A Trip down the West Coast

 Laurie having a rest, Sarah Anne Bay

At Sarah Anne Bay, 5km down the coast, we pulled in behind some rocks for a short stop. The sea was quite rough but manageable. We tried to stay inshore of the reefs that are common on this coast as they offered some protection from the waves.

 Ian eager to get going

A few munchies on chocolate and we were ready to head off for Couta Rocks a few km's south, the next sheltered place to land. The weather wasn't looking too bright but we would push on.

Fishermen heading back in

As we set off a shark cat came in, rolling heavily in the waves. I thought quietly to myself that I would rather be in a sea kayak than a boat with a motor in these conditions. This coast has claimed many lives.

 The rocky west coast

In fact as I write this on Sunday 27th July, 1997, three more fishermen have lost their lives not far from where we were kayaking. The fishing boat was anchored in a gulch. During the night a freak wave capsized the boat and the crew were drowned.

Laurie at Temma Harbour

At Temma Harbour, a small, sheltered bay used by fishermen, we paused. I had dived for abalone in this area thirty years before. From the sea, little seemed to have changed. There were a few shacks and a slipway that fishermen use to pull their boats up in really bad weather.

Lunch at Couta Rocks

Because of the late start, we decided to stop and have lunch in a small bay just past the shacks. Although it wasn't cold by cold temperate climates, it was still cold to us. Tasmanian sea kayakers rarely if ever have to wear dry suits but you pay for it, particularly in mid-winter.

Ian eskimo rolling

Despite the bleak conditions, Ian was determined to be prepared for the worst. He had practiced his rolls before but it is different situation altogether when it is cold and you are under pressure from wind and waves.

Rounding Richardson Point

It was now late afternoon and we were eager to find a good campsite for the night. Heading out round Richardson Point was a bit challenging for a while, but once out past the breakers and rebound, we only had the swell to contend with.

Rocks at Ingram Bay

About six km's south we decided to call a halt as the days are relatively short in winter. Ingram Bay had a sheltered outlook. If the weather worsened tomorrow it would offer some protection. If it really came to it we could walk inland to a track that led back to Sundown Point.

 Carrying the kayaks

As the others carried the kayaks up the beach, Laurie remarked that he would have to buy a video camera if it meant avoiding this chore. We were hoping that a sheltered campsite would be found somewhere the beach.

Return to map Continue journey

Return to title page