Coffin Bay — 7-11 November 2022
The weather forecast for the week at Coffin Bay National Park was looking great as Bernard, Francis, Charlie, Marina and Anne set off from Coffin Bay township on Monday 7th November. With a 10-15 knot north easterly wind we paddled along the cliff edge on the northern side of the Bay We gained some advantage from the easterly component and sheltered from the northerly aspect until we crossed Mount Dutton Bay. The wind hit us again as we crossed above The Brothers Islands and made our way along the coast to Black Springs campsite. It wasn’t long
before we had set up camp and were relaxing.
Trying to get to Point Longnose
The plan for Tuesday was to paddle around Point Longnose and make our way to Morgans Landing camp. However, the forecast calm wind turned into at least 15 knots from the north and the swell was predicted to be about 2m. We battled into the head wind through the oyster farm to Point Longnose and beached the kayaks on the more sheltered side. Francis and Marina looked after the boats while Bernard, Charlie and Anne went to check conditions on the exposed side. The wind was very strong and it was whipping up waves which would have been breaking side-on to us along Seven Mile beach.
Back top Black Springs to see the eclipse
To continue would have given us about 12 km of very difficult paddling so we decided to retreat back to Black Springs. While we were checking conditions around Point Longnose a large wave and strong gust launched Charlie’s kayak back into the sea and quickly took it out of reach. Marina jumped into her kayak and managed to grab it but without a tow line to return it to the sandbar. She was stuck in waist deep water with a deep trench between her and the sandbar. We needed to work out how to reunite Charlie and his kayak. Bernard and Frances managed to ‘deck carry’ Charlie out to Marina and then it was easy to get everyone back into kayaks.
The strong northerly wind made sailing back a great option for those with sails. Anne and Marina decided to go around the coast while Bernard, Francis and Charlie planned to sail directly back. Luckily we did a radio check before we split the group and we had not gone far when we had radio contact that Charlie’s rudder wasn’t working and we collected together on the beach for repairs. That sorted we returned to camp, more or less as a group with some sailing nearer camp. In the evening as we walked along the beach we noticed the moon rising, but it didn’t look right. We checked Google and discovered we were seeing a total eclipse of the moon in progress.
Wednesday’s winds were predicted to be even stronger and we woke up to rough seas and about 27 knot winds so we opted for a bushwalking day and visited the lookout to Black Rocks in Avoid Bay. We walked a little further along the cliffs and found an enormous Osprey nest perched on a rocky island, with the resident bird standing on top of it.
The wind forecast for Thursday was a westerly (tail wind returning to Coffin Bay) and Friday was back to easterly (head wind returning to Coffin Bay) so it didn’t take much discussion to pick Thursday as our last day. With a good tail wind we made our way along the coast then across to The Brothers Islands to check on the birds and seals there. There was one seal that swam around our kayaks checking us out as we photographed it.