Operation Crayweed

Operation Crayweed is working to restore underwater forests of crayweed (scientific name Phyllospora comosa) on the reefs where it once flourished between Palm Beach and Cronulla.

Operation Crayweed logo

During the 1980s crayweed disappeared completely from the metropolitan area. The high volumes of poorly treated sewage that were pumped directly off Sydney’s coastline before the 1990s is the probable cause of its decline.

The aim of Operation Crayweed is to re-establish this seaweed habitat and food source which is essential for Sydney’s coastal marine biodiversity.

The project team have put together a visually impressive and interesting website that is well worth visiting – see Operation Crayweed.


Back to Prince Henry Day – this Saturday 14 March

This coming Saturday 14 March is the annual Back to Prince Henry Day.

Amongst the other activities, this is a great opportunity to visit the wonderful Nursing And Medical Museum and to learn about the history of the Prince Henry Hospital and the development of medicine in Australia.

The museum has a fascinating collection that includes a working iron lung, historical surgical instruments and heritage photographs. Former nurses, members of the Prince Henry Hospital Trained Nurses Association, will be on hand to tell you about the exhibits and their own experiences working in the hospital, to which they feel a very strong attachment.

The museum is at 2 Brodie Avenue, Little Bay and is open 10am – 4pm. All are welcome, it is free, and the museum is wheelchair accessible.

Publication of history of Sydney’s beaches

Caroline Ford’s book Sydney Beaches – A History is about to be published and will be of great interest to all who have an interest in Sydney, its history and its magnificent beaches.

I heard Caroline speak about her research at a Randwick and District Historical Society Saturday History Talk. I know that she is deeply interested in her subject, has done a great deal of research and has collected some wonderful images, so I am sure the book will be one to add to your local and Australian history collection.

Note that a 20% discount offer is currently available when ordering from newsouthbooks – details of how to claim the discount are on the flyer.

Listening to the bay

Often when I swim at Little Bay, early or late in the season and towards evening, I am alone in the water, and there are few people on the beach.

Swimming across the bay with no one to distract me, even on a calm day I notice the constant muffled roar of the swell breaking on the rocky shoreline of the outer bay and on the reef at the mouth of the inner bay.

I decided to try to capture this beautiful, soothing sound – and some of the other sounds of the bay.

I was also influenced by some thoughts expressed by Kev Carmody when interviewed by Richard Fidler on ABC Radio:

Kev: And he [Kev’s aboriginal grandfather] would say things to us:

Boy always listen to the wind. Sound is music.

Richard: It sounds like you get this from your your grandad … who taught you to really listen, really sit down and listen to the land.

Kev: Yep … and when I do stuff in prisons … that’s the thing I say to ’em. And they write it on the prison wall:

Always listen to the wind.

So I bought a sound recorder. Here are some of my first efforts:

Gentle waves lapping on the main beach at sunset; distant roar of surf from the mouth of the bay.

Recorded on the beach at waters edge, 5:19 PM (sunset) on Tuesday 8 August 2014. Length 1:14:


Distant roar of surf from the mouth of the bay; some bird sounds (faint); gentle waves lapping on the main beach.

Recorded from the first landing of the wooden steps at 5:27 PM (sunset) on Sunday 27 July 2014. Length 0:52:


Gentle waves lapping on rock platform; some distant roar of surf from the mouth of the bay; bird sounds (faint) near end.

Recorded from rock platform north of the main beach, at 5:08 PM (sunset) on Sunday 27 July 2014. Length 1:21:

King tide on Sunday 13 July

There will be a king tide at Little Bay on Sunday 13 July. The king high of 2.1 metres will peak at 8:58 PM on Sunday night followed by the king low of 0.1 metres (a full two metres lower) at 3:35 AM on Monday morning.

Unfortunately these times are not suitable for observation. However if you can get to the beach on Monday morning you should be able to observe from the tide line in various places how high the tide rose. Photos I could post on this site would be most welcome.

If we were to receive more rough weather, it might create a storm surge that could push the tide further up the beach than the expected 2.1 metres.

The Sunday afternoon low tide preceding the king high will also be quite low – 0.3 metres at 2:28 PM – and worthy of observation.

For more on king tides, take a look at the Witness King Tides Project.

To view Little Bay tide data, got to Willyweather.

Farewell Shorebirds campaign


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In October and November last year, many Short-tailed Shearwaters (Mutton birds) were found dead on local beaches including Little Bay:

Short-tailed Shearwater (Mutton bird) found dead at Little Bay, November 2013

Short-tailed Shearwater (Mutton bird) found dead at Little Bay, November 2013

An explanation for their demise in such large numbers can be found here.

Every year from late March onwards, thousands of shorebirds leave the shores of Australia to embark on their arduous 10,000 km journey northwards to breeding grounds in Siberia and the Arctic. Late in the year, they make a return journey to their summer habitats in Australia.

If you are interested in learning more about Mutton birds and some of the other 35 migratory Australian shorebird species, BirdLife Australia is organising a nationwide event, Farewell Shorebirds.

Farewell Shorebirds will run from mid-April until mid-May, concluding on World Migratory Bird Day (10 May). The campaign:

  • highlights the captivating story of the shorebirds’ annual global migration from Australia to the Arctic
  • explores why the birds make this incredible journey
  • explains how they rely on Australia’s wetlands, coastlines and estuaries for their survival.

Farewell Shorebirds is an online campaign supported by new and existing on-ground activity. Register online to:

  • farewell Australia’s amazing Shorebirds this April / May
  • follow news of this year’s migration
  • receive weekly webcasts
  • find out about local birding activities
  • enter a draw for prizes.

For more about BirdLife Australia’s work to protect and foster understanding of our shorebirds, see Australia’s national shorebird monitoring program – Shorebirds 2020.

farewell shorebirds logo

Big swell at Little Bay

A big and powerful swell rolled into Little Bay all day on Sunday 16 March.

The following photos were taken two hours after low tide, late on Sunday afternoon (click on any image to view them all in a gallery).

All images © Peter Fagan.

Art and craft exhibition at Prince Henry Centre

Randwick Art Society’s fifth annual art and craft exhibition will be held next weekend at the Prince Henry Centre, 2 Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay.

There will be a wide selection of paintings and quality craft by local artists on exhibit and for sale. Admission is free.

Opening times are:

  • Friday 21st March 10am to 8pm
  • Saturday 22nd March 10am to 5pm
  • Sunday 23rd March 10am to 4pm

On Saturday 2pm to 3pm a ukulele band will be playing.

The exhibition was superb last year – beautiful and high quality painting, photography, pottery and craft on display in a spacious and sunlit gallery.

Prince Henry Centre now has an excellent cafe for those seeking refreshments after viewing the art works.

Could Little Bay be made an Intertidal Protected Area?

I raised the need for steps to be taken to save Little Bay’s marine life in an earlier post and suggested signage to discourage collecting of sea animals. A potentially more enforceable option would be for Little Bay to be made an Intertidal Protected Area (IPA). Long Bay (Malabar) has this status:

Long Bay (Malabar) is an Intertidal Protected Area

Long Bay (Malabar) is an Intertidal Protected Area

I will be contacting Randwick City Council and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries to discuss options.

More about Christo

A bronze scuptural representation of Christo and Jeannne-Claude’s Wrapped Coast has been created by Sydney sculptor Eileen Slarke and installed at Little Bay.

Eileen's sculpture; the sculpture is located between the Chapel and the Community Centre, where there is a view of the headland that was wrapped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Eileen’s sculpture; the sculpture is located between the Chapel and the Community Centre, where there is a panoramic view of the headland that was wrapped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Eileen's sculpture; note how part of the headland that was "wrapped" is visible in the top right hand corner of the sculpture's frame

Eileen’s sculpture; note how part of the headland that was “wrapped” is visible in the top right hand corner of the sculpture’s frame

The caption reads "Remembering Christo and Jeanne-Claude – 1969; note the detail along the bottom of the "frame"

The caption reads “Remembering Christo and Jeanne-Claude – 1969”; note the detail along the bottom of the “frame”

Apparently Eileen has a personal connection with Wrapped Coast, having been one of the volunteers who helped install the work.


When looking at the sculpture, make sure you also look at its “back” side (facing east) – there are three interesting quotes and another small bas relief sculpture of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

For more about Eileen and her sculpture, see the article at www.go55s.com.au

Also, recently noticed in the cliff top at the approximate western end of Wrapped Coast are two large stainless steel eyes set into the sandstone:

Stainless steel eyes, cliff top, north end of Little Bay

Stainless steel eyes, cliff top, north end of Little Bay

Does anyone know if these are a relic of Wrapped Coast – or were they installed more recently by rock climbers?