Westward Ho!

Thursday 9 January 2014

From Clarke most sea kayakers cross the notorious currents of Banks Strait, finishing at Little Musselroe Bay in remote north-east Tasmania.  We had set Devonport as our goal.  Despite the extended stay on Flinders, we still had plenty of time to head that direction.  Instead of coming out of Spike Cove and continuing south, we pointed our bows to the west and took aim for an island 50km away.

Madness!

I did consider this plan totally daft.  Why volunteer for yet another long open water crossing with no possible landing when we could reach Tasmania in half that distance?  There’s no logical answer to this, other than it was there, and we could do it.  Weather conditions allowed it, we had sought and received permission to land on the island ahead, and personally, I knew I was up for it.  After everything I had already done, I was confident in my ability to sit in the kayak seat for a 50km crossing.

Calculations had determined that 11 o’clock was the best time to depart, the tide turning our way.  Yet we were ready and eager to leave by 10 o’clock so off we set.  The GPS reveals a slight bow in our path, caused by the tides sucking us back in the wrong direction.  It didn’t matter, the winds were blowing from behind and we let loose our sails.  The waters of Banks Strait proved an interesting place to kayak, occasional tidal races appearing with white caps offering more challenging moments.

There’s not a lot to see out there.  The wind farms on Cape Portland provided a marker against which to note our passage, then the land disappears further into Ringarooma Bay and we continue, ever onwards until we arrive on the only beach on the island.  Harry strips all off and dives into the wind-blown waves in a mad moment of delight while I wander looking for a campsite, observing the resident Cape Barren geese.

This place is a special slice of heaven and we are most grateful to the owner for sharing it with us.

Clarke to Waterhouse

Onwards from Clarke Island

Onwards from Clarke Island

Crossing Bass Strait

Trip Day 17

Paddling Day 7

Thursday 9 January 2014

Distance covered:

Launched:

Landed:

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