Saturday, January 17, 2015

Against The Wind: Yowie Bay to Jibbon Bombora

We were supposed to be four today, heading out to paddle from Yowie Bay to Jibbon Heads, but two dropped out leaving just two of us to paddle from Yowie Bay to Jibbon Beach. If I were to do this trip again, I wouldn't! It's quite boring paddling through Port Hacking and there are a lot of various vessels all powered by infernal combustion engines roaring around. You only get to the interesting paddling when you round either Bass and Flinders Point on the north side of Port Hacking or Jibbon Point on the south side. By the time you get to either of those points from Yowie Bay, you've already paddled about eight kilometres and been run down by about 49 power boats. Launching somewhere in Gunnamatta Bay would be preferable as a short hop of only four kilometres gets you out on to the open ocean. 

By the time we found we were no longer four, but only two, it was too late to change destinations so we went with the previously agreed on plan and launched the kayaks at a defunct boat ramp in Yowie Bay. If you wanted an easy paddle up South West Arm or even right up the Port Hacking River this is a good launching site as there is plenty of on-street parking as the only thing here is a broken down boat ramp (good at all tides for kayaks). We had a falling tide and no wind so got some help paddling out to Jibbon Beach which was packed with motor boats and more continually arriving. It's amazing how many people have huge boats that go no further than the inside of Port Hacking, but, I guess that is preferable to the endless driving to and fro contributing to global warming that so many boat owners do. 

We had a spell at Jibbon Beach and chatted with a couple who had paddled their kayaks over from Gunnamatta Bay before paddling out around Jibbon Head and down to Jibbon Bombora. A west wind blew up out of nowhere while we were on the beach at Jibbon even though the forecast was for northerly winds. There was hardly any boats out on the open ocean even though the swell was only about a metre and the seas much less than that. That didn't stop us nearly being run over by three dullards driving a boat to and fro trolling for fish and not watching where they were going. I did wonder if they drove the same way - looking behind instead of in front - on the highway. Most power-vessel operators are complete idiots. 

Paddling around Jibbon Heads

We didn't go too far down the coast as we still had a long paddle back and all into the wind now. We tried hugging the north shore on the way in to get some shelter from the wind, and, close in to the headlands it did help, but mostly it was just plugging away, trying to avoid becoming a bow ornament of some massive over-powered ocean cruiser as we slowly pulled into the wind. At some point, the tide did switch over from ebb to flood and we got some help from the current, but overall, it was a bit of a slow paddle back. It reminded me of sea kayaking in Victoria, where it doesn't seem to matter which way you are paddling it will be into the wind.

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