Full moon last night, the last before the Classic, and Shaan had advertised a “whales by moonlight” trip. I hadn’t been out the heads in the dark before, though of course it’s an almost mundane experience for paddlers who can join Rob Mercer’s Tuesday trips, so hell yeah. I was privileged to join three of the strongest women on the coast: Shaan, Rae and Megan.
|Rae at the Yacht Club before the sun set|
Put in at Watson’s Bay at just after six. Moonrise at seven. I took my Mirage, because It’s about time I got used to it again for the Hawkesbury. Stick, of course.
|Giving way to power craft|
|The sirens disappear into the gloaming. Wait please. ..|
Wind and swell weren’t huge, coming in from SSE, but as dark fell it became an interesting exercise anticipating the sea state.
Unfortunately the moon was occluded by clouds on the horizon, frustrating any hope of glorious ethereal vistas. The clouds seemed to match the rise of the moon exactly, being just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After an hour or so in the velvet gloom , a little north of Diamond Bay, we turned for home. Abundantly the moon wasn’t going to show tonight. Not at all. The following sea in the dark repaid attention: missed the sea a few times, and an occasional lurching broach. With only the shore lights to mark our way we rounded the head in the eternal darkness.
|Shaan ( or someone very like her) in the Epic 18.|
Needless to say once we turned in around South Head and approached Watson’s Bay the moon burst gloriously forth, setting the clifftops ablaze in silver and .. well, sparkling on the flat harbour. I checked, but no cetaceans had followed us in on the off chance the moon would reveal out true shapes. Megan snapped off a couple of rolls before we landed.
|Megan gets wet|
Beautiful night, moon or no moon. Next full moon will see me on the Hawkesbury River. Fan bloody tastic.
|The route.It was darker on the night.|