Sydney Harbour Paddle – Saturday 21st April

Something a little different from camping.  When we were travelling I used a RedPaddle inflatable paddle board; the way it packs down is ideal for travel, but it is not the fastest for going any distance (I’ve also wondered about sharks, one nibble and would it take off like an escaped balloon…)

Who would have known BIC, the company which makes biros, also makes paddle boards.  Not me until I saw one for sale, ex demo, from their offices in Manly.  Its an Ace-Tec Wing, 12ft 6 inches long by 30 inches wide; not so easy to travel with but designed for touring.  Its got a few surface marks but is in fine working order.

The idea is to do a bit of exploring around the harbour, and perhaps go through the heads to Bondi.  Also, at Seal Rocks to paddle north to Sand Bar (and Frothy Coffee boatshed) or around the headland to Lighthouse beach.

As a first run out the plan was to head out from Rose Bay, paddle to the heads, and then back.  It was meant to be the week before, but a howling southerly doesn’t make for a pleasant paddle.

A bit of preparation the night before, down to Decathlon to pick up a buoyancy aide (or life vest, or pfd or no doubt many other names).  OK, it is not compulsory, on a paddle board, to wear one; but it’s a long swim to shore from the middle of the harbour, and even longer from halfway down the cliffs to Bondi.  Better safe than etc.

Its very relaxing out on the water in the morning.  It seems many people think the same way, judging by the number of surf skis heading towards Manly; presumably for a coffee before paddling back.  Now there’s an idea for another day.

There are several beaches on the way to South Head from Rose Bay.  Some of the better known are Shark Beach, followed by Parsley Bay, Watsons Bay and Camp Cove.  The last one is Lady Jane, but that’s a nudist beach so definitely no photos, eeew!  The pictures below are Shark Beach, the last one Camp Cove

Out at the heads, looking south, you can see the lighthouse on the South Head then the cliffs marching down the cost.  Back towards the city the view stretches from South Head across Middle Harbour to North Head, with Manly Ferries passing by.

All told it was a 3hr trip, with a few pauses for photos or a snack, with a fine view of the Opera House and Bridge to finish.

18-04-21 SUP Harbour Panorama