Monday, September 9, 2013

Sea Kayaking in Cairns

Our last full day in Cairns, we spent up in Cape Tribulation, which is almost two hours' drive north of Port Douglas.  Captain Cook gave the place its name, along with naming lots of other Australian landmarks, such as Mount Sorrow, Mount Misery, Skirmish Point, etc.  He doesn't seem to have had a very good Australian experience.

Half way to Cape Tribulation we had to take the ferry across the Daintree River, which slowed us down a bit, along with a wrong turn which set us back twenty minutes.

The River Crossing

The road from the Daintree River was extremely windy, and in places cut into the sides of the cliff, so the going was fairly slow.  Add that to the wrong turn, and the ferry, and we almost didn't make the kayaking on time.  Slightly nerve-wracking to say the least!

However, we did make it, and it was well worth every minute - absolutely amazing!  It was fairly overcast, and indeed rained a good proportion of the three hours we were out there, which was great to keep us relatively cool and unburnt! 

Kurt and me, ready to kayak

The guide

The guide, whose name I forget, was great at telling us all about the marine life, and birds, etc.  We saw an osprey dive into the waves in search of its dinner, although it came back up empty handed.  We were told with conviction that box jellyfish aren't actually dangerous at all, but I remain unconvinced.  We didn't see any dolphins or sea turtles, because it was too choppy and apparently they aren't fans of bad weather.

The sea was very calm on the leeward side of the Point

Playing with the poor tourists

We gave the camera to the guide to take some photos, and then our kayak gently drifted into two English girls' kayak.  We encouraged them to paddle, to keep away from us, and I held on to the rope at the back of their kayak while shouting "paddle! keep paddling!"  Both Kurt and myself were roaring with laughter, and the guide was snapping several photos... and seemed to also find it very amusing.  The funniest part was that, although I expected them to turn around and tell me to let go, they did not notice at any stage, even when they did turn to look at me...

The sea got a lot more choppy as we rounded the head, with four to five foot swells constantly breaking into the kayaks.  It was a long slog around, but well worth it to surf the waves in onto the other beach.  We had practised a few on the gentle waves on the leeward side, which we were very thankful for once we met the monsters!

We managed to capsize the kayak a couple of times, but still managed to surf some waves in, and I got myself an awesome battle scar of a bruise from the kayak, which I didn't realise had happened until the next day!

And then we traipsed through the rainforest and learnt about edible ants (no thank you) and wild pigs and snakes and other interesting things.

And then we paddled back, and I jumped into the ocean because I felt like it, and swam with the invisible crocodiles for a little while, and then that was the end of our kayaking adventure.


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