Trip Diary

08-2012 Peel Island (An Ekka tradition)
08-2012 Moreton Island
07-2012 Rocky Point
06-2012 Blakesleys
06-2012 The Bedroom
05-2012 Breakfast on Karragarra
05-2012 St Helena
05-2012 Perigee Bedroom
02-2012 Queen Mary II
02-2012 Mud Island
11-2011 St Helena
11-2011 Shorncliffe to Redcliffe
10-2011 Weinam Ck to Dunwich
10-2011 Peel Island
10-2011 Breakfast on Karragarra
10-2011 St Helena and Green Island
09-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
08-2011 Fraser Island
08-2011 Canaipa Passage
08-2011 Karragarra
08-2011 Stradbroke Island
07-2011 St Helena
07-2011 So long, and thanks for all the fish.
05-2011 Green Island
05-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
04-2011 Upper Noosa River Weekend
04-2011 Easter at Woodgate
04-2011 Mud Island
04-2011 Karragarra for Breakfast
02-2011 Bongaree
02-2011 St Helena
01-2011 Weinam Ck to Blakesleys
10-2010 Moore to Blackbutt Rail Trail
10-2010 Whitsundays
09-2010 Mud Island
09-2010 Redcliffe
09-2010 Girraween
08-2010 Upper Noosa River
08-2010 Potts Point
08-2010 Peel Island
08-2010 Gateway to City Bike Ride
08-2010 Mud Island
07-2010 Blakesleys Afternoon Paddle
07-2010 Kedron Brook to Scaborough (and return)
04-2010 Colmslie Beach
04-2010 Brighton Park
01-2010 Nundah Creek
01-2010 Blakesleys
01-2010 Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
01-2010 New Year Paddle
12-2009 Potts Point
08-2009 Raby Bay to Peel Island
08-2009 Wynnum Creek to King Island
07-2009 Sandgate to Redcliffe
05-2009 St Helena
04-2009 Wellington Point to Peel
04-2009 Breakfast on Karragarra
03-2009 King Island
03-2009 Mission Point
03-2009 Mud Island
01-2009 Morning Tea at The Pin
01-2009 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
01-2009 New Year Recovery Paddle
12-2008 Caniapa
12-2008 Pine Rivers
11-2008 Coochie Night Paddle
10-2008 Breakfast at Karragarra
10-2008 Girraween
10-2008 Coomera Falls Circuit
09-2008 Hinchinbrook Island
09-2008 Manly Harbour Festival
09-2008 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2008 Weekend at Blakesleys
08-2008 Old Woman Island
08-2008 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
07-2008 Upper Noosa River
07-2008 Weinam Creek to Dunwich
06-2008 Scarborough to Bongaree
06-2008 Wellington Pt to St Helena
06-2008 North Stradbroke Jazz Weekend
05-2008 Point O'Halloran to Blakesleys
04-2008 Upper Noosa River
04-2008 Aquatic Paradise to St Helena Is
04-2008 Eprapah Creek
03-2008 Paradise Point to Moreton Island
03-2008 Wynnum Ck to Tangalooma Point
03-2008 Amity Point weekend
03-2008 Bremer River
03-2008 Brisbane River - Gregors Ck to Barneys Rocks
02-2008 Play Day - Coochie Mudlo
02-2008 World Wetlands Day Paddle
02-2008 Brisbane River night paddle
01-2008 Australia Day Week
01-2008 Blakesleys 3/4 Moon Paddle
01-2008 Shorncliffe to Nudgee
01-2008 Brisbane River - Barneys Rocks to O'Sheas Crossing
12-2007 Raby Bay to One Mile via Blakesleys and Potts Point
12-2007 Diamond Head to Tipplers
12-2007 Wynnum Ck to Green and St Helena Islands
11-2007 Bike Ride Bay Islands
11-2007 Tingalpa Creek
10-2007 Potts Point Night Paddle
10-2007 Return to Gilligans Island
10-2007 Salt Water Creek and Coomera River
09-2007 Elimbah Creek
09-2007 Scarborough to Caboolture River
09-2007 Fraser Island Whale Watching
09-2007 Circumnavigate Russell Island
08-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
08-2007 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2007 Brisbane River City Reach
08-2007 Peel Island
08-2007 Brisbane River
08-2007 Green Island Day Trip
07-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
07-2007 Mooloolah River
07-2007 USS Kitty Hawk in Brisbane River
06-2007 Black Tie on Peel Island
05-2007 Harrys Hut Camping Weekend
04-2007 Theodolite Creek
04-2007 Upper Burrum River
04-2007 Circumnavigate Big Woody
04-2007 Walkers Point to Toogum
03-2007 Boat Passage to Big Sandhills
12-2006 Woodgate to Mon Repos
10-2006 Fraser Island Whale Watching
04-2005 Keppel Islands
12-2004 Fraser Island
10-2004 Munna Point Camping Weekend
10-2004 Mooloolaba to Maroochydore
09-2004 Coochie Mudlo Island
08-2004 Karragarra Island
07-2004 Wellington Point to St Helena Island
06-2004 Noosa River Camping Weekend
05-2004 Brisbane River Night Paddle
04-2004 Budds Beach to Moreton Island
10-2003 Bulwer to Tangalooma
05-2003 Eatonsville to Harwood Island


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Adventurer Anthony Malloch

St Helena and Green Island
Date: 01-10-2011
Launch: Boat Passage
Distance: 28Km
Conditions: 20 - 30 Kn NW W SW
Hmmm. Chalk that one up to experience. By the time we stepped out on the muddy sand at Fisherman's Passage it felt like we had had a real workout. A dark grey 4WD pulled up at the top of the boat ramp and the driver offered us a lift back to Wynnum. Somewhat bemused, we thanked him, but explained the car was here. Oh that's alright then, I just wanted to make sure you two were okay before I got in my boat to come and rescue you. He thought we had started our paddle at Wynnum and he did not want us to head back. Neither did I. Had he had asked the same question in Wynnum he would have a car companion before he had finished the offer. No, we reassured him it had just been a shitty end to another day in paradise. He chuckled and said that if I had been his wife he would have divorced by now and drove off. I mean how good was that - a total stranger looking out for two twerps caught out by the change. A change we knew was on it's way, it was just a matter of timing.

It was a day for the birds. Melancholic meadowlarks trilled and swallows swooped as we pushed off to circumnavigate of St Helena and Green Island. It looked like the change was coming through later that afternoon or early evening, and we weren't too concerned as we planned it so that any SW would be up our clacker on the return leg. With a 2.4m high after midday, by 10:30 there was plenty of water in the mangrove passage which was alive with bird song. Pollen floated on the milky grey water as an ominously large fish drifted inbound with no obvious clues as to cause of its demise. At the entrance the black walking stick necks of nine swans glided northwards. At 11:30 approaching to St Helena we came across the Moreton Bay Canteen. It was promptly declared open for business. Temporary styrene seating was soon added to the collection jammed under the rear deck lines.

The tide height and millpond conditions allowed us to get right in next to the rock wall much to the bristling consternation of pairs of pied oyster catchers. A massive nest had been built behind the receiver of the tallest radio tower. Talk about room with a view. The mangroves morphed into aged trees but the density of the branches kept 5m intruders out. A truly beautiful white bellied sea eagle circled closely, not once but twice. Unusual but magnificent. The reason revealed itself in the fork of the next mangrove. A huge lair, a mere four feet from the water and fully exposed to the SE, it didn't seem like a wise place for the king. While we didn't hear any pips or cheeps, we were happily gaining a respectful distance when Mark disturbed the Emperor and Empress. Two osprey totally hidden from view lumbered out of the next cluster of mangroves and made us grateful only to be swooped by butcherbirds or magpies. These massively powerful birds would have your scalp. The tide condensed terns, gulls, dotterels and other shorebirds into an incredibly noisy chattering convention offshore. By the end of the island the clamour had been swept away by a rising NE and we sailed across to Green arriving at the spit at 1pm.

The first meal at the newly anointed Moreton Bay Canteen was lunch held on Green's western beach in the company of a yachtie who had come ashore with his two little girls, a jet skier who had was taking his son and a friend for a burl, a tinny towing a Hobie cat laden with young adults and the kayak crusher. After combing the beach for cuttlefish for the neighbour's electus parrots, a chat with the yachtie the cafe served up an enjoyable munch on salad rolls in the warmth of the sun.

By 2pm wind had swung around to the NW and we pushed off to circumnavigate Green. We were soon hooting around the northern end and the wind remained strong enough to continue flying down the eastern side. The regatta further south gave the second clue when they started to heel over dramatically. By the time we got a glimpse through the mangroves that shelter the southern point of Green was a clear what we were in for. Talk about bad manners. The NW had NOT informed the BOM that it was going to come in early. The bay was rocking and we were sea sawing our way through a short sharp chop right into a stiff 20 knots. At times there was more velocity for good measure. For the first time ever I found I could do nothing but point the Raider into the wind. To go starboard equalled crabbing into the mangroves, to port equalled go south. Unladen the Artic Raider had become an utter proverbial pain as I got a real time demo of troublesome windage. Mark in the Marlin on the other hand could go up to 45 degrees off the direction of the wind without morphing into a crab. So we ended up going whereever I could drive the Raider. And I mean drive hard. An effort which would have normally delivered 8 - 10kph was down to 2 or 4kph. First it was NW, then W then SW as the wind made its way around to the expected quarter. Punching directly into it, whilst rough, it was controlled and, unlike later, neither of us felt threatened, just unimpressed by the relentless grind, a grind which did not ease up until we were 400m from Darling Point. By now that grind had made the prospect of a catching taxi to Fisherman's Island look good even to a Scotsman.

With the SW easing to 15Kn and suitable for a sailing crab we picked up speed and encouragement, flying by the Wynnum jetty at an effortless 11Kph. Our main concern was now mud vs water. Given that we were in six inches of water on a falling tide I was prepared to sail to get us out of there asap. Well, that was quite something, sailing with a 30Kn SW up your clacker in an empty Raider. Not for the faint hearted, even if all that was at stake was some muddy dignity. The boat was alive and incredibly twitchy. With rudder on full lock and a paddle as a braking stern rudder the boat still wanted to round up. The force of the wind was kind enough to blow a tiny chop that kept us adrift in Alex Gutter, for a while. Then the inevitable. Mark came to a stalling halt, but after sinking past his knee is soft mud yelled at me to stay in my boat. This was not walking material. He flopped back in, poled the boat around to face NE and tried mud yachting (without the sail). It worked. The wind propelled him and the boat forward. If it hadn't next step would have been to let rip with the sail. By this time my sail was battened down and shallow muddy water at the very edge of the channel never looked quite as good as today. The last Km was more of the same grind as the wind gave a flag the profile of a flying brick.

In my view anyone who says they can paddle into a sustained 30Kn headwind and make progress is either powerful or doesn't know the true wind speed. A boatie asked if we had come back from Peel as a small group had left shortly before he decided to make a run for the passage in what he also found to be trying conditions. It wasn't Sandgate - they had left from Yundah Street as had Carol. The wind was certainly out of sorts, more like a winter westerly, one that switches on abruptly leaving few places to hide on Moreton Bay. Certainly not the kind of day we expected to have. Chalk it up and leave that one for the birds.
Millpond start
Through the passage
Disconcerting viewing
The discovery of the Moreton Bay Canteen
Approaching St Helena
The catchers and tower remains
Impressive nest
The eastern mangroves
With the kings lair
Kayak crusher
Inaugural meal at the Moreton Bay Canteen
That's all folks - time to hang on