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.
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Bathurst Harbour Day 4B

Beach wanderings and a sea cave

After bringing our kayaks ashore onto Wallaby Beach there was time to wander its 1km length and get a sense of this remote place.

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The tortured west coast rocks formed fascinating outcrops jutting out across the sand.

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Part of the way along the beach there is a big old Huon pine tree stump which has been eroded over time. Huon pine is actually quite water resistant — indeed, its present rarity is due to the fact that it was felled for shipbuilding — and its characteristic strongly grained timber was evident in the curiously jagged edges of the stump.

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We could see across Payne Bay to Whalers Cove, with the brackish surface water evident in the breaking waves.

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Wallaby Arch on Ashley Point was worth another shot.

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There were a few hooded plovers scurrying along the beach (I think I used to call these dotterels … and, after some very befuddling googling, it turns out that they are called both). This is why scientific names are good. It’s Thinornis cucullatus, if you really want to know. They’re cute, anyway … and also a threatened species, because they nest on the shoreline and often lose their eggs to klutz-footed galumphers.

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On our return to the southern end of the beach it was time for lunch. It became a bit of a joke on the trip that our guides would go to the trouble of erecting the dining fly because of the threatening showers, and then the weather would hold off and everyone would eat outside. bIMG_4250

In the afternoon we set off again for our return journey, with a little shuffling of kayak partners to balance out some of the workload. We headed out of Wallaby Bay and this time headed between Kathleen Island and the Mavourneen Rocks, a string of rocks/islets that skip dangerously across the gap between the mainland and Kathleen Island. bIMG_6645

In today’s conditions the gap we took was navigable in kayaks with no drama, and then we made our way well inside the northern-most of the Breaksea Islands, visible in the photo below thanks to the higher cloud.  bIMG_6652croppedfull

As we moved back into Bramble Cove we paid a visit to another sea cave. This one was quite low and narrow, to such an extent that you have to ship your paddle and pull yourself along by holding on to the walls (or paddling by hand when your arms don’t quite reach!). bIMG_6660

The particularly cool thing about this cave is that with the smaller single kayak it is possible to complete an underground loop that rejoins the main cave: in the photo below, Tory is about to head forward further into the cave and around to the left, and she ended up coming out pretty much at the stern of my kayak.

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My new kayaking companion decided she’d like to race a pair of the guys home, and since they already had a headstart our exertions were doomed from the start, but we enjoyed the challenge. I think that it was because of this effort that I decided to go for a swim when we got back, despite the fact that the weather was still less than summery.

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The water was a little chilly, but I got used to it enough to call it “refreshing”, and I ended up staying in for a while and feeling much better for it.

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After a 17km day (15km by kayak, 2km along the beach … or thereabouts*) it was really nice to sit down for another totally excellent dinner even knowing that I’d have to brace myself for second helpings to ensure that there weren’t any leftovers (you don’t want leftovers in the wilderness). We even had a birthday cake, as a surprise for our sole international participant, whose birthday it actually wasn’t (he’d told us a story about not liking to use his true birthdate when signing up for things online, and had once used some arbitrary day with an airline company, only to find himself in the awkwardly beneficial position of having the airline wanting to give him a gift because, unexpectedly, he ended up with a flight on the day he’d nominated as his birthday!).

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(Photo above by Roaring 40°s Kayaking)

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* I have the GPS track logs. I could tell you exactly. I’m that kind of person. However, with an extreme effort, I managed to decide not to.

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