• Four Island Paddle

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    Date: Sunday 19 November, 2017
    Distance: 21km
    Conditions: Wind 15-20Kn Southeast, rain at times.

    The four island paddle was reduced to 3.5 and paddlers from 10 to three. The forecast was firm on showers which would be accompanied by an easterly moving around to the SE.

    Leading kayakers can be like herding cats and today was starting to look like no exception. The impromptu idea of heading up Moogurrapum Creek gave the tide a chance to flood through Snipe, however, it seemed that while a consensus had been reached, there was not one regarding the location of the creek. By the time the majority were amassed near the mouth of the creek, the rain put in it’s first appearance together with Santa Claire.

    Home to some surprisingly large cruisers and a couple of wrecks, this sheltered creek wends around to where precariously perched pines on the southern bank mark the Redlands Golf course. In one place the grassy bank opens to a vista down one of the fairways with picturesque picnic (and head injury) potential. We went as far as the first junction before returning to continue with the paddle across to and, by now hopefully through Snipe Island.

    Back at the mouth the SE had started to pick up where John, as leader, made a call to change the planned route. We absolved ourselves of his care. Together with Campbell we headed across to a hopefully suitably inundated Snipe. Well under it was passed in moments and we nosed out into a looming squall. The bay became grey. Heavy rain smashed the surface which shrouded with mist and spin drift. Chop curled into foam. Utterly entrancing as it was like a scale model of an ocean storm.

    Just off the top of a 2.5m high gave us passage in close to the SE corner of Garden Island. Wizened black trunked mangroves ringed a shallow rocky lagoon which lapped the red soil of Garden Island. Back in the channel the SE gave us a lift to Dalpura Bay. We enjoyed some morning tea under the shelter when we heard a strange hissing sound like a balloon de-gassing. It was made by a solitary curlew standing nearby.

    A 15Kn directly behind us made the trip back to Wilson’s Beach a lot of fun. I went off for a sail when Mark said he would hold back and think about stopping by should I go belly up. The Raider is getting on in years and in need of some TLC. When the front hatch went under and stayed there I started to wonder whether there might have a slight technical hitch. Turned out we were not sinking, probably just the downward force of the sail holding the nose under longer than usual.

    We came back smiling. It had a great day out. Paddled places we had not been before and in a variety of conditions. It was not a paddle for herding of cats and John had made the right call.

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