Trip Report: Frederick Henry Bay

Cave Island sounded more exciting on the map - but I only found a few small caves.
Cave Island sounded more exciting on the map – but I only found a few small caves.

With the Bass Strait crossing fast approaching, I thought a family holiday to Tassie would be a good chance to familiarise myself with the cooler waters down south and get in a few training sessions.

I have been out on Frederick Henry Bay (just east of Hobart) for several short trips and really enjoyed the variety of coastline, scenery and islands compared to the relatively boring beaches of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay.

Cave Island
Cave Island
I don't think I was supposed to land on Spectacle Island due to some sort of bird sanctuary but there were a few blokes there snorkelling for pre-Christmas crayfish so I pulled up for a quick break on this shell beach.
Not sure if I was supposed to land on Spectacle Island due to some sort of bird sanctuary but there were a few blokes there snorkelling for pre-Christmas crayfish so I pulled up for a quick break on this shell beach.
Calm waters, clean sand and no people.....great spot at Sandy Point near Dodges Ferry.
Calm waters, clean sand and no people…..great spot at Sandy Point near Dodges Ferry.
Woody Island near Midway Point.
Woody Island near Midway Point.
Sunrise at Roches Beach. I managed to paddle 10km and cook breakfast before the family woke up.
Sunrise at Roches Beach. I managed to paddle 10km and cook breakfast before the family woke up.
I found some shelter from a stiff northerly in this great little cliff-cove near Cape Deslacs
I found some shelter from a stiff northerly in this great little cliff-cove near Cape Deslacs
More cliffs near Cape Deslacs
More cliffs near Cape Deslacs
As I rounded Cape Deslacs I am pretty sure I saw WILD OATS in the distance of Storm Bay as she approached her win in the Sydney to Hobart.
As I rounded Cape Deslacs I am pretty sure I saw WILD OATS in the distance of Storm Bay as she approached her win in the Sydney to Hobart.

The cliffs of Cape Deslacs were very interesting and there were several narrow caves that could potentially be explored if you had calm seas and a plastic kayak.

This rocky beach at Sloping Island provided a welcome break from the rough water
This rocky beach at Sloping Island provided a welcome break from the rough water

One of my trips was a run from Roches Beach to Sloping Island and back. As I got within a couple of km of the island I had the outgoing tide fighting the incoming SW swell and 20 knots of wind and chop coming from a 3rd direction. It made for pretty exciting paddling and I was relieved to find this sheltered little beach.

The wind at Sloping Island was playing havoc with my hairstyle
The wind at Sloping Island was playing havoc with my hairstyle

I wasn’t looking forward to the return leg as I would have to go back through the same rough patch as before plus fight the wind most of the way home. Fortunately the wind died down a bit but it was a slow 13km.

Taking photos on Sloping Island provided the only excuse I needed to delay my return to the water.
Taking photos on Sloping Island provided the only excuse I needed to delay my return to the water.

So I have seen most of Frederick Henry Bay now and last night I met a Tassie local who provided some hot tips on great paddling locations. So stay tuned for some more pics…..

Special thanks to the Spirit of Tasmania for not charging me extra $ to take my overhanging kayak on the ferry and for Mrs Bretto for picking me up from strange places – normally later than the agreed time!

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Trip Report: Flinders again

Flinders Ocean Beach starring MowBro, G-Man, Coop Dogg & Hardman (L-R)
Flinders Ocean Beach starring MowBro, G-Man, Coop Dogg & Hardman (L-R). Strangely there was only 1 beard out of 5 sea kayakers.

Bretto is no stranger to a solo adventure – but it’s always more fun to get out there with some like minded mates for a bit of fun. We hit the water at 0630 this morning and decided to launch from the Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary (access via Flinders Golf Course).

Conditions were great with a 5-10 knot wind and gentle swell rolling in from the SW. After we had negotiated our way through a gap in the reef and the breaking waves – we headed west towards Cape Schanck.

G-Man doing it easy in the XP18. Taking on liquid ballast seems to be a feature of this boat
G-Man doing it easy in the XP18. Taking on liquid ballast in the Fore Peak Tank seems to be a feature of this boat
A Hardman is good to find
A Hardman is good to find
Coop Dogg, MowBro and Hardman enjoying the fantastic coastline
Coop Dogg, MowBro and Hardman enjoying the fantastic coastline

The mild conditions provided a great opportunity to practice some deep water re-entries and self rescues.

Coop Dogg and MowBro battling it out for line honours
Coop Dogg and MowBro battling it out for line honours

Coop Dogg's Pittarak is mighty ugly and rolls like a greasy refrigerator - but for $100 it was the sea kayak bargain of the year.

Coop Dogg’s Pittarak is mighty ugly and rolls like a greasy refrigerator – but for $100 it was the sea kayak bargain of the year.

There was a few cases of mild seasickness in the group (Bretto included) so after a few hours cruising around we weaved our way back through the reef and landed safely at the beach.