Bathurst Harbour and Maatsuyker Island

Packing gear, Cockle Creek

Laurie and Grant getting ready to leave. We had enough supplies for about eighteen days including 26 litres of Coke! It was a bit of a squeeze in the double as we had quite a bit of video gear as well.

Calm seas, Recherche Bay

It was a magnificent morning leaving Cockle Creek, but then we were in sheltered waters. We were somewhat apprehensive, as on a previous trip we had started in fine weather but this quickly changed into six days of storms.

Laurie rounding SE Cape

Rounding SE Cape we were in sea kayaking conditions, the long swells were from the SE making life easier for us. At least this time we rounded the Cape on our first attempt.

Laurie putting up sails

A SE breeze freshened and Laurie was first to put up sails. His modified North Sea Tourer was quite happy with double sails. This allowed him to maintain the same speed as the double kayak.

Soldier Bluff

The rocky ramparts of South Cape quickly loomed up. There was a bit of backwash from the cliffs, but not enough to force us out to sea. On our 1994 trip we didn't get this far. Instead we headed in to South Cape Rivulet were we had a rather interesting time.

Jeff in the double

On the 1997 trip we had no problems heading straight for Deadmans Cove, a distance of over 50km. There were virtually no reliable landing spots along this coast but it was a pleasant day cruising along under the steep cliffs of the southern coast.

View of Precipitous Bluff from Prettys Point

Towards Shoemaker Point, Precipitous Bluff came into view. This prominent peak is a favourite area for bushwalkers. We were still making good progress and it was relatively early in the day.

Inside Rocky Boat Inlet

Because of the extremely calm conditions we even had a bonus. We managed to get ashore in Rocky Boat Inlet and stretch our legs. Not like Karen and Dan Trotter from Scotland, who wrecked a kayak here trying to land even in moderate seas.

Leaving Rocky Boat Inlet

After our brief excursion ashore we set off for the Hen and Chicken islands in Prion Bay. We knew that we would easily get to Deadmans Cove in time for a relaxing afternoon. It was along this part of the coast that Laurie had been forced to swim ashore after his kayak broke up on a reef exposed by a huge swell, just as he was passing.

Laurie passing Ile du Golfe

The Ile du Golfe and De Witt islands made an impressive back drop as we continued along under sail. Tomorrow, all being well, we would be heading out past De Witt island to reach Maatsuyker Island.

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