Last gasp soak at Gordons Bay. I had some vague aspiration to see if the squid had come to say goodbye, but the water was too filthy to stick my head into. Quite a few people on the rocks, soaking up the sun, but only five or so in the water, and the surf lifesaver boat that seemed to be drifting out with the tide. A beautiful day, perfect temperatures all round. Had a snooze on the headland and lunch at Yen's afterwards.
Rode down to La Perouse in the early afternoon for a late lunch at Paris Seafood. Not much traffic in the city, but loads down on the peninsula, and the restaurant was packed. Went for a soak at Frenchmans Beach, placid as ever, decidedly unpacked despite the cars. Finished off my book on the sand to much relief. Perfect day for it, I only wish these were longer.
Late afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay after meeting my parents at Wentworth Falls for lunch. Rode over under blue skies. The water seemed fairly clean. Had dinner in the park just north of Coogee beach. I tried to time it a bit but still had to ride home in some moderate rain. The clip on my helmet that keeps the visor in is failing, which actually worked out OK as the extra airflow stopped me from fogging up. I mostly did 40-50kph and the light traffic was placid and didn't seem too bothered.
Rode over to Randwick around 2pm for a late lunch, a haircut and a snorkel at Gordons Bay, off the scuba ramp. Quite a few people, many thoughtlessly blocking the ramp as if it were a child's play area. Visibility was OK, the waves not as threatening as on Thursday. Saw a couple of flutemouth, some large wrasse. Another totally perfect early Autumn day, a run apparently to end tomorrow with another bout of showers.
Working long days, and the sun is out, so I sneaked off for a midday lunch at Tum's Thai in Randwick and a snorkel off the scuba ramp at Gordons Bay. The tide was low and it didn't seem too rough getting in, but without my flippers getting out proved challenging. Didn't see much, just some large ludderick and small gropers. Warm in, warm out, no wind. Three people looked like they were going diving with some strange gizmos I didn't recognise. These turned out to be some kind of propulsion device, and as they weren't carrying air tanks I expect it was some kind jetski-like thrillseeking.
Another perfect day, a repeat of Monday but warmer. Another morning meeting, after which at 11am I rode over to Gordons Bay for a paddle off the scuba ramp with my mask but no fins. I saw a school of squid: mature, mottled, I counted 16. I wonder if they were the ones that spawned back in 2014, when I last saw squid at Gordons Bay. Also a cuttlefish, large and brown, a stingaree, the small garfish near the surface, some small gropers (but not the big boy), the usual wrasse. Some women had put their handbag dog in a floating donut and were trying to navigate the scuba ramp as I exited. I had a nice calm ride over in thin traffic, and the same back; this is the perfect time to go. Lunch at Tum's Thai.
After a 9am meeting, I figured I should go for a late-morning snorkel. The ride to Gordons Bay from Glebe was less painful than at peak hour, though Sydney traffic remains as asinine as ever. The skies were grey, the parking lot full of newbie scuba bunnies and predatory scuba dudes, but it was nice in. Good visibility, a tad cold at the shoreline, warm out, not too rough. Loads of sizeable fish: I saw two or three large female gropers, with entourages, but not the big boy, a school of luderick hanging around some rocks, the usual small fry, and a couple of schools (of 3 and 10 individuals) of long, thin pointy fish that Google tells me are flutemouth (smooth or rough I know not). I wish I still had my waterproof camera. No squid. Sniff.
Afterwards I grabbed a quick and not-too-pricey lunch at Clovelly and headed home to complete the day's work.
Late afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. I managed to get there (overland!) from the motorcycle park at Barangaroo-ish in about twenty-five minutes. The water was cleaner than yesterday, the day just about perfect. Not too many people about.
After too many days and weeks of rain, yesterday had just a couple of splodges, and today was picture-perfect sunny. I had a felafel roll from Erciyes in Surry Hills for lunch (decent, but there's nowhere outside close by that's worth sitting at) and an iced coffee in Centennial Park (so-so), and got to Gordons Bay around 5pm. There weren't too many people around, which was a little surprising after last time. The water was supposed to be 24 degrees. Loads of tree detritus near the shore and the southern rocks, but quite clean out in the middle. A singular blue bottle. Ate my dinner on Coogee's northern headland, back to Bondi Junction for a Brenner hot chocolate and old times' sake. And a burn along the Syd Enfeld, New South Head Road, etc.
Late-ish lunch in Centennial Park, then a mid-afternoon soak at Gordons Bay. The place was as packed as I've seen it, unsurprising given the time of day and these few days of respite between extended rainy periods. The water was a tad cool and quite clean. The ride back was a bit fun; shifting gears at 8k-10k RPM is a lot easier than at 4k-5k, and lane filtering makes a huge difference.
After lunch with Fil Mackay of Digital Asset in the CBD, I headed out to Gordons Bay via the Eastern Distributor. It was chockers at 2pm, and just barely moving; I can't imagine peak hour. Sydney may be on the move but it's pretty much ceased to go to the beach this season: at Gordons Bay almost noone was in the water, though many were hanging out on the rocks. A tad cold in, a bit filthy near the shore but clean out in the bay. I rode back to Newtown to pick up a pair of glasses from Out of Sight.
Late afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. Far emptier than it has been up to now; Sydney is back at work and forgotten its beaches. A bit cold in, but clear. Windy on the northern headland of Coogee. I had a lamb pizza from Erciyes, which I remembered as better than it actually is. Perhaps the one in Surry Hills does it differently.
After sending some paperwork to the IRS, and organizing a new pair of specs at Out of Sight in Newtown, I headed over to Gordons Bay for a brief paddle. The water was a lot cleaner than yesterday, which is to say that the plant detritus was spread over a far larger area. It was a bit cold in. Afterwards I ate dinner on the northern headland of Coogee and continued with Steven Strogatz's Sync. I wish he'd put in some more math, or pointers to math.
The weather is very unstable presently, with two erratic and violent storms passing through on Friday and Saturday. Today was notionally clear. Of course the water at Gordons Bay was full of plant detritus (leaves etc.) and other stuff washed off the streets, though somewhat clearer once out in the middle of the bay. I got in off the beach due to an infestation of righteous Englishpeople (with boombox, without shirt) on the southern rocks. Another storm rolled through later on.
After lunch with Clem at the Kirribilli Club I rode back to Gordons Bay for a paddle. I just signed up for an E-Toll account so I could go back over the Harbour Bridge; motorcycles do not need to carry a tag, but if you want to avoid the 75 cent plate scan surcharge you need to pay the $40 deposit. It's a bit crazy. I hope it got set up in time. Clearly they have a way of fining you if you don't have an account, so why not just handle all tolls with that mechanism? Oh right: natural monopolies must be privatized, Government's orders.
The bay was flat and quite clear; good snorkelling conditions. Loads of people, some even in the water. I got there a bit earlier than usual (4:30pm-ish).
Headed over to Gordons Bay a bit late, around 5:30pm. The traffic was predictably quite bad, but after some judicious lane splitting on Cleveland west of Chalmers I made OK time. The water was a bit too rough to enjoy. Had some dinner (that I brought with me) and kept reading Graham Greene on the northern headland of Coogee. The days are getting noticeably shorter.
I tried to sleep in after a few trying days but it was too hot. Mid-afternoon I headed over to Yen's for a late lunch and then down to La Perouse for a paddle somewhere. The somewhere turned out to be Frenchmans Beach, which was full of all sorts, and very flat, and the paddle turned into more of a soak. I think there was a shark there on Friday or so. The bike went well after a few days of being idle. I grabbed some dinner at Paris Seafood before heading up to Newtown.
I rode over from Glebe around 4:45pm with blue skies, but when I eventually got to Gordons Bay it was gray and grim. (I tried to be clever and went straight across Anzac Parade from Cleveland, and ended up going most of the way around Centennial Park. My geography is rusty.) Loads of people, hardly anyone in — a bit strange as the water was very pleasant. Read some more Ge Fei on the northern Coogee headland, talked with my parents, got some food at Tum's Thai, rode home.
Early evening paddle at Gordons Bay. Loads of people hanging around on the southern rocks, so I got in off the beach. Perfect conditions, pretty much, after a day of extreme heat and threatened thunder storms. (I didn't see any, just oppressive humidity.) I saw some flying fish (long silver guys) while floating out in the middle somewhere. Afterwards I finished off Peter Carey's latest on the northern headland of Coogee and ate my leftovers. I head back to Glebe via the CBD so the bike gets some time at higher revs on the Syd Einfeld.
Lunch at Paris Seafood, La Perouse, same-old. I wandered up to the Yarra Bay Sailing Club and back. There's not much in the way of bubblers. After that I rode up to Little Bay for a coffee, and kept reading Peter Carey's Amnesia. Late afternoon I headed down to the beach, stood around and tried to avoid the blue bottles. The old Prince Henry site is rife with Audis and Mercs, and attitudes to match. The ride back to Glebe was fine, but I probably should have taken Southern Cross Drive rather than Anzac Parade. Done about 250km in a bit more than a week.