Monday, 11 February 2013

Penguin - Ulverstone Paddle

We moved down the coast last night and spent the evening at the Penguin Camping Ground.

It was a step down in terms of facilities, rules and price (only $15 as against $30 at Wynyard) and it suited us just fine ... well except for maybe the train that went through at 4am.


Justin left us yesterday (he didn't have the public holiday off work), Andreas headed off today as he just wanted to cruise home and Stephan had lost his outrigger seat again and so he wasn't coming for a paddle (he had two seats blow off his outrigger whilst driving around this weekend and given each costs around $160, it made it an expensive weekend for him).  This left just Veronica, Mike and me again to go for a paddle.

We decided to just paddle down from Penguin to Ulverstone, visiting the Three Sisters (Islands), Goat Island (which was more a protusion) and Seagull Islet on the way, and then we thought we'd paddle about 7kms up the estuary to the Golf Course (Alisons's) Bridge making it about a 20kms paddle.

The morning paddling was brilliant, with a moody sky and swell to enjoy and I think I spent most of my time looking outwards from shore to enjoy the electric feel of the day.



I also realised as we traveled down the coast that I had made a bit of a miscalculation.

You see this paddle was inspired by my noting (as I sped down the coast some months ago) that there are some really nice sections of the coast which would be worth exploring.  To a degree I was right ... at low tide, on a smooth day, many of the reefs would be fun to explore, and there are a smattering of islands and rocky outcrops which are worth exploring.

But I was also pretty wrong ... I hadn't factored in two things: (1) I had spent a lot of that time racing just focused on the boats around me, and so hadn't really noticed that there was also quite a lot of not so interesting paddling down the coast and (2) a lot of the lovely views I'd enjoyed had been when I was on shore driving down the coast watching the outriggers and skis racing down the beautiful coast - so I was looking out from shore.  However .... once you're actually out on the water, you're no longer looking out, you're looking back towards the land and what you see instead of beautiful islands and seas is the roads and buildings ... and they're not so pretty.

It's all about perspective's I guess.

That said, it was still an enjoyable paddle, and there were quite a few little offshore islands and very interesting rocky outcrops that we got to paddle around and explore as we meandered our way eastwards.

Sisters Island
Interesting Rocky Outcrop
Notice the small cave in the centre.
We fortuitously managed to time our arrival at the mouth of the Leven River, which Ulverstone surrounds, about an hour before high tide.  This meant that the tide was still flowing into the river at a pretty decent pace, making it a very easy and quick float / paddle up the river to our designated exit point.





 
 





It was a pleasant paddle up the river, watching the mood  change from ocean to estuary to rivulet. 

All up, it was a kind of a relaxing way to end our three days of paddling, and it was good to explore new areas and just see what was around the next corner.






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