2016 01 02 - Western port tour

Stu Styles came up with a fantastic idea to do a trip from Flinders downwind to Balnarring.  With such an interesting tour, filled with some great little surf breaks, there was naturally a lot of interest.  We had Stu, Pete, Eric, Anthony, Tarren, Mike and myself all raring to go at Balnarring.  Having arrived there seemed enough wind to do a there and back session - saving us the hassle of driving cars around for an hour - more kiting and less driving is always a winner so we setup and set off.

The wind was a very consistent 22 knots or thereabouts - enough to make me wonder about taking the small kite.  Turns out the 10 was perfect for the session, enough depower for the stronger sections and enough pull when I got a bit too close to the rocks.

We waited at Balnarring until everyone was on the water then set off to Flinders.  Great to be on the water and setting off with such a good and capable crew.  Point Leo was the first good stop - we took turns tucking in to the flat water just behind the rocks on the point - magnificent fun.  It was still low tide at this stage but you could see where the waves were breaking - offering some great potential for the trip back.

We continued towards Flinders and hit up the Pines next.  There were a few kiters here already taking advantage of the wide beach and relatively flat water closer to shore.  A good setup that I'd never really considered before.

On heading round the corner to the Farm I realised that we hadn't seen Pete for a while.  I checked in with most folks and no-one knew where he was.  The last I'd seen him was when I'd helped Eric retrieve his board at Pt Leo.  Stu and I went on a bit of a search and rescue session, heading back past the Pines towards Pt Leo.  After about 15 mins of panic, we headed towards Flinders again, figuring that Pete was most likely to have motored ahead on his own.  About 5 mins later I spotted his kite way off in the distance - thank goodness - I had no desire to push the emergency session so early.  Tarren headed back about now.

From the Pines onwards it was hard work - having to tack pretty hard to get a line to Flinders.  Saw one guy snorkelling a fair way off the beach south of Flinders - balls of steel if you ask me - and just beside him in the water was a dead seal.  Crazy.

Mike and I were on the same tack and hit Flinders at around the same time.  There was no real room to land, so we decided to head back.  Nice and coasty heading back, jumps and toeside wave riding were the order of the day.  I decided to wait for Stu, Eric and Anthony for the trip back - cause I figured that Stu knows all the breaks and would be able to direct us to the best spots.  There wasn't many waves to be had on the way back - and Eric and Anthony were way out in the channel as Anthony had broken a footstrap and was headed back.

Stu and I picked up Mike and headed in to the breaks at Point Leo.  GOLD !  The waves were forming nicely, wind was up and we had an absolute ball surfing everything from 2nd reef through.  Magnificent fun.  My massive smile turned to dismay when Eric kitelooped past me without a board, he'd had a big stack and lost his board somewhere way out to sea.  Mike and I looked around whilst grabbing waves but nothing to be seen anywhere.

We continued surfing until fatigue set in - then headed back to Balnarring.  Big smiles greeted all of us on the beach - amazing session.  On picking up Eric his lucky star had arrived too - his board washed in 50m from where he was located.  Fish and chips topped off a magnificent day.  I'll be back to Point Leo in a SE - its a magnificent setup.

Setting off - Mike and Erics kites beside me

Pete's and Stu's kite setting up

Tarren and Mike with Somers in the background

Eric and Stu setting off

Anthony in the overtaking lane

Shot taken right in the middle of a forward 360

Backroll transition with hand in the water

Showing Mike how to stack with conviction

Front grab

Near the Flinders pier

Stu in the background on the way back from Flinders.  If you look in the background you can make out Eric and Anthony - way out in the channel.

Best waves (and best flatwater) were around Pt Leo - second reef had some nice waves going on by the time we returned and the tide was a bit higher

Tucking in to one and praying for a barrel

I'll be back to Point Leo - particularly if the surf and wind are up


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