Antidote to the Hallmark Mothers Day

Parked at Redjacks

Yesterday I described to Reg, the fantasy Mothers day that all mums imagine but which I now realise will never materialise. Funnily enough this fantasy was much like the one described by Kerri Sackville in the sunday paper today, which gave me a chuckle. In this fantasy I awake to a sparkling house, filled with fresh flowers, folded clothes, freshly brewed coffee and a gaggle of shiny clean smelling children waiting patiently to present some expensive jewellery and a voucher for the day spa. Previous posts may have unintentionally created the false impression that I lead a charmed nautical sort of life in which my house is kept in ship shape bristol fashion just like a boat, and that we just scoop up the kids and head out to sea to take pretty pictures as soon as the sun comes out and the tides are favourable.  In the interests of keeping it real I was going to post a photo of the carnage that is our lounge room, just to disprove this notion, but luckily for you Reg put his foot down. Instead of the Hallmark fantasy Mothers day we shut the door on the mess and made our way to Redjacks Point to a super special picnic spot we came across this time last year. Jones number two loved her second trip out in the tinny with the arm flapping and squeaking proportional to the increase in speed as we left the 8 knot zone.  The picnic fairy was on hand to look after the food….

Precious picnic cargo

We picniced (is that how you spell it?) on some salmon sangers and leftover roasted veggies with feta, washed down with thermos tea. I was kicking myself for not chilling some champers as the view certainly deserved it…

View to Lilli Pilli

Look up

A spot of fairy hunting to work up an appetite for pudding…..

MUST find fairies

We didnt see any actual fairies but we know they are there because we found these…..

Magic Toadstools

Followed up with a few sandcastles…..

Fort Locks

 

Aerial view

 

…spotted some strange looking jellyfish…

Jelly bean

 

A visit from our friend Percival….

Sir Percival

And time to head home….

Heading for Home

And that…is the last time I ever wish for the Hallmark fantasy Mothers day. How did you spend yours? :)

Red Jacks Point: Pelican Amphitheatre

Red Jacks Point

Did you know that April is Children and Nature Awareness Month? Yesterday we signed up for the Great Outdoor Challenge, an event created by 5 Orange Potatoes as part of the US based Children and Nature Network’s efforts to inspire kids to get outdoors.  We’ve done a few trips in the tinny in recent weeks but fur, feathers and foliage have been a little thin on the ground. So with the Great Outdoor Challenge  in mind and a real incentive to get some photos, we headed down to Red Jacks Point on Port Hacking, where thankfully our luck improved.

After a doing a refreshing 20 knots from Deer Park where the no wash zone ends, we pulled up at Redman’s Point in very shallow water, only really suitable for a tinny or flat bottomed boat that is easy to launch from the sand. We switched off the engine and let the tinny drift across the sea grass beds whilst we finished off the CWA fruit cake from the Easter Show, washed down with a cup of tea from the thermos.  Bliss.

We were shortly joined by half a dozen pelicans who were probably attracted by the fish that could also be seen jumping out of and near the surface of the water. Every now and then a cormorant popped its head up and I wondered if they were fishing cooperatively, something that is unique to the little black cormorant species. The pelicans swam around the tinny in a wide circle (probably eyeing Rhubarb with some caution) creating a kind of reverse amphitheatre with the performance on the outside and the audience floating in the middle. I filmed a short piece of footage of two of them paddling past which I can’t seem to load on the blog so will try and post on the facebook page. I love the way their tail ends bob up and down just slightly as they glide along. I’m always amazed at their ability to take off from the water, being such a large and heavy looking bird.

Pelican Performer

Tessa can recognise and identify pelicans but whilst this was being shot was more interested in ferreting out some cheese from the coolbag, as you can hear in the background of the footage. I have learned that an assortment of healthy snacks can do wonders for extending the range of short attention spans on boat trips.

Stingray...De de doo doo doo doo

I was also lucky enough to see a brown stingray cruising through the sea grass beds but unfortunately wasn’t quick enough to catch it on camera; sometimes you just have to focus on looking and observing and enjoy the moment. Although the sea grass beds look quite barren on first glance, I can assure you they host a whole ecosystem of plants and animals just waiting to be investigated with a snorkel (note to self to leave one permanently in the boat).

Lilli Pilli Sand Flat

Hitching a Ride

By now the tide had dropped a fair bit so we all hopped out and dragged the tinny across the shallows back to the main channel, (a good workout for the thighs) and headed over to a sand flat at Lilli Pilli where we all had a swim and Tessa was fascinated by the worm trails in the sand. These little signs of life on the surface of the beach reminded me of the outlines depicted in some of the aboriginal rock carvings that I’ve seen around Sydney.

Secret Tunnellers

Relaxing Reg

To top off a superb autumn morning on the water we spotted the resident sea eagles circling over Grays Point. They were flying high on a thermal so the photo below is purely evidential! I’ll have to get a better zoom!

Grays Point Resident Sea Eagles

Heading for Home

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