Greg and I spent the last two nights before launching in Lombadina again in a “luxury” campsite hut with a real bed instead of staying in my tent. Good for sorting out the trip food for the next two weeks, and taking some gear pics.
I forgot to shop for milk powder in Broome, so I was visiting the well-sorted local Aboriginal shop and found some!
I liked to give Greg the “honor” to sit in my new boat he was outfitting and sealing with lots of effort and time input. Thanks for that! First time in my life I have now a brandnew NON-LEAKING boat!!! He’s the best partner in the world!
I would be happy to get the experienced sea captain of a 19m vessel afloat! He is very keen to give it a go in a kayak some day, and was already playful trying some of my tricks! :-))
But now it was time to pack and to be ready to get on the water again after 9 days of recovery and kayak-swapping break! We drove up to Kooljaman the previous day already to check out with the rangers Warwick and Mark the best beach drive accesss to get me as close to the take-out-point as possible. They were fully booked as last time, so we were more happy to find accomodation at the quiet Lombadina.
We left Lombadina in darkness, to arrive at the beach at first light. Greg had to de-flate the tyres of our rental 4-wheel drive car to have a better grip on the soft sand. Nontheless we got stuck once and he was pushing the car out with me driving…but eventually we were at the beach and I started packing my boat. Yes, all the gear from the last entry’s pic was fitting inside, including my trolley!
It was food for two weeks and water for five days. Not as much as before I launched from Darwin for the Kimberleys, but quite some weight again…80-90 kg…how much I would love to paddle an empty boat like Paul Caffyn was doing 27 years ago on his supported trip almost all of the time!!!
I’d estimate “supported” with someone driving my gear along the shore I’d be 20-30% faster on paddling, plus the time saved on packing and setting camp…I’m definitively doing it the harder way since I started in Melbourne.
Packing in strong wind was not much fun as the wind was blowing a little sandstorm over my kayak, but oh well…to make it just a bit harder…
The paddle around Cape Leveque was fast, with strong following wind and luckily the tide already running into the right direction. Not many waves going. The wind was then in my stern quarter, but still kind of pushing, until it eased late morning to nothing anymore and I had a hard time to still find the calm flat water entertaining…but I have to take what I get! Not the worst conditions at all, but I simply love more “water-action” not to get bored! Some dolfins playing around me were a good omen for the new start.
Text message from Freya via satellite phone:
16.45 122.35 Chimney Rocks. 60km 7:00 am to 6:pm. A strong beam-bow wind for the start, then calm. Beautiful sunset! It feels good to be moving again, but I’m tired as hell now. New boat feels good!