Saturday, March 19, 2011

Killiecrankie, Flinders Island

 Well today was a real “Bass Strait” day. We woke early at Winter Cove planning to get on the water by 8 am. Our destination for today was Killiecrankie on the northern end of Flinders Island, 58 kms away. This was the biggest crossing and the one we approached with the most trepidation. The forecast for the morning was 15 to 20 knot wsw winds, higher winds than ideal but if we stayed put the weather was not expected to improve for another week. High tide was due at 9.28am although it takes a while after high tide for the flood to go to slack so we could expect some rather upright waves for an hour or two, and that’s what we got, 2m breaking waves on a very boisterous sea with the occasional bigger set going through. Fortunately through Karel’s forecasts we knew that things would settle by 11am which they did to the extent that by midday we had very little wind at all to sail by.
The previous evening I had taken the time to set my sail up so it could be reefed to 2/3 of its normal size and this was a good move as I was able to use it successfully during the windier time in the morning, letting the reef out in the afternoon to get what assistance was available from the wind.
The tides were expected to push us in both directions fairly equally so our main consideration for today’s heading was drift due to the wind and we altered our bearing by 10 degrees to the west initially, correcting a small amount later as we could see how we were going in relation to our direct course line. Intelligent use of the information available for currents and winds in Bass Strait makes the crossing so much more predictable and safer.
The total distance for the day was 62.4kms and we were in the kayaks for 9hrs and 19minutes, not our longest day but long enough and we were all glad to get out of the kayaks and elated at having put the biggest crossing behind us.
We are now camped at the Killiecrankie campground, a basic little campground run by two of the most helpful ladies you could hope to meet, nothing is too much trouble for them. We plan to visit Whitemark tomorrow to buy some more supplies. We had planned to have a counter meal but the only pub in town doesn’t serve counter meals at midday on weekends. Bummer! So it will be a pizza then around to the pub for a couple of beers.
Sunday we will start working our way down the west coast of Flinders Island, probably camping at Emita on Sunday night.

update mrng WSW to W 15 to 20 knts 11 am WSW to W 10 to 15 knts 2 pmW to NW 5 to 10 knts 5pm NW 10 to 5 knts 8pm E 5 to 10knts 11pm ENE 10 to 15 knts seas 0.50 to 1 mtr frm SW late aft chng to E dir
have a good one :-)

Beginning the longest crossing
First light on the cliffs of Deal Island

Killiecrankie Beach at last :-)
That tiny little boat.....



  1. Sounds like it was an exciting time - looking forward to seeing the photos. It's great that the forecast's are good to work by. Hope you get to have a good feed at a pub sometime :) Did you find that huge diamond on the beach while you were there :)

  2. Diamonds??? Geoff, it all sounds like such a huge adventure and good to hear that the weather has been kind to you so far. What is your final destinaton and are you kayaking back to Tasmania?

  3. G'day Geoff. Congratulations to you and the team on completing the big hop safely. Looks like you timed it to perfection. It was an interesting choice between maximising the westerly wind advantage and battling the sea condition it produced against the flood tide. Rounding Cape Frankland can throw up some challenging sea states at full tidal flow. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Cheers Tony

  4. Diamonds......Hmmmm :)
    Hi Janina, we will paddle to Tas and land atLittle Musselroe Bay.
    Hi Tony, thanks :) we were pretty buzzed when we landed. Rounded CapeFrankland yesterday at full floodand a 20 knot tailwind so not challenging at all.... this time :)

  5. wow nice blog..I enjoyed your experience how you enjoyed in Killiecrankie on the northern end of Flinder Island, 58 Kms away. Keep it up. Read more on

  6. I really enjoyed this blog post. Seems like you know what you are doing and have great knowledge of the area. I will definitely check this blog more often. Battling the sea can never be easy task, you are doing it in it and I am doing it from the land ;)

    Amelia - Flood Insurance in Fall River MA