This morning I *had* to go, though the headwinds smelled still strong. But I can’t wait forever for ideal conditions! Bill drove me to the launching beach, where we woke a guy sleeping in his car.
I was quickly packed, and ready to go. I took water for three days, as I was simply too lazy and tired at night to go and look for fresh water on the local houses. They may have people there, they may not, it may be a long walk, and I rather carried a bit than having the pressure to find water. Three more days with a fully loaded boat! I was really looking forward to meet Greg again, not only to get rid of the crab in my boat!
The sea was still rough and lumpy, but luckily it eased down a bit towards the middle of the crossing. The wind came down from 20 kn as well, and for half an hour there was almost no wind! I was hoping it would stay like that, but the afternoon sea breeze was reliable coming up with 15kn headwinds again…
I was aiming for Cape Cassini via GPS, but it was easy visible from the distance with some white hills. Only on Kangaroo island, I noticed those white hills are no huge sand dunes any more, but hills covered with light yellow grass. Has it been changing before already? On Cable Beach, there were no sand dunes as well, and the two nights before I stayed on islands with sandy beaches, but no dunes. I can’t even tell where I saw the last high sand dunes! Fishery Bay?
Eventually I was closing up to Kangaroo island’s shoreline, and I noticed Cape Cassini had some houses, but the beaches were covered with big boulders. I couldn’t see any landing right on the cape, but decided to paddle a bit further along to the east. For one, it was a nice, calm night in the northern lee of Kangaroo island, and I liked to keep the next day with crossing Backstairs Passage to Cape Jervis as short as possible.
I paddled smoothly along mostly big boulder beaches on dead flat water, but noticed a few obviously man made cut outs with boats stored on the shore, obviously the local launching spots. But I decided I’ll keep on going until the next obvious bay, Dashwood Bay on my map. I was passing a bunch of feeding dolphins, lovely to look at in the low sun!
Turning around the last small headland, I saw only another long boulder beach, but it had eventually a sandy area to land on. A small motorboat was sitting on a trailer with a tractor on the grass, and I I discovered a house up the hill. It had a car upfront, so obviously there were people in it tonight! But I was only happy to put up camp as quickly as possible, as dusk was nearing fast and I was no doubt tired from 14 hrs of mostly strong headwind paddling.
Camp was set on grass, right behind the trailer with the tractor, a bit hidden from the house. Nice to get off the sand camping at least for that night!
Text message from Freay via satellite phone:
35.35 137.23, Dashwood Bay. 55 km, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There was everything between 10- and 20-knot headwinds all day. No swell on the sheltered north side of the island.