I must admit, I've never been a massive fan of recreational boating... they're expensive, you've got to keep them somewhere, and it's such a hassle getting them in and out of the water! But maybe I just haven't had enough good boating experiences to make all that stuff fade into the background... I definitely had a fantastic experience the other day out on Jervis Bay with Kate, her Dad (Harry) and his wife (Vanessa) and our little pup Tilly.
It probably helps that I absolutely adore Jervis Bay, and Booderee National Park along the southern edge of the bay. I've spent a fair bit of time at Booderee, both working - taking tourism, landscape and nature photography - and playing :) I was very lucky to go on a pretty cool boat ride with the rangers there (see some photos I took for Parks Australia here). And really, how could you fault the amazing white sands and turquoise waters - if it wasn't for the typical South Coast bushland beyond the beach, you'd think you were in the Whitsundays!
Iluka Beach - not a soul in sight
Naturally we spotted some great wildlife typical to the Jervis Bay area. Dolphins, including some little ones, cruised along next to the boat for a while. Of course there were pelicans hanging around the Huskisson boat ramp too, waiting for the fisherman to throw them the scraps... but what we didn't expect at the boat ramp were the stingrays! They were massive, and would glide right into the shallows to suck at the drainage pipe coming from the fish cleaning station. Very stately.
That's one big stingray!!!
Approaching some of the notable areas in Booderee National Park by sea give you a different perspective.
This is Hole in the Wall from the boat
Hole in the Wall sunset - I took this last year
Murray's Beach is also a very popular spot, with snorkelers and beach goers just soaking up the sun.
Heading north past Point Perpendicular
After touring the edge of Booderee, we turned north, up past Point Perpendicular (a great whale watching location in the right season) to a nice sheltered beach on the Beecroft Peninsula. We had a nice picnic lunch while admiring a classy looking catamaran. Might just see if I can find some spare change down the back of the couch to pick one of these up, they look nice ;)
Gotta get me one of these catamarans...
The water was perfect for swimming, and given Tilly had done so well on her first boat ride so far, we decided it was a good opportunity to give her a bit of a swimming lesson! She did very well, although judging by the scratches I received, it wasn't thoroughly enjoyable!!! I think she was a little bit dirty at me afterwards... (Thanks Vanessa for the shot of me with Tilly!)
Tilly before, during and after her first swim!
There's just so much to do on Jervis Bay! SUPs (stand up paddle boards) are very popular on the calm waters of the bay, and great exercise! Or you can stick with more traditional kayaks if you prefer.
Or if you want to stay land-based, try popping into the gorgeous little towns dotted along the bay, such as Vincentia, Huskisson, or Calalla. And of course I will always recommend a visit to Booderee National Park :)
Kate, Harry and Vanessa on the boat!
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll just jump onto eBay and see how much those catamarans are going for!
Want to see more photos from my adventures around the South Coast? Check out some images here!