I'd like to thank my sponsors for their contribution and encouragement in my adventures. Nadgee Kayaks Australia has generously allowed me a page on their web site allowing me to keep you informed of my progress.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I will.

If you wish to contact me please e-mail koz201011#hotmail.com (replace # with @) I will try and reply when I can.

Check out my progress with the Victorian Sea Kayak Club's Expedition Page

 

 

 

Broome 28th July 2011 FINISHED

 

The New South Wales Sea Kayak Club, Victorian Sea Kayak Club and the Queensland Sea Kayak Club and their members and all who made donations.

 

And thanks to everybody who supported the trip, particularly those people I met along the way.

I'm tired but will be back on track after a few days rest. Then I'll start my next adventure which will be to write about this one, watch this space!

Live interview for ABC

Troughton Island 8th July

The weather has been good during my paddle from Darwin to the Kimberley, its better not to have a wind over the strong currents.

Joseph Bonaparte Gulf is a very low lying area with three large river systems running into it which bring lots of silt. Its like paddling in Milo with the currents that run to 4 knots bringing up clouds of dirt into the water.

It was the highest tides of the month and low tide was as I was landing. This usually means dealing with the sticky mud during a long carry to get to a camp above high tide. There are lots of crocs around this area and as the turtles are nesting they are keen to check the beach out for a feed. Some places I had to camp only a few feet from high tide and after seeing crocs from the shore it makes for a nervous nights sleep.

On the camp shown I tried to protect myself by using drift wood. I'd just seen a 3-4 meter croc who stalked me. Glad to get out of there! The next day I landed next to a Very wide croc track that went through the mud right to the waters edge on a falling tide. I.e. He just left as I arrived, I must have paddled over him!

Fort Stu

Wadeye 28th June

Thanks to John & Carol at Channel Point for looking after me overnight and to the Thamarrurr Rangers at Wadeye who wisely offered to escort me into Wadeye.

Not to mention Cris &Grant who put me up in the 'dog box' for 4 days in Darwin, (Happy Birthday Stevie!)

One our way in we passed many kilometers of mangroves and spotted 5 crocs upto 4 meters, big enough. I found out that 2km's from where I camped last night two dogs were taken by crocs. All that and the main reason the rangers came to escort me was a Big troublesome croc which was not to be seen, good!

I've picked up a food drop and will be on my way tomorrow.

Thamarrurr Rangers

Darwin 19th June

 

The changes between the Gulf to Arnhem Land happen quite suddenly. You go from flat landscapes, muddy shores and tides once a day to rocky headlands, clear waters and tides twice a day. As you move west the tides get bigger and so the currents get stronger.

I got caught out in the waters south of Melville Island. The eastern half has a tidal range of 2 meters the western half has a tidal range of 6 meters, this makes for a complicated area of strong currents somewhere between.

What normally happens is when the tide is rising the water flows in from one direction the flows in the opposite direction when the tide falls again. Not south Melville! The tide will rise for 6 hours and for 3 the water will flow from one direction then 3 from the opposite direction, this will mess with your head.

 

Smith Point Arnhem Land

Nhulunbuy 1 June

 

 

Having a few days rest before heading to Darwin at the weekend.

Cape Arnhem

Gulf of Carpentaria May

As far as I am aware this is the second time the coast of the Gulf has been paddled from the North East to the North West tips. I had a blast from the past when I met Professional fisherman Steve Russell and his two sons. Steve remembers feeding two sea kayakers fish and chips on his dads fishing boat when he was in his early teens. That was almost 30 years ago when Paul Caffyn paddled through.

Steve Russell and sons. The last kayaker he saw was Paul Caffyn!

Sweers Island 15th May

I was looked after wonderfully by Lyn & Tex Battle who own the fishing resort on the Island. I had chance to recover and gather myself together before the next stage. They even donated a thermal and hat to keep me warm on the chilly mornings and evenings. Thanks Lyn & Tex. I'll post the thermal back at the end of the trip, tell Tex I only wiped my nose on the left arm!

A very remote bar.

Karumba 10th May

Looking Cool, even the hair looks good!

Weipa 25th April

Things are going well and I'm plodding along. Still a bit of a way to go though.

I've picked up a stomach bug in Weipa and have narrowed it down to the water in the camp ground or the Thai food. Its something I can do without as I head off soon.

Sydney April 3rd

Thanks to the New South Wales Sea Kayak Club for getting me back to Sydney to give a presentation on my trip. It was great to see so many on the water. The weekend was so well organised even the weather was good.

Refreshed by the enthusiasm of well wishers I am heading back North for the final stages of my trip.

My timing of the trip has been going well and was originally based on a direct crossing of the Gulf of Carpentaria. During my journey I have come to appreciate the Australian Coastline enough that I no longer wish to miss the coast of the Gulf. This however adds hundreds of kilometers to the journey, which means I'll have to paddle hard to finish in Broome by my finish date in August. I call this getting 'Caffynated' as I'll have to repeat the distances done by Paul Caffyn during his original circumnavigation in 1982, a tough act to follow.

There is a chance I'll have to finish in Darwin but I'd rather experience the remote coast, see the wildlife and meet the people who live there than guarantee a finish in Broome.

Updates may be even less frequent than they have been due to lack of facilities, so read this one slowly!

 

The many colours of Rock & Roll

Cooktown 25th March

 

When you think of a bad day to be paddling you think of high seas, strong winds, cold rain, and big surf. Some of the hardest days I've had to deal with are dead flat seas, windless days, very humid with rain periods.

When its cold you can warm up with better clothing, paddling keeps you warm and you eat. When its hot and humid there comes a point when you can't cool down any more, less clothing and you get burnt and it doesn't do too much to strip anyway. You don't feel like eating just drinking and you can only put so much liquid away.

You gradually slow down and then the headaches, cramps, vomiting followed by a very bad day.

When I see a photo of a dead calm day in the tropics it makes me think of a bad day to be paddling!

Well I'm taking a break to attend the NSW Sea Kayak Club annual get together to give a presentation of the trip. Its the largest yearly gathering of Sea Kayakers in Oz and I'm looking forward to meeting everybody. I'll also be spending a few days with the family before heading across the top.

Mission Beach

 13th March

Well its been raining, and raining, and raining. Not really news for those who live up here as many towns have been cut off for days due to floods. Mission Beach only opened the day before I arrived. With cyclone Yasi and the rain many are wondering what next.

Even though the rain I can see that this area is one of the gems of the Australian coastline and to see it by kayak is the way to go. I'm being looked after by Atti and Dave of Coral Sea Kayaking who run tours in the area. 

View of Hinchinbrook Island, just!

Townsville 4th March

Looking at me

Kepple Island 16th Feb

1770 No surf North

Thanks

Brisbane 2nd Feb

th

It reads; ''Environmental conditions make sharks more active in these waters"

Byron Bay 27th Jan

Coffs Harbour 21st Jan

Hard to get back into it after 2 weeks off. Had a further week off in Foster with the family and felt better after that.

It feels like a different trip without the challenges of the south coast to deal with. There are of course different problems such as the current and the prevailing winds being from the North East. I measured myself going backwards at 4 km the other day just from the East Australian Current which runs North to South.

Even so I'm moving north at a leasurly pace, I will have to pick it up soon!

Nice Camp

Sydney 30th Dec

Beach littered with dead Shearwaters

Sydney 18th Dec

Had to wait out a bit of weather but then I had a good run up to Sydney.

Along the way I was whisked up to Sydney for me to give a short presentation to members of the NSW Sea Kayak Club. Again as with the Victorian Sea Kayak Club I was taken aback by the interest shown in the trip and the encouragement and generosity I received.

I've also been meeting up with friends along the way who are taking time out from a busy time of year to make sure I make it to Sydney.

Thanks to all of them. I needed a bit of prodding as my goal has been Christmas at Sydney for a few months and as I realised I was going to make it I relaxed and found the last few days really hard going. Its then that I realise how tired I am and marvel and the power of the mind to keep a ragged worn old git going when the body should be resting.

Two weeks of over indulgence should sort me out!

Happy Christmas to you all.

Mike Snode feeding me. At age 65 he crossed Bass Strait in a kayak he designed and built himself.

Bemm River 1st Dec

From Port Welshpool to Bemm River is an open stretch of coast most of which is called '90 Mile Beach'. I had good weather up until Bemm River with light afternoon headwinds which built up and a few thunderstorms but no swell. That's good as the beach has a nasty shore dump and an outer break before a gutter, all of which can make for tricky surf.

It has taken me a week of paddling to cross it and now I'm waiting a week to be able to continue. I'm poised ready to head north into NSW but headwinds and bad weather suggest I stay put.

I've been doing it tough, surviving on nothing but food and water for two days before heading into the township. Now I'm waiting for the weather while going through the pub menu, Bear Grylls would be proud of me.

Last week I was in shorts now I'm wearing just about everything I've got.

Waiting for the weather at Bemm River

Lakes Entrance 25th Nov

Spud & Maureen took me in when they saw me wheel the kayak into the caravan park at Woodside caravan park. A few beers and a meal later Maureen, after she heard I had a family in Sydney, said "You men are selfish Bastards!" It turns out Spud cleared out for over a year on a job while they had young kids, so Maureen had first hand experience.

Its hard to disagree with Maureen, but I'm working on it.

At Lakes Entrance I met up with Paul King who had been following my trip on the net and was expecting me. He walked up to me and said "Hello" and introduced himself as the man who helped me 8 years ago as I was paddling the other way.

Paul has helped a few passing kayakers and is competing with Ken Wilson of Kalbari for the "Friends of kayakers" award.

Its the people I meet that are making a good trip great.

Spud & Dennis see me off from Woodside, 90 Mile Beach

Inverloch 18th Nov

The Victoria Sea Kayak Club Held their Annual big meeting which I was luck enough to be able to attend.

A great event which Paul Caffyn the first to paddle around Australia was attending as well as the some of the best kayakers in Australia.

The enthusiasm an encouragement I got from those attending was a huge tonic. Just the fact that no one asked me "why" was an indication I was with like minded people.

As I'd been focused on getting to Melbourne for so long I'd not given too much thought to after Melbourne. I always knew my savings wouldn't get me past Sydney but this was a distant worry as getting there was more of a problem.

This came to light during the weekend and I was blown away by the generosity of those attending.

Tony Chick seeing me off @ Wye River

Wye River (60km West of Melbourne)

11th Nov

I had a week of struggling against the weather to get to the SA-VIC border which tested me, then things turned around and I had a few days of good weather to get me past Cape Otway and on my way to Melbourne.

The coast from Adelaide has been a bit of a struggle, but now I feel as though I'm on home ground as I'm getting into familiar territory.

 

Looking at the wind, easier than paddling into it!

Port MacDonnell 5 Oct 2010

Looks like summer has been replaced with cold, shitty South East headwinds which are forecast at 10-15 knots but build to 20-25 knots.
 
The winds are killing me, starts at 6am and by 7am they are blowing and just don't stop day and night and have done for 7 out of the past 8 days.
I'm physically and mentally exhausted and have little to show for it in terms of distance covered.
 
The BOM forecasts have been OK its just that they forget to add the 10 to 15 knots to make the right wind speed of 25 knots.
The difference between Western VIC and Eastern SA coastal area forecasts are dramatic, double the wind speed from 10-15 in SA to 30 in VIC.
I should have been looking at the VIC forecasts...
Forcing my way down the coast into 15-25 knots and 2 meter wind waves for days is not bloody fun.
To add to the excitement there are many reefs in this area which need to be dodged, so I sometimes find myself a long way off shore and any shelter it may give.
I'm trying to make the Victorian Sea Kayak Clubs AGM next weekend but its unlikely with a weekend of 30 knots and thunder storms to paddle into.
If someone's looking for a slightly used kayak now's the time to ask me. 
 
OK I've had a whinge and feel a bit better, I'm off for a sticky bun.

New Spotters Sunnies @ Kokatat Cag!

Kingston SE 29th Oct

Kingston

Between Victor Harbour and Kingston SE is the Coorong.
(The SE stands for South East, I had to ask!)
 
Its 190 km of open beach which the swell of the southern ocean makes for after leaving Antarctica.
 
I made 80km on the first day and made of a place called 'Hells Gate'.
I had been paddling about 3-4 km off shore and there was no sign of the forecast 2-3 meter swell so I optimistically headed in with stories of sever surf in the back of my mind.
 
I was about 2 km off when the seas started to build up, It was about 150 meters from where the waves started breaking.
I'll never understand how a flat sea could produce such a surf.
They were not too strong, they lazily spilt over, but they felt quite big but got smaller the closer I got to the beach.
 
Next day the forecast swell had arrived and the surf had picked up.
 
I'll let your imagination set the scene and give you the results.
I was spat back and rolled once, after getting out past the half dozen sets of breakers I opted for paddling the rest of the way to Kingston and not risk landing again.
 
I launched at 6am was clear of the surf at 7am at 8am I had 100km to go.
Headwinds blew 10-15 knots from 3pm to 3am and after 22 hours I landed at Kingston.
 
I was a wreak, don't think that just because I was dumb enough to paddle around 200km a couple of times that 60km and over doesn't hurt.
It was hard but I'm sure I took the easy way out.
 
I have impact marks on my face from either the paddle shaft hitting my face as I forced my way through the waves or from hitting the deck after falling off the back of the waves in the surf.
 
Glad that one is behind me....
 
Two days later I still need help from little old ladies to cross the road.

Sponsors

I'd like to develop a review of the equipment and services that I have received from my sponsors:

I have been on the go for over six months and have used all the items in the harsh coastal environment. Just to have lasted this long should tell you of the quality of these items. This sort of field test would equate to years of 'normal' weekend use.

Nadgee Kayaks

I have already done a review of the Nadgee Kayaks which can be found on this Web Site. I'll build on that and make some comments on how Nadgee Kayaks stand up to being in the field for an extend period.

Its worth pointing out that the kayak has been heavily loaded at all times, which puts more strain on things. Every time I hit a rock, reef, sandbar or surf dump there is much more impact on the kayak. Dragging it away from the surf, loading, unloading and paddling all affect the wear and tear, more so than if unloaded.

I can list four instances of wear and tear: a rudder cable broke, the foot pump stopped working, rudder got eaten and the keel is wearing.

After five months the rudder cable broke as I was getting in the kayak. It was fixed and I was on my way in 15 minutes. I now adjust the cables once every couple of months to rotate any high wear points this takes 10 minutes, preventing any further breakages.

The foot pump stopped working as a bit of weed had worked its way into the outlet valve. All I had to do was flick the weed out which I did from the cockpit while on the water.

Wear on the keel after dragging the loaded kayak away from, and to, the surf is expected, what is not expected is the lack of wear and I'm quiet happy to leave fixing it for a while yet.

The rudder is made of wood. Apart from the good look its light, which being stuck on the end of the kayak is a good thing.

Its also strong. The rudder broke when a large shark hit it with such force that it moved a fully loaded kayak, with me in it, sideways. The rudder was still usable. Even if I'd lost it completely the kayak is designed to be paddled without a rudder. I paddled a Nadgee for years without a rudder or skeg.

With a file the rudder was re-shaped and used for a month before I replaced it. I even had an emergency rudder made from a fence incase it got hit again.

The point being that an extreme situation caused a problem that was fixed in a remote area.

What is remarkable is the list of things that have not broken or worn. This is testament to the build quality and design in all areas of the Nadgee Kayaks. Everything can be repaired in the field and most can be avoided with a bit of maintenance.

If you have paddled a kayak most weekends for a couple of years and can only list a few things that needed maintenance you're not getting out enough!

Sea to Summit

I use a lot of Sea to Summit items, I'll mention a few that you may find particularly useful.

Dart 2 tent: From the tropics, where I pitch it without the fly for a bug free sleep with a nice breeze, or with the fly on and with both doors open as shelter from the sun. To the south coast in winter where it kept me dry, warm and out of the wind it has been pitched and pulled down daily and has taken it very well.

Kitchen Sink: This is used to collect water for washing the pots. To wash pots I use the salt water and a bit of sand, collecting the water beforehand saves me getting wet again to wash the pots, a good thing!

Ultra-sil Day Pack: A small pack that packs down smaller than your fist. Used every time I get to town.

Wilderness Wear

I use Wilderness Wear merino thermals and socks and polypropylene thermals. I paddle in the polypropylene thermals and wear the merino thermals on land, apart from the overnight paddles such as the cliff sections when I'll treat myself and put on the merino tops.

I have worn the same tops every day while kayaking the south coast in winter. Not only have they have proven to be extremely functional in a harsh environment but they have worn well and I look smart when I get to town. They don't even smell after a couple of weeks. I started off with three pairs of Merino socks but somehow I'm down to one pair. The survivors are doing well but I can't say they don't smell, but with my feet....

Canoeing Down Under

Terry Bolland and the staff of Canoeing Down Under in Perth made me very welcome and were very generous during my stay in Perth.

With their knowledge of the coast south of Perth they gave me some extra paddling fleeces for the cold seas and weather ahead and fixed a broken paddle.

Terry also lent me his sat-phone for use while crossing the Great Australian Bight.

This was done without me asking and was purely down to the generous nature of all at Canoeing Down Under.

However the greatest contribution was the advise and encouragement received from Terry, one of the most accomplished kayakers in all aspects of the sport at a the highest level and a true adventurer.

Expedition Kayaks

After leaving Perth I developed a problem with my wrist. Mark Sundin contacted me and offered me a Mitchell Blades, Bombora, Crank paddle to see if that helped. I'm across the Great Australian Bight with no further wrist problems.

I mentioned the cold waters of the south coast were getting to me and again Mark came to the rescue and offered me a Reed spray deck and Cag which solved the problem.

Without directly asking Mark has generously offered solutions to my problems using his knowledge of the items he uses and sells.

Adelaide 18th to 25th Oct

I'm taking a week off in Adelaide to rest up and spend some time with my family.

I'd like to thank Phil Doddridge of Adventure Kayaking SA for looking after my kayak and equipment during my stay. To see dolphins from a kayak is still and will remain one of the greatest 'lifts' for me even after thousands of km's of paddling. The only thing better than experiencing this is to be able to share the event with others.

Phil is able to get you close to nature with his tours.

I did a ABC interview while in Adelaide which can be found at : http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/2010/10/around-australia-in-a-kayak-stuart-trueman-on-891.html?site=eyre&program=adelaide_mornings

 

Family get together

Edithburgh 17th Oct

Big Bight out of Australia!

Hard to enjoy the great coast around Port Lincoln when the wind is blowing. The names help keep you on your game.

You pass 'Coffin Bay' and 'Misery Bay' to get to 'Avoid Bay', (was not sure 'Avoid Bay' was a suggestion or the bays name!). After which you round 'Point Avoid' to get to Cape Catastrophe' where the islands, which are named after sailors who drowned here, are home to large Great White Sharks.

Anyway apart from being blown over and loosing my hat nothing bad happened and I got to the other side of the Great Australian Bight.

12th Oct, Windy, cold day to Cape Catastrophe, Happy Birthday to me..

Ellison 4th Oct

South of Elliston

Ceduna 26th Sept

The beach from the Head of Bight to Fowlers Bay was no picnic. South East winds were forcast so I knew it would be a struggle but minimal SW swell. With only 1-2 meters swell it built large surf which dumped onto hidden rock shelves and sand bars.

I got knocked out of the kayak and had to swim for shore through the surf. I was desperately holding on to the kayak when I saw my water bottle drift off. I could let go of the kayak a go for the bottle or keep with the kayak.... I couldn't help crying 'WILSON!' as I remembered Tom Hanks had the same problem in the film Castaway.

Next morning I got the kayak airborne as I got through the surf for a 70km paddle into a headwind.

I left Fowlers Bay and had the shock of my life. The sea was flat, no surf breakout amongst rocks, the wind had stopped and the sun was out. I was heading for a sheltered landing and all was well, stress free paddling! Joy!!

It was only as I approached Ceduna that I realised that managed to achieved a crossing from Esperance to Ceduna. Then I felt very tried from long days paddling, relief and the affects of a limited diet.

In moments of self indulgement I feel a real sense of achievement that comes from over coming a challenge that took me close to my limits.

Ceduna

Head of Byte 16th Sept

My start from Eucla didn't't go so well, I only got an hour out before I found myself on an open beach wrapped in my tent fly sheltering from the wind.

Day two saw me land on the last beach before the Bunda Cliffs just missing a reef. The tide dropped revealing the extent of the reef which runs the length of the beach causing dumping surf. Next morning was low tide and one of the more marginal surf exits I've had to do. Then turn left and only 190km to go.

During the night I had visits from pods of dolphins. I could see them swim under the kayak as they lit up the phosphorescence and I could see their shapes as the sparkling water showed their paths. A bit of a worry when you see the first one flash by, I just waited for the music from Jaws to start up!

Its a bit of a mind game to paddle all day, all night and at dawn the second day find you have 50km to go. Its a relief to have the cliffs behind me.

No smiles after crossing Bunda Cliffs

Eucla 11th Sept

My stay at Eyre Bird Observatory certainly recharged my batteries. I was well looked after and can well recommend a stopover.

When planning the trip I was worried about the open beach between the Baxter Cliffs and Eucla but thankfully the shallow water meant there was no surf. I had a trouble free stage to Eucla.

After a phone call "Binge" came to my rescue at the jetty to give me a lift to Eucla which is 4km from the Jetty. Eucla is on the top of the cliffs and has a good view of the country to the west. As I travelled the coast my view of the world is limited to 20km. It was a shock to look out over the Nullarbour for 100's of km, it enforced the isolation.

Endless Cliffs

Eyre Bird Observatory

1st Sept 2010

Left Esperance and headed out to Israelite Bay. The photo is just after landing at Cape Arid. I got tripped up by some heavy weed which I was pulling out of myself for a few days after!

On to Israelite Bay where I had to sit out some strong South Westerly Winds and big swell before heading on to the Baxter Cliffs. The beach at the start of the cliffs was sporting some big surf which took me a couple of hours to find a way through. Then a few days later I did the 27 hours paddle along the cliffs to Twilight Cove.

I have to say its a hard part of coast to get along, what with the surf, cliffs and lack of water to deal with. I'm not sure I'll be so quick to do it again!

Stuffed up the landing at Cape Arid

Esperance

12th August 2010

Its winter in Esperance, which is a long way from the wet season in Broome.

Its been an adventurous four months with plenty of water passed over.

Thanks to Paul Roberts of the Albany Canoe Club for looking after me so well during my stay. I had a great time in Albany and left wanting to come back. On the morning I was due to depart my tooth fell apart. Local dentist Colin Bailes saw me at 0800 on his day off, worked on my tooth for over half an hour then didn't charge me. That alone makes you want to move to Albany!

The coast from Windy Harbour to Esperance has been a great place to paddle. Lots of Islands, reefs, inlets and interesting coast to keep me on my toes. It also has a good sprinkling of safe places to head for when the weather turns. Loads of whales, I saw five mothers and calves 50 meters off the beach, one with an albino calf.

I wouldn't like to give the impression that its all easy street. I've been knocking into a headwind for a few days and so will spend a few days in Esperance recovering before heading off again.

Esperance just over the hill. After 65km into head winds.

Albany

28th July 2010

I have been seeing whales along the coast. Some evenings they come close to shore and I can hear them sing.

As well as whales I've been seeing Grey Headed and Yellow Nosed Albatross's, seals and dolphins but they don't sing as well as the whales!

I'm being well looked after by the Albany Canoe Club before heading off on the next leg.

The caretakers at the campground at Point Hillier (Parrys camp ground I think) gave me the best home made fruit and nut mix to see on my way.

Thanks for the fruit & nut mix
Caretakers of campsite at Pont Hillier

Heading East

All,

 A better start from Perth this time, the wrist and new Mitchell Blades paddle are going fine.

 I'm off the west coast and I'm at a little place called Windy Harbour, 100km East of Augusta on the South West Corner.

There were Southern Right Whales slapping tails on the water when I rounded the corner which I took as applause as I'd finished the West Coast.

 I've been paddling hard to make the most of a good spell of weather to get to Windy Harbour.

Its 100km of open beach from Augusta to Windy Harbour which catches the South West Swell, so I did it in one push as I could have been unable to get back through the surf.

As it gets dark at 6pm and I didn't fancy weaving my way through unfamiliar reefs and bommies in the dark I set off at 1am.

It was a bit nippy and I defiantly appreciated the warm paddling top and trousers donated by Terry from 'Canoeing Down Under'.

The moon went down 3am and it was very dark until 6am when the first signs of the sun were showing, then 7am the sun started warming things up.

Winds were from nothing to 15 knots from East to N. East and the swell was very low, just about as good as it gets but still a long paddle at 14.5 hours.

 I've now run out of food and energy so will gather supplies and recover before continuing to Albany. 

Rounding Cape Leeuwin

Progress

9th July

Mark Sundin of Expedition Kayaks www.expeditionkayaks.com  has donated a Mitchell Blades crank shaft paddle to trail to see if it eases the strain on my wrist.

After some light paddling the paddle feels easier on my wrist and shoulders, being so comfortable that I have little problem in swapping my paddle mid trip.

With my physio, rest and new paddle I feel ready to get back to it so I will be back in WA in a few days to resume my trip.

My New Paddle

Right Pain

After a few days rest in Perth I set off south. Unfortunately I did'nt get far as I developed a painful right wrist after only two days paddling.

It was clear that to continue would only make things worse and delay recovery so I'm taking a couple of weeks out to give my wrist a chance to come good. It appears I have a problem with my Extenser Carpi Radialis. Or, for you and me, I've strained something in my wrist which needs a bit of time but should recover.

It was a disappointment to have to stop paddling again after a week in Perth but I really did'nt have a choice. The pain was an indication that it was not something that would get better during the long days along the south coast.

OK back to the Physio.

Waiting for a Paddler

Perth

20th June,

I'm having a few days rest in Perth after a great trip down from the North West Cape. The coast has its share of rocks as reefs on the shore and offshore but also great beaches and fishing villages.

I've met many who have helped me along the way such as David Evans who met me as I was leaving to do the cliff stage. He had never seen kayaks on the ocean and was amazed at what was being done in a kayak. He gave me his contact details for Geraldton and admitted later that for a few reasons he never expected to see me again! He helped me in Geraldton and fed me great home brew. Another couple beat the record and invited me round for dinner in 1 min 50 secs after meeting me. Cliff and Margaret are shown in the photo, you just can't see the resident python in the rafters.

Thanks to everybody who I meet that's helps me on my journey, its a great help.

I'm being looked after in Perth by Terry Bolland of 'Canoeing Down Under'. Its a great advantage to stay with like minded kayakers. Terry is a pioneering adventurer and has been for many years. A great motivation for the weeks ahead.

Kalbarri (phew)

31 May

Between Denham and Kalbarri lie one of the more challenging areas of coast for a sea kayaker. The Zuytdorp Cliffs run for 200km north of Kalbarri and offer only one landing place at False Entrance.

What makes this area such a challenge is that the weather is changable and blows from the south. Also the swell runs in from the southern ocean, then of course there is the distance.

I left Steep Point and paddled 30 hours through to Kalbarri without stopping as I thought I'd have problems getting back off the beach at False Entrance. All went well apart from being blown over once and almost running into a sleeping whale in the dark, to be met by Phil Hearps at the entrance to Kalbarri harbour. I was quickly taken to Ken Wilson's place and before long was enjoying a Malt Scotch.

Phil Hearps

Carnarvon

Sat 22nd May

Well I'm sitting out a bit of weather that's happening, about due for a shower so all is good with the timing.

After Exmouth the paddling down behind the Ningaloo Reef was spectacular. The fishing, diving, snorkeling, tours to see whale sharks are world class (apparently) and the kayaking wasn't bad either.

It seamed such a shame not to share what there is to do with someone else that I didn't mind leaving it all for another time. I'd seen plenty from the kayak and was content with what I was experiencing.

South of Coral Bay the reef joins the coast and I found myself on the deep blue. All of a sudden I had to deal with swell, head winds, currents and surf for the first time since Broome. A bit of a shock to the system but I soon got the hang of things.

Exmouth

Well the first month and all is well.

Had a great paddle over the past few weeks as I island hopped down the coast with some great weather to help me.

The coast from Dampier to Onslow was the pick for me with plenty of islands and wild life to keep me on my toes. The islands are very low and you can't see them until your about 10km from them. So navigation is a magical affair as you paddle off on a heading to the open ocean for 4-5 hours before a hint of a target.

Crossing the Gulf was also a long one, funny thing was you could see the islands along the way in the evening light but they disappeared in the morning light! I thought they had sunk!

 

Think BIG when fishing up here!

Dampier

3rd May 2010

Well not the gradual start I was trying for. I gave myself heat exhaustion and had to take 5 days out to return back to Broome to sort out the after affects and get better prepared for paddling up here.

It was still the rainy season, Broome got the second highest rainfall this year while I was in town. The heat and humidity were what dropped me, all better the further south I go and as the seasons change. April is not the best time of year for paddling in the Kimberly, there are still cyclones forming!

Seen plenty of wildlife which has taken an interest in me. A few sharks have tried to taste the Nadgee Kayak, which must taste a bit off as they only have one bite. But some of the bites can be sporting, one took some of my rudder with it and one hit so hard it moved the whole kayak sideways!

Now the wildlife is a little less aggressive Dugongs, fish and fishermen.

Tides take some working out, get it right and all is well otherwise the end or start of the day can be a portage.

Coastline is stunning and the evenings are a reward for the days toil in the sun. 

A Dream Realised

www.broomeadventure.com.au

OK, were off.

 

 

 

All These Goodies!

Date 26th Feb 2010

Sydney

We have delivery of my new Nadgee Solo kayak, my Sea to Summit gear and Wilderness Wear clothing.

I have limited space and can afford few luxuries. The equipment I'm taking is the best quality Australian products able to withstand the harsh elements for the duration.

My Nadgee Solo Kayak has been made with the finest of materials and is  the best all round expedition kayak I know. That and the quality of the build means its the only choice for me.

Wilderness Wear thermals and clothing are quality and style that will see me through. The items I'm taking are versatile enough to see me through the heat of the tropics and winter on the south coast, be used in camp, on the water and at the cafe.

Sea to Summit Dart 2 tent, dry bags, and many accessories along with Solution spray skirts are not new to me. I have been using these products for many years and know that they can be relied upon.

I have chosen all of these products as I have used them before on previous trips and know they are of a quality and design that will see me through.