A Trip down the West Coast

Searching for a campsite

We fanned out and found a quite sheltered site not far from where we had landed, There was plenty of firewood and shelter from the westerly winds. Empty abalone shells indicated that the Tasmanian Aborigines also found this area hospitable over two hundred years before.

 West coast sunset, Ingram Bay

After setting up my hoop tent in a sheltered site, I wandered around the foreshore taking photo's of the spectacular west coast sunset. The low light edged the waves with gold as the sun slowly submerged into the Southern Ocean.

Toby having a snooze

Back at the campsite Toby was snoozing in the warmth of fire. We stayed up for a few hours chatting about past trips and planning new ones. Ian headed off to his sleeping bag quite early, the rest of us weren't that far behind.

Aboriginal middens, Ingram Bay

The next morning was quite fine as I explored the nearby sand dunes for signs of the Tasmanian Aborigines . A huge pile of shells, called a "midden", showed that this area had been a favourite campsite.

Carrying the boats down

We had been quite wise in stopping at Ingram Bay. The sea was rougher than the day before but we had no trouble in launching from the shelter of a rocky point.

Meeting the swells

Once out past the shelter of the point we felt the power of the southern swells. We kept a sharp lookout for rogue waves could easily drop you onto a reef or sweep you onto the rocky shore. Laurie knew the risks well having broken a kayak in two some years ago.

Sails up

The wind was picking up and we were heading north. The wintery sun broke from between storm clouds as we hoisted sails and headed for Temma Harbour again. For a while we stayed out from the reefs making good time with a quartering wind.

Temma Harbour rocks

Closer to Temma Harbour we dodged inside the reefs and cruised along in the calmer conditions. A quick lunch stop and the we were off again threading our way between rocks and playing "chicken" with the waves.

Surfing in, Sundown Point

At Sundown Point we watched the shore break, working out the pattern. Huge strands of bull kelp swept over our kayaks and threatened to entangle us as we started our run for the beach. Toby and I went in first.

Ian surfing in

From the security of the beach we watched Ian and Laurie make their run. Laurie timed it beautifully. Ian survived the first big one by screaming across the wave front. Surfing isn't easy in a sea kayak.

Ian and his nose stand

The next big wave caught Ian a beauty. The kayak picked up speed, the bow went under, then up he went. A strong paddle brace wasn't quite enough to support him and the angry white foam put him off rolling.

Ian came up smiling

It had been an interesting trip, particularly for Ian. The west coast can be a difficult place to try out sea kayaking and Ian had come out smiling despite a couple of dunkings.

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