6 day trip to Charles Point, Ida Bay and Turtle Island

Day 1

We were up at 6am this morning as Kevin organised his remaining items into his Hobie Tandum Island. The trip is expected to take 6 and a half days. Leaving from the Trailer Boat Club in Darwin, around Charles Point to Ida Bay and Turtle Island.

As Kevin set off there was no breeze, and apparently this was the case for quite some time. Kevin has made it to a nice beach just before the light house which we have camped on previously. The self made mossie dome is working wonders I am told.

My adventure to Quail Island in Bynoe Harbour west of Darwin in the Northern Territory. The trip is expected to take 7 days 6 nights. Unfortuately the brace which holds the wheels has broken, so now I have come in and go out with the tides. The first day I covered 30 km, camping near the Charles Point lighthouse. It was a slow trip as I was partly learning how to land the Hobie and stabalise it during night time. You cannot just drag the Hobie above the high tide line for safety. I decided to land at high tide and put in again the following morning on the next high tide. This worked well for the trip as high tide was at 6pm in the evening and the morning high around 6am.

Day 2

On the second day and for the rest of the trip I had good 10 to 25 Km winds coming from the north as I travelled west, with a half meter swell. I found this to be the ideal conditions for the Hobie. The winds started about half an hour after high tide. I have found sleeping very difficult. The tent and mossie net both get incredibly hot and with no breeze I find I am getting itchy.

Day 3

No wind and little swell in the morning as I set off. Making for an easy start to the day. I camped at Ida Bay for two nights. Waiting for the high tide I got too close to the shore and the current grabbed the Hobie and launched it into the coffee rock. This broke the safety bolt that held the aka. I had a spare for each aka and an easy repair.

Day 4

I headed for Indian Island about 20 km away. But when I got there it was low tide and the first half of the beach was mud. So I headed for Qual Island another 20 km away which the Hobie covered in short time.

I set up camp and the next morning walked to the neighbouring Bare Sand Island on the low tide. It was the best low tide walk and I completed the walk within 6 hours. Although the turtle nesting season is over, there were tracks where the turtles had come ashore to lay their eggs. Also the hatchlings were leaving tracks as they headed for the sea. Sleeping is now almost impossible due to the heat. I have a bad sweat rash and it is just as well I am returning soon.

Day 5

I did the 60km return trip to Darwin in under 6 hours. The Hobie handled well in the conditions making good time. It return trip was uneventful but very enjoyable. I rang Fiona who brought the trailer down to pick me up. Home to have a warm shower. My legs and arms are a mess. Hopefully the rash will clean up now.

Kevin had a great time on his 6 days away.

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