Wet & Windy Shoal Point

by Rod

in Sea Kayaking

Sunday 20th August 2017

Social paddle from Shoal Point.

Our Shoal Point paddle is usually a very popular paddle with quite a few paddlers turning up. Last Sunday was quite different with a cold southerly wind blowing up to 35kms/hr. Just Les Coward and I turned up. On our usual paddle we head out around Shoal Point head down to the largest of the small reef islands off Bucasia Beach, then we head back around the outside of One Tree Island and on over around Green Island. There we ususally have a smoko break and then head back to Shoal Point. Les was paddling his still fairly new Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 and on Sunday he was giving it a good test run. The Tsunami 145 paddled well and was very stable in the uneven choppy swell. I was back in the Mirage 582 which makes me feel very confident in any conditions. The wind was coming from the south and we were heading straight into as we headed down directly towards Eimeo.

We managed to push forward a couple hundred metres in what seemed like a long time and felt like we were getting nowhere. I asked Les if he would like to continue or turn around and head back towards Green Island and he agreed. Now I explained to Les as we started heading down wind, ” this takes a whole new skill set ” as I explained how to ride the waves and time his paddling. He picked it up and started to have a couple rides on the wave. Coming around the outside of Green Island in the trailing sea and close to the island as the wave became steeper really tested his skills. On the protected northern side of Green Island we pulled into the small beach to catch our breath and have a smoko break.

After our break it was back into the now increasing wind for the push back to Shoal Point and our cars. For anyone wanting to do this paddle you should realize even though you would think Shoal Point Bay would be protected from a southerly wind, the hills of Shoal Point are fairly small and don’t offer much protection at all from a southerly wind. In fact a southerly wind hardly goes over land, actually coming directly past Slade Point, Dolphin Heads and Shoal Point and  straight into your face as head back from Green Island. If you are not a strong paddler, it is something to be aware of.

Best tip for paddling at Shoal Point

Be very aware if you are planning a paddle at Shoal Point, the tide goes out hundreds of meters at low tide, you can almost walk to Green Island at low tide. The best time to start a paddle at Shoal Point is from about an hour and a half before high tide and be finish by an hour and a half after high tide.

Below are some photos of our paddle.

Ready and keen to start

Powering into a strong head wind

 

The Mirage 582 and Cape Hillsborough in the backgrond

 

Enjoying the calmer water after a hard push

Sneaking through the trees to the beach

Looking back over my shoulder for Les

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