Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cape Perron Sea Kayak Expedition








Slow packing, so I set up the tent next to the Van and thus ensure I have all necessary gear for the trip.


Camp 1 in dunes near Cape Perron. Dolphins fishing in the sunset.
Lunch spot just before Gregorys campsite
Oysters on rocks just before my last campsite
Camp day 2,  South of  Gregorys 4wd campsite. 



Day 3 after having gone back North to Cape Perron, and then back south to the van, I get some drizzle.



(Click on a photo for large view Gallery)



Click below for my slideshow 
with footage of Dolphins fishing and rough water kayaking.
(click on the square, bottom right of vid for large screen view)





“If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.” ― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic



After my initial 4 nights at Cape Perron Np,  I go to Monkey Mia camp area (18$/nite unpowered). Where I meet French people, an Austrian family,  do a day cruise to see Dugong on the Shotover Catamaran.  After the Kayak expedition I go back there to wash down and dry my gear, and do the sunset cruise (included in day fare).

Learn a lot about Dolphins... they eat 8-12 kg per day,  hunt much like we would, holding their breath.  8 hrs fishing, 8 hours semi sleep,  rest is play.

Sharks on the other hand eat about 400g per day... so they are rarely hungry, and go for easy pickings - they can tear up a carcass with their big teeth.  Hence they mostly ignore humans.  The only really dangerous ones are the great whites found in cold waters further south.

Monkey Mia has lots of Tiger Sharks in hotter periods.

Long history here as well - Dirk Hartog landed on Hartog island in the 1600s....  first European contact, then came the French (Perron) and Then British.

The crew on the cruise said sightings of dolphins etc were v good up at Cape Perron and Bottlenose bay,  so I decide to drive to Herald Bight,  pack,  Leave the Troopy there (with camp permit) and kayak off for 3 days. Around the cape with light winds,  back on day 3 with headwind. Once I reach the cape I get pushed South , which make the paddle back to the Van easy.
Some drizzle on the last day - I set up my small groundsheet as rain cover.   With spare paddles as uprights.  Note to self: I need a bigger tarp.

I wear a lightweight neoprene top (adrenaline) and bottom and booties, to be on the safe side if I capsize and have to swim.

Very relaxing to get away from it all... sunsets,  dolphins fishing off the beach at the cape, Just my sat phone to receive messages.  And my laptop to review gopro footage etc.

Need to do this more often... and long ones ... 3 weeks would be quite something (resupplying food aong the way).  Lot to be said for long distance Hiking/ Kayaking - gets you out of your rut, you eat less and work out more.... and get back to basics - move, keep warm, eat, get a special connection with nature.

Day 3 , on the fairly long paddle North back to get back around the Cape, I had an increasingly strong headwind, waves. Just enough to make it a challenge. And I found myself jubilating, conversing with the sea: "thanks for the challenge, I'll get through this".  

Rounding the cape I was aware of capsize possibility and was not keen to do so with all my gear and the currents. (although I practiced my rolls on arrival at the van and found the extra gear was not an issue. My rolls were a bit lame to start off though.)  I started chanting the Maori Haka (Kamate Kamate , Kora Kora) 
as I do in such situations.  I can sometimes connect with old tribal races and I find it helps when battling the wild elements. 

Sometimes, weirdly, I feel more affinity with the Maori or Aboriginals than with European stock... we have succeeded by using our minds a lot to create technology and a system of laws, but this gets in the way in elemental survival , or when trying to calm the agitated mind.  After all, I believe the mind is a tool of the true self (like we use a calculator/ memo pad) and the true self is immortal and very serene, unlike the mind which tends to get tied up in circular ruminations and tries to solve problems beyond its scope. When we should be using our animal instinct, or our divinely connected intuition.  See Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander who had a Near Death Experience for more on this idea.  






Cape Perron National Park, WA










Big lagoon campsite


Herald Bight beach camping


 what Drilling does to your hands... callouses mucho 



Sat phone connected to the Geostationary Thuraya Satellite  above Singapore. 
At Cape Perron, I was connected to "Thuraya Indian Ocean" - which is their 2nd Satellite I beleive. 
This is the future of Comms: wireless, global and later with fast internet. 



(click on a photo for large version gallery)



Very pleasant 4 nights in the NP,  made possible due to my 4WD capability (sandy tracks). Tires down to 18 PSI or so.

After this I drive back out to monkey mia, text Nathan and told not to rush back (to kalgoorlie), work is still slack. So decide to do a 3 day paddle from Herald Bight (next blog entry).

I Camp at big lagoon - with sites, pit toilet ,   and also Herald bight - beach camping, no formal sites, pit toilet.
Drive 40km or so , weaving happily through the sand.  Camp right on the beach at Herald Bight - complete isolation... thats a great thing.  No one else there.  very relaxing... its moments like this you understand why people 4wd camp, and how we all need complete solitude in inspiring nature from time to time.  Makes me think of doing the same thing in a yacht...

Glad to Have my Sat phone - I check it twice a day to see if I get a message from work calling me back on a "swing".  

Cold water - but I still take dips.  18deg or so.   Paddle up North of Herald near big red cliff and see stingrays and small sharks. Strong winds to paddle against.


Monkey Mia and Denham, WA
























A really pleasant end-of-the-world place, with low red dunes coming down to the sea.

Famous for dolphin feeding at Monkey Mia.  Small very easy-going township of Denham.  Break from Drilling goes on a bit, so I get work at the local pub as a kitchenhand for a while (24$/hr !).  Which brings in a bit of money and helps me meet the locals - including Damo, from France who is setting up a Kitesurfing venture there.  he used to sell Beneteau yachts at la Baule in France.

Almost continuous winds,  shallow waters - ideal for kitesurfing.

I appreciate the 4WD of my Troopy in Cape Perron National Park  (next entry). Where deep sand makes 4WD essential.  Drive 40km or so , weaving happily through the sand.  Camp right on the beach at Herald Bight - complete isolation... thats a great thing.  No one else there.

An expensive to maintain beast - had to get 4 new tyres and later new shocks at Geraldton. But does give one the advantage of wild camping of the road, down sandy tracks, with the guarantee of getting out safely.

Denham has a real 80s feel to it... sandy street sides, old business fronts, Not overdeveloped like a lot of the sunshine coast.

Cold winds and chilly nights at this time of year.