Sunday, May 3, 2015

Whitsunday Dreaming

 My Route 

 Shute Harbour

(Click on a photo to go to photo view mode )

 View from the backpackers Resort, South Molle

Above and below, sunset from Paddle bay, South Molle

 Panorama shot . Click for large image. 

 View from my small camp on NW Hook Island 

 Hook Island camp1

 Lunch and rest at Maureen's cove, Top of Hook. also got water from a German Yachtie.

 Crayfish Bay camp, Hook.  Slovenians and Soup. 

 My small powermonkey charger does its job and is used for Phone and Mp3 player

 Front hatch: food nets - tuna, cans, plates, jetboil in drybag; sea to summit  rubbish bag etc

Rear hatch: mattress, tent, clothes, backpack , wooden board. 4l water, folding seat

on outside of kayak: large tough drybag with first aid, sleep bag,  jumper, sneakers etc. 

 In the cockpit in between my feet:  large tupperware box with cheese, nutella etc;
4l water;    
small box with fruit 

In the ready bag on top of the cockpit: lotion, vinegar, and this small drybag. Phone in sealed transparent drysac. 

Sunset  Cannondale beach,  Airlie beach 

Wed 22 April - Sat 25

Did a fairly epic 4 day trip with my Sea Kayak. Shute Harbour - sth Molle
Sth Molle to North of Hook Island . Around Hook and back to Shute Harbour.

After a 3 hour paddle from sth Molle to Hayman - wind in back , rested on a small island and had lunch. Landed on Hayman beach hoping to buy something at their mini-mart.... suspecting I might get trouble from security. Legally the zone up to the mean high tide mark is public property... but 5 star resorts like to overlook this... 

So I caused a kerfuffle and was threatened with arrest by head security guard... for "tresspassing" . The Manager then turned up, in suit and all, and calmed things down, suggested one the guards escort me to mini-mart. Where I bought snickers bars, tuna and crisps.  The big Islander guard apologized for the over-reaction of the other guard - saying he had never been out of Australia and was older.... a rather typical example of a certain kind of narrow-minded Queenslander, I'm sorry to say.   

As I was leaving, The Manager asked me all sorts of questions as to how I managed to kayak alone. Told him about my waterprooofed phone, water etc. He was obviously keen for good press, and said they had a Hospital if I needed medical care. 

He was of South African origin, so I could have brought up the Boers - who used guerrilla tactics against the British, and inspired Churchill to form the Commando units in WW2....  we need to get back to some of that pioneering, lateral-thinking and freedom-loving ethos that was the foundation for South Africa, Canada, the USA and Australia.  Or we risk becoming Regimented and governed by heavy handed bureaucrats - like under the British redcoats - which started the war of independence in the fledgling USA. 

Hayman resort is all in whites, with gardens , a big telecom antenna on the hill . And 2 ugly brown buildings on the right ... water purification ? Anyway, not my kind of place...
I prefer Bali-bungalows, wood buildings and green tints that melds into the natural surroundings. 

Reminded me of the "Capitol" in the movie "the Hunger Games"  where the rich and decadent elite in the organise live adventure hunting games between the poor "districts" . And the champion girl rebels. 

 Catniss, The Rebel....
Our Dear Leader, who knows best... Naturally. 

 Hayman Island Resort... or "the Capitol" ?

This movie, as well as "Divergent" both portray futures with totalitarian "utopias" with individual liberty almost non-existent. In a time where un-elected bodies such as the UN and the EU are trying to grab more and more power, it's good to see young people may have some doubts about unfettered centralised power "for the good of all"  . I think it was the Nazi line that they wanted to "unite" Europe.  

The episode on Hayman gave me the uncomfortable feeling of being in a fascist dictatorship. A few days before April 25, which celebrates ANZAC day, where the soldiers of the new colonies surprised the British with their fighting spirit and innovative tactics. Have we gone full circle ? Australia is looking more and more like a soft dictatorship, with regulations governing smoking and other minutae that would shock the ANZACs, And with fairly rigid classes or castes, a la "brave new world".  The Academic class in particular is becoming more and more divorced from reality, and exist in an ivory tower echo chamber, where the real world seldom makes an appearance. 

Exactly the kind of regime the Anzacs were fighting in Europe - first Bismarckian socialism in WW1 then National Socialism in WW2. 

From a slight sore throat on sth Molle, 
Got a nasty chesty cough as I camped on Hook, spitting up yellow gobs.  Great sunset - as shown above. Had lunch at Maureen's cove. some ok snorkeling, but I think it's better at Manta ray bay , where I did not stop. Thought I might refill water at streams, but they were barely flowing. So paddled out to a catamaran - the "medianoche" from Italy with a German lady Yachtie who was glad to refill my two 4l water bottles. 
Note to self: a small water filter - squeeze bottle style is useful as a backup. 

Lots of tourist boats at the top end of Hook. Best to snorkel early morning or late afternoon. 

The next night was at Crayfish bay on N East of Hook.  Met some friendly Slovenian campers (Barbara and Taddei)  who had been dropped off by Scamper water taxi and were snorkeling every day.  They offered me some vegetable soup and also some antibiotics, which calmed the virus. Felt a lot better the next day.  Still tired tho.  

Paddled from 1200 to 1930 with breaks - about 6.5 hrs of paddling, back to Shute habour by moonlight...   I had food left, but the weather report indicated strong winds for Sunday.  It turned out to be calm Sunday anyway. 

Was impressed with my body's ability to keep going Sat, despite virus fatigue.  I was counting strokes on the long passage across from Whitsunday island to the south end of Sth Molle island. But stopped after 1000... I also sang tunes to keep concentrated. 

After a short rest on one of the tiny islands sth of Sth Molle, I traversed easily to Shute harbour in the moonlight. I do love moonlight crossings -  less heat and somehow calming. 

unpacked the kayak, loaded it up and drove to the pub, where I had a large chicken parma... and a beer.  Well deserved. 

Next time I'll investigate the East coast of Whitsunday - some bushwalks, and bays tourist boats rarely get to.