Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Islands And A Beach: Primrose Beach to Sloping Island and Green Head

When you see ice on the seat of your kayak, you know that, despite the sunny weather, it will be a chilly paddle. Our usual paddle outings from Campania have been on the east side of the Tasman Peninsula, a coastline of big sea cliffs, intricate sea caves, exposed open ocean, and few kayak landing sites, but, with a large southerly swell running, we opted for a more protected paddle in Frederick Henry Bay launching from Primrose Beach and paddling past Isle of Caves, Sloping Island, Sloping Reef, and Green Head on a 22 kilometre circle route. 

 Launch site at Primrose Beach,
D. Brown photo

There is a small boat ramp off the beach at the west end of Primrose Bay that garners little boat traffic, the more developed ramp and marina, on the east side of Primrose Point attracts the infernal combustion crowd, and we chose this as our launch site. It was cold, really chilly cold, and we quickly pulled our decks over our cockpits and launched as carefully as possible to avoid getting wet. Luckily, the beach is very sheltered so this was easy. 

 Paddling out of Primrose Bay,
D. Brown photo

Isle of Caves, 1.5 kilometres off-shore, is a little bigger than I thought it would be, but has only very small caves. It does, however, house many sea birds and some fur seals. One curious seal swam all around us sticking his head up every minute or so to see just what we were about. It is four kilometres across Flinders Channel – some current does run – to Sloping Island. Our topographic map shows a couple of old tracks and an old building so I assume the island was put to agricultural use in the past. 

 Doug soaking up the winter sun on Lagoon Beach

At the south end of Sloping Island is Sloping Reef, a rocky cluster of rocks home to many sea birds and more fur seals, and well worth a lap around on the kayak. A small sandy beach opposite provided a convenient landing spot before we headed north up the east side of Sloping Island and across to Lagoon Beach where we landed in the shelter and shade of a small sandstone outcrop. After walking down the beautiful and deserted sandy beach, we had lunch on the sandstone outcrop overlooking the north end of Lagoon Beach. Finally, back in the kayaks, the light north wind had completely abated and we paddled back across Flinders Channel to Renard Point passing Green Head along the way. 

 Lunch spot overlooking the north end of Lagoon Beach

When we got back to Primrose Beach, the ice had melted off my kayak, but, it really didn't feel that much warmer. 

Clear calm water near Green Head,
D. Brown photo

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