Sunday, January 24, 2016


Down to Wamberal Beach for a surf.

Cloudy morning with a solid swell and high tide. The shore break was difficult to paddle out through as it was breaking big and hard.

I got out through a lull in the sets and had a fun surf in solid waves.

When I was just about out of the water having finished my surf, I was caught by a large shore dumping wave as I was running up the sand. My leg gave way from underneath me and I collapsed in a lot of pain as the wave dumped on top of me washing me up the beach.

I couldn't stand so I was washed up and down the beach until a group of friends who were watching came down to rescue me. I was in extreme pain. Thanks guys!

They carried me up the beach and to the street while another friend called an ambulance.

The ambulance took me to Gosford Hospital where I seen by a doctor, had an x-ray, was given painkillers and eventually, a physiotherapist who gave me crutches. Thanks Gosford Hospital staff!

Well, now I'm back home in off and on pain but I'm able to walk in an awkward way.
More medical treatment to organize.

First major injury of 2016. I'll be out of action for awhile until I'm more mobile. So far, the injury looks like a torn tendon in the upper leg close to the buttocks. What a bummer! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


A big day out today.

Jacinta and I were up early to get a ferry from Ettalong to Palm Beach.

We missed the 7am ferry by 2 minutes. The next ferry was at 8am. We drove and had a short wander around Pearl Beach.

We were back with time to spare for the ferry. It is such a great ferry ride especially at $22.50 return. The seats were comfortable and on boarding we made our way to the top open deck.

We cruised along the shores of Ettalong and out through the narrow channel from Brisbane Water to Broken Bay. It is amazing how close to the barnacled rocks and the shallow sand banks the large ferry maneuvers.

Out on the open water of Broken Bay and top speed to Palm Beach passing by Lion Island and into Freshwater.

We disembarked at the wharf on the Freshwater side of Palm Beach and walked up the hill and amazingly, there was no footpath so the traffic was very close as we trudged between the guard rails and the cars.

We followed the beach till we reached the path leading up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

It was a steep hike and the day was already very hot so we were drenched in sweat by the time we reached the summit.

The lighthouse was impressive and there was a track leading out along and down the ridge towards the point of Barrenjoey. It was very dry and the vegetation still showed the effects of the last bush fire in this area - few large trees, burnt trunks with blackened skeleton branches and metre high regrowth. Walking along the track was fun with rocks to drop across and down. The views were superb both north and south.

We quickly reached the bottom by retracing our steps and stopped at the Boat Shed for breakfast. This restaurant was such a nice setup - cool, breezy, great views, good service and good food.

We continued walking to Palm Beach. The water looked inviting but there was no shade and we were overdosed already from the sun and heat. So we walked back to the ferry, cooled off on the seabreeze once underway, bounced a little with the swells of Broken Bay and landed back at Ettalong.

We decided it was too early to head home so we drove to Pearl beach for a cooling swim in the ocean.

A nice day. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


A sunny and warm morning.

Down the beach. The waves were so glassy and the tide was a little high but going low so I figured that it would only get better.

The waves were fun but a bit random where they chose to break. this improved as the tide dropped and it was quite good for awhile.

There was about 1/2 hour of closeouts then it started to improve again. There were heaps of waves though a little bumpy.

A fun surf.

Back home, and we decided to go out for late breakfast

We drove to the point Café at Avoca Beach. A great breakfast and outstanding views of Avoca Beach.

A great day. :)

Monday, January 18, 2016


A fun 4.23 km kayak at Avoca Lagoon.

The weather was perfect with little wind.

This is such a nice place for a paddle... reeds to paddle through, birdlife, insect life, always a surprise, shady and sunny sections, tranquil, quiet.

The highlight this time were dragonflies. There were so many! They weren't too keen to have a photo taken though.

A check of the surf afterwards. Had a fun surf at Wamberal Beach.

Tired but feeling good. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016


It was very warm not long after sunrise. It was going to be a hot one.

I left early for a bike ride along the tracks at Kincumba Mountain.

I took the bottom track then joined the new track and was trenched with sweat. It was a bit too hot now to do a bike ride and enjoy it. I followed the service road and followed a short track before heading back to the car wet with sweat.

Still, it was a great 3.7 km ride and I was looking forward to a swim at Terrigal Haven.

Down at the Haven the water was warm and inviting. I had a pleasant swim but towards the end I swam into a bluebottle tentacle and got a nasty sting across the arm.

Later in the day, I returned to the Haven at low tide for a snorkel.

I snorkeled around for an hour. the highlights were a large school of small fish and a stingray basking on a sandy seabed.

I was hoping for better underwater photos. I was pleased with the ones I took. It seems I need to make sure ... shallow water has better light, clear the lens and camera housing, make sure the flash is on for all shots, stay still, be no more than 1/2 meter away for macro... well,  these are my theories to test out on the next underwater session.


8 to 11 January 2015

The sandbanks at Wamberal/Terrigal beach had improved so I had a series of good and fun surfs for a few days. it was great to be back in the water doing what I love most.

12 January

The surf was very small so I drove down to Umina Beach for a bike ride. The tide was mid making it possible to ride along the sand.

Parts of the beach were very narrow and to soft for the bike but still a long portion of the beach was rideable. it was fun and pleasant riding on the sand - skirting the edge of the small waves as they rode up the sand till they lost their momentum and dissipated.

I followed the promenade on the way back - playing on a short bike obstacle track, zigzagging around the surf lifesaving clubs and cafes.

A pleasant 6.07km ride in the morning sunshine.

I finished off the ride with a swim and coffee on the beach. It was a good swim with the waters so still and glassy,


My daughter called out to me asking what bird is that?. I came out to the upstairs deck and was amazed by this bird.

It was mottled grey with a large beak. I guessed that it might be a cuckoo.

I got a few photos and then we searched the web for it.

Luckily guess, t'was a cuckoo.

Scientific Name: Scythrops novaehollandiae

The Channel-billed Cuckoo migrates to northern and eastern Australia from New Guinea and Indonesia between August and October each year. The birds leave Australia in February or March.



The Channel-billed Cuckoo is found in tall open forests, usually where host species occur.


The favoured foods of the Channel-billed Cuckoo are native figs and native fruits, though some seeds, insects and even baby birds are also taken. The birds take figs from the tree with their massive bills.


The Channel-billed Cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, the Pied Currawong, Strepera graculina and members of the crow family (Corvidae). Unlike many other cuckoos, the young birds do not evict the host's young or eggs from the nest, but simply grow faster and demand all the food, thus starving the others. Often the adult female will damage the existing eggs in the nest when she lays her own and she may even lay more than one egg in a single nest.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


A rainy, chilly and very windy summer day.... off for a windsurf.

I arrived at canton beach at Tuggerah Lake and the rain just kept coming down. The wind was strong and no one was there windsurfing or kiting. I drove to Norah Head for a diversion. When I returned the rain had eased off so in I went.

It was great fun with strong winds and bumpy conditions further out on the lake.

I had quite a few spills and walloped my shin on one fall.

Mark arrived later and I windsurfed till I was tired.

Feeling happy and very-feel-good tired.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Sunny and warm day.

Down the beach early. Very quiet. The waves had little surfing shape so I had a snorkel at Terrigal Haven.

The visibility had improved but was still very hazy. There were a few fish flittering around the seaweed in clumps and a couple of schools of bait fish.

Later, I went to Kincumba Mountain for a 4.86 ride. Once again it was very quiet. A great ride. The area was very dry the leaves were crackling under the bike tyres. A bit of a worry in view of bush fire potential.

Down to Terrigal Haven for a swim.

It was such a glorious afternoon that my wife joined me with a few thoughtful beers.

Great start to the 2016


One of my Christmas presents from my daughters was a snorkel with the sharks at Sealife Aquarium in Sydney.

Surprisingly, it was a traffic free drive to Sydney, just a little over an hour.

We walked around Darling Harbour admiring the ocean and cityscape views. Looking across from the Darling Harbour area and the various buildings and developments I was looking into my mind's eye when I fished there as a kid sitting on coal covered pontoons.

At Sealife, the entry line was very long. When I attracted an attendant,  I was whisked to the front of the line as the snorkeling was a priority entry. I handed in forms and waited for about 10 minutes for the tour.

The tour was pretty good. It started with showing us the tank from above and explaining about the animals we would be up close and personal. Interesting facts!

Down in the belly of the complex, we donned our snorkeling gear and walked a short distance to the tank. We were in a glass enclosure inside the glass enclosure of the fishes and sharks. All very safe.

The snorkel was about 1/2 hour. There were many creatures in the tank which guided by the tank at various intervals - leopard sharks, black tip reef sharks, sting rays,  sword sharks and a host of smaller and larger fish. It was pretty exciting though it would have been better to be in the tank with the sharks.

Later. we wandered around the other attractions of Sealife. I was impressed with the jellyfish, penguins and the walkways through and under the shark tanks.

We then had a great lunch admiring the harbor views then back home.

Excellent day. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016


An early look at the surf. Even though the waves had a good shape the sand banks couldn't hold the waves as the tide was too low. So they were nice looking close outs.

I wandered back down Wamberal Beach at mid tide and had a fun surf. Most of the waves closed out and the rip was very strong but I had a right hand sand bank to myself and luckily, had about 7/8 waves to the edge of the shore.

Later, in the afternoon, I drove to Copacabana for a surf check. When I arrived a mammoth set of waves broke. I watched for a bit longer but the waves kept deteriorating so I decided on a bike ride.

I parked at Maitland Bay Centre and followed the tracks at Bouddi National Park. The ride is is so good and very challenging in sections. I started off well but in the third lot of tracks the rocks were a hard obstacle as the dirt had been worn away so that my peddles hit them a number of times. Not too good with an escarpment beside you :)

Returning along the Strom Trail, I found a new track about a third of the way along that veered off the trail and rejoined it after a fair distance. A good track and very soft in sections. It would have been better riding it coming from Maitland Bay direction.

Another great day.


A relatively very cold winter in Australia. We had been waiting a long time for our next overseas trip and it always seems so far away but t...