28 December 2010

Under Threatening Skies

While others were fighting for bargains at post-Christmas sales, or staying out of the wet weather on their couches at home, I was itching to get my kayak wet.

The only post-Christmas “sale” I was interested in involved using my Flat Earth kayak “sail”. Unfortunately the forecast was for heavy rain instead of wind, so I left the sail at home, grabbed my GP and Gnarlydog and launched under threatening skies.
In contrast to the sky, the bay was calm and unusually devoid of boats. My body relaxed into the familiar rhythm of the forward stroke; the only sounds the occasional splash of the paddle and the ‘tic tic tic’ of rain hitting the brim of my hat. A feeling of peace enveloped me. It was 6 years to the day since I first took up sea kayaking.

Approaching the reef surrounding of our destination, the water line was clearly higher than usual, with the incoming flow encroaching on the usually dry land. The king tide was flooding the small protected bay with warm, clear water providing perfect conditions to practice sculling and rolling.
dtre45_cTaking advantage of the rare water height, we weaved a path over the submerged beach through mangroves and shrubs, inaccessible at other times. Small sandstone cliffs were reminiscent of the coastline in North Queensland, the pink colours a contrast against the surrounding dark foliage.
along the cliff_cThis rainy day exploration had left me with the feeling of a remote experience in my own backyard bay.