I managed to find a super quiet hosing area to sleep at last night, which was a lucky find. It did however absolutely hammer it down with rain in the middle of the night, making it sound like someone was playing the drums on the roof of the car. Somehow I fell straight back to sleep after it woke up though, must have been really tired..
Looks like I made a bit of an error yesterday surf wise. I should have done the food shopping earlier and then surfed Cave Beach in Swansea before dinner, but I left it too late. Assuming it would be nice this morning was the issue, but I was wrong. The southerly swell forecast for today had brought strong south winds with it, making a royal mess of any swell around.
With no chance of a surf I thought I would go south until I could find somewhere a little more sheltered and had a wave. On the way I spent an hour in a Macca's I found, then got to 'Catharine Hill Bay'. It would have been quite a nice place, but for the overcast weather and strong winds. Despite being a little sheltered with a big south end headland, watching 2 guys out surfing while I ate breakfast soon showed it wasn't worth paddling out. It was also flipping cold!
Deciding to press on south I went to the next spot in my little surf guide, 'Frazer Park'. This was an 'off the beaten track' spot in a national park, and again, would have been very beautiful if it wasn't for the weather. While I took some photos of the area for memories sake, I saw 2 guys going out for a surf. To be honest I think they must have had a screw loose - it was cold, howling on shore, the ocean looked like it was on a spin cycle and the waves were almost breaking into one another. Leaving them to it, I moved on again.
This time I arrived at a really nice sheltered spot called 'Norah Head'. It was a completely sheltered little boat launching bay, with a big rock reef going all the way round the headland to the right, and a little carpark right down at the top of the beach where you could see everything.
Resigned to the fact I wouldn't get a surf anywhere today and it was overcast and drizzling, I reclined by seat in the car and read my book for a few hours till lunch time. It's fair to say I got well and truly absorbed by that book, and as a result finished it less than a week. I'll be surprised if I can read 500 pages when I get home full stop, let alone in that record time.
By 1pm it was still quite miserable, but atleast the drizzle had stopped. While reading the news on my Aussie phone ( I recently found was free) I also watched a couple of bloke have a read problem on the beach. For about 45 minutes they had got their 4x4 stuck in the sand/shallow water of the beach trying to get their boat out the water, just 5ft short of the concrete boat ramp. They tried everything from digging it out, letting down the tyres and attaching the winch to the boat ramp, yet were well and truly bogged. Just as the tide was becoming pretty threatening at the back of the car a guy turned up in a Land Cruiser, reversed down the boat and pulled them out in all of 10 seconds. By this time about 20 people have been watching and numerous blokes were standing round, arms crossed and discussing the best way to go about it.
All that was over and the boat out the way, I went snorkelling in the calm water in the bay around the rocky reef. It was nice watching the fish swim about (if they were big i'd have had a go with the hand spear, but they were all too small), but the water was bloody freezing! I only lasted about 20 minutes before I had to get out as my face started to feel numb. That confirms it, I have gone soft since being spoiled by Queensland's warm waters.
Having walked around the sand of the headland until I was in the wind and getting blown away, I came back to the car and went off to explore a little more. I went to the next surf spot in the book which was only 5 minutes drive away, called 'Soldiers Beach'. This however was on the exposed side of the headland, so although there was plenty of swell, I was unsurfable in the unrelenting winds.
From there I moved on again down to 'Shelley Beach', which in the surf book suggests that if anywhere in this area of the coast is going to pick up any swell, this is it. By definition though it was really exposed and just as much as a mess as everywhere else. I walked along the beach and took some photos, but that was about it. As it was still only about 5pm and it isn't dark till 8/8:30pm I drove up to the southern headland and did the walk to the lookout, about 3km round trip. It was quite a nice walk through a mix of light woodland and shrub land, with lot of good viewing points out over the ocean.
With nowhere good to stay at Shelley Beach I went round to about the millionth beach of the day to find somewhere to have dinner and hide for the night, 'Forresters Beach', which I managed no problem.
(Photo - from yesterday, looking over one of the beaches in Swansea).