Bathurst Harbour and Maatsuyker Island

Storm waves, South Cape Rivulet

Huge waves were crashing onto South Cape Rivulet Beach. We couldn't see this from out at sea but Toby and I in the double would soon find out the hard way. We waited and watched for the big set to go past then paddled like mad.

Toby in the surf, South Cape Rivulet

We completely misjudged the waves. I can remember turning round briefly and thinking we're in deep trouble here. Bracing into the wave was like hitting concrete. We were going so fast. Then we were upside down in the water." Let the boat go I" screamed as it thrashed around in the surf..

Let the paddles go, South Cape Rivulet

To begin with neither of us was particularly worried. We were only 100m from the beach. This soon changed as we were pounded deep beneath each wave, swallowing litres of water. In desperation we threw away paddles and angled along the beach avoiding the rip current.

Toby on the beach

Bushwalkers on the beach were unconcerned thinking that we were just having fun in the surf. Toby washed up first, half drowned. Later I staggered up the beach, trusty video still recording the drama of our pounding. Toby had been convinced he was drowning.

Rudder repairs, South Cape Rivulet

After a long rest, we retrieved the kayak, undamaged except for the rudder which was easily fixed. Toby lost his favourite hat. The others judiciously crept in to the river close to the rocks where the waves were smaller.To view a video clip of this trip click here.

Bushwalkers, South Cape Rivulet

Later we walked to the river to watch the bushwalkers trying to cross the swollen waters. This party were finishing the walk from Melaleuca to Cockle Creek. They said the crossing was the worst they had encountered. Some earlier walkers had been swept out to sea, losing boots and gear.

Ferry man at South Cape Rivulet

Mick volunteered to be ferryman. One at a time he took them across the now deepening river. Toby wasn't very impressed with this saying we were denying them a true wilderness experience and the thrill and danger of the walk.

Toby showing them how to do it

Shedding all his clothes Toby picked out a stout pole and showed the bushwalkers how to do it the right way. It wasn't as easy as it looks as hidden tree trunks grabbed at his legs threatning to overbalance him in the swift currents.

Campsite, South Cape Rivulet

We made a number of efforts to get round South Cape but the succession of fronts brought gale force head winds and torrential rain each day. Eventually we resigned ourselves to sitting around the fire and waiting for arrival of the next set of bushwalkers to amuse us in their attempts to cross the river.

Cliffs, South Cape Rivulet

Mick later set off back by himself as his wedding was only a few days away and he didn't want to be stranded here. After a bit of exploration, Grant, Toby and I followed later and were relieved to hear that Mick had got back safely.

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