I was on the water again at 6am, with quite some strong following winds today.
I knew going around the wide headland before Point Hood would be quite funny, but I didn’t expect it to be that ugly!
A huge south westerly swell was rolling against the cliffs, creating some rebound waves crashing back from the steep cliffs, creating fountains of 3-4 m high clapotis waves.
For one time I was sitting on top of them, then crashing into the trough again, up and down, up and down…simply a HUGE messy water! It was quite scary as well, as occasionally a fat fountain was collapsing on my back deck with a noise different to a “normal” breaker. It was less likely to throw you, as the water came from both sides, but way more out of control. I probably covered three times the distance vertically than horizontally!
I was more than happy to near then end of that cliffy headland section towards Point Hood, where I knew, when I would be turned around the corner, out of the wind and out of the reach of the south westerly swell, the sea would be simply a totally different ocean – calm and quiet! I aimed to sneak between the headland and the first small island into the calm shelter, and could relax a bit then. I pulled out my breakfast box, and called Greg I made it through that mess with no major problem! It was just simply scary…and just in case, no one would be able to peel me off the cliffs…
The crossing of Doubtful Islands Bay was a pleasure after that horror section, strong following winds pushing me nicely across, with no big seas building. Road access was either at Point Ann or at Point Charles, but further north would be the next one in Hopetoun, which was too far. So it had to be Point Charles, where I arrived already at 2.30 pm.
Point Charles had on Greg’s map a campsite and a toilet building, so the track should be all right to get in! But he had actually to find the ranger to open a gate to let him in, as the campsite has been closed for the last two years for some ground disease reason. It was in perfect new shape though!
Greg making his way to Point Charles with some red bull bars on the car
I was landing easily in the sheltered corner on a beach with pure white flour sand, and colors out of a picture album! Purely magnificent! I rinsed my body with some cold fresh water, got changed, and started to walk up on the dunes to find a sign of civilization, either the campsite, toilet building or Greg with the van. I saw the Fitzgerald Inlet, and decided the way out must be on the northern end. The map showed a track there, but the GPS map showed the track on the southern end.
But I found the track eventually on the northern end, and got in VHF contact with Greg. He was just driving on a rough track which hasn’t been used for long, occasionally removing fallen trees and other obstacles. We arrived at he beautiful campsite both at the same time, me walking in from south east, he driving in from north west! The car made a strange noise…luckily Greg found out on removing a wheel it was only a piece of stone stuck to the brakes.
We had a brand new working gas cooking facility, picnic table and toilet for ourselves, everything just a bit unclean as it was not really in use. What a pity, as it was such a beautiful spot besides the inlet and only one km from the beach! Well, good for us, as I love to be in such a spot with NO neighbors…
The only problem was the mosquitoes…at least for me! I was used to jump in my tent at night, closing the bug net zippers, killing the last trapped in ones and to do everything else inside then, undisturbed by any buzzing and biting insect. Here they were even biting my butt through my pants – bloody bastards! Bug spray, generously applied, was working a bit, but not on my pant legs. I had a hard time to relax, and was close to put up my tent besides the van…
Greg cooked a great dinner on the cooking facilities, and we kind of first time enjoyed a bit of time for ourselves in our private campsite. We got chairs and table out, strapped a tarp over everything, and Greg had lots of ideas to improve our car camping facilities here and there.
The forecast was ugly strong winds for tomorrow, up to 40 kn, though following… but we fell asleep with the nice thought about not to have to get up early next day.
Text message via satellite phone:
Point Charles 55km 6to14.5 horrifying rebound around the point for 10km, with 3to4m swell and 20kn following wind. Easy cond.in Doubtf Island Bay