A Trip to Swan Island


Aerial photo of Swan Island

Swan Island lies deceptively close to the Tasmanian mainland. Deceptive because although only 7km from the usual launch point at Great Musselroe, there are extremely fast tidal currents. When tide is against wind, waves in this area can be very steep.

Carrying kayaks

On this trip we launched from Lemon Beach, near Cape Portland. This route made the trip more challenging as we had to round the Cape and negotiate the tidal currents. It would also allow us to sail along the coast and make it a reasonable length journey.

Mick Verrier under sail

In those days, Mick had a tiny sail on his North Sea Tourer. However he had no trouble keeping up with the others, some of whom had two sails. As usual Mick had on a different hat.

Lauries' provocative sail

Lauries' sail, made of shower curtain material, was certainly provocative. Maybe it was designed to give Laurie something to think about on those long solo trips across Bass Strait.

Jenny & Ian in the double

Ian and Jenny in the Dean double were romping along with two sails up and a moderate SW wind. The extra boat length of the double was also helpful. This was Jenny's introduction to sea kayaking.

Lunch stop

We had started relatively late because of the tide and because of the relatively short journey, we stopped after about 1 hours for lunch. One advantage of paddling decent sized boats is that you don't have to skimp on the food.

Mick  landing on Swan Island

After a relatively easy crossing, we landed on Swan Island. On the crossing we only had one small rip to cross and we had timed our journey for favourable tides. The local island caretaker was out sailing.

 Members of the club

We discussed some of the crossings that we had experienced and chatted with Jill Harris, the resident artist. Jill published a book on the history of the island sometime later. We mentioned to her that a sea canoeist had visited the island as earlier as 1879.

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