The Farseers over at the Australian Weather News had warned us that our weekend in Jervis Bay would be a wash out. Typical Easter Weekend weather we were told. With that in mind we planned our Saturday accordingly. Huskisson was the largest town in the area and had a motley collection of cafes, shops, museums and even a small cinema to keep us occupied for the day. In our back pocket we had a bay cruise if the waves were not too vicious. Not a bad plan.
We woke that morning to birds chirping and the light sound of the waves crashing on Callala Beach.A slight odor from the lingering Red Tide filled our nostrils. What our ears failed to register was the pitter patter of rain and the banshee roar of high winds. John went to the curtains and drew them back slightly – immediately spears of light flew into the room. It was sunny? Where was our ‘Irish Summer’ weather? The Weather Farseer’s were wrong. Somewhere in the South of England Michael Fish was having a quiet chuckle.
Suns out Guns out!
With our drastic change in weather forecast we decided to ditch our day of rain dodging and plan a day in the sun. But first we needed breakfast. Porridge or Muesli would not suffice and as soon as the aroma of sausages came wafting up to us on the balcony we knew where we must go….to the village fair across the road.
Sated, we packed up the car with beach gear and donned our sunblock. Our destination would still be Huskisson but with a much brighter outlook for the day. It was only a short drive to Huskisson but as we descended down the hill to get there we noticed quite a lot of traffic. The culprit soon revealed itself to be the Jervis Bay Easter Fair and it was causing havoc with traffic and parking. We were faced with our first challenge of the weekend but Karen pulled a master stroke when she spotted the Maritime Museum and parked the car there. To keep up the pretense she went inside and enquired about local information and even got given a bag with brochures. Parking sorted.
The fair, or by its official name – The Jervis Bay Lions Club White Sands Festival – Huskisson was held in the town’s sports ground. There were over 100 stalls selling everything from number plates to hot cross buns. There was even a wee caravan selling scottish delights such as Irn Bru and square sausage that was under siege from a group of heavy set gentlemen from one of the nearly dozen piping bands that were also in attendance. “Piece and sausage there hen”
One of the highlights was the selection of vintage cars that included a red ‘Hot Rod’ and a Royal Enfield motorcyle with sidecar that might have seen some action in El Alamein.
After checking out the fair we strolled into the main strip of Huskisson and came across a shop selling boat tours around the bay. Before we knew it we had two tickets on a boat tour for 40% Discount thanks to a combination of crap sales haggling techniques from the girl behind the counter and the fact that all visitors to the Maritime Museum get a heavy discount. She had seen the bag Karen had under her arm and since we were not asked a direct question like. ‘did you go the museum?’, we just acted dumb.
The tour we chose was one of the smaller boats and when we saw the competition in the dock we were laughing as the rest of them looked like party boats in Magaluff.
Jervis Bay is home to a pod of around 120 bottle-nosed dolphins so we would definately see some on this trip. Not like all those excursions out into Dingle Harbour to “hopefully” get a glimpse of Fungie (a solitary bottlenose dolphin). That said we were not prepared for the reality. Swimming alongside our boat and jumping in and out of the water was a group of 20 dolphins, mums and calfs and a few adult males.
After a great display from the dolphins we continued hugging along the bay and right out to the sea. Our furthest reach was to see the cliffs on Beecroft Peninsula and the historic Point Perpendicular Peninsula which sits atop very steep sandstone cliffs that seem to rise out of the ocean like behemoths. While we passed by there were a number of rock climbers taking their chances with the descent. The majority of the peninsula lies dormant as its mainly used as a gunnery range for the Australian Navy.
On our way back to Huskisson our attention was drawn towards the many caves that exist along the coast and some of the old fashioned torpedo tubes that were installed in World War 2.
Back on dry land we made our way around to Huskisson Beach and had a picnic and planned our final full day in the area over sandwiches and apple slices. We finished the night with some arts and crafts – creating name places for our upcoming wedding.