An incoming tide and favourable breeze boded well for a predictable paddle to Blakesleys. Yet at times we were left wondering if we had fallen through the looking glass.
On the way over a warning beacon morphed into a life raft which stabilised as flotilla of 50th balloons. There was no time to party as we on a mission to get into the mangroves before the tide turned. A Spiderco knife was used for the first time in a decade. A colourful morass of entrails was promptly dispatched into Mark’s glovebox.
After careful passage by the oyster leases we slipped into the mangroves out of sight and into another world. Now we were nosing amongst silent paperbarks rising out of tannin stained water. Tucked away in the reeds was a dinghy with a couple of fishing rods resting over its gunnels. The smooth lines of the kayaks knitted in the sedges gave the appearance of a pack of predators prowling for the hapless stumpy dinghy. A dinghy with no chance as it had been hulled. Our destination was to check out a fresh water lagoon a couple of feet from the mangroves, a place which may be accessible from the salt on a king tide. On Google Earth this intriguing confluence runs for several Km in a southward direction towards Blakesleys.
We slunk back out through the mangroves to a bay that yielded to a steady NE. It was an easy sail south. After morning tea there was a slow goose chase around Blakesleys until the Phaius australis were found. This time they were slim pickings in a broad swale. No flower spikes. Just a few leaves. Maybe they too had gone to another world. A wander up the sand track revealed that the road continued to be frequented by mining traffic.
The white caps were forming. After sailing a lumpy ride it was lunch at a picnic table in the shelter back from Flinders Beach. This is a great place to pull in as it has a very well presented shower and toilet block nearby. Launching after lunch was a bit tricky. The beach had revealed more rocks and the wind was only too happy to give you a shove in their general direction, even if you hadn’t put your deck on.
It was a fun paddle back to Point O’Halloran with the odd unexpected gust, one of which blew Mark’s hat off. Thank goodness for the free yellow foam key float which was all that could be seen bobbing in the water. This paddle to Blakesleys had been less than predictable with unexpected new finds for further exploration another time.