A coastal trip with The Lot

A glorious day in Sydney, close to the shortest day of the year. The swell was zilch, the recent heavy rains had cleared and we were on a mission – to watch whales as they migrate to the warmer climes of Queensland.

Perhaps because of the lack of swell, the sounds of all the birds fluttering over the bush sounded across to us.

Where Port Hacking becomes the sea, we sat and looked for the Jibbon Bommie and wondered where the usual swell on the point was. A pod of dolphins caught our eye.

They steamed past and headed into the bay.

It was Paul’s first trip along this stretch of coast and no wonder he smiled, it is rare to be able to get so close to the rocky shore.

The calm, clear waters were mesmerising. We paddled south, past where we figured where the bommie usually breaks.

With gannets and sea eagles flying over, warmth and sunshine on our back and coastal scenery to explore we meandered along.

The plant communities hanging on the sheer cliff faces must have benefitted from the rains.

I’ve never got so close to Marley Head. Around the corner wasn’t quite so calm. The cliffs had been sheltering us from the westerly wind, but on the other side it was like a vortex with the wind funnelling in one place.

We ventured into Little Marley beach, chatting with bushwalkers who had seen whales out to sea. As we sat on the headland, enjoying an early lunch, we spotted two whales out to sea. This sleek black crow hung around, hoping for a feed perhaps. Looking past him we could see the whitecaps building up.

Once on the water again, we had a hoot being blown from Little Marley, past Big Marley and over to Marley Head.
Past the vortex of the headand the wind calmed. Paul spotted a whale out to sea, about 100m to our starboard. It cruised north, faster than us, displaying its humpback and tail. What an awesome sight to see!

Once back to Port Hacking Point, the winds had increased to 20-25 knots, straight from the west, directly into our faces. It was a tough slog across to Salmon Haul Bay where after a brief rest we faced the last 100m of headwind and then turned for home.

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