Out to Sea [41]

By Stuart Trueman

I arranged a trip to head East out to sea during June but had a poor response. I remembered those who had shown any interest and gave them a second chance a few months later.

We met at La Perouse at 0930 with the idea of getting on the water by 1000. As we were setting up a small front turned up a few hours earlier than expected so we hid in the coffee shop until things blew over.

The weather report was not too bright with 20-30 knot NW winds until a front, which would bring 15-20 knot SW. The NW winds had blown out during the night and the front had passed leaving a watered down 5-10 knot wind.

I was relieved to see how well prepared the other members were, both with equipment and the fact that they had also been monitoring the weather closely.

We turned out of La Perouse and ‘Alexi the Whale’ had turned up with her entourage of a dozen or so boats, she did a little jump, waved her tail at us and wandered further into Botany Bay for the day.

As we paddled out of the Bay the swell increased to about 3 metres, this was left-overs from the strong NW wind which had blown through the night. We tried to log in using a VHF radio but could not get a good enough reception, I then tried with a 27 mHz radio and also failed, but did manage to make myself a little sea sick in the process. To take my mind off feeling a bit sick we were investigated by an albatross, which circled us a few times throughout the day.

After 2 hours of heading out to sea we had a lunch break where I managed a drink but my stomach was still not ready to accept solids. As we rested a large container ship left Botany Bay and we watched it turn south and cruise by us. I’m not too sure if he would have been able to spot us but we couldn’t miss him and were ready to move if the need arose.

The wind shifted to Westerly and gave us a bit of a head wind to finish us off as we paddled around the island fortifications off La Perouse.

A dolphin was seen on the way back to Botany Bay and a Cape Petrol.

There can’t be many cities where during a 5-hour paddle you can spot such a variety of wildlife on the doorstep.