whole proposed trip to Flinders Island was a bit of a nightmare to try
and keep on track, and eventually failed to get off the ground - or to
get into the water at all. The Girl (Sue) said to me early last year
that after our very pleasant trip to Flinders Island in 2014 she wanted
to do it again. I inwardly groaned because I hadn't paddled for 18
months (seriously retired from paddling) and couldn't have paddled out
of sight on a dark night.
So I did start training again and
shortly after met two ladies (Suse and Janet) who were dead keen to
learn about sea kayaking and I suggested they had 9 months to get to
the stage where they could paddle to Flinders Island with us. They both
bought second hand kayaks which needed a fair bit of work by me to make
them comfortable to paddle - a new seat and footrest in one
totally pulled the rudder apart to modify it in the other one
well as installing a mast step where she could reach it.
towards the end of the year Matt joined the trip and so did Toby. There
were constrictions on time as The Girl was still working as was Matt -
and Toby was driving down from northern NSW and had a booking back on
the Spirit of Tasmania. We planned a 2 week trip with another week for
emergencies of bad weather delaying the return crossing of Banks Strait
Suse and Janet pulled out for different reasons so
we were down to 4.. Less than a week before the starting date The
Girl's fiance had to have a biopsy performed for possible cancer so The
Girl could not leave before that result came back - which was after the
start date. The result was negative but we had missed two perfect days
for crossing Banks Strait and the next week was not looking good. There
was just an outside chance that Sunday might be possible but for a much
shorter trip as we had now lost a good part of out emergency week. If
we didn't go Sunday then we wouldn't be going for another week - if
THAT forecast was reliable. Matt pulled out with all this uncertainty
and Mac joined at a days notice because he thought we needed a minimum
of 4 to carry loaded kayaks.
And I have to thank Mac for me even
being anywhere near fit enough as he had paddled with me pretty well
every Wednesday for 8 months. Even so I had been saying for months that
I would need some sort of following wind to get across Banks Strait. I
might still sometimes think I'm still 18 and they are
the correct numbers but reversed.
we drove to Little Musselroe Bay on Saturday for an all or nothing
attempt on Sunday - and the conditions didn't look great when we got
there. This was the first time we had ever got together as a group
although had met each other individually over the years. Very
pleasant evening camping together.
Sunday we were all down on
the beach before sunrise. There actually were slightly less whitecaps
than yesterday but the wind had gone a fraction more northerly. It was
also totally overcast and cool. I announced that I would not be
paddling because if I got into trouble then we would all be in trouble.
It was quite disheartening for Toby who had come so far to take part in
it. If the wind had been a few degrees more southerly, and a couple of
knots less, and had it been a nice sunny day than I may
have made a different decision.
we were here anyway Toby and I did put our kayaks in the water and went
out to sea a bit for 15 minutes but it wasn't comfortable and would
have been hell side on to these waves for 3 or 4 hours.
up Toby in Launceston.
in the grounds of the shack we regularly use with Liz Ponting's
all went to a lot of trouble to prepare for this trip but The Girl went
a bit overboard getting
her own coke labels so no-one would touch HER coke.