Today five klanners paddled down to Spoon Rocks from Swansea again. This is a pretty routine half day trip now and we’ve done it several times. The whole trip is only about 12km and as such is a morning tea outing but to do it you ave to traverse several sectors with varying conditions which makes you think about what’s going on and to be ever vigilant. A few weeks ago I went down with Owen and it was a calm clear day wit about a half metre gentle swell. Apart from a tricky bommie off Caves Beach, it was a relaxing coastal cruise that allowed us to get right up on the cliffs and play in the rebound.
Today we had a 1.5m swell with a short fetch and this made for some interesting paddling. The Swansea bar was the first tricky bit and once we punched through the break we were treated to some washing machine conditions that wasn’t dangerous but made us pay attention. From there is Tiger Alley between the Moon Island reef and the rocky Swansea headland. This is on a shelf so the bottom is highly variable. The swell is caught by the outer reef but the Alley is full of rebound, cross currents, wind waves and just angry water. As the swell comes through it starts to stand up and you have to be careful not to get caught out by random breakers.
As we got to open coast and off Caves Beach, the swell was predictable and easy. Though not mountainous, it was certainly hilly and you need to take care to go wide of a few bommies. Spoon Rocks was easily reached and its little beach is a great place for some lunch. A pair of spearfishermen shared the beach with us and after a chat and morning tea we set off on the return leg, paddling into the swell and wind. By now it was getting a bit more bouncy but we all seemed pretty tuned into the sea and we reached the bar with no incident. Crossing the bar back home requires a good position to jump from and a good line to avoid getting trashed. With appropriate care taken we crossed into the calm channel then turned about to catch some nice waves before cruising home.
Not a particularly edge of the seat story but this little trip is turning into a great local training spot. It is also a good place to take newcomers and visitors who want to see a it of our territory. We were joined today by Stu Laughton, a Sydneysider and klan member. It was our first time paddling with him and we enjoyed his company. He is also an Eco Bezhig owner so he can’t be too bad, can he.