High tide tour of Middle harbour

J-Dogg cruising past the marina at The Spit

J-Dogg cruising past the marina at The Spit

A good mate of mine who has been living in the Middle East recently returned to Sydney for a few weeks and we organised to head out for a paddle on Middle Harbour.  We both rented matching BD Epsilons (a P300 for me, a P200 for him) from Sydney Harbour Kayaks and since the tide was in I thought I’d take him for a burn up to Scotts Creek, Bantry Bay and back to The Spit.

At the start of the paddle my mate Jeremy (or J-Dogg as I like to call him) took off at a fairly cracking pace, pushing his slightly smaller kayak with his euro blade pretty quickly through the water. As a bigger lazy guy, I need a good 3-4km to warm up so I was struggling a little to keep up with my greenland paddle and bigger boat. Of course, by the time we’d paddled about 2km he was starting to slow down and I was starting to speed up, so our pace levelled out to an uneasy equal!

Turning into Sugar Loaf Bay I guided J-Dogg into Scotts Creek, my anticipated highlight for the morning. Unfortunately an overnight deluge had carried all sorts of rubbish amongst the storm water into the creek, so my once pristine secret was looking pretty dirty. Still, it is a magical place and as we slowly cruised amongst the mangroves and palms, it was hard not to appreciate this little secret spot. A kangaroo breaking cover and hopping alongside us through the scrub just added to the charm.

The J-Dogg on Scotts Creek

The J-Dogg on Scotts Creek

Once we left Scotts Creek it was only a few minutes before I spotted the Coffee Boat chugging past in the distance, and not wanting to be deprived of my morning paddle-coffee, I left the J-Dogg behind and put in the big strokes to race after my water-borne caffeine dealer. Fortunately I was able to catch him, so we got to relax on Sugar Loaf Bay sipping skim lattés on the water.

After the coffee I was fired up for a decent paddle, so I led J-Dogg north into Bantry Bay (against a northerly wind). At this stage I started to notice my matey drifting behind me, and was having to slow down every few minutes so he could catch up.  Could it be that J-Dogg had broken the gate a bit hard earlier in the morning *grin*?

J-Dogg "powering" along the shore of Middle harbour. Until he grounded himself!

J-Dogg "powering" along the shore of Middle harbour. Until he grounded himself on rocks - haha!

After a quick stop in Bantry Bay we realised we needed to get the boats back within 30 minutes so set off for a fast paddle back to The Spit. We set off at a firm pace and cruised back along the Seaforth shoreline, discussing the various merits of house design along this expensive strip, before I took off to sprint the final km or so to the beach in front of Sydney Harbour Kayaks.  A few minutes behind the J-Dogg rolled up on the beach also, looking a little out of breath and somewhat flustered, but in general pretty happy with the experience. All up a nice little morning paddle, made even more fun by doing it with a friend. Cheers! – FP

The Fat Paddler by Sean Smith