Day 96, Thursday, 23.04.2009

11.39 142.01 Jackson River. 50km,  6:30 am to 4:00 pm. I was hosted on a fishing cruise mothership to get ready to cross [the Gulf of Carpenteria] tomorrow over the millpond: 575km,  258 degrees.

Arriving in Jackson River,

pictures by

For the next day I knew I would be running sooner or later into Greg’s boat anchoring in one of the rivers -probably Jackson River, as he told me two days ago. But as it was only 50 km from Vrilya Point, I was not sure about stopping already for the night…the plan was to head down to Jantz Point!!! And even filling up water would have been too early…but…what if the other boat would not be there…and if no one else would be able to fill me up with water withouth going into Weipa…and what’s it worth another day ot two punching into headwinds and wearing yourself out before the crossing…and it would be nice to have some company I knew already, a shower and a “real” bed for the night…and why not starting even the crossing already off that boat, well showered, rested and fed…the weather was nice NOW, who knows what would be in 2 or 3 more days…so overall, it was simply too tempting NOT to stop and to start the crossing tomorrow already!!!

As I was not sure about my launching day from Seisia, I was not 100% sure where Greg’s boat was. I was calling him at about 2pm on my VHF radio from the MacDonald River that I was heading south that day, and there was clear contact on my little ICOM M88 radio over the distance of 15 km! Amazing… He was still anchoring in Jackson River as announced.

Those river mouth south of Vrilya Point are all flooding crystal clear water with plenty of sand into the Gulf – my vision was muddy, mangrovy, dark ugly water with plenty of crocs allover! But no way, it was simply beautiful and almost inviting for swimming…if…there won’t be those frequent triangle fins of smaller or even larger sharks, huge manta rays, fat ugly stinging jelly fish, and the dark shadow of crocs being invisible for me that day again, but present allover…

The pink fat jellyfish are up to 70 cm big in diameter…

But it was not too scary paddling south. I was wondering how it would be on the bottom of the Gulf…probably as ugly as described above? This is why I was planning to cross rather than to paddle deep into the Gulf???

No, I think my sense of going directly from A to B made the decision, shortcuts, though harder and more dangerous, are just my nature…punching through the wall, head first, and eventually reaching the goal sooner than later!

Thevery inviting floating river hotel

…a catamaran from underneath…bet I was tempted to paddle through the gap! But Greg was gone fishin’ and not there to allow me to do it…

I put my kayak on the river’s beach for the night. I re-packed it in a cloud of ugly red flies in the way I needed it for the crossing – all food for 8-10 days and 24 l of water for 10-11 days handy in the cockpit and in the dayhatch. Sleeping pad and warm clothes in bags strapped on deck. No need to open the front or backhatch.

Greg and a crew member were out getting craypods back in they set out some days ago in another river

The catch of big mudcrabs was quite impressive!

The captain…

…and his guests!

Thanks for your hospitality!

3 comments on “Day 96, Thursday, 23.04.2009

brett kannemeyer

Hi Freya, I am fairly new to paddling. I have recently completed a trip from Anatori on the NW coast of NZs South Island to Heaphy River.
The surf is frightening. Its a steep learning curve for me. Please show us how it is done. More surf photos from the expert.
Good luck for this great voyage of yours.

brett kannemeyer

Hi Freya, I am fairly new to paddling. I have recently completed a trip from Anatori on the NW coast of NZs South Island to Heaphy River.

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