - 30 november 2014

A beautiful, morning with a hint of a wind.



I drove to The Entrance North and parked in the car park just after the bridge.


There was no wind, the water was reflecting mirror images and a number of birds lined the channel which was opposite Teribah Island.

While getting ready to launch a couple of pelicans stood on the edge of the shoreline and preened themselves. Shortly, a number of starlings appeared and hopped across the grass with their heads darting quickly in various directions while pecking at the ground for food.


I launched the kayak in glassy conditions. I caused a wake with the kayak just to watch the ripples. I paddled across the channel to Teribah Island and followed the shoreline to circumnavigate the island.

The paddling was fun as the water became very shallow due to the outgoing tide. I sat close to the front of the kayak to lift the back so I could paddle over shallow sections. Just near the end of the ride the water became too shallow and I was forced to abandon ship and wade through the shallows until I reached deeper water.


The birds were out and about in large numbers. I counted at least seven different species of birds.

Cormorants were in flight, roosting on trees and boating signs drying their feathers or diving under the water foraging for food. Stilts were standing on one legged watching the world. Black Swans flowed regally over the water in large groups. Spotted Doves sat in the trees looking like they were trying to make a decision to where they would go next. Ibises preened themselves amongst the pelicans. Dollarbirds roosted in the trees just watching - they have such pretty, shiny, subtle colours.


A great kayak of 2.22 km!

BALI, BALIAN - SURF, WALK AND REST - 26 JUNE 2017

Kara changed rooms today.  An early glassy size in head high waves. Only a few out but it got a little crowded after awhile. Jacinta ...