Sir James Smith Group

by Rod

in Sea Kayaking

Day 2 of our Cumberland Island Adventure

Day 2 heard the rustling of pots for the first cup of coffee shortly after daylight. Everyone was keen to see what the day would bring. There were a variety of breakfasts to be seen from just a cup of tea, to muesli and hot porridge. After breakfast came the pulling down of tents and packing the kayaks for the days paddle. As it was high tide at 7:30am we didn’t have to carry the kayaks far to the water.

Early Breakfast

The wind appeared to be quite strong as it channelled through between the islands, but Eric pointed out to the open water saying there wasn’t too many white caps out there. After a quick check around the camp sites to make sure we were not leaving anything behind we were off towards the Sir James Smith Group of islands.

Map of coarse from Carlisle to Goldsmith Island

Once we had paddle out of the lea of Brampton and Carlyle Islands we were able to get a better feel of what the wind and ocean conditions were really like. Sea kayaking is often like doing a giant fairy glide on a very large river. Because we are moving fairly slow we have to take into account the affect of the tide and wind. From our position on Carlisle Island we wanted to head on a 320° bearing to head for the gap between Linne and Gloldsmith Islands, but because of the tide and wind influence, (which was pushing us north or 360° ) we had to point our kayaks at Allonby Island which was a bearing of 290°. This may sound a bit confusing without looking at a map. (If you click on the map above it will open larger in another window. Then just click back when your finished looking at it.)This was all good because we had the out going tide pushing us north and a 15-20 km/hr wind over our left shoulder filling our sails and pushing us long very well. We again had some swells coming through up to 2 meters high.

Just off the north east piont of Goldsmith Is

Our next stop was on a beautiful little beach on Linne Island. Despite it being a bright sunny day, we couldn’t escape the cool breeze and we were wet from our paddle, so we stood on the beach shivering, drinking a cup of tea.  Everyone was keen to get back in the kayaks and continue around to our camping spot on Goldsmith Island. Again it was low tide when we reached Goldsmith Island, so we tide all the kayaks in a line with a rock anchor on each end and left the kayaks there for the tide to come back in. Then we just carried the essentials up for lunch and a cup of tea.

Bringing the kayaks in with the tide

Dav decided to join me on a bush walk over the ridge behind our camp site to the beach on the other side of the island. There are two long bays on either side which cut a long way into the  island making the ridge in between fairly narrow. This made for a interesting walk. The walk was fairly rough but by following some obvious animal tracks we were able to make our way up the ridge and down the other side. In some places the trees were thick with no undergrowth around them, which made for easy walking. In some places we could see the obvious scratchings of the scrub turkeys making their nests. The other side of the island was much more open and covered in black boy trees. On the other beach was a heap of rubbish brought in by the tides and the predominant southerly winds which blow most of the year round.

Veiw through the Black Boy Tree towards Brampton Island

By the time Dav and I had returned Col and Eric had almost brought the kayaks in close enough that we could carry the rest of the gear up the beach and finish setting up camp for the night. As the sun started to go down we realized what a beautiful beach this was and how lucky we were to be there to enjoy it. As we sat there, a couple times the water would just boil, (an area about 20 meters across) as a school of bait fish would be chased by something larger. It was rum o’clock time, then tea and then bed. The next day we planned to paddle to Blacksmith Island still in the Sir James Smith Group.

Day 3

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