- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2006 Trip: Feb 2 => May 10
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mode of Transport: Paddling (seakayak) from Sydney, heading north.
Destination: To as far as I get.
If the wind, waves, nasties(sharks, stingers, crocs, etc.), sun, dumb mistakes, boredome, visa expiration date, or some other unforeseen calamity doesn't clobber me, I may just go around.
Postings should start Jan or Feb '06.
Postings will probably be sparse (many paddling days between cities with internet cafes).
I welcome any/all comments, suggestions (regarding this blog - or suggestions about the trip itself - gear, food, location, etc)
History: paddled from Syd to Cape York in '93; paddled from Syd to Mackay in '01. (interpolating from previous 2 trips (Cape York: 2000 miles, Mackay: 1000 miles) would suggest I will quit in Brisbane (500 miles) - we'll see about that.)
*** for 2009 trip, see: AndyM AUS2009
May 13th 2006
I had decided that if I got to Cooktown and it was still raining, I was going to quit there instead of continuing to Cape York. Well, it was raining, so I waited a couple of days and it looked like it was getting better, so I went to the top (it continued to rain, but I'm glad I went anyway). - - - Days 76-82 Cairns Day 83 - Turtle Cove Landed on a nice little beach - that I had to watch for high tide (to make sure it wouldn't 'get' me. There's a resort at the far other end of the beach. During the day I would see a number of 'couples' walking the beach. They were all guys - but I didn't really think anything of it - call me naive or ... read more
April 20th 2006
Currently sitting in Cairns, waiting for the remnants of Cyclone Monica to go away. Day 73 - Paluma (north of Bluewater beach) about 25 miles north of Townsville. This (and tomorrow) would be my only (relatively) rain free days of this stretch). Lots of mossies on this (reef encrusted, mangrove backed) beach. Day 74 - Forrest Beach Landed on a 'splashy' beach - this is the first beach - inside the reef - that I got broached on in landing. While planning tomorrows paddle inside the passage between Hinchinbrook and the mainland, I got talking to a sailor who advised me to go on the outside of Hinch. due to crocodiles in the area (some displaced from recent high water and cyclone Larry). (on a latter day, someone else told me the same thing) I changed ... read more
April 6th 2006
Summary: I've been struggling (not that much) against north, north-easterlies as I'm crossing largish bays to Townsville (where are the south-east trade winds that are suppose to blow day and night in this area this time of year?). Day 61 Abbot Point There's a large pier here where they load coal. I don't think one is supposed to land here, but, the place look deserted, and the beach looked good, so I did. When I took off (at 2 in the morning), I did see some activity on the pier. Day 62 Cape Upstart On landing, I met the "mayor" of Cape Upstart - Andy (he kind of watches over the (mostly deserted) vacation homes on the cape. He invited me up for a meal of grilled stakes and onions - that sure hit the spot. ... read more
April 1st 2006
Day 55 - Cape Hillsboro Finally got out of Mackay (actually, the long break in a Motel was quite nice - and it allowed some of my 'travel wounds' to heal), the cyclone weather is out of the way. I paddled up to this nice looking beach - that looked as far away from civilization as one can get. What do you know, but a flock of tourists start wondering the beach - just got off a tour bus from Hervey Bay (and, curiously enough, I saw the same bus in Shute Harbor the next day). There is a national park here, and also, a caravan park. Days 56 - 57 Shute Harbor Long paddle - I've got to stop doing this to myself. I left at 11PM, and paddled with 3 tide changes (2 - ... read more
March 24th 2006
Currently, I sitting in Mackay (staying in a cozy motel, licking my wounds), waiting for the (current) cyclone (Wati) to go away. Day 31 - 32 Urangan (weather delay) The 'cold water' cyclone (as opposed to the normal - 'tropical cyclone') has me pinned down in Hervey Bay. (see previous blog update) BTW, as I'm writing this (Day 52), I notice that the wounds that I got on my hands when arriving in Gladstone (I slipped on the 'ramp' on arriving in the heavy rain - hands landed on rocks by the ramp) have just about fully recovered - it takes a while in this environment. Day 33 - Scarness (Hervey Bay) Not much progress from previous day, but, my kayak was in storage, and I couldn't get things set up for a full days paddle. ... read more
March 2nd 2006
Days 22 - 30 Rain, rain, and more rain. Day 22 - Kingscliffe Intermittent showers had me running between the tent and outside (where I was trying to get gear re-organized). The paddle into Kingscliffe was a bit dicey with a fairly strong south swell breaking over a reef just in front of where I was landing. Day 23 - Jumpinpin bar Fairly long mileage day (42 miles), but I had to get around the 'Gold Coast' in one pass (as well as getting inside the 'Broadwater' and paddling up to the north end of South Stradbroke Island). With the unsettled weather, the heavy swells had me worried about entering the bar at Southport - but it turned out to be fairly easy. Day 24 - Reeders Point (South end of Moreton Island) To avoid the ... read more
February 21st 2006
Days 11 - 21 Day 11 - Crescent Head Day 12 - Hat Head Day 13 - Scotts Head sorry for no detail for the previous 3 days - I'm going to have to figure out how to remember interesting items to jot down here. I keep a 'daily log' on a voice recorder - not a notebook Day 14 - Coffs Harbor I stayed underneath the old pier - the day was rainy and the pier dripped all day, it was a very uncomfortable stay (not to mention the paddle the following day). Day 15-16 Woolgoolga The paddle from Coffs to here was horrific. The wind was from the NE, though the real problem was the blue-bottles - I've never seen so many in the water. On this short stretch (about 15 or 20 miles) ... read more
February 10th 2006
Days 1 - 10 I think this is the first entry since leaving Sydney, so I'll catch you up with where I've been. (There don't seem to be as many 'internet cafes' in towns as there used to be, so there may not be as many log entries) My first day out, I paddled down the river from Narrabeen (accompanied by Don Andrews, and sent off by Michael Harris). On entering the ocean, a nor-easter(NEr) was just starting, and it picked up throughout the day - so I quit early - Maitland Bay (I think only about 10 miles or so). (beach was VERY hot) Day 2 Trying to remember - I think I paddled about 25 miles - to a little beach called: Frazer Beach. Day 3 - Newcastle First major port. I stayed on ... read more
January 29th 2006
Day: -1 (Jan. 30, 2006) Location: Narrabeen, NSW In 2 days I'll be pushing off. Today, I just had a paddle - out of Narrabeen Lake into the ocean & up the coast a bit. Hardly any wind, little surf. A lot of the 'luminescense' (sp?) in the water - paddle dipping, bow wake, 'torpeoes' of fish trails when spooked by me. Tomorrow I'll turn in my rental car and do a final packing of gear. Though I've done a 'test' packing of the gear at home (in the US), I haven't actually packed the kayak yet (though it is the same gear, and the same (design of) kayak - so it should fit. In the past week I've been testing the boat a bit - some surf and ling the coast. When I leave on ... read more
January 11th 2006
On Saturday, I'll be flying out of Seattle, arriving on Monday in Sydney (long flight + IDL crossing). It's been a busy 2 weeks getting things ready for the trip (stateside), it will be just as - and probably busier - the 2 weeks in Sydney, getting things ready for the trip. On this side (the US), I've assembled most of the gear, some of the food, packed all my stuff to be put in storage (while I'm away) - so, I guess I'm about ready to leave. Things to be done in Syd, include: pick up the kayak (ordered months ago - shipped from the UK to a kayak shop in Syd.), get the rest of the food (up to 12 months worth), pack food away (to be mailed to me (poste restante) in roughly ... read more