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March 19, 2005

Planning Lizard Island to Mainland Crossing

Starting to put things together for this short section from Lizard Island to the mainland to keep the human powered aspect of the circumnavigation intact. It's only 23 miles, but logistically pretty complicated. The last time I was out here I paddled 12 miles from the spot where Moksha received a tow to Lizard Island before my kayak sprang a leak and began sinking. Now I need to close the gap between Lizard and the mainland. I hope this third attempt will be successful!


First off I have to get the foldable kayak, myself and a week's provisions up to Lizard, 120 odd miles from Cairns. I'm sending the kayak and heavy supplies up on a barge this Tuesday. I'll then fly up on the 60 min Mac Air flight from Cairns on Wednesday. Looking forward to meeting up with our old friends Bob and Tanya who helped April, Kenny and I back in 2000. They have the quite enviable job of running the Reseach Station there.

I'll spend a couple of days living on the beach getting familiarized with the kayak (last time I used it it sprang a leak and began sinking half way in from the Barrier Reef!), and trying to get a little fitter than I am right now. Then head off westwards towards Eagle island, just 4 miles. My main concern is keeping upright. The winds are forecast for 10-15 knots SE-E and the swell is only 0.5-0.9 metres inside the reef. But if I get turned over it'll be hard to get back into the boat unaccompanied. Drew Edwards is lending me a decent lifejacket and I have my satphone and Mcmurdo PLB EPIRB if things go bad. And I'm sure Bob and Tanya will be able to keep an eye on me for that first section.


Posted on March 19, 2005 12:24 AM