ok so we got back from Straddie, oh 3 wks ago and I haven’t done a proper post on our w/e “crusing the bay” in sea kayaks and frankly I have photos to show. I plan on spending tonight playing catch up with various blog/photo things.
5 kayaks, 8 people, numerous Turtle sightings, a fire on the beach, assorted sea birds, a flock of 50 or so Black Swans, assorted marine life and 1 Dugong sighting. That in short sums up the weekend of paddling we did.
Seeing the Turtles and Dugong were so cool. I was just paddling on Sunday morning and this Dugong popped its head up just ahead of me. It was sooooo cool!
In a slightly longer form. We paddled from Victoria Point to Macleay Island for morning tea to Blakesleys Anchorage to set up camp and have lunch. Then we relaxed on the beach/in the bush round camp as well as doing a short paddle down to an Eelgrass bed at low tide to explore the marine life. Watched a rather nice sunset (no clouds but still nice), ate a very nice dinner of pasta salad which I had made the night before. Relaxed round the fire for a while. Marvelled at the lack of sandflies/mozzies compared to what we were expecting.
And in an even longer form, the email that Mum sent 😀
I had such a lovely weekend I want to share it. Helen and I went sea-kayaking with an NPAQ trip. We hired a sea kayak with blow up roof racks!! We started from Redland Bay and paddled in across to Garden Is – uninhabited. That stretch was choppy, but the rest of the paddling for the whole w/e was easy. Then across to MacLeay Is. Pulled up onto the beach there and went up to the coffee shop for hot chocolate and caramel slice – a bit different for morning tea on an NPAQ outing. Then through some passage and a longish open stretch across to Stradbroke Is (Blakesly’s Anchorage to be precise). This was where thing started to get interesting. We saw an osprey’s nest in /on a navigation light. I suspect that the light was built to accommodate a nest!! Then we saw about 40 black swans just swimming along. Latter Helen and I were watching a cormorant swimming with a large flapping fish in its mouth when an osprey dived to take the fish! The cormorant dived and won, but actually the fish may have won as the cormorant dropped the fish and flew off when we got too close.
Blakesley’s Anchorage is a nice place to camp – the only facilities provided are rubbish bins, but it is a huge flat area with plenty of
shady trees and no undergrowth. It is the only sandy beach on that part of Stradbroke. After lunch, we went for a walk and found beach curlews and watched a mangrove bittern feed on the mud flats. Helen had fun with the thousands of soldier crabs. Late in the day, Helen and I went for a paddle south and then turned around and came home close in to the mud flats. We saw lots of things: stripped sea-anemones growing out of the sand, some areas had hundreds of mud whelks in a small area, u-tube
worms, sea cucumbers, and a couple of really weird things. One was this long flattish body about 15″ long and 3/16″ wide in a puddle of water. When we got close it would contract down into a hole. We paddled home after the sun had set – nice light but no clouds.
On Sunday we all went for a walk east to find Blakesly’s Lagoon that was marked on the map. In the process, we realized that the whole area has been re-vegetated after sand mining – that explained the lack of undergrowth. We were able to walk close to a kilometre inland in either bare feet or river sandals!! Those sandhills should be very thick with undergrowth.
Then we paddled to the northern tip of Macleay Is for morning tea and across to Coochiemudloo for lunch – that place was busy, then the longest leg south to Redland Bay again. this was against the tide but with the wind. Geoff showed us how to rig a tent fly as a sail across 3 kayaks – the wind pushed us along quite nicely.
It was a lovely weekend – nice weather, nice temperature, no wind to talk about, good company – so much so that Helen has a mad scheme to take the barge / boat to Moreton, kayak down the western side of Moreton across to Stradbroke and down the western side of Stradbroke and end up somewhere. Anyone interested? 🙂 We need some open water experience first.
This was Helen’s first trip to Stradbroke!!