Port Lonsdale Kayak Surfing and Sea Kayaking Feb 2016
Once again many thanks go to Ian again for organising and being our host on this weekend. An action packed weekend was enjoyed by club members Fraser, Allison and Matt. We also enjoyed the company of Ian’s friends Tina and John and also Jack, who helped out with skills and equipment.
Saturday morning saw us down at Barwon Heads beach for a session of kayak surfing. Starting in Barwon River, we paddled out into some choppy waves and spent a couple of hours testing out the surf. Tina was kind enough to give Allison the beginner paddler some tips on bracing in the waves and some basic skills on staying in the boat. Ian, Fraser and John showed some excellent paddling skills with some impressive surfing, rolls and turns. John and Fraser experimented with swapping boats which gave both of them the chance to see how different boats handle in the waves (Fraser usually paddles a small white water play boat and John was paddling a sea kayak). Unfortunately Allison proved to be a slow learner and tipped out of the boat pretty quickly after catching a wave backwards – quite amusing but not so impressive. We finished the morning with a well earned coffee back at the beach.
Saturday afternoon we paddled out to the Port Phillip heads from Port Lonsdale. This sea kayaking trip took us along the coast towards the light house where a narrow rock channel creates large waves with the outgoing tide. This picture gives a good idea of the spot: Port Phillip Heads The confident paddlers headed out this channel and into some daunting waves, which probably don’t look that big from the shore but looked huge when viewed from the perspective of the tiny sea kayaks we were in. Needless to say, Allison spent half an hour sitting in a quiet pool observing the seals – no scary waves for her today! We then paddled back to Port Lonsdale for a very enjoyable meal over a few wines with great conversation.
A beautiful sunny Sunday morning meant a slow start to the day with coffee, runs and walks. Sunday afternoon we set off from Ocean Grove to sea kayak out to Pope’s Eye a man-made horse shoe of rock that forms a small harbour in the middle of Port Phillip and has become the host of a reef with some beautiful species on the outside of the circle of rocks. We paddled for about an hour in beautiful calm sunny conditions and tethered our boats inside the harbour next to a noisy and smelly Gannett colony. We then donned snorkels and flippers and snorkelled around the outside of the ring of rocks to observe a surprisingly vibrant reef with many beautiful fish species. The paddle home was just as enjoyable, the group needing to keep together to avoid becoming an obstacle for the Queenscliff ferry that crossed our path throughout the day.
Such a great weekend that ticked all boxes – great company, beautiful scenery, learning new skills and lots of fun.
Written by: Allison Parkinson