Lindeman Island

by Rod

in Sea Kayaking

Day 3 Link

Day 4 Cumberland Island Adventure

Our Cumberland Island adventure saw us paddling from Mackay to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays a distance of about 180 kilometers along the Queensland coast of Australia. Day 4 saw us packing up ready for another large paddle across a 13 kilometer stretch of open water between Blacksmith Island and Shaw Island. From there it was onto Lindeman Island a total of 27 kilometers for the day.  Again we had gusts of up to 20km/hr wind coming from the SSE which was almost directly behind us. Once we came out of the small bay where we were camped, we made our way along the outside of Anvil and Anchorsmith Islands and then we were on a direct path for the south westerly point of Shaw Island.

Day 4 Cumberland Island Adventure

Now, that we were all a lot more comfortable with the conditions everyone one in the group seemed to be more relaxed and enjoying the 2 meter swells as they rolled through from behind us. Eric who had the only fibreglass kayak seemed to be always slowing down so he didn’t race to far ahead of the rest of us. The other three of us had our moments where we caught a wave and just accelerated down a wave for 20 to 30 meters . At one point I decided to take a  photo to try and capture the conditions and just as I was setting up my camera a top heavy wave broke right on top of me resulting in a quick grab for the paddle and a hasty support stroke. I was so close to having a swim. Later I just looked across at Col as he seemed to be spearing through the crest of a broken wave with about two meters of the front of his kayak out of the water. It was good to see the skill level of all of us improving, as the days of constant paddling past by.

Sunrise at Blacksmith Island

Sea Kayaking Paddle Tip

When you are doing a trip like this, it is important you have a reasonable map with you that you can constantly check while you are paddling. Looking at islands or land masses from water level in a kayak can be decieving because two or three islands can look like one or one point could in fact be on a different island when the islands are close together. Our navigation was good, but it was easy to see where mistakes could be made and that could get you into trouble.

Thumbs up from Rod

Shaw Island

Once we past the first point on Shaw Island we quickly made our way to the closest beach for a wee stop. The bladder doesn’t last as long as it use to. Shaw Island has a lot of possibilities as far as paddling, camping and even bush walking. Shaw Peak at a height of 413 meters would definitely be worth checking out. There are two National Parks camp sites on Shaw Island, but I reckon there are plenty of other possible camping site. We could see plenty of sandy beaches facing the north west as we continued our paddle towards Lindeman Island.

A wee stop on Shaw Island

Lindeman Island

We wanted to call into Lindeman Island to see if we could supplement our water supply. Lindeman Resort was deserted and although a lonely yacht captain said he had seen a couple caretakers mowing grass, we couldn’t find them. We even tried a couple taps along the beach, but they had no water in them. The yacht captain kindly offered us a 10 liter container of water and a couple of soft drink bottles filled with water. Lindeman Island is a National Park except for the resort itself so it is possible to walk along the road past the resort and up to the lookout for a spectacular view of the surrounding islands.

Still towing the kayaks in at Sunset

We didn’t do the walk because we still had another 3 kilometers to paddle to our camp site on the other end of the island. When we did arrive at our final stop for the day it was almost low tide and the tide was about 200 meters from the beach. The mud flat wasn’t too hard to walk on but too far to carry the kayaks so we tied them altogether in a line again with a rock anchor at each end and carried up a couple of dry bags up to the picnic table for a late lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the bush and a creek which ran into the bay. The creek had the remnants of an old boat harbour of some sort. There were a few large pylons which must have been used to hold boats up while the tide went out, so that the boats could be repaired. The tide and the kayaks didn’t get into the beach until dark, and we still had about a 30 meter carry to make sure the kayaks were up above high tide mark. This meant we were putting up tents and cooking tea in the dark. This was a National Parks camping spot so there was a picnic table and an outhouse. After another big day, we were all keen to go to bed.


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