Saturday 30 August 2014

Suttons Beach to Tangalooma Return - 58 kms

Not what we expected to see parked in the middle of the shipping channel off Moreton Island.  I'm not sure if this was a scheduled visit or if the P&O Pacific Pearl was sheltering from a series of low pressure systems that have been generating some large seas and wild swell off the SE Queensland coast. The end result was a resort overrun with tourists that was similar to the Gold Coast in summer, good for the local resort but not so good for a couple of kayakers seeking some solitude and a camp under a tree before paddling home.

We had hatched a plan to do a longer paddle during this weekend, and with a bit of rescheduling we ended up settling on 2 x 27 km crossings out to Moreton Island and back.  Unfortunately the tides weren't perfect for us with morning and afternoon low tides and a lunch time high tide.  I would aim for a lunch time low tide if I was going to do this crossing again.

We took off at 6:00 am at the bottom of the tide from Suttons Beach, generally aiming at the port side channel markers a bit south of Tangalooma, before crossing over to the starboard side marker on the way to the wrecks, about a kilometer north of resort.  We averaged just over 8 kms/hr for most of the paddle with no wind assistance to talk about until we hit the main shipping channel that runs down the inside of Moreton Island - an outgoing tide would have made crossing the shipping channel a little more comfortable, but our paddling speed only dropped by a km or so per hour as we pushed against the tide.

The wrecks are definitely worth snorkeling around, but with so much traffic and another 30 kms to go, we just paddled around them before heading down to the resort for a quick lunch break with the other 20 million people who decided to visit Tangalooma on this beautiful pre-spring weekend.

As crowds were not what we were looking for, we grabbed a bite to eat and got on the water again to paddle down to Shark Point for a short break before heading home.

Fins on the water?  The sail was up with hope of an afternoon sea breeze popping up to help us home - it came through an hour or so later so I spent the last two hours of the crossing catching runners and hitting up to 19 kms/hr which made for a pleasant end to a long day paddle.

Fin was from the friendly variety - we had lots of these visit on the crossing, popping up in front of the kayaks when we least expected it.

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