Monday, November 26, 2012

Whitsunday Passage Crossing

From Shute Harbour to Denman island, spent the night on the island. Then crossed over the 5km or so "Whitsunday passage" wind against me partly, which made the crossing long and fairly demanding. Long break for lunch in the spot pictured above on Whitsunday island. Hot !!! shade is a must when there is so much glare from the sand.... putting up a tarpaulin or even a pyramid tent is recommended.... to avoid getting tired and irritable due to the glare,sun, heat.   siesta over 12-2 or 3 pm recommended... 

Also re-hydration powder, Gatorade style recommended. 
I snorkelled a bit, then packed stuff away and circumnavigated the small island just north of me :

Cid island. I pass yachts and wave. Some yachts moored in the natural harbours on Whitsunday itself. 
saw a very large turtle - 1.4 m or so .  Then back across to Denman, break, then back to Shute Harbour.
Good fun and gives me confidence for longer trips with swell etc.  Need to acquire a 2nd expedition Kayak so I can take friends out.. 

Australian Geo article on camping and paddling the Whitsundays:

Bryan says that the Ngaro developed a distinctive art style that can still be seen in paintings on the sea trail. “In fact, the whole southern end of Hook Island is littered with caves and sites, all around Macona and Nara inlets,” he says. “Nara probably has eight or nine caves with paintings and artefacts.” I ask him whether there were ever any permanent settlements on the islands. “The most prominent indigenous campsite was Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Island, which was used as a campsite all year round,” he says. Analysis of middens in this region have revealed that fish, crabs, turtles, shellfish, marsupials, reptiles and birds were all part of the traditional diet, along with many edible plants. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kayaking the Whitsundays - Liberty in a Paradise of Islands

Camping and trying not to be eaten by large ants... in this particular campsite.
View of the mainland 45 minutes by Kayak from South Molle:
 Camping overnight on Denman island... solitude, beautiful coral beach, Sunset.:

 Denman island, as seen from  South Molle island.

Another weekend; camp on mid-Molle island. Great Sunset.

 And a Transcendental Full Moon with a path....

(click on a photo for a larger version) 

Really getting hooked on Sea Kayaking...

The last few weekends, I've been driving to Airlie beach and kayaking, 2 or 3 days at a time. Sleeping on random beaches or on small National Parks camping areas.
The Whitsundays is great because it has a diversity - 1star to 5 star resorts, camp areas, wilderness. Some really cute small islands that I camped on. Bushwalks up hilltops, Aboriginal paintings.
And lots of marine life - crystal clear water, coral, turtles. Even saw a whale 600m away one sunday evening as I returned to the mainland. Big thing the size of a truck, blowing air up and travelling around Daydream island.
Was quite awesome and breathtaking... to see this big powerful thing diving and surfacing, the spray being puffed up in a big spurt. 

Sea Kayaking is a bit like backpacking at sea... plus you get speed thrills when you get pushed around a point by the wind and waves, whooshing past the rocks and trees. Or when you are doing a 7km crossing and the waves make half the kayak come out of the water before crashing down the other side.
And there is no better way to get up close with marine life...

I have a mobile phone, which works in most of the area, and an Indigo telecom Satellite phone just in case.
I can also bring my kindle and read books when on shore.  I sleep in a hammock, or on the ground with a mattress  sleep bag and bivi bag.  Small gas cooker, tuna, wraps, some freeze dried food.  carry 9l of water in supermarket containers. All goes in the hatches in drybags, with one drybag behind me, on the outside of the kayak.

One could do this for weeks, with the only real cost being food... and the occasional stay in a cabin for a bit of luxury.

Brings me back to my roots as a Bohemian Libertarian Warrior in nature...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Townsville, Magnetic island etc

In Feb, drove up to Townsville. I enjoy living in the tropics, with huge beaches a stone's throw away, Maggie island one of my favourite Aus places , Mission beach and all the waterfalls and intense jungle walks between Townsville and Cairns.

Went around Magnetic with my Kayak - 1.5 days, sleeping on the beach at horseshoe bay. More adventures planned with this kayak... ideal way to travel with everything in the hatches, no roads, only cost is food.
(click on a photo for a larger version)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quick summary Dec 2011-Feb 2012

Dec met up with le grand frere and stayed in Warrumbungles nat park for 5 days, doing most of the peaks and walks. Good weather. Also visited the Anglo-Australian observatory which has the biggest mirror in Aus and has had several first observations.
Then Bega to visit my friend Bernard in the house of character Heinola, then Blue mnts , then up to the Qld border to visit nat parks I've never been to: Bald rock and Giraween Nat park.  The last is a big one, with many wildflowers, creek to swim in and 2 huge granite boulders called the Pyramids. Great Australian camping with creek swims, kangaroos, campfires with sausages, bush campsites. Was great to renew with my hippie side and travel for a month in the van without any real schedule, after a fairly busy year in the Army  and being online last summer - limiting my travel options.