Watching Water: Twofold Bay, Eden, NSW
Boats in Snug Cove
Breakfast on the Wharf (iPhone)
It is off-season here in Eden.
The days are very quiet, and the evenings are even quieter. The kids are back at school and the humpback whales are feeding in Antarctica. The local caravan parks are almost empty of visitors and it’s easy to get a parking space on main street or an outside table at the cafes near the wharf.
We’ve just had several months’ supply of rain in little over a week, so the waves crashing on the beaches are yellowed and the usually clear-blue waters of the Sapphire Coast are muddy-looking from the silt washed down from the hills.
Last Sunday we decided to take advantage of the first sunny day in what seemed like ages. We rode our bicycles to the Eden’s wharf on Snug Cove and indulged in brunch before joining a scenic cruise on Twofold Bay.
I had been told to check in at ten o’clock, in case the Twofold Bay Discovery Cruise wasn’t going out, so I wandered down to the water’s edge while my breakfast was cooking to have a look.
Fishing boats at rest ~ Snug Cove, Eden
Buoy in the quiet waters of Snug Cove
Cat Balou ~ a 16 metre catamaran designed for sight-seeing cruises.
Rosalind and Gordon, owner-operators of Cat Balou Cruises, make their boat ship-shape in readiness.
The sun was shining and the water was calmer than it had been for several weeks: clearly the perfect weather to go out on the bay.
Twofold Bay, named for its two bights by George Bass, who passed this way in 1797/98 on his way to Bass Strait, is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. Historically home to whaling stations, the area still pays tribute to the killer whales that used to assist in the hunt for humpbacks. Today, when the humpbacks make their annual migration, between September and November, they are tracked at a respectful distance by the sight-seeing boats.
This time of year we’d be lucky to spot some Australian fur seals, or possibly penguins or dolphins.
A perfect day for taking pictures, as we leave Snug Cove.
Rocks, mussel farm and sailboats: truly a multi-functional space! Cattle Bay, Eden
Quarantine Bay, so named because a sailing ship with a smallpox epidemic on board took refuge here in the 1800s, is now home to the Amateur Fishing Club and the local yacht club.
Heading home from Boydtown Beach...
Seahorse Inn, started in 1843, was the centrepiece of Ben Boyd's eponymous Boydtown.
A Japanese-owned woodchip mill has operated at the south end of Eden's Twofold Bay since 1967.
Rocks at the mouth of Kiah Inlet. A family-owned whaling station here operated until 1930.
Edrom Lodge was built in 1910 for John Logan. The 28-room manor was modelled on his Scottish home. It later became a guest house, and then a prison farm. Now, it is managed by the Forestry Commission and operates as a group function facility, accommodating up to 70 people.
The vivid colours of Kiah Inlet.
A sea eagle circles over Kiah Inlet looking for fish.
The Naval munitions wharf at Kiah Inlet is used as a general loading dock...
... and a fishing platform ...
Most months two ships sail to Japan, Taiwan or China, with 43,000 tonnes of wood chips each, to be turned into high quality paper products.
Boyd's Tower, the 19 1/2 meter sandstone tower built in 1846, can just be seen over the tumbled rocks of Red Point (South Head).
Ben Boyd built the tower to light the way for his whaling and merchant ships. The government said that if he lit it for his boats, he must light it for all boats - which he refused. So, it never operated as a lighthouse.
Some say the jagged red rocks of Red Point look like the face of a North American Indian.
Recreational boaters, sporting white zinc to protect from the sun, race through the waters of Red Point.
After a delightful two hours, we head home.
Rosalind and Gordon, the owner-operators of Cat Balou Cruises, looked after us well and did their best to point out the one seal who was hiding under the dock. Aside from the seaeagle, and the usual cormorants and seagulls, we had no luck with the wildlife at all. We were, essentially, watching water.
But what views! We’d seen some of this coastline from the air, and it is just as magnificent from the water.
Can you imagine what it will be like in the good season?
I can hardly wait!