A Bass Strait Crossing 2001


Ray and John were waiting for us as we landed at Little Waterloo Bay. They had walked across from Tidal River. The campsite was well sheltered and we had a beautiful summer evening.We climbed up onto rocks to work our our bearings for tomorrow. Hogan layout there 48 km away.We would need to start before dawn the next day to get the right combination of flooding and ebbing tides.

Night paddling has always been on the Maatsuyker Canoe Club agenda. Now we could see the benefits of this experience. The weather was mild and calm as we readied for departure. We would stick together and paddle on a compass bearing towards Hogan Island. We were hoping to see the navigation light on Hogan but it wasn't visible.

As daylight arrived we were paddling in a smooth, rolling sea and we could pick out the top of Hogan Island and East Moncour and Rhodondo Islands to the south. We had calculated half the journey would see the tide taking us eastward then as we approached Hogan Is the tide would bring us back to the west.

The next few hours saw a light breeze develop, enough for Matt to try out his new spinnaker. However the breezes were fickle and soon died out..

Mid day saw the clouds clear to a hot windless day. We could see the wisdom of our tidal plotting as we approached Hogan Island. There was quite a strong incoming tide that would have made it difficult to paddle against. We had aimed to be well east of Hogan to allow for this tide.

We regouped at the approaches to the Hogan Island, Jamie and I in the double had been a few kilometers in front. It is remarkably easy toget well infront when paddling a double but it made videoing the trip much easier.

We landed in a small bay on the south eastern side of the island. The weather was magnificent. From the top of the island we could clearly see Erith and Deal Island out to the south. This was our next destination.

Looking west from the light on top of Hogan island we could see Wilsons Promontory, Rhodondo and East Moncour Islands..

Exploring further we came across the three female paddlers from NSW, Also camping there were four male paddlers from the same state. Bass Strait was getting crowded!! Our paths were going to cross many times on this trip.

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