Bathurst Harbour and Maatsuyker Island

Breaksea Is, Port Davey

The next day started overcast but by the time we had started to explore Breaksea Island, patches of blue appeared in the sky. It was very calm, but even so there was some swell in close to the rocks. we were looking for sea caves that we could enter.

Sea cave, Breaksea Is.

It wasn't long before we found a number of quite interesting caves, many with two entrances. The technique is to sit and watch the pattern of swells and rebounds for a few minutes before committing your self to entering a cave. This is important even on calm days. It is also preferable to back into caves so that you can see any incoming waves. Turning a sea kayak in a cave to avoid swells is virtually asking for trouble.

Sea cave, Breaksea Is. Port Davey

We found this particularly interesting cave on the way back from the Davey River. A very narrow entrance led to a huge cathedral roof that was illuminated by sunlight from a second entrance. We had missed this cave earlier because from the otherside it looked like a dead end. We timed our crossing of the narrow entrance to coincide with the arrival of a small swell. This gave us a little more leeway in maneouvring.

Sea Arch, Port Davey

We didn't really have time to explore all the caves as we were heading up the Davey River. This arch way, near Wallaby Point was worth shooting though. We stopped on the beach nearby to check out possible campsites and supplies of water. The wind had now strengthened and we had an excellent sail up the harbour and across the barway and into the Davey River.

Grant, dozing off Davey River

After lunch at Settlement Point, the site of an old piners village, we sailed up the river. It was warm and sunny with a following breeze. In fact it was so relaxing Grant and I started to fall asleep. At one stage I awoke to find the kayak heading rapidly for the bank. I had to rock the boat to wake up Grant from his sleep.

Davey river Gorge

We continued up the river for about 10kms where the river funelled through a spectacular,narrow gorge. It was peacefull gazing up at the steep, vegetated sides of the gorge as we effortlessly sailed against the current. We had to negotiate a couple of small rapids to get into the second part of the gorge.

Laurie, Davey Gorge

Eventually we were confronted with the necessity to portage around a swiftly flowing drop in a sharp bend. The river was navigable above this but we elected to turn round at this stage. We practised a few cut in and cut outs in the eddies before heading back to Settlement Point.

Campfire, settlement Point, Port Davey

After the 10km paddle back we relaxed on the beach in the warm afternoon sun. I searched in the scrub for signs of the old piners settlement. This was where the huon pine logs were floated down river to. From here the logs were transported by boat to Hobart. Very little remains of this once bustling community. We sat out under the stars until quite late enjoying the peace and solitude away from civilization.

Early morning light from settlement Point

I was a little sad to leave Settlement Point, we were now well and truly on our way back home. We crossed the river, followed up a small stream and filled our water bottles and drank the clear, sweet water that cascaded down a small waterfall. Then we followed the coastline to Bond Bay on the western side of Port Davey.

Bond Bay, Port Davey

In Bond Bay we walked along the beach and explored for water and campsites. A new shelter shed had been constructed next to the beach but it wasn't a particularly nice spot. Interestingly Claytons' cottage had been built here but was moved further up the harbour because of frequent storms that threatened boats at anchor.

Spain Bay, Port Davey

Not long after leaving Bond Bay Laurie headed futher out to sea, while Grant and I explored Breaksea Island again. We met up again later in the afternoon at Spain Bay. I found our old campsite tucked away in the corner of the bay. We lazed around in the warm sun and then went for a walk along the beach. Tomorrow, we would once again brave the rounding of S West Cape.

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