Wednesday 26 August 2015


The last of the showers were clearing away out to see as we took off early for one of my favourite local paddles; taking off from Scarborough and paddling over to a sandbank that is affectionately known as Gilligans.   This sandbank only appears at low tide and is found a couple of kilometers off Skirmish Point on Bribie Island.

This sandbank is a great place for rough water paddling when the conditions are sending swell from the North.  On those big swell days when we have cyclones in the Coral Sea, it can be frightening.  I have found myself airborne in a six meter sea kayak as waves wrap around the bank and meet over the shallow ground pushing you skywards in an explosion of water.  That wasn't today with a gentle meter or so of swell pushed into peaks as the tide slowly reclaimed the bank.

The only thing you need to be aware of is that the waves come from two or more different directions and you can catch a wave from behind, to be hit by a wave coming from 90 degrees to the direction you are going.

This is a nice 26-30 km round trip with a leg stretch and second breakfast on the sandbank (if the tide is right) before paddling the 13kms back to Scarborough.  Best to paddle over on an outgoing tide and back on an incoming tide.  The tide can rip through the channel between Gilligans and Skirmish Point on springs giving an ever changing tidal race if you get wind and swell from the north.

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