Monday, December 18, 2017


14 December 2017

The surf was messy so I settled for an ocean swim at the Haven. I sat in the morning sun and read my kindle.

Later, kara spotted a female Eastern Koel (cuckoo) in our backyard. It is apparently a common bird but this as our first sighting of one.

15 December 2017

A surf check with good conditions but the waves just weren't getting it together.

I drove to Bouddi National Park and had a mountain bike ride along the tracks to Daley Point and The Maitland Bay Road tracks. A good combination of tracks with narrow tracks, huge rocks, tree roots, drop offs, great views, masses of flannel flowers and some very challenging sections and very hot.

Unfortunately, I dropped my phone somewhere along the ride. I returned later, and luckily I found it.

16 December 2017

Started the day with a surf at North Avoca. The surf wasn't that good. I lasted about 1/2 hour then decided to head in.

I drove over to Bouddi National Park and had a ride along the turkey, NW ridge and Strom tracks. It was a fun and hot ride, especially, due to the salt from the surf still on me. The tracks were good being dry and compact.

After the ride, I drove to the Haven for a swim and cappuccino.

Late in the afternoon, I was still feeling energetic so I had a paddle on the kayak at Avoca Lagoon.
There were heaps of birds feeding and preening in the trees and shallows or in flight overhead. I paddled over to the bat colony and waited for the sun to set and the sky to darken. Towards last light, the bats finally became active and started to become airborne. Not long after the light was gone and the kayak became eerie and exciting. I slowly paddled around the edge of the lagoon and back to the car.

A sensational kayak.

17 December 2017

A do nothing day.

18 December 2017

I checked the surf at North Avoca. The surf as rough and messy so I decided to come back later.

In the meantime, i drove to Bouddi National Park and had a very hot and challenging mountain bike ride. This time, I combined the tracks on the Daley Point and Rocky Point trails. Such a good ride. I managed to add a few new achievements on this ride - going down two steep drop offs and getting over one a number of rocky steep sections.

The mosquitoes were in full force. I had sprayed myself with insect repellent but I had perspired a lot of it away. next time, I'll carry a spare tube of repellent.

I drove back to North Avoca and the waves looked a little better so I had a so-so surf. I had one decent wave and three okay ones and the rest were short and fairly powerless. Still, the water as warm and it felt good after the bike ride.

I ran into Paul when i got out and we had a chat while he readied himself to go in the water.
Next stop was the Haven for a cappuccino and a read in the sun.

Back home and I was enthused enough to do my weekly house chores.

Jacinta started her holidays this afternoon so let the Christmas festivities begin.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


8 December 2017

I had a surf check along a number of beaches and ended up having a good time at Shelly Beach. There was a nice left and a great left at times.

On one left, I took off late nearly made it, hit a chop and took a punishing wipeout.

Next, Kara and I were off to a Christmas luncheon. Great food and some interesting stories were told.

We drove to the mall, met up with Chloe and bought Christmas decorations under Kara's supervision.

Back home and the decorating started.

9 December 2017

I woke tired and sore this morning. Probably due to yesterday's hard surf fall.

I ended up having an ocean swim at Terrigal Haven, coffee and ran into Ken.

Later in the afternoon, Jacinta and I drove down to Sydney for a reunion with old time house mates. It was a fun night with good food and company, a lot of laughs and secret Santa presents.

10 December 2017

We had stayed down in Sydney for the night and had breakfast at 'The Shed' in Centennial Park with some of the reunion attendees.

Finally, drove home and had an easy afternoon.

11 December 2017

An early surf check but the tide needed to be higher.

A kayak at Wamberal Lagoon. I saw a number of bird species - swamphens, cormorants, black swans, ducks, plovers, white faced herons. The dragonflies were in abundance and very colourful.

I paddled along the creek at the northern end of the lagoon. So quiet and still. the water was very reflective and the water as also clear.

A stop at Terrigal Haven on the way home for a cappa on the beach and an ocean swim.

Back home to heaps of chores.

12 December 2017

A small, fun and okay surf at North Avoca this morning. Most of the time there was just two of us out. The water was warmer and very clear.

Back home to a lot of moving furniture, etc around. All big jobs. Sweating profusely by the end of it.

13 December 2017

A middle of the day snorkel at Terrigal Haven.

The visibility wasn't the best but I did sight a number of sea creatures - huge catfish, jellyfish and different types of fish. The water was much warmer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


3 December 2017

A long drive today. Six hours of driving return trip picking up my daughter from a music festival.

4 December 2017

Very tired after the drive so had a nothing day.

5 December 2017

After a surf check, I drove over to Hardys Bay in Brisbane Water for a kayak to Rileys Bay. Just as I was about to start, I had a chat with lady who wished to buy a kayak. We talked of the pros and cons and costs.

 The paddle was a good test for the new kayak as the wind was fresh but increasing.  Along the way there were a couple of piers. One of the piers was high enough to go under it.

Rileys bay was lined in mangroves and white sand beaches. I parked the kayak under the shade of the mangroves and enjoyed the silence and solitude. I turned back at the end of the bay due to the very shallow water, rocks cov ered in oyster shells and an outgoing tide.

The wind was getting stronger and was against me as I paddled but the kaayak held its speed and line well.

6 December 2017

I had a surf check at Macmasters Beach. It was sort of okay but decided to check it again with a higher tide.

In the meantime, I drove to Bouddi National park to mountain bike ride the tracks towards Daleys Point.

This ride was very challenging in sections. There are lots of tracks that sort of run parallel to the main trail. Each track was so relatively different with drops, steep sections, spiky plants, very narrow sections, rocks, logs and cliffs. The more I do these tracks the more I am liking it.

The flannel flowers were in full bloom along some of the tracks.

I tried a chest harness for part of the ride. I made a few adjustments as I was using it but it retrospect I need to point the camera higher and tighten the mountings.

I check Macmasters on the way home with a higher tide but surf was way too crowded.

7 December 2017

Kara had a medical appointment in Sydney.

While she was at the appointment, I had a 12 km bike ride along the cycleway at Cooks River. It was fun and very hot.

Back home and I had an ocean swim at Terrigal Haven.

In the evening, e started putting up the Christmas decorations under Kara's supervision. A lot of laughs.

Kara decided the angel on top of the tree needed to be modernized.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


29 November 2017

My daughter, Chloe and I had a hike around Warrah Trig in Brisbane Waters National Park.

We left home and it started to sprinkle, then rain and then it stated pouring. We thought about going back home but decided to try our luck. Unbelievably, we arrived at Warrah Trig and it was dry with no sign of rain.

We took advantage of the situation and had a fun and pleasant hike to the Warrah Lookout. The view was amazing across the bay and out towards the ocean.

We also stopped along Warrah Road and did a short walk to the escarpment for some views over Box Head.

I dropped Chloe back home then drove down to North Avoca Beach for a surf.

There were nice lefts breaking on a sandbank. I had a fun time before the crowd built up.

30 November 2017

About mid morning, I had a surf at North Avoca beach. There were only three surfers out with heaps of  right waves breaking. The waves broke a little randomly and then finished with a fast hard session along the shore.

1 December 2017

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month.

The surf was looking poor so I headed over to Bouddi National Park for a mountain bike ride along the tracks - Turkey, NW ridge and Strom.

I have a course that I generally follow on these tracks and I try to improve my riding in one way or another.

It was a hot ride so I drove over to Terrigal Haven for an ocean swim. Nice.

I picked up my new kayak but the wind was howling too much for a kayak.

Later in the afternoon, Jacinta, Kara and I went to dinner and music at Beery, Terrigal. 

2 December 2017

Now and again, I have bad sleeps. Last night was one of them. I don't try to fight it, I just accept that the following day will be a right-off.

I was determined to ride the kayak so I took it out at Avoca lagoon despite my body and head reluctance. 

The kayak paddled well - the seating was better and firmer, the kayak trimmed along straighter and faster and it sat higher in the water. I also tried a chest harness for the go pro camera - seems okay but  not the best for a kayak as the paddling cuts across the camera view. I will need to try it on some other sports.

The lagoon had a great variety of birds. At least a dozen species but i hadn't brought the camera gear for bird photos. 

The rest of the day was spent filling in time and dozing.

By late afternoon, I was starting to feel human again.

Monday, November 27, 2017


25 November 2017

I drove over to Avoca Point to catch up with my old mates one more time. It was another great catch up with some drama the night before involving attempted strangulation ... ah boys will be boys even at 60+.

I had a swim at Avoca Beach then headed home for a nap before Jacinta and I set off for a night camp at Munmorah SCA.

At Munmorah, we unfortunately discovered that the camping area was full. We headed down to Red Ochre Beach and had a few swims and a sit in the sun.

Next, we tried the small camp area at Frazer Park but that was also full. We had lunch and decided to head to The Pines Camping Area at Olney State Forest about an hour drive away.

A good decision. We parked between a couple of tall pines and settled in for the evening - reading and having dinner with a few beers and wine.

26 November 2017

We had parked the van on a slight angle so I spent most of the night rolling. Not the best sleep.
When we woke, Jacinta and I had a bush hike along the tracks near the camping area. A great hike as I did this one a few weeks ago on my own so I knew where I was going. There are a lot of tracks leading in a number of directions in this area so it can become very confusing. On this hike we walked in the opposite direction to my last hike.

After the hike, we had breakfast and then I went for a mountain bike ride. I don't know the names of the tracks but I had a fun time exploring and testing myself. Most of the tracks had been highly eroded by dirt bikes so it was a challenging ride with unexpected obstacles.  I found the start of the Abbots Falls Track which I rode part way but will do more on another occasion as I didn't have a map and the ride was going to be long.

Back at the camp, we packed and then hit the road for a number of lookouts located on the dirt roads. the first was Heaton Lookout with a vista across the east to the ocean. It looked like a future camp spot as there was two walks in the area.

The next lookouts were Macleans and Hunter. They both were great views looking out over the valleys to the west. the road on this section was relatively flat and a track ran sort of parallel.  A possible mountain bike ride on a future trip.

We had lunch then drove back home.


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...