Apart from almost getting run down by the surf rescue boat within minutes of landing at Shelly Beach in Bermagui (how many Shelly Beaches does Australia have?) our sea kayak trip from Mystery Bay to Bermagui was uneventful. After an alpine start from Moruya, we arrived at Mystery Bay at sunrise and unloaded the kayaks. Any concern that the two metre swell would make launching from Mystery Bay difficult was rapidly dispelled, it looked not only dead easy but as if we could even stay dry, an added benefit on a cool winter morning.
Sunrise Mystery Bay
I hung out at Mystery Bay while Doug drove to Bermagui, left the car, and took the bus back to the Mystery Bay turn-off. It was quiet on the beach until about 8.00 am when hordes of dogs, and owners, arrived. Dogs must only be allowed on the 400 metre stretch of beach in front of the campground as the owners went back and forth, back and forth over this short distance. Doug arrived back shortly before 9 am and after shooing off a couple of dogs that wanted to stow away to Bermagui, we were off.
Doug approaches Morunna Point
The first four kilometres south of Mystery Bay is low, rotten cliffs and scattered reefs. With a two metre swell and bigger sets coming in at over three metres we did not venture too close in. Wallaga Beach comes next, a long sandy beach with a rather nasty looking shore dump. We only saw a few surfers at the far south end near Morunna Point. This is the only spot we thought it might be easy to land. With a smaller or more southerly swell you could land here without too much trouble. We could have picked our way in had we been patient enough to wait for a lull in the waves, but Bermagui was looking fairly close (about 7 kilometres more) so we decided to carry on.
Doug rides up a small swell near Morunna Point
Heading around Morunna Point, Pebbly Beach (there must be as many Pebbly Beaches in Australia as there are Shelly Beaches) and past the Camel (a rock outcrop that bears a passing resemblance to a camel) we got some bouncy rebound, about the only interesting paddling on the trip, and then began what seemed like a long plug into a mild headwind down Haywards Beach.
At Moorhead Beach, the surf rescue was going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth along a 60 metre strip of beach in a couple of Zodiacs. I assume it was supposed to be some kind of training but looked like "boys with toys." When they finally quit, the lead boat almost ran me over at the entrance to the harbour and I had to shout and wave my paddle before they saw me and veered off.
Near Camel Rock
The remainder of the paddle into Shelly Beach I entertained myself, but not Doug judging by his response with advertising slogans the club could use in their next PR campaign: "XX Surf Club: we're an accident waiting to happen," "XX Surf Club, first we run you down, then we rescue you," "XX Surf Club, making accidents is our business,""XX Surf Club, just when you thought you were safe."