Day 11

Very short day, 24km. Beautiful morning and lots of people about when I left about 7.30am. About 20 surf skis paddled towards Wollongong Harbour as I headed north. There was a gentle Nor’wester about 4 knots that built to about 10 knots and then died.

I kept well out to sea because of the jet skis near the coast and because that was the straight line to where I wanted to go. A northerly started and swung round to a nor’easter finally building to about 15 knots. It was bumpy with plenty of small white caps but nothing like yesterday. It should have been better near the coast because of the high escarpment so I veered that way. About half a kilometre off the beach the mozzie buzzing sound of a jet ski reminded me of my pet hate. Shame you can’t shoot ‘em but I’m all for a hunting season where you can.

The Wollongong escarpment and beaches are beautiful. Shame I am camera challenged but will take the GoPro tomorrow. As I came closer to the land the water turned green but remained very clear. Despite paddling against the wind it was very pleasurable. So much so that I forgot to nurse my hands and got some small blisters. I even managed a few runners on the rebound from the swells against the rocks.

The long Pacific Rollers are always a joy to watch. The only problem is when it is time to come into land.

When I got to the Sea Cliff Bridge the wind started to drop with only the occasional white cap. Maybe it was today that the nice policeman from yesterday meant. Whatever, it was a welcome relief and the GPS climbed back over 6km/hr.

I had spoken on the phone to Klaas about 1½ hours from Stanwell Park. There is no phone reception there so he told me there was a creek on the right and to pull in there. We should have discussed north or south because there was a creek on the southern end. I paddled halfway along the beach almost to the flagged area but no Klaas so decided to go in anyway. The beach was steep and I needed someone to grab the front of the kayak when I hit the sand, so I shouted instructions to some young people on the beach. It was a shame they didn’t hear me because I came in nicely on the back of a wave only to be spun sideways and rolled in the sand by the next one.

Tipped out what I could of the sand and water and dragged the kayak up to the clubhouse. Found Klaas further along the beach sitting on a sandhill in the blazing sun looking for me. He had a good view of the area where I came in so his positioning was good. Just a shame he didn’t see me.

People and traffic everywhere but we did find accommodation in a pub at Thirroul. It was a bit expensive but there is a washing machine and dryer here that is being put to good use.

Just booked accommodation at Cronulla Cabins on the Kingsway for tomorrow and Tuesday nights so need to do a good paddle tomorrow and pull in near Cronulla railway station.

Klaas: His majesty in his usual form paddled from Wollongong to Stanwell Park and requested me to be there at around noon to receive him coming in through the surf with me heroically grabbing the front handle so he would not slide back in with the wash. I spend two hours in 38 degrees heat watching the ocean, getting totally dehydrated and mumbling incoherently “Where is the stupid bastard” when he appeared out of nowhere and said “where the F……….. were you. He sneaked in around the corner on the opposite side of the beach of course so he could capsize and look pathetic. I’m now for several cold beers. Cheers. Klaas