Travelling north with a tail behind me

Deception Bay with Bribie Island to the north east
Paddling adventures

Sunday being a pleasantly sunny day I paddled northward along the coast of Deception Bay. The wind was light from the north east and below me the water was crystal clear . 

The tide was on the way out and still had four hours before its full ebb  so since  Deception Bay is as as deceiving as its name I  was paddling 700 metres from shore in less than 50 centimetres of water. 

Paddling  has a repetitive mantra like quality about it and the mottled light reflecting off the sandy bottom was mesmerising .  No one about -- just me and the sea,  a few pelicans and all up underneath one large Estuary Sting Ray a metre across and a couple of Infantile Shovel Nose Rays.

Sandy bottom all the way -- sometimes ridged. Sometimes smoother. At various contour depths.

I paddle like this for six kilometres. 

My plan was to utilize the wind and umbrella-sail back  but  the wind swung around to the east and collapsed so I had to paddle back. After  two kilometres retracing my route I turned toward shore, disembarked  into water half way up my calves, draped the sea anchor cord over my shoulder and like a bargey, waded home towing my craft behind me.

With the paddleski you can paddle, you can sail...or you can tow. Easy. 

By the time I got back to my cart the sun was beginning to set, the wind was non existent and the water was chilling my tootsies.

The exercise nonetheless does suggest that I can go farther afield with a confidence that I have options  to ensure that I can last the distance. 

An expedition is forming -- at least in my head -- to  travel further north, round Sandstone Point and enter Pumice Stone Passage on the incoming tide and head for Toorbul (kangaroo-ville*)seven kilometres north west along the water way. But I think  I should tackle the challenge in stages and first master the distance to Godwin Beach and Sandstone Point because any rising tide I'd ride would also cut me off from  many onshore landings.

Like a crocodile

It exists:a crocodile without a tail
But --and here's the rub-- if I had a true sail  I'd traverse the distance quickly with much less effort  on my part. I'd be able to go more places.

As it was, I paddled this  route with one of my makeshift  rudders on my windward side -- used as a skeg and the slice in the water behind me greatly improved my tracking. Kept my nose to the north.
Lesson: the paddleski requires skegness as when paddling it  performs like a crocodile without a tail.
For the moment it is the northern route that holds my imagination  because of the sea grass beds that cover most of the waters off  Sandstone Point. This could be a Dugong moment on a lucky day as the grass cover there is  one of the few remaining examples of the vegetation that used to cover most of Moreton Bay's shallow waters. The seagrasses have been mainly killed off in the southern section of Deception Bay by turbity and a devastating Lyngbya bloom in 1996. (There wil be more on this topic over time --and other ecologies --  on my Beachmere blog )

* The small village of Toorbul is over run by kangaroos. 


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