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Clarke Island 7th Oct-12th Oct 2015-53.2km

 

Wednesday 7th-12.3km-Revel turned up about 0640, a bit early and breakfasted with us, drove out the gate about 0725 and went to Boobyalla via Anson's Bay Road. Arrived there before 0900, had a chat and was introduced to Glen, who was walking with us and Michael, pilot of the Cessna 182. He was okay to fly around the island before we landed and we did so and had a good look at where we would be spending the next five days. When we landed a couple of locals were waiting for us, introduced all-round, watched Michael (the man in the hat) take-off and then walked down to the house and had a cup of tea and a chat, four men on the island altogether, keeping the place tidy and weed control.

                

 

The settlement and airstrip and Seal Point

 

Headed east about 1100 for Kangaroo Bay. Pack weighed 20 kg plus camera and tripod, also had to carry our water. I tried to stay away from the steep granite rocks as I was not confident on them with the pack and went inland a short distance, all the island has been burnt and the going was a bit rough in places.

 

             

 

Lunched at Browns Cove, weather tremendous, great scenery and a nice cooling breeze blowing. After lunch I felt cramp coming on and we had a break at Allen Point and then trudged on to Kangaroo Bay, walking better here, in Mathinna series, handy having a geologist with us. I had a couple of falls from the cramp and Glen came back and carried my pack the last half kilometre. Set up camp, Glen and I in tents, Revel sleeping in the open in a big plastic bag. About to have a cup of tea. Had trouble putting the tent up because when I knelt down I cramped up, I hoped a good night’s sleep would fix it. Cup of tea with a dash of Jimmy (Jim Bean) and after a while a rare steak between bread, stood around the fire for a while, too scared to sit. Into bed about 2030 completely wrecked. Revel was snoring with his iPod going before I went to sleep. Slept reasonably well.

 

             

 

Camp site at Kangaroo Bay and predawn the next morning

 

           

 

Revel’s camp and Glen on the track, Cape Barren Island in the background

 

Thursday 8th-14.5km- up at 0540, dressed and set up a frosty tripod, it was cold and I had most of my clothes on. Took a few images and then lit the fire. Glen crawled out when the fire was alight and said that he had a very cold night. Revel was without a tent. Cup of tea and baked beans on toast for breakfast then packed up after tent dried out a bit and left at 0830 heading to Seal Point and further on. Had lunch on the southern side of Seal Point.

 

            

 

Glen at Seal Point (the little black flies were bad) and the creek where we filled our water bottles, starting to recover from the wildfire

 

The walking much better here, all the beaches hard sand. Reached the creek before Black Point and had lunch there, the water was okay so filled up our water bottles. Had a good break, gave the feet a paddle, good for racehorses so why not me. Headed on from Black Point. I went first and cut across the point, flat relatively easy walking and waited for the others at the start of the next beach. Glen turned up carrying something from Nova Scotia and had also seen whalebones, so we went back along the rocks (much easier without a pack) and photographed them. Revel was there as well.

 

             

 

Glen with a whale bone and our campsite on Evo Bay Beach

 

Went a bit further and set up camp on the south side of the granite head land. Our tents were set up on the sand at the back of the very wide beach. Glen trying to make his find lighter as he was going to carry the electronics back as there was a reward offered. I am making a cup of tea. Camp set up at 1630; saw an immature Sea Eagle day one, large terns (Caspian) yesterday and today, hooded plovers, redheaded plovers, Pacific gull and crows. Another big day tomorrow, legs are working tonight, just tired, into bed about 2000. No Revel snoring tonight, could not hear him for the sound of the waves, went to sleep wondering if a big one will wash us away, only one more scratch today to keep the flies happy.

 

Friday 9th-12.7km- Up at 0550 not much of a sunrise but had a play anyway, lit the fire and the others crawled out, a lot warmer this morning and mostly overcast. Revel had the worst night of his life and would have paid $100 for a can of aeroguard. Breakfast was a small can of baked beans, cold, two slices of warmed bread with peanut butter and honey, which I had to force down, (stomach has shrunk) and a cup of salty tea, now packing up. Two Cape Barren geese just landed on the beach down from us. Stopped at the first Greek and Glen and I headed inland for water, found the main creek well up, but still stagnant, on the way back came upon a good soak, tasted beautiful, also saw a large snake.

 

            

 

South Head and looking towards Rebecca Bay

 

 

 

Rebecca Bay and Lookout Head

 

Caught up with Revel at Moriarty Point. Glen went around the coast and we went cut across and caught up with Glen at the start of South Head. Had lunch at South Head, very beautiful spot with granite boulders and pig face. Some bars on the phone so rang Mary. Easy walking for a while after that but then back into the burnt scrub and steep granite, very speccy scenery. Finally stumbled into a camp site at 1350, I'm completely wrecked, again! Glen had his tent set up just above high water mark. There were no other options as the bank was steep so I did the same. Very light rain for part of the afternoon and Glen saw another snake. Saw Cape Barren geese and quail. Set up the tent and got the fire going, cup of water with Jimmy, (decided the flavour of the water and green tea did not get on so stuck to water from here on) then sweet and sour chicken with rice cooked in the Trangia. Washed up, packed up and it is only 1800, cool breeze blowing off the sea. Glen went from a dive but did not see any abalone, he also saw a Sea Eagle earlier in the day.

 

            

 

Walking through the burnt scrub and our precarious camp site

 

Into bed at about 2000 after packing up the pack and putting it on higher ground, then quite wakeful for a while wondering if a high tide would wash us away. It came within 4½ metres of the tent. We were lucky there was no sea running and no moon, so the tides were not very high.

 

Saturday 10th-10.0km- Glen had the second worst night of his life and was up and got the fire going around 0430. I stayed in the tent until 0550. Took a few photos, filled the water bottles out of a small gutter running through the rocks with the second best water on the island and about to have breakfast, toast with honey and peanut butter. Packed up and left camp around 0800. A steep start and then I followed the ridge through the burnt scrub and I was at the large rock that looked into Rebecca Bay before the two following the coast, a relatively easy walk to the bay and then along it, soft sand and very slow, up onto the headland for a rest and then on to a large rock that gave us a good view. From there I went inland and followed the main ridge line (easy walking) the others followed the coast. I am at Dead Man's Gulch and the other two are not far behind. Up on the rocky headlands in the wind the little black flies are bearable, down on the beach out of the wind they are a bit of nuisance. A Sea Eagle was flying around the area tormenting the seagulls. We had lunch and a wander around Dead Man's Gulch headland and then walked on. Currawongs and plovers about. Arrived at a nice little cove on the northern side of Spike Bay around 1440, Glen already set up, so boots off and into the sea (up to the calves) for a wash, now to set up the tent. Tent up, and another paddle, and lay down. Revel saw two snakes today and he had a quick dip when he got in. He has now gone looking for water, Glen and I are fine. Gathered firewood and now hanging around waiting for tea. Glen saw a feral cat today at Rebecca Bay. I had a noodle dish for tea.

 

           

 

Dead Man’s Gulch and sunset at Spike Bay

 

           

 

Campsite at Spike Bay and a glorious sunrise

 

           

 

L-R Glen, Garry and Revel and washed up rope

 

Sunday 11th-5.7km- It started raining about 0200, heard Revel rustling around and then woke up to the sound of thunder about 0550, out of the tent, flies were already out, and captured a few nice images. Tried to get some lightning images as well but I was a bit slow and missed out. Peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast, took some getting down, and a cup of Clark Island's finest. The thunderstorm is slowly heading west; we missed the rain so far. Left camp about 0750, up into the trees as the rocks were slippery and ended up at Foam Point. Not far past the point we found one of the old tracks, and apart from a rope stop and a few photos followed around Bullock Hill through dead (burnt) she oak forest and onto the airstrip. The she oak forest had a big flock of black cockatoos feeding in it. Arrived at the airstrip about 1020, had a drink and a muesli bar and wandered down to the settlement. Talked to the locals for  a while and then wandered around the old buildings before going back to the airstrip and do what everybody does at airstrips, wait! We were a bit concerned that we might have to stay the night as the cloud was very low, but luckily it lifted and Michael arrived at the appointed time.

 

            

 

Walking down to the settlement and waiting at the airstrip

 

   This was my first walk with a heavy pack for around 20 years, I did not fare as well as I thought I might, you live and learn!

 

 

 

Moriarty Point

 

 

 

 

Lookout Head


 ©Garry Richardson 2017

grichard@tassie.net.au