Tim loans me his kayak but only with the stipulation that I "don't treat it like I treat my skinboats."
Then.... my camera ran out of batteries, which was sort of a relief. With the advent of quality, inexpensive waterproof cameras, we have all become a little crazy. Every trip is like being chased by the kayak paparazzi and sometimes I see things in my photos that I don't remember seeing in real life. It's fun to share the experience, but it's also fun to leave it behind.
At the extreme tip of Cape Pillar, a dramatic current swept past as the East Australia current slams into the hook of the pillar. The flow looked about 4 knots and this is a low current year. Combine this current with a sou'wester and the tip of the cape could develop a fearsome sea state. Eddie and I crawled around the corner, making progress north only in the back eddies right on the cliff walls, until we were far enough in that the current lost its sting. As we headed north from Cape Pillar and finally back to Fortescue Bay, we explored caves so deep that eventually we could go no further, for fear of being lost in the blackness. We ran a deep slot cave so narrow that its ever constricting walls funneled down to literally only inches wider than the kayak, and the pulse of the swell shot us through this 150 foot slot like a bullet and spit us out into a large dark cave, that led back out to the ocean on the other side. Amazing. We explored a cave with a waterfall pouring across its entrance, the rock covered with bright green lichen, and of course, we stopped back by the Lanterns and the totem pole. We arrived back at Fortescue Bay in near darkness, eleven hours after we'd set out, making this the slowest I have ever paddled 22 miles of coastline. It was worth savoring.
I think they'd feel at home here.
I decided before I even made this trip that I'd never travel so far to teach again, but now I'm not so sure. Thank you so much to Tom Nicholson for bringing me down to Australia in the first place, and to Greg and everyone else who made this possible for me. I do love the long cold rainy nights, I'm strange that way,
still, maybe I should spend at least some of next winter down under....
Seven Australian words defined:
Wallaby: a small nocturnal suicidal kangaroo whose natural habitat is in the middle of the f***ing road.
Bogan: an unkempt individual with too many kids who wears flannel shirts and passes the time slacking off and drinking cheap grog. ie: Britney Spears.
Mate: A term of endearment for a close buddy, or a grave accusation leveled just before flattening someone in a pub.
Wanker: A term of endearment for a close buddy, or a grave accusation leveled just before flattening someone in a pub.
I reckon: an excellent phrase to replace 'I think, or I suppose', heard constantly in Tassie AND in the best Clint Eastwood movie ever, The Outlaw Josie Wales
Budgee Smuggler: An especially homoerotic tightly fitting form of swimwear favored primarily by macho Australian lifeboat rowers. (a budgee is a small australian bird, the smuggler is a skin-tight speedo, you get the picture.)
Knackered: The state one finds oneself in after teaching two consecutive kayak building classes halfway across the planet.