The drive into Bluff is always filled with anticipation.
Thankfully we set off from Carnarvon in Andy’s Ute. PK (our van) was at the mechanic – we crammed into Andy’s car grateful to be leaving Carnarvon to start the mission
It’s 130km of corrugated road to the Bluff and the red dust plumes out behind your vehicle.
The best sign that you are on the right path is this sign… King Wave Kill – it’s a heavy sign as it is a reminder to stay back from the cliffs when fishing or checking out the waves. But it means we are on the stretch of coast with two world-class waves just ahead.
There is also a detour to the Blowholes that is always worth it. – Nothing like waiting for the ocean spray to burst through and blow your hat off.
As we bump along the track and stare out at the arid landscape, anticipation builds further. We are about to start the mission. We know from previous experience that if there is any swell at the Bluff, we won’t be able to launch the kayaks through the infamous shore break.
The reason the Bluff was where we wanted to start the mission is that it is the current “official” start of the 280km marine reserve of The Ningaloo Reef and also it has an amazing left-hand point break. We had so many crew, from good mates, fellow sailors and random surfers saying “ Nah, don’t reckon you should launch from the bluff, that shorie is deadly” or “launching through that shorebreak it’s not worth the risk, do it from Gnaraloo Bay”.
If we moved up to Gnaraloo Bay (a place sheltered from the swell), then we would have missed out on the first 20nm of the marine reserve. We were determined to start at the Bluff and would just have to wait for a window of small swell to see if we could do it safely. Also, this process of waiting for a small swell would give us the opportunity to make the most of the not so small swell and surf that famous left-hander.
As we came over the last hill to see that big red glowing sun sinking into the Indian Ocean with a full moon rising to the east and we turned the corner, the view of the towering Red Bluff was there… and the swell was solid.
We set up camp under the brightness of the full moon. Our campsite was just above the beach dunes so waves pounding the surf sounded like thunder. Once the camp was set up we got a fire going and there was a sense of achievement, we were only at the very start of our voyage but there was so much behind us from buying the Hobie kayaks, fitting them out, raising funds, TV interviews, safety gear, single-use plastic free supplies, the 1200km drive, loss of our van PK.
All of this was in the past now, and here we are in the desert under a full moon, next to a fire listening to the surf. This is what makes this place on the edge of Western Australia so special.
The swell was up and therefore no Kayak launching, but other good fun and pumping surf was there while we waited!
For our Oceans,
Jamie and Base
Check out our next post about getting Bayley out surfing at Bluff for the first time!