Port Beach to North Cottesloe via several surf breaks, 13.2km, 2 hours
|7am, Port Beach.|
It was an early start, with thoughts of the Narrows to Fremantle until a last-minute text message from M4P arrived saying he couldn't come, and so without the required fourth car to do the car shuffle, we decided on an ocean paddle from Port Beach. And with that decision, what a magic hand the fickle finger of fate dealt us.
The car park was absolutely chockers when we got there at 7am, so full in fact that Travis had to put in some way north because he couldn't find a spot. Luckily Westy and I managed to park and it wasn't long before we were paddling north to join Travis at a leisurely pace. It was steaming hot even at this early hour and the day promised to be as brutal as the previous day's 41 degrees. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the water temperature felt like it was about 27 degrees, and as we looked at the vista of beaches before us we thought about everyone that had to work today, and how it sucked to be them. Those who thought that life particularly sucks were the crew of the sheep ship berthed at Fremantle that was quite obviously at least partly laden with its unfortunate cargo, as the stench attested to...
Westy, fresh from his work trip to Istanbul was raving about the place as we paddled North, and in particular his trip to Gallipoli and his other trip to Troy. Curiously, no mention of enhanced Gorilla Biscuit-making techniques or recipes came out...
|Travis the Beetle and Westy|
There was a nice little reef break near the Beach St groyne, but after a few dismal attempts to catch a wave whilst paddling into a stiff 15kt Easterly, Westy and I were dismissed by Travis the Beetle and made our way up to check out the beautiful people of Cottesloe.
Just off Cottesloe Beach we were joined by a pod of dolphins for about 5 minutes, with the mammals initially looking like bastard sharks swimming underneath the ski, and it was a great feeling just to sit and watch them for a bit, right outside the Indiana Tea House. There was all sorts of stuff going on at Cottesloe, from Nipper contests to the massively-shite Havianas pool float world record attempt, where a gazillion people form a daisy chain of tools on floating Havianas thongs. I know I hate sharks but....
On the way back south, we were again joined by our dolphin mates, as Westy and I, with moderate success, attempted to keep pace with a couple of chaps on Think Evo ocean racers. Having picked up Travis, we all enjoyed the human scenery along the length of Leighton Beach, paddling very close to shore, with many calls of 'Mine's alright, but I don't fancy yours much, fnarr fnarr' coming straight out of Viz magazine. Oddly, I'm pretty sure I heard the same words being spoken on the beach...
It was about at this time that we saw a dog about 20 metres ahead, swimming some distance out from the beach. We headed towards him, and just as we got here some blokes head popped out of the water about 30 centimetres from Westy, scaring the crap out of both of them. After a few choice words from Aquaman, we continued on.
A further attempt to catch a wave in didn't end well for me, as the nose dug in, I skewed sideways and was thrown out, losing my beloved tattered yellow cap and sunnies to King Neptune. A brief search of the beach failed to produce anything, so with a heavy heart I put back in and continued south, welcoming the sun burn I was feeling, in self-flagellation for stupidly losing my prized possession.
As we arrived back at Port Beach I was pretty sure that the burglars in Balga must have been having a great time because it looked like everyone in Perth was on this beach. Threading my way through the throng carefully I spotted an opening and sped through towards the beach, only to have a family of four come out of nowhere, yelling 'Banzai' and throw themselves in front of the ski in a kamikaze charge that ended like you would expect a kamikaze charge to end.
Dead set, it was an outstanding paddle (notwithstanding my missing hat!) and only happened because the fickle finger of fate intervened - thanks Fate!
Travis bailed when we got back, admitting with a squeak that he is a mouse, rather than a man, and showing us Mrs T's thumb print, clearly visible on his forehead. Of course with Mrs Blue and the tin lids still in England, I am able to make remarks like this...
With vultures following us through the car park, we exited stage right to the Beach St cafe in Fremantle for a well-needed breakfast.
Beach St Cafe, err...Beach St, Fremantle, 93357208
|Photo courtesy of lovefreo.com because I forgot to take one.|
Westy had been here for brekky not so long ago, and it came with a strong recommendation. The menu is on a blackboard as you walk in, and we ordered at the counter. There was a mix of cyclists, people with dogs (this is a dog-friendly place), families and shedloads of those really irritating small flies.
Westy ordered his customary Eggs Benedict ($18.50), and I ordered Eggs Atlantic ($18.50), which was scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and spinach in it with a side of avocado, and sitting on a toasted baguette, with Hollandaise sauce. The Eggs Benny was huge, with lashings of thick bacon supporting the poached eggs. Westy remarked that it was more like a Big Breakfast with Hollandaise on it. My Eggs Atlantic wasn't quite as big, but the eggs were tasty, so much more so because the spinach was simply added to the mix rather than boiled to within an inch of its life like it was last week in South Perth. Unfortunately, the baguette was burnt, and the one teaspoon of jarred Hollandaise didn't do the dish any favours. The mug of flat white wasn't the best I've had, but certainly wasn't the worst, and I was more interested in the ice-cold ginger beer at the time.
|Westy's Eggs Benedict|
Service was prompt, although a bit of a dump-and-run style, but then again its that sort of place. If you want witty repartee from a waitress then you probably have a few issues to address, as well as a removal to arrange...
In the end, it wasn't bad. The portion sizes were good, service quick and it was just what was needed after a paddle. With a little more care and attention (and more Hollandaise), Beach st could score much higher. 6.5/10