We woke to torrential rain. Would our plans be spoilt?
Half our friends were doing the difficult Mt Gower climb. Others were joining us on the boat trip to the iconic Balls Pyramid.
The weather (mainly wind) has been so bad that the trip has been constantly cancelled over the past few weeks. The rain definitely put a dampener on it but after a quick phone call – it was on!
Balls Pyramid is composed of nearly horizontally-bedded lava flows, the remnants of a volcanic plug formed in a former vent of a volcano. It is about 21 km from Lord Howe and is 551 m high and 1 km long.
Steve decided to swim the distance to the jetty to save him the 2 km walk. I walked in the rain. But by the time I got there at 7.30 it was clearing.
Steve came swimming in much to the amusement of our fellow travellers! He climbed up the jetty steps, dried off, got changed into dry gear and we all boarded the boat.
He needn’t have worried about dry clothes. The rain started! Out came the rain jackets and for me a poncho as well. Our seats at the back near the open sided boat meant we got not just the blowing rain but the spray as the boat hit wave after wave.
A half an hour into the trip I was seriously wondering why I had come. It was so tough and soooooo wet.
The trip was nearly aborted but the captain decided we looked hardy enough to press on. So at the end of LH we headed towards Balls Pyramid 22km away in open water. Luckily the rain stopped, the sun struggled through and it was a lot more comfortable.
We could see the rock rising out of the water shrouded in clouds. In 1964 as a 20 year old Dick Smith along with some friends sailed to LHI and attempted to climb Balls Pyramid. They didn’t make it.
It was successfully climbed a year later by some Sydney climbers.
Dick Smith returned in 1980 and made it.
The sun shone through just as the snorkelers entered the water. I couldn’t resist so I got in with no wet suit. It wasn’t too cold and I found myself swimming along with big yellow fish and even spotted a shark. It was just a smallish Galapagos shark. Nothing to worry about.
Back onto the boat and with dolphins swimming alongside us it was a smooth trip back. We went around the rest of the island stoping at the base of Mt Gower.
Oh those poor climbers. Today was not a good day for climbing what is known as a fairly difficult climb. Part of it has ropes that you must use to pull yourself up.
Today we met John, a swimmer from Sydney, who had the bruises to prove he had done the climb.
We arrived back fairly dry so stopped for coffee at Anchorage, one of the few restaurants here on Lord Howe.
We’d missed lunch at Pinetrees but they very kindly got us a bowl of the Asian style broth with chicken. Delicious. We had two big bowls so shared with Graham & Gail who we’d met on the boat. Poor Gail was not a good sailor. It was so rough she needed the sick bag so thoughtfully provided !
An afternoon swim and then it was drinks time. Time passes easily on island time.
We met some more lovely people at sunset drinks. Jenny & Bill from Glebe. Lots of fun.
Dinner was once again amazing. The nicest Japanese style eggplant. Yum.followed by swordfish for me pork belly for Steve.
Dessert was a crème caramel with citrus served with a smile by Lisa.
Our new friends Graham & Gail left a little Cherry Ripe chocolate on our placement. A thank you for sharing our lunch. Lovely Swedish Lisa laughingly called them grandma chocolate- they don’t need much chewing!
Congratulations to Helen , AnneMaree, Greg and several other brave souls who made it up Mr Gower. It can’t have been easy.