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.
October 2018
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Bathurst Harbour Day 7

And the sun comes out properly for the final stretch

There was enough time between waking up and breakfast to pop down to the water’s edge and catch sight of a small flotilla of swans floating down Melaleuca Inlet. The light was quite gloomy and so this photo was shot at ISO1600 for 1/5 second, which explains a lot of things about the photo’s blurriness … but I like it.

bIMG_6879a Unfortunately — or fortunately (I’m not entirely sure) — some movement of mine disturbed the swans and the jumpy critters took off. I just had time to catch this shot, still with the low light settings. This has lots of potential as a photo, I think, and I’d love to be able to try getting a better version of it, but doing so would not be good for the swans, I fear!bIMG_6880

As we packed up and launched for our final departure, there were a few downy feathers floating in the still waters.

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As far as the weather was concerned, this was the sunniest and calmest of all the days. I was about to write that it was the “best” of all the days, but, on reflection, I think I really appreciated seeing and experiencing such a wide variety of moods over the whole trip, so that there weren’t bests, just differents.

There’s no doubt, though, that, on reflection, still waters are best for reflections.

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Our trip back up the inlet left Mt Rugby behind us, and was easy paddling for the most part … until my right rudder cable broke about a kilometre from the end (but in these conditions it was possible — though a little sluggish — to steer by paddle actions).

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At one stage we rafted up beside the bank for the lolly jar ritual and amused ourselves as a boatload of fly-in day-trippers motored past, by pointing animatedly off into the trees at some imagined point of interest. Well, it’s all pretty interesting!

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It was a bit sad for the journey to be coming to an end, but it was nice to get such a fine weather conclusion as a contrast to the windy and drizzly conditions of the reverse journey on our first day.

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(Photo above by Roaring 40°s Kayaking)

After disembarking the kayaks looked a bit forlorn at the jetty, although we still had to go through the process of getting them ashore and unloading them.

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They look even more forlorn in this shot (just before they were loaded onto their storage racks), but this kind of captures the sense of the itty-bitty human engaging with the vast wild landscape.

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With the weather so good, our flight out had some fantastic views of Melaleuca, Bathurst Harbour itself with the Celery Top Islands, and the peaks of the south-west wilderness.

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In short, it was a totally fantastic trip. I would whole-heartedly recommend Roaring 40°s Kayaking, the company which organises such trips, as the guides were friendly, knowledgeable and expert, and I felt both secure and challenged as we explored this amazing place. We were looked after well in terms of food and equipment; and the choices of destinations in line with the weather conditions were excellent. I am seriously thinking about signing up for the same trip again, not least because I know it won’t actually be the same trip since conditions and destinations may be different. There’s still so much to see down there, and the same things to see in different conditions, and it’s just an awesome location anyway that I wouldn’t care if I was seeing the same things in the same conditions (unlikely though that’s likely to be!).

Here’s the map of the final leg (which looks pretty much like the map of the Day 1 leg, but isn’t).

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I also tracked the flight path for our flight back to Cambridge.

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Finally, here is the whole trip.

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