March 2021 - basically a report about nothing.

This 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 and totally pulled the rudder apart to modify it in the other one as well as installing a mast step where she could reach it.

Then 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 coming home.

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.

So 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.

Seeing 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.

Picking up Toby in Launceston.

Little Musselroe Bay.

Camped in the grounds of the shack we regularly use with Liz Ponting's permission.

We 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.

My brand new Sea Leopard - Kermit.

Heading home.

A very short paddle, without a spraydeck.

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