Late afternoon super-lazy paddle at Little Bay. I got there to find that there was heaps of parking, and almost noone on the beach; soon enough I discovered what everyone knew about the bluebottles blown in on a strong easterly. I got in anyway, and was alert (and swimming slowly enough) to dodge the five or so I met in the water. The ride there and back was cruisy; somehow today I am full of confidence and not choking on the corners so much.
In the evening I popped into the CBD to grab a hot chocolate at the Max Brenner's in the Westfield at the Pitt Street Mall. Finding that one to be closed I headed up to the one past Wynyard. The feted motorcycle parking was in much shorter supply than I expected, and I was also surprised that so many of the shops were closed by 9pm.
Mid-morning paddle at Gordons Bay. The CB250 is a bit stuttery when cold, so the trip there and back wasn't so comfortable. I just headed out towards the middle of the bay from the beach. Afterwards I grabbed some lunch with Ilan at On The Verge Café at Maroubra Junction, and won two of our three games of backgammon. I still have a lot to learn.
Once again I rode the CB250 to work with the hope of getting to the beach by 6pm. After dropping my stuff at home I headed over to the Clovelly carpark and went for a snorkel off the scuba ramp on the northern side of Gordons Bay. The water is getting more comfortable, and visibility was quite good. I saw loads of large fish and the groper, but still no squid.
Last night I went for a cruise up around Woollahra and down to the CBD. A (possibly-probably strung out) girl jumped on the back of my bike at the Taylor Square lights, but was kind enough to hop off when asked. "You're going to get smoked" she told me as some sportsbike pulled up next to me. The taxis on Elizabeth Street are super-pushy. I'm now cornering like I'm born to it (when my nerve doesn't fail me).
Late afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay, off the northern scuba ramp at low tide. Quite good visibility in still quite cold water; not too bad in the spring suit and gloves. I saw the big blue groper for the first time this season, and loads of ludderick and other usual suspects. I also saw a small wobbegong, but as yet no squid.
Late afternoon snorkel attempt off the southern boat launch at Long Bay. Despite the clean bill of health from beach watch, the water contained so much suspended matter that I didn't even bother looking for anything. The water was cold but OK in the spring suit. The strong on-shore breeze didn't help with the murk. Several spear fishers were out, and some shore fishermen too.
Expecting a thunderstorm later on I went for a snorkel at Little Bay around midday. The water was a bit cool and fairly cloudly, probably due to the moderate swell. Good to be in (in a spring suit) but didn't see much.
After-work snorkel circa 6pm at Gordons Bay. The water was still a bit cloudy from last week's rain. I got in in the spring suit, though I could perhaps have got by with a singlet. Didn't see much apart from a small-ish wobbegong near my usual swimming get-in spot. (It had the signature large head, tapered body and flat fins, and was resting on the sand.) The drive up from NICTA was a bit hellish; I would have been better off walking home and going from there.
Mid-morning snorkel at Gordons Bay with Ben. Not many fish. He got in with trunks only. I had the spring suit. The water got warmer as we got away from the beach. Strange weather, supposed to be fine but with a lot of high cloud.
Making the most of the apparently transient fine weather, I went for yet another mid-afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay. The water remains bearable in a wifebeater and it was reasonably clear and absolutely flat. I saw heaps of the usual fish, the big groper and a rather large ray: unlike the stingarees I've seen before this one was quite a bit darker and somewhat folded up around the centre with a tail much shorter than the length of the pancake part. It was swimming slowly over some rocks in a metre or so of water.
Mid-afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay. The water is getting to that barely-comfortable-in-a-wifebeater stage, though I'm not yet struggling to get in. The tide was out and the bay was as flat as it gets. I saw loads of small fry, some larger ludderick but not the big groper.
Mid-afternoon paddle at a fairly flat Gordons Bay. I was a bit surprised that visibility was so poor after what was supposed to be a few weeks of clear weather. Apart from the usual suspects I saw a rather large flathead (I think), loads of goatfish, and a large-ish silver thing with a tail taller than the body of the fish itself. I didn't find the big blue groper, but did see a quite large female.
Late afternoon snorkel off the snorkel ramp at Gordons Bay, after the forecast rain didn't show. (The sun sets at 5:30pm right now!) There were loads of fish quite near the ramp, and the big blue groper not far from there either. I didn't see any squid or stingarees.
Mid-afternoon snorkel at Little Bay. Almost nobody there. The water was reasonably comfortable and quite clear, though the sky was far more overcast than I was lead to expect.
Late-morning / early afternoon snorkel with Ben at a fairly grim Watsons Bay. We were lucky that the storms held off to the evening. The water was reasonably clear, and comfortable once in. We got in near the power substation at the north end of Watsons Bay, headed around to Camp Cove where we took a breather, and then a short way along the rocks north of there. Despite the clouds there were loads of people queued up at the Doyle's takeaway.
Mid-afternoon snorkelling attempt at Little Bay. Loads of people there. The tide was out, the water warm enough, the surf relatively large and there was a lot of detritus in the water. I didn't see much.
Early-afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. The weather has been fantastic though the water is quite filthy with leaves, etc. Two canines there, one on the beach and the other barking like mad on the northern rocks. Quite pleasant in.
Morning first-thing snorkel with Ben off the beach at Gordons Bay. We saw a couple of stingarees quite close to the beach, and also the blue groper as far in as I've ever seen him. Some immature garfish put in a showing for the first time in a while. Quite pleasant once in, and the water was reasonably clean.
Early evening paddle at Gordons Bay. Not too many people around and the days sure are getting short. The water was cooler than I remembered from last month... Some young blokes were out fishing on one of the tinnies, and I was shocked at the lack of canines.
Mid-morning paddle at a mostly deserted Gordons Bay. Some spots of rain signalled the end of this stretch of summer; apparently we're in for a lot more in the coming days.
Late morning snorkel with Ben. We started from the beach at Gordons Bay and headed up the southern side, then across to the scuba ramp. Ben chased a stingaree in some fairly shallow water, apparently trying to grab its tail. We saw the usual suspects, a couple more stingarees, more squid in one spot than I've ever seen, and the big (fat) blue groper in fairly shallow water.
Early-afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay, off the scuba ramp. The water remains clear and fairly warm. Finally a burst of summer! Apart from the usual suspects I saw a couple of stingarees quite a way apart.
Late-morning snorkel off the scuba ramp at Gordons Bay. The tide was up and there was some surf but not too bad. Right near the ramp was a group of squid, some quite large. I saw a few more out where the blue groper hangs out, but not the big man himself. Loads of fish. The water was fairly clean as it hasn't rained for a day and a bit now.
Apparently Randwick got 0.2mm of rain yesterday, so I unwisely went for a swim at Gordons Bay around 1pm. Not too many people around; almost more dogs than humans really. The water looked clear with some scum on the surface. The weather looks to be clearing so perhaps I'll get there a few more times before summer expires.
Early-evening paddle at Gordons Bay. Yesterday was perhaps the third day of summer, and today maybe the fourth. The water was surprisingly clean given the runoff of the past week. I believe the BOM is forecasting something similar for tomorrow, before the rain returns for the rest of the week.
Getting in ahead of the forecast showers, I headed down to Little Bay in the late morning for a snorkel. The water was a lot colder than when I last got in at Gordons Bay, at least until I got out to the rocks. Not much swell, and the water seemed clear enough. I didn't see much apart from the tiniest goat fish.
It's been raining a bit recently, so no beach for me. Today I figured I'd get in ahead of the coming showers and headed to the Clovelly carpark in the late morning. I note the "no dogs" sign has disappeared from the track down to the scuba ramp. The surf was much larger than it has been but with the tide up it was pretty easy to get in. I didn't see much on my way to the beach, apart from some sizeable luddericks quite far into the bay. Lots of crap on the surface.
Mid-afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay. Quite a few people about, but not as busy as it might typically be at this time of year and time of day. The water was cleaner, which I took to mean that it hadn't rained much if at all. Again, loads of large-ish fish, but this time no big groper. I did see a sizeable and placid female in relatively shallow water, and the biggest squid I've seen yet — there were about twenty in a group and the largest was quite fat.
I braved the intermittent rain of the past few days by going for a snorkel at Gordons Bay, from the scuba ramp. I hoped it would be less polluted than the beach itself, but it isn't. Visibility was reasonable with a lot of crap at the surface. I saw quite a few large luddericks and a big mostly-blue groper; it wasn't totally blue so I'm not sure it was Bluey.
Early-afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay. Once again I forgot why I don't go so early: the rocks were packed with people, and there were quite a few dogs on the beach. I got in from the sand for the first time in a long while. The water itself seemed reasonably clean once I got past the (tiny) breakers.
Early-evening paddle at Gordons Bay. The forecast storm seemed to have overshot Sydney — it was raining a fair way off the coast, I think. The bay was completely flat, the tide out, and the water clear.
Early afternoon snorkel at Little Bay after lunch with Toby. The beach wasn't too busy for January, I guess. Quite warm, a little high cloud (lighter than in the morning) and very clear water. I saw a decent-sized Old Wife out past the rocks.
The storm still hadn't eventuated so I headed down to Gordons Bay in the early evening for a paddle. Loads of people were out snorkeling and it seemed pretty clear to me. No surf, warm-ish water. The storm rolled in around 8:30pm.
Early-evening paddle at Gordons Bay. The storm didn't eventuate but still managed to kill both the temperature and the crowds; no dogs for me to dodge today. The water is quite clear and I should've gone for a snorkel.
Late-afternoon paddle at Gordons Bay, reminding me once again why I go much later. The place was infested with dogs and their owners, droppings, etc. I don't mind them in the water but the yapping and fighting destroys the serenity of the place. Very clear water though, would've been good for a snorkel.
Late morning snorkel at Long Bay. The water was (even) cloudier than usual, and there were quite a few dogs (with their owners) at the boat launch on the southern side. I saw just the usual suspects and a stingray quite near the ramp, in a few metres of water.