Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sea kayak trip to Norman Island off Wilsons Promontory

What to do when the wind is not blowing?  Theres Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPs), surfing, swimming, fishing or sea kayaking.

It has taken me 35 years to realise a teenage dream to paddle out to one of the islands off the western side of Wilsons Promontory.

The day after our epic sessions in Norman Bay at Tidal River had no wind and was fine and sunny.

The route was direct to Norman Island, around it anti-clockwise then return to Tidal River.  I had a brief fish in Norman Bay but had no luck, so I set off on my journey to the island.

View Norman Island sea kayak trip in a larger map

Heading out there against the swell was consistent paddling but not difficult.  It was great to finally get there, then shelter in the lee of the island and take in new vistas of Wilsons Promontory.  The water was clean and green.  A couple of pairs of Cape Barren Geese were nesting on the island and honked a bit, but I kept my distance.

There is nowhere safe to land as a swell still reaches behind the island and it is all granite with no beach.  These islands are all bird sanctuaries so landing is not permitted in any case.

Then came the dicey part - I headed out from the lee side and paddled around the island in an anti clockwise direction.  It was much wilder and daunting in the open ocean.  Big swells were coming in and then rebounding of the island and coming back out, which made for choppy conditions that  threated to tip the kayak.

I got a fright while taking a photo, so I paddled further out and kept going with firm strokes until I made it around.  I had a paddle float and a bilge pump, but I really didn't want to have to use them.

Once around the island I headed directly back to Tidal River, surfing down the decent rolling swell as it rolled past.  An excellent short tour.  The total distance was about 18km.  It was a great trip, occasionally daunting, and not for the faint hearted or unprepared.  You need to take self rescue equipment including a Personal Locator Beacon (EPIRB) when more than 2km off shore.  

Looking out past Norman Point to the Glennie Group

Norman Bay, looking at Mount Oberon

Nearing Norman Point, Norman Island in distance

Approaching Norman Island

South end of Norman Island, lee side

Norman Island, lee side

Mount Oberon

Norman Island, lee side

Norman Island, lee side

Norman Island, lee side

Norman Island, windward side (dicey)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow takes courage to do that no room for error well done