Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kayak Surfing, Rolling, Rain and More Mountain Bike Tracks

With about 100 mm of rain in the last 36 hours and a deluge in progress, it was clearly not a morning for bouldering down at the Esplanade. But, I wanted to do something before we went out kayaking in the afternoon, so I went off with a brolly and a rough plan to walk a loop around the local area. On a previous walk I had seen a rough road leading east into some bushland but the gate at the start was full of the usual Australian signs forbidding entry. On that occasion, I was on the way home so I walked on by, but this morning, I decided to do what any real Australian would do – ignore authority.

Kayaking in Moreton Bay

Initially dirt, the road then changed to tarmac, but, off to the side of the road I noted a dirt track heading into the trees. I left the road and soon found myself doing what I often seem to do – going uphill on a downhill mountain bike track. I followed this track up over a nice flowing trail and eventually came out at a big water tank. A really sketchy trail headed up a ridge above the water tank and I followed this until it ended in thick bush. The clay track surface was super slippery descending in my worn out running shoes. On the way down, I followed a bike track on the other (south) side of the tarmac road which switchbacked very gently down through casuarina forest. Apparently these are the Palmer trails. They don't seem as popular as some, probably because cyclists actually have to ride up hill (a very short hill) to the start instead of driving. 

In the afternoon, we took the kayaks up to Yorkeys Knob to see how the wave was coming in. The wind has been less than forecast and the low tides are fairly high right now so we weren't altogether optimistic. Everything has to come together for the Yorkeys wave – low tide of under 1.2 m (ideally) and a good easterly wind to blow up a swell. It all looked pretty sad when we got there, but there really is no point looking at something from afar, you have to get up to it. So we launched the boats and went out for a look. 

Leaving Peel Island

The waves were certainly rideable, although coming in a little too close together as they tend to do when locally generated. I had quite a few of those super easy rides where you don't even need to steer, just sit on the wave and ride into the beach. Recently, there has been a lot of dredging activity in Moon River and the silt is dumped out in the surfing area. The shifting sandbars seem to be changing the shape of some of the waves coming in, and today the waves were frequently coming from two different directions and overlapping.  A big squall came in while we were surfing and pounded the surface of the water. I sure wished our underwater camera would come back from warranty as the sky, the sea and the rain made amazing images. 

The water was very brown from all the recent rain and, even though I managed to get four eskimo rolls – still shaky at the finish – I didn't manage to watch my paddle throughout. I think this was a combination of murky water and simply forgetting to watch the paddle right through to the finish position. I had tied a piece of green fabric to my shaft so I could follow that with my eyes, but, through the brown gloom I could barely see it. Next trick is to tie on a bit of our bright yellow floating tow rope. Perhaps that will help me get through solidly to the correct finish position.

No comments:

Post a Comment