Friday 7 November – Preparing
I spent the night at Bronwen’s, arriving late, in readiness for our kayaking trip tomorrow.
Saturday 8 November – Extreme Kayaking
Bronwen and I were up bright and early, and got a lift with Trevor out to Victoria Point, where we met up with the other kayakers and set up our kayaks, before setting out to Stradbroke Island. As the wind was blowing quite strongly the wrong way, we tried to keep behind other islands, ending up kayaking around 18 kilometres, half of which was against the tide, and against 30 knot gusts. I was totally exhausted and would have pulled out had I been able to, but it was every man for themselves so I had to keep on going or risk being lost on some tiny mangrove swamp without phone reception with no one else knowing where I was, though two people did manage to pull out and make it to shore. The lowlight of the day was getting stuck in metre and a half deep mud, and having to spend the better part of an hour getting ourselves and our kayaks across a mere hundred metres of it. Each step sunk down a metre and a half, and I couldn’t help wonder what might be living down there, and was quite worried about the sharp-looking shells that looked very capable of causing bad cuts. As it ended out, no one was cut badly, though I did end up with a few minor cuts on my feet and something stung my hand.
Eventually, sore and tired (and last), I got to the beach we were camping at, set up camp, and, well, camped. It rained a little bit, and Bronwen and my tent leaked a little bit, but it was only a little problem.
Sunday 9 November – Kayaking Home
After the gruelling row yesterday, I was very sore and worried I wouldn’t be able to make it back. Winds were gusting at 30 knots and it was decidedly choppy, though they were crosswinds rather than headwinds this time. We took the straight route back, rowing around 10 kilometres in a couple of hours. My hands were bruised from yesterday, and my shoulders quite sore, but the row back was significantly easier than the row there, and we made good time. 28 kilometres of kayaking, against the tide, through waist deep mud, and into 30 knot winds wasn’t what I thought I was getting myself into, but succeeding in a challenge is good.
Bronwen and I had a lovely curry from Halim’s for dinner.