Fronting up in the west

Victoria’s latest sea kayaking sensation the “Retired or Unemployed Melbourne Paddlers” (RUMPs) and their SeaSaWW colleagues (Sea Swimmers and Work Waggers) set off from Altona on Monday for a paddle to Point Cook. A tight-knit and disciplined bunch, they paddled off with grit and determination for the arduous journey ahead. DSC_0466 Struggling in the harsh winter conditions and a tough following sea…

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 the paddlers finally sighted land – Point Cook. DSC_0469 After an onerous seven kilometres, the weary kayakers struggled ashore, skilfully guiding their boats over concealed rocks and bravely confronting the corpses of massive blubber jellyfish floating in the shallows. DSC_0474 Tired and exhausted but always prepared for an expedition, the RUMPs staggered up the beach to take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse, and replenished their energy from their meagre supplies. DSC_0478 Faced with the long journey home, all that lay ahead was wilderness.

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 But this historical event did not go unrecorded. DSC_0482 As the wind picked up, so did the nuggety RUMPs’ spirit and after a democratic discussion to decide on the best paddling strategy…. DSC_0484 …the paddlers soon reached Altona pier… DSC_0489 …unnoticed by the local authorities. DSC_0486 At last, the Gondwanan vegetation of the western front. DSC_0491 Age will not weary them…. DSC_0494   Altona to Pt Cook

Willy to Altona

It’s a bright, sunny morning but I feel like I’ve forgotten something since I am now much more efficient at getting packed up and ready to go. The plan is to paddle from Williamstown to Altona with Ron.

There is a traffic jam on the Bolte and in the distance, the West Gate Bridge looks like a giant slug.  I am sandwiched in between roaring trucks but on occasion get a glimpse of the sapphire blue water of the Bay.  Finally get to the beach and unload the kayak, then find Ron,who is waiting in the carpark behind the Life Saving Club.

After navigating the fishing lines off the breakwater, it’s full sail to Altona, at least in Ron’s case, who soon has his sail up and angles his boat for a bit of product placement.  Show off.

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It’s a nice run to Altona, birds perched on the emerged reef at low tide stare haughtily at us across the water.

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Altona Beach is a bit of a hidden treasure, especially on a sunny day.  We haul the kayaks up onto the sand and have lunch at a picnic table overlooking the beach.  Have to be worse ways to spend a day than this…

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  A few jellies have washed up on the beach.  We saw them in the water where at first we mistook them for discarded plastic bags.  They are blubber jellies, only mildly venomous but their lumpish shape and lack of decoration or elegant trailing stingers makes them look slightly sinister.  Once washed up on the strand though, they are pretty huge.  Their presence in the Bay seems to be seasonal, blown in on the tide and wreaking havoc with swimmers.

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On the way back, we have a bit of a play under Altona Pier before paddling the five km back to Willy.

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An uneventful, lovely day.  Simple pleasures of sun and water and lunch on the beach.  A bit of wildlife and good company.  Doesn’t get much better than this.

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will to altona Google Earth