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.
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.
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.
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.