Kayaks resting

Ready for Bass Strait

That’s what it’s about, trust.  Look at those two kayaks, leaning against the cabin.  I mean, really?  They’re going to be up for Bass Strait? Look at them, two bits of fibreglass, just over ten years old each of them, and we’re going to take them onto some of the most treacherous waters off the Australian coastline?  Yep, we did meet a few who questioned us, yet they only hear of Bass Strait when things go wrong.  We both trusted our sea kayaks and each other.

Trust me

Trust me

Always thought that when I’d be crossing Bass Strait I’d be mega-prepared.  You know, every t crossed and every i dotted.  I’d be super-skilled and super-set.  But here I was, day before departure and my first practice pack.  It was my need to show Harry that he could trust me that made me finally get it done.  It’s scary, wondering, then checking that it all fits.  This makes it real, removes another layer of surreality that hovers.  Harry was spending the day in the car, shuffling it to Melbourne.  I’d best show I was ready.

Time to prove it fits

Time to prove it fits

It fitted.  I wandered off to the cafe in the general store at Port Welshpool.  Harry returned.  So unready was I that this is the first time my new Skwoosh gel pad gets fitted in the kayak seat.  Yep, I’m about to hit Bass Strait and I don’t even know if my seat is comfortable enough for those big crossings.  And if it wasn’t, I’d be seriously hurting and causing problems for us both.

Last minute fit-outs

Last minute fit-outs

With a strong wind forecast for D-day, I put my faith and trust in Harry, despite all my inner qualms.  We were far from our usual Sydney waters with ready access to comms and rescue, the water was colder, the stakes were higher.  Even as we moved our gear from cabin to beach and loaded the kayaks, it took trust in my paddling partner for me to set aside my doubt and go for it.

Small and scared

Small and scared


Bass Strait – the statistics

IMG_2168 (2)

Two kayakers: Dee and Harry

Kayaks: Dee – Mirage 530; Harry – Mirage 580; both kayaks fitted with sails

Monday 23 December, 2013: launched Port Welshpool, Victoria

Thursday 16 January, 2014: landed Devonport, Tasmania

Total trip days: 25

Total paddling days: 13

Distance covered: 505km

Shortest paddling day: 11km

Longest paddling day: 66km

Route taken:

Port Welshpool – Refuge Cove, Wilsons Prom – Hogan Island – Winter Cove, Deal Island – Killiecrankie, Flinders Island – Trousers Point, Flinders Island – Cape Barren Island – Spike Cove, Clarke Island – Waterhouse Island – Bridport, Tasmania – Weymouth – Tamar River mouth – Narawntapu National Park – Devonport