Bathurst Harbour and Maatsuyker Island

Reflections, Bathurst Harbour

Saturday the 1st of February. We packed all our gear as we were now on our way home. The night before I had met Bob Nurse, an old friend of mine. He was part of Par Avions' tourist operation. He promised to ring my wife when he got out, just to let everyone know that we were all okay. The morning reflections were at their best as we set off for the Old River.

The double, Bathurst Harbour

We paddled between the Celery Top Islands. Out to the west of us was Mt Rugby. We skirted the southern shore of Bathurst Harbour up to Dixons' Inlet, but the coast was not very inviting. We enjoyed the peace and tranquility of these early mornings. We nearly always get an early start to avoid the afternoon winds which invariably spring up later in the day.

Reflections, Bathurst Harbour

As we negotiated between the islands there was absolutely no breeze to ruffle the surface. This picture could easily be turned upside down without anyone knowing. Infact, after I returned from the trip, the newspaper published my account of the journey but couldn't use this picture because it would confuse the readers!

Sailing up to the Old River

A slight breeze gradually developed when we were in the centre of the harbour so naturally we hoisted sails and cruised up to the mouth of the Old River. We went up stream past four sets of rapids before turning round. It was quite relaxing up the river and in some cases a new experience as we negotiated round smooth boulders and fallen trees.

Jeff hauling the double up the Old River

Mick and I in the double had to drag the kayak up the last set of rapids. It was refreshing paddling in fresh water. We were looking for a spot that Par Avion take their tourists up to but the thick vegetation on both banks made it difficult to find.

Grant, Paddle less, Old River

We were looking forward to the easy paddle back with the current. At one rather sharp bend the double was swept under the bank careering into overhanging branches on the bank. Grant lost his paddle when it got stuck in some trees. We were moving fairly quickly and if he had hung on to it, either we would have capsized, or the paddle would have broken.

Laurie retrieving paddle, Old River

Laurie came to the rescue and retrieved Grant's paddle while we parked in a nearby back eddy. The rest of the return journey was uneventful except for the trip back across the harbour when rain squalls and gusty conditions made paddling harder. Contrast this with the calm of the early morning only 6 hours before.

Sea Eagle, Bathurst Harbour

Through the Bathurst Narrows we came across a sea eagle perched in a tree overhanging the water. We quietly approached it to adistance of a few meters. Even then it wasn't flustered and didn't fly away. We crossed to the Narrows were the bush walkers have to cross by dinghy. The others wanted to camp here, there was plenty of firewood but no water and it asn't a particularly nice campsite.

Bramble Cove, Port Davey

As trip leader I exercised my position and suggested we continue down to Bramble Cove where the yachties had told us there was a perfect campsite. Initially we missed the spot but eventually found one of the most idylllic sites. Even in the drizzle that had developed we felt comfortable and relaxed. There was even piped water from a nearby waterfall. Fresh water on tap!

Bramble Cove campsite

The yachties obviously visit this spot frequently. There were tables, cleared tent sites and even firewood that had been brought in by boat and wrapped up in plastic to keep it dry! I walked round the sheltered beach and took photos of this favourite spot. On my previous visit we hadn't crossed to this side of Port Davey.

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