Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
August 2020
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Bathurst Harbour Day 4A

Going to Wallaby Bay is a swell idea

There were some drizzly showers overnight and during the day, but the wind was largely absent, which was good. After breakfast I had a little time to balance precariously on a ledge to take this drippy photo.


It was then time to warm up ready for the day’s kayaking. Things started seriously enough but degenerated towards the end: this is Damian and I doing what I think is an impersonation of Space Invaders. I’m not sure if that’s also what Damian was thinking; in any case, the routine involved moving to the left and right with funny leg movements. It didn’t catch on.


(Photo above by Roaring 40°s Kayaking)

With gear for a day trip on board we launched into the bay.


(Photo above by Roaring 40°s Kayaking)

I confess I took a selfie, and here’s the evidence (I took other selfies, but they were worse, so you’re not going to see the evidence for them!).


The morning was very peaceful, and the mist drifting across the nearby hills really added to the atmosphere. bIMG_6597

At times the misty rain obscured the outer islands, giving us a sense of mystery because we knew we were heading out in that direction.


These mizzly occultations tended not to last for long, drifting eastwards behind us in a succession of short-lived showers.




As we headed west and out into Port Davey we marvelled at the tortured metamorphic quartzite rock, and the effects that the sea has had on it. The swell was gentle enough for us to be able to take it in turns to reverse into this sea cave.



Once out of Bramble Cove and into the more open waters we really started to notice the swell. There were waves breaking on Boil Rock (in the photo below) and crashing into Kathleen Island as we passed on its seaward side. It was a little disturbing at first, with the swells being at least 1m and sometimes almost 2m (so that you might briefly lose sight of some of the group), but before too long it was possible to tell that it wasn’t malicious and that our broad-beamed kayaks were very stable and showed no signs of doing anything untoward. bIMG_6622

This meant that it was possible to enjoy the ride, marvel at the ruggedness of the coastline, and imagine what it might be like in even bigger seas than these. As we passed Kathleen Island things got a little more exciting, as we encountered what are known as “clapitous” seas, where the incoming sea swell meets the reflection of the swell bouncing off the cliffs, and so you have swells running in both directions and colliding and amplifying each other. I don’t have any photos of this bit, because concentrating on paddling (and keeping the camera dry) seemed a much better idea at the time. [This entry will increase the number of nautical references to “clapitous” on the internet by 20%, since it seems to be a rarely used word that is completely missing from Wiktionary and the online Oxford. I may have to find a paper dictionary — shock, horror! — to double-check its reality!]


As we neared Wallaby Bay, we started to round Ashley Point, notable for the sea arch at its end. From the sea-ward side the waves seemed to be rolling through quite aggressively.


Once around Ashley Point — steering a wide course to avoid the reef running off the end of it — we reached the shelter of Wallaby Bay, and made our way back out to the arch from the lee/land side beneath the cliffs.


Here the turbulence of the water and the chemical makeup of the tannin in the water produced some interesting foam and foambergs as the water came tumbling through the arch. Much of the force had dissipated by the time the flow reached the inner side, and so we could nose our kayaks up quite close to the arch in relative safety, just catching a relatively small broken wave wash under our bows. It was a pretty awesome place to be.



We then continued in to shore for lunch and a wander along the beach.


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