Friday 10, Saturday 11 January 2014
We start slowly, the weather couldn’t be more perfect, the distance a mere 30km. Retracing our steps back to the kayaks, we laugh as we load.
This is IT… the day we “cross” Bass Strait, our time to land on the mainland of Tasmania.
Our launch spot couldn’t be more heaven-sent, such a pristine place. We follow the lines of the island for as long as we can, once we leave it there is little until we reach our destination, Bridport. Wide open blue sky, flat wide blue sea – this is Bass Strait in another mood. We spy a kayak and divert to have a chat with a local kayaker out on a fishing trip for the day. I insist on a silly photo and video shoot, just to prove that Bass Strait isn’t all about life-threatening waves and intimidating winds.
The Furneaux Explorer tracks slighter closer to us to check us out as she heads to her home port of Bridport.
With such you-beaut conditions we head directly across Anderson Bay to Bridport, a long dune-backed beach to our left, Bass Strait shining to our right. Finally, the gap closes and I spend those last ten kilometres reflecting on the past few weeks: the crossings, the challenges, the discoveries. It has been quite an adventure.
We reach the busy beaches of Bridport and cruise along, hoping to find one without too many holiday-goers. We choose one, luckily it turns out to be the beach closest to our contact’s home.
Driving the bow onto the wet sands, I cheer – Bass Strait crossed.
Jeff finds us, gathers us up along with all our gear, brings us to his home, shows us the hose and the clothesline, leaves us to unpack, sort and clean while he orders pizza and opens a bottle of chilled white – this is a man who truly knows sea kayakers and their needs! Not surprising this, given Jeff is a Tasmanian sea kayaking legend who combines his love of photography with the ability to reach some remote and stunning locations.
We take a rest day with Jeff and are treated to a tour of north-east Tasmania – a local art gallery-cafe, a scenic lavender farm and the local club.
Crossing Bass Strait
Trip Days 18 & 19
Paddling Day 8
Friday 10 January 2014
Distance covered: 30km
Rest day: Saturday 11 January 2014