Coffin Bay — 5 – 9 February 2024


Monday 5th February we set off from the beach near the Coffin Bay Caravan Park. A 9 knot south easterly wind made the sea choppy with occasional waves washing sideways over our kayaks. The Brothers Islands gave us a short respite before we crossed to Eely Point. Then along the sheltered cliffs to our camp at Black Springs. The early start to avoid the strong winds in the afternoon meant we completed the 17km before lunch.

Greg and Chris were pleased that they had stayed upright in the choppy water and Steve enjoyed a sail from the Brothers Islands when the wind was more from behind. Simon, Greg and Steve had a lazy afternoon at camp. Chris and Anne set off on the Black Rocks hike. Looking out over Avoid Bay, Chris and Anne spotted a large Osprey nest with a couple of osprey that took flight and screeched overhead.


Another early start paddling on Tuesday, to take advantage of the calm conditions. We made it through the oyster beds (always a highlight) and around Point Longnose and then were mainly sheltered close in along Seven Mile Beach. We stopped to look at a whale skull which had washed up on the beach years ago. It is amazing how big the skull and top jaw was. No sign of other bones though, so hard to estimate how long the whale was.

Seven Mile beach is mainly large sand dunes and Chris was wishing for a slide down their steep slides. Instead we enjoyed looking at the seaweeds and the couple of rocky reefs as we paddled to Morgans Landing. Again the early start meant we were setting up camp before lunch then enjoyed a restful afternoon having paddled about 20km. Morgans Landing camp sites were inundated with bees. However, Greg solved our problems. He put a bowl of water away from our tents and the bees congregated there to get a drink instead of on us.


Wednesday was the best. We left camp set up and headed north to The Pools campsite then around Point Sir Isaac and into Seasick Bay, which was remarkably calm. We could look down into the clear water and see fish and a multitude of different seaweeds, sea grasses and sea lettuce. Simon and Anne have been trying to get to Point Sir Isaac on two other ACC Coffin Bay trips. A lightning storm first and then strong winds made it impossible. This trip we made it! The water was so calm we could see a pod of dolphins feeding. There was so much splashing and blow spouts that Steve thought it might be a group of orcas.

A nearby fishing boat went to get a closer look and reported back that it was just dolphins. We turned around fairly soon after morning tea because the forecast was for stronger headwinds for our return journey. The forecast was correct, we were glad to be back at camp for lunch, avoiding winds over 15 knots.


Another early start on Thursday to avoid the strong afternoon winds. We had a beautiful paddle back along Seven Mile Beach with the early morning light highlighting the sculptured sand hills. Point Longnose has changed; there is now a channel through, with a sand island further out. The water was shallow and so calm as we paddled back through the oyster beds that we could see starfish and Fiddler Rays below the kayaks.

Then the deeper water past the oyster beds was whipped up by a strong head wind and odd currents into tricky confused waves. Our aim was to head straight into the waves as best we could. Then when in the shelter of the beach make our way back to Black Springs campsite. In the difficult conditions Greg and Steve became separated from Simon, Anne and Chris. Then Chris got swamped and needed a rescue. After a successfully completing his first rescue in his new kayak we continued our battle towards the sheltered water and then camp. Everyone made it safely, pleased at managing the difficult conditions. Once again our early start has us having lunch after our day’s paddle, then setting up camp and relaxing.

Back to Coffin Bay

Knowing that we would have a head wind on the way back to Coffin Bay township we are again up early and setting off just before the sun rose. The paddle back to Eely Point was OK, with just a slight breeze then we turned into a strong headwind. This time we managed a tight group as we paddled into waves and wind towards The Brothers Islands. We enjoyed a short rest there looking at some seals that came into the water but not too close to us. Leaving The brothers had us initially in very confused water as tide and wind were mixing in odd ways. Once away from the islands the water settled into consistent waves and about a 13 knot head wind. Another stop on a small beach for some food and rest had us refreshed for the final push to Coffin Bay township.

With the wind from the south east we planned to get close to the town then cross over to the town side and hope for some shelter. However, by the time we got there the wind had swung around slightly to an easterly, so no rest from that. We had checked the tides and knew we had a following tide so were confused when we got near the town and found a wind-set current going against us! It just all worked against us in the last stretch to our end point but we made it. We had managed the 17 km against head wind, waves and without the tide assistance.

Time for Oysters

After setting up camp and having a luxuriously long shower we went over to Oysters HQ to sample the best Coffin Bay oysters and beer. Then enjoyed dinner at the Yacht Club to celebrate our achievement of completing the paddle around Point Sir Isaac. We survived the tricky waves and wind and the general wonderment that Coffin Bay offers in the pristine waters, magnificent sand hills and cliffs and wilderness of the National Park.