The cliffs and beaches were most beautiful to look at today, and i had to stay VERY close to shore to try to get shelter from a nasty south-easterly all day.
It was not 100% working, and the tide was against me all morning as well. I eventually turned into the beach after Cape Boileau and stopped for about an hour to make a long interview phone call with Chris Cunningham for the next Sea Kayaker magazine issue. Good to be in mobile phone range again! Another long call to Greg was following, until I kicked myself out of the wind protection of the dunes to get going the last 33 km to Broome.
Landings before Cape Boileau were still tough on steep beaches with a nasty backsurge, but from now on th ebeaches were flat and the tide was going out a long way.
I was passing Willies Creek inside the outer sand banks on very low tide in crystal clear knee-deep water. Some dark shadows floating around, sharks, manta rays…but nothing too scary. I was jumping out sometimes to get wet. The wind stayed headwind all day, and eased little in the afternoon.
But eventually I approached Cable Beach at Broome, where all tourists pulled up with cars on teh beach to enjoy the day.
Plus there were three caravanes of 16 camels each, all 100% busy and packed with two fat tourists on each’s back…funny to watch. I was already thinking all day I was paddling the desert…
I pulled in the highest tourist area at the swimming beach where I knew was a shower at a staircase. I was here with Greg before, and felt a bit sad on my own now…but the shower was great and I filled my fresh water bags under the curious watch of the sunset tourists.
A nice elderly couple sitting on some rocks enjoying their sunset dinner were meanwhile taking cae of my boat not being flooded too early, as I was not sure how fast the tide would be running in. I was dragging it high up, but when I was back, it was almost afloat!
I rushed to pack and to get going right when the sun was setting, as I aimed for a remote beach spot between the tourist swimming beach and the boat anchorage at the end of the beach. No cars on this section, and I pulled in after the last tourist turned around walking back to their cars.
It was almost lowest tide, and the high tide line was about 500m away. i was happy to have at least my own trolley from Germany available, after Nadgee Kayaks Lawrence Geoghegan’s nice sponsorship offer didn’t work out (yet!) due to the late and off Sydney delivery of my new kayak.
I was just happy wheeling easily my half loaded boat up the hard flat sandy beach in bright full moonlight, when I thought I may as well put the just filled two camp gear bags back into the cockpit to save one way walking up the beach…this was too much for my inflatable tyres!!! It made “peng” like a bungee was snapping, what I actually thought until I noticed it is VERY tough pully despite my flat belt used for those chances…
The framework of my trolley is rock solid stainless steel and takes easily heavy loads, but my rubber tyres were some years old…this is what I haven’t taken into account at all! I was heavily cussing at myself about not checking, you can imagine…
The valve popped out of the inner tube, no chance of repairing and re-inflating. So I have to take off tomorrow to get in town either new inner tubes or new tyres…we’ll see what’s available.
Maybe it better happened here in civilisation than later…as I either have simply to land and launch at high tide whenever time of the day that would be, or to carry or drag the boat and gear across sheer endless sandflats landing on low tide…until Port Headland, I reckon accordingly to other kayaker’s experience.
Text message via satellite phone:
I had a shower and filled up waterbags at Cable Beach’s public area. Broke a trolley wheel on the first use today, landing at low tide.The valve came off the rubber, probably rotten old. Have to check in town tomorrow to get a new wheel or inner tube. Lawrie’s wheels wouldn’t have had that issue…