Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bingie and Back by Boat and Boot with Bouldering

Now that we've paddled the coast from Lake Conjola to Bermagui - apart from that pesky short section between Tuross Heads and Potato Point - doing something novel requires a different approach. I first got the idea of a circuit trip from Jason who paddled from Mallacoota to Wonboyne and then walked back along the same track we followed a few years ago. Our circuit trip would be considerably shorter: paddling from Shelly Beach at Moruya Heads down to Bingie Bingie Point, then walking back along the beach and the Bingie Dreaming Track. At the last minute, we threw in our rock shoes to do some bouldering on granite boulders along the way. 

Doug heads out from Shelly Beach

Paddling out from Shelly Beach was easy, easier than it had been the day before when we had come down surfing the kayaks and I had capsized and bailed while trying to avoid being driven into an onshore reef on a rambunctious wave. There are usually dolphins feeding at the river mouth but today only the usual seals were resting near the rocks below Toragy Point. The swell was running between 1.5 and 2.5 metres so the reef off Pedro Point was breaking but we found an open passage to paddle through. 

Doug buried in Shelly Beach surf

Congo Point was also breaking solidly and there are shallow shoals for a couple of kilometres past Congo Point that were also breaking. There were more seals at Mullimburra Point and good size breakers all the way down Meringo Beach but landing in the shelter of Bingie Bingie Point was simple. We lugged the boats up the beach and hid them in a copse of trees. In the spirit of having a full multi-sport day I had a swim, which was pretty brief as the water felt cold. Then we started walking. 

Mullimburra Point

Walking along a soft sand beach at high tide is quite a bit slower than paddling the same distance. About twice as slow probably. We climbed our usual boulder problems at Grey Rocks, and then walked up to Mullimburra Point and traversed a few short walls there. North of Meringo we got on the Bingie Dreaming Track which passes through a beautiful gum forest and returned to the beach south of Congo Point. Congo Creek is still open to the sea but the wade across is getting shallower. 

Heading north

Somewhere just south of Pedro Point I stepped on a bee and got stung, which would not be a big deal except I happen to be allergic to bees, wasps and hornets. I took a couple of anti-histamines right away and kept walking, but soon felt that ominous breathlessness coming on so I stopped and shot myself up with adrenaline. This always makes me jittery and a bit faint, so I got fairly slow for a while. 

Grey Rocks

At Pedro Point we got on the gravel road that runs behind the beach for a short distance as I felt pretty shaky, but it was not very pleasant walking, so after only a hundred metres or so we went back down onto the beach. We got back to Shelly Beach after 2.5 hours paddling and 4.5 hours walking and bouldering. It was a pretty good multi-sport day but I'm not sure I would make every kayak day a self-propelled circuit trip.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hormesis In 44 Km: Dwyers Creek to Mossy Point

Twenty two kms by bicycle and 22 kms on foot has a nice round sort of resonance to it. Even better, at 44 km, the round trip journey would be entirely self-propelled and long enough to elicit a beneficial hormetic stress. Unfortunately, Doug had to stay at home working, enduring a much less healthy type of stress. 

Malabar Weir

I got away pretty early on a sunny warm day and cycled out along North Head Drive to the south end of Bengello Beach. Along the way, I stopped at a couple of places looking at the bouldering potential, but was soon out at Sandy Point. There is a track behind Bengello Beach but I had decided I would walk up the beach while I was fresh and use the track on the return when I thought I might feel tired. 

Bengello Beach

Apart from a couple of extremely yappy rat dogs, it was a quiet walk up the beach, around Broulee Head, Broulee Island, along Broulee Beach to Candlagan Creek. I did not want to use the bridge so I waded across somehow choosing the deepest section of flow and getting a good crotch dunk.

View to Mossy Point

I had considered scrambling around the rocks to Mossy Point and started out that way but travel proved quite slow and as I was now four hours in, I came back at the first deep gulch and took the easy way up a track onto the headland, around the grassy headland to the lookout and then down a steep track to sit by a rock pool for lunch. 

Perfect winter swimming hole

The return journey seemed quicker as the tide had gone out and the sand was firm. I did not bother with the track behind the beach and strolled down Bengello Beach instead, unaccosted by dogs as the morning dog walk hour was long over. Onto the bike at Sandy Point, along the river, across the bridge and home for a late lunch. Adding a 22 km kayak would nicely round out the day but then I would have to use an infernal combustion engine.