Strahan to Hobart (Nearly anyway).
By Lawrence Geoghegan with comments by the other two on the trip.
In January (2003) this year Andrew Mcauley, Paul Loker and my self paddled our kayaks from Strahan on the West Coast of Tasmania and were trying to reach our destination of Hobart in the south.
Myself in my Pittarak, Andrew in his Nadgee and Paul in his Mirage.
The trip started as an idea of mine. I lived as a child in Zeehan on the West Coast of Tassie and Geeveston in the South. I thought the idea of paddling around the outside to link the two was a great idea for a trip. I put feelers out on the NSW sea kayak club’s chat line and in the magazine, I had asked for people who had the skill and fortitude to take a trip like this on. Continue reading
Pittaraks in South Georgia
By Wade Fairley
The barometer was plummeting and the heavy sea mist had rolled up out of the south west quickly blotting out the sun and casting the world in a uniform steel gray light . Huge southern rollers swept up in relentless rows out of the south west. Here at 56 degrees south, the southern ocean literally belts around the bottom of the globe and aside from a few tiny sub Antarctic islands like South Georgia, there is no land mass to block the path of these massive waves. The huge southern ocean bommers gather momentum and power then explode with terrible force against South Georgia’s rocky cold shores.
We steered our Pittaraks through a thin channel between the cliffs of a small rocky island and the mainland. A huge grounded ice berg partially blocked the narrow lead. To go around the island would add a couple more kilometres of paddling, so we opted to try and sneak by the grounded ice tower. The heaving swell burst against the glistening ice blue slick walls. Angus had the lead, the fastest of the three of us . We each paddled five-metre single kayaks, Angus and I in Pittaraks. These were boats that two years before we had taken to the Antarctic peninsula. And kayaks we knew we could thoroughly rely upon for serious expedition paddling like South Georgia. Continue reading
Freycinet Peninsula April 2004
Richard Harbury, John “Big Red” Worth
We set off in Johns’ car, he had both kinds of music, Country and Western. Luckily I was aware of this likelihood and brought my own. The map provided to find the Ferry Terminal in Sydney was completely wrong so we drove around a bit, saying “We want to be over there I think.” Stumbled into the terminal eventually, many of the Targa Tasmania cars waiting to go over also. Lots of posturing and preening evident, and from the rally competitors as well.
Set off a bit late, but as we were sitting on the back deck in 30 degree heat sucking back Cascade we accepted this with alacrity. We discovered that our ship, “Spirit of Tasmania III”, was actually bought second hand from Greece, apparently no longer being sufficiently seaworthy to bimble around the Greek Islands. This was of no concern to us who had more pressing matters to attend to, namely getting another round and ogling the (female) purser.
The First Officer addressed us over the tannoy to tell us a mild crossing with 4 metre swell was predicted. After a pleasant dinner and 10 or so beers we retired to our bunks.
23 March – 4 April 2006
By James Castrission
On the first day of this epic 350km crossing we were inches away from being swallowed by two container ships. After playing chicken with these moving steel islands, we were greeted by a 6-8m breaking swell on the second day. Naively, we thought that it couldn’t get any more exciting. How hideously wrong can one be? On our sixth day, we were cunningly hunted by a pack of tiger sharks as we approached Flinders Island. Our Bass Strait Crossing provided its fair share of harrowing moments as is expected in this notoriously violent stretch of ocean.
Um…..No. Sorry to disappoint, but this is a story of two young mates, a Pittarak double kayak and our team mascot Mr Penguin who successfully crossed Bass Strait via the “Eastern route”. Surprisingly, there are 28 islands between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Our course linked 4 of these islands, with the largest distance between two of them being 72km. This route is crowded by at least 3 parties of kayakers each summer.
CROSSING BASS STRAIT
Four friends, Jonathan Papalia, Judd Boeker, Anthony Buykx and David Southwell had talked about kayaking across Bass Strait for a long time. The plan began formulating almost immediately after three of them had completed a kayak journey from Cape York, Australia across to Papua New Guinea, five years earlier. All are experienced kayakers with many years of marathon kayak racing and ocean kayaking between them. But Bass Strait was to be the biggest challenge. The goal was to kayak four individual Pittarak kayaks without sails from mainland Australia to mainland Tasmania via the eastern route connecting distant islands before passing down the west coast of Flinders Island.
With weather reports received during the drive to the southern coast of Victoria indicating strong north-easterly winds the planned start at Tidal River for a kayak around Wilsons Promontory to Refuge Cove was switched to a longer kayak from Port Welshpool (on the other side of Wilson Promontory) to Five Mile Beach then onto Refuge Bay which would be sheltered from the strong north-easterly wind.
The Sydney to Hobart Kayak Trip by Simeon Michaels.
Reaching out for a better future.
Fun in a wave
In the Summer of 2007, I paddled from Sydney to Hobart. The 2000km, 2½ month trip was dedicated to raising awareness about a pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley in Northern Tasmania. If it proceeds, the mill will consume 5 million tonnes of forest every year, pollute the air, and pump billions litres of dioxin-laden effluent into the crystal waters of the Bass Strait – not something a kayaker (or anyone else for that matter) wants to see. My trip also raised money to advocate for sustainable alternatives to the proposed mill– the future that Tasmania deserves.
The trip website http://www.paddlewithsim.com/ records the adventure, with stories about sharks, storms, crossing the Bass Strait and coping with the challenges that inevitably arise on a trip of that length. The site also allows you to sign the petition against Gunns proposed pulp mill. Check it out.
South West Tasmania February 2007
Rob Casamento, Richard Harbury, Cam and Mick Robertson
To view information relating to ocean swell and weather conditions during this trip, click on the following link Download wave rider info
During the last two weeks of February the four of us paddled nearly 300km from Macquarie Heads to Cockle Creek along the South West Tassie coast. There were no roads between our start and finish point, and no people save a few fishermen and some South Coast walkers on the last stretch. This was a fabulous trip, and although words and pictures could never do it justice, here are some of the highs and lows.