Paddling Sydney Harbour

A lot of my paddles start from the beach at Clontarf where the early tide once brought many floating starfish. This city of more than 4 million people has waterways that allow for quick and easy escape from the noise. Pete is a regular paddling mate of mine.
Passing with the lower cliffs of South Head on our right and the high cliffs off North Head to our left, Shelley Beach at Manly is a regular destination.

We were once joined by Dave, a visiting Irish paddler, keen to experience the reef break at Shelley Beach.

Once on the beach, Dave and Mark swapped ideas about instructing.

During summer, the regular nor’easters usually provide a quick ride back, with dramatic city landscapes. Dodging the Manly ferry and racing sailing boats adds to the challenge. Andrew has been my sailing mentor for years.

Don’t ask what Pete is up to here – though I am assured it is related to navigation skills. He even persuaded Dave to practice his cultish gestures.

Not far from South Head, Sow and Pigs can provide a little surf with the right swell and tide.

The waters of Sydney can reach 23’C during summer, and stay in the 20s well into autumn….incentive to practice rolling skills on a regular basis.

The value of Sydney real estate is marked by the willingness to move trees around waterfront properties. On another day, in much the same area, we had a formation of Navy helicopters fly right over us – noisy and awesome.
Coffee boats are a regular feature of the bays at weekends, plying their trade among the moored pleasure craft.

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