Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sailing South: Ulladulla to Bawley Point By Sea Kayak

Another Sunday, another paddle day, although paddler numbers have dropped severely since the summer and there is now only three of us. We meet at the small boat ramp at Bawley Point and strap the Dart on top of the two tugs, only minor tussling with straps is involved. The boat ramp near the Fishermans Coop at Ulladulla is the only place we have landed before so we go there and unload the boats. I am curious about conditions off Warden Head as last time we paddled past we'd endured what felt like a kilometre of continuous spin cycle even though the day had been remarkably calm. 

Doug heading out of Ulladulla Harbour

At the entrance to Ulladulla Harbour we came across two female sea kayakers coming back in. Seeing other sea kayakers is unusual enough, two women together qualifies as incredibly rare. We had a bit of a chat and then continued on inadvertently paddling right over Sullivan Reef where the water shallows abruptly. One minute it was calm, next a big wave was rising up and curling at the top. Mark, then Doug, paddled over the top but I was 30 metres back and wondering if a solid side lean and brace would get me through safely when the wave inevitably broke. Somehow only the crest curled into white-water and although I got soaked I emerged otherwise undamaged and upright. 

Passing Stokes Island

Warden Head was bumpy, but not nearly as bad as last time. Once we turned to the south and started running with wind and current the waves seemed much smaller. We had a good following wind and small sea all the way to Crampton Island and the sailing was going so well that we were a fair distance off-shore. A lone dolphin swam with us all the way south swimming back and forth under our bows and surfacing only a metre off our kayaks which was really cool. 

Kayak sailing

Landing on the north side of Crampton Island was easier than last time and it was nice to stretch the legs. With all the rain lately, Tabourie Creek was flowing out brown and we were able to ride out between Crampton Island and the shore on an out-flowing current. It seemed to take hardly any more time to reach Bawley Point with a 15 knot tail wind and as the southerly swell had been falling it was remarkably easy to land at Bawley Point boat ramp. 

 Bawley Point

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