Wednesday 1 January 2014
I don’t think the New Year even registered. We were intent on taking this opportunity, there was a break in the strong westerly winds, one day when we could dash down the coast of Flinders Island before the westerlies came in again.
Stealing away from Killiecrankie Bay
Leaving the beach just after 5.00am as the sun began to illuminate the eastern sky felt like stealing out of town. I wondered what our friends would think when they came down to the beach for their morning walk. They’d been keeping a kind eye on us; glad when we moved the kayaks off the sand and higher up the sand bank out of the way of the high tides, happy on really crazy windy days when we hadn’t left, and now we’d be gone.
Leaving Killiecrankie Bay we turned west and headed along the northern shores of Flinders Island. As we neared Cape Frankland I observed a long line of single breakers from the Cape to the north. My head does me in every time and I began imagining the worst. Mental calm prevailed and I decided that this line of scary waves was further out and we’d be skirting inside it. Of course we didn’t and before I realised it we were bouncing through some exciting waters. And as always, I settled, told my mind to chill and focussed on relaxing my body in the kayak and doing what I do best, just paddling, picking a line through the rough seas and working my way around the cape and into the calmer waters on the other side. Harry, naturally, didn’t even notice the challenge of the waters, he smiled and relished the fun!
Arriving at lovely Roydon Island we stopped for a break. After all the long crossings, offwater pee breaks felt like luxury! We checked out the hut which had two decent looking water tanks as well as contact details provided inside by locals close by on Flinders. They were happy to provide water, so long as you were able to cross over to Flinders that is.
Brief break in the westerlies
On we journeyed, heading south now along the west side of Flinders. I’d been imagining this part of our journey for a long time, expecting to hop from sandy beach to sandy beach, lazy mornings, short days, afternoon rests, perhaps even visiting the outlying islands en route. Sadly this was not to be. With a brief break in the westerlies our destination was Trousers Point, and with a strong wind change forecast for later in the day we couldn’t afford to be complacent.
One more pitstop on a pretty little beach and then the Strzelecki Range became our backdrop for the rest of the paddle, Mount Strzelecki growing its own cloudtop (which we later experienced from the inside). The winds picked up from the north, the tide turned, our sails were unfurled and our speed increased. Landing on the calm waters of the little beach at Trousers Point was welcome after a long day, the peace of the local seas not quite appreciated until about an hour later when the winds whooshed in and the bay turned into a whitecap maelstrom.
Landed on Roydon
Very grateful for an offwater stop on Roydon
Paddling south along Flinders Island west coast
Another wonderful offwater stop
Mount Strzelecki with its own cloudroll
Arriving at the little beach
Trousers Point: calm before the winds arrive
Killiecrankie Bay to Trousers Point
A long day on the water
Crossing Bass Strait
Trip Day 10
Paddling Day 5
Wednesday 1 January 2014
Distance covered: 58km