A Calm Sea

I woke before dawn to a special silence. No distant crashing of waves, no wind swaying the trees, no flapping of canvas; the silence of a calm sea.

The dawn came with a burning red horizon viewed through the trees and then as a red streak as I made it to the beach.

The early signs of a Calm Sea
A sign of Calm Seas
On the beach

Today we would be paddling on a calm sea. The last few days had been choppy, wind swept and wet but still a lot of fun as we launched in sloppy conditions and paddled into sheltered bays to investigate the rocky, boulder strewn coastline.

Yes, it’s windy on this coastline as you can see from the trees. The sandy spot around the tree is used as a resting place for the local kangaroos. You can see the tail drag marks in the sand.

Launching in a fairly protected cove

Not only did we have to content with the less than ideal conditions, but this is also a major shipping channel for Port Lincoln where grain carriers carefully navigate the passage of islands that lead them to the Southern Ocean. A Bulk Carrier puts out a hell of a wake which adds to the wave chop and rebound from the islands.

Keep your distance

Not only where the launches interesting, but even the landings in a protected cove, at the end of the paddle, were a mad dash to surf to shore, jump out and drag the kayak up without getting too wet.

Charlie coming into protected waters
Greg showing his style to land without wet feet

We knew today would be different as we prepared the kayaks on the beach at Taylors Landing. Taylors is protected and generally the last mainland point before heading across Thorny Passage to Thistle Island. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good enough weather window to be taking that route, but we would be exploring some stunning coastline.

Thistle Island is far in the distance and the closer island is Taylor Island.

Perfect conditions

Charlie had decided to make attach a Shark shield to his kayak this morning as we had just received the very sad news that a surfer had been taken by a Great White shark not far along the coast.

Loading up and checking the Shark Shield

We slid into the water and were away.

Clear calm water
How’s that for style

With Charlie keen to explore every small rock pool and Greg diligently following it was an excellent day of fun paddling.

We passed rugged granite cliffs and explored around lichen coloured boulders.

Greg was often around rocks
Charlie likes to poke his nose in
The Gulls

The next two photos show the clarity of the water and the reflection of the kayak. Charlie has “borrowed” my Greenland style paddle and is now an affectionado of the “carbon toothpick”.

Along the way we chatted to the local Sea Lions, caught a whiff of the local cormorant flock, watched small fish dart under the kayak as well as enjoying the stunning coastline.

Cormorant Rock
Drifting in close

When we got a little too close the Cormorants would waddle close to the rock edge, jump off and madly flap and run to get height. If you were in the wrong spot they would come straight at you, emptying their bowels, to lighten the load, as they struggled for altitude. Just don’t be in that wrong spot.

…and they’re off

The calm conditions gave us the chance to explore around the rock pools.

Charlie rocks
Ochre cliffs
Clear water

A White Bellied Sea Eagle kept a close eye on us for several kilometres, however, I think we were a little too big to be considered likely prey.

I’m watching you guys

It’s hard to do the scenery justice when taking photos from the kayak with a small Canon camera but here’s a few of the seascape. I have managed to drown another Nikon camera so it’s back to the “point and shoot” Canon until I decide on a new camera.

Our paddle ended on a sloping rock shelf in beautiful warming sunshine.

All that was left to do was take the 4wd track back to camp, take a walk on the beach, indulge in a cold beer, followed by a few glasses of red wine by the fire, which was diligently tended by Greg.

…and then the rain came.

A few days of great paddling.
Ian and Robyn, Greg and Charlie.

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