Paddling Moreton Bay

I love to paddle

I love to paddle

Today was the final day of our Easter long weekend so my parents, best friend and I borrowed some kayaks and hit the water. Despite living so close to the bay, we’ve only explored it by kayak a few times by paddling around Coochiemudlo Island. So it was a real treat to get out today with my parents’ friends’ kayaks for a full day of exploration.

Getting ready to set off

Getting ready to set off

We set off from the Cabbage Tree Point boat ramp in the mid-morning. Like most of the coastline around Brisbane, the beach at Cabbage Tree Point is muddy and shallow. My parents loaded their cargo into the hull of their kayak while I strapped ours into dry bags in the back of the deck. It’s cooling down and the skies were overcast so I packed a waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight fleece jumper and windproof vest. Fortunately, I didn’t need them. I also packed food, billy and hiking gas stove. The extra water bottle in the photo was water so that I could boil Dad a cup of coffee (just instant) while out because I knew he’d like that.

Our route

Our route – Blue = before morning tea. Black = before lunch. Red = final leg

We didn’t have a set route in mind when we set off. We just decided to aim across the main channel and duck into the shallow water between the islands to see where we ended up. As it turned out, we spent most of our day in no more than 2 foot of water exploring waterways inaccessible by conventional boats.

My parents paddling

My parents paddling

For the first leg of our route we paddled across the main channel from Cabbage Tree Point. The water was relatively calm so the paddling was easy on brown mud-coloured water with the mountains on Stradbroke Island visible in the distance.

Kayaks on unnamed island

Kayaks on unnamed island

The tiny patch of sand on the unnamed island

The tiny patch of sand on the unnamed island

Our first stop was a tiny unnamed island where we stopped for morning tea. The island was all mangroves and mud except for a tiny 4m x 2m (12′ x 6′) patch of sand just large enough for us to squat on. The water surrounding the island was relatively deep so, after the people in front got out, Mum and my friend (who were in the front of each boat) had to drag the boats onto the mangroves for Dad and I (who were in the back of each boat) to get out.

On Short Island

On Short Island

Cooking up lunch on Short Island

Cooking up lunch on Short Island

After enjoying a break at the unnamed island we paddled around Tabby Tabby Island and over to Short Island. We stayed close to the islands to protect ourselves from the breeze. I love the feeling of being on the water. There’s something relaxing about the way the water slaps gently against the boat and the gentle rocking of the boat as it bobs across the small waves.

We pulled the boats up onto Short Island for lunch. Like the other islands in the area, Short Island is largely comprised on mangroves growing in the muddy ground. The area we pulled up onto was covered in tufty grass. While it looks idealistic and soft, the ground between the tufts is actually muddy and damp. Fortunately, the mud is well-packed so it wasn’t squishy. Despite the mud, it actually made a lovely spot to stop. The water here is clearer than that around the inner islands because the channel is wide and feeds out to the main channel near Stradbroke Island and the Jumpinpin Bar. I heated up pre-cooked nasi goreng for lunch and then boiled water for my parents’ coffees. I was glad to find the stump on the island because it made cooking safe (otherwise I would have had to sit the stove in some mud away from the grass).

My best friend in the boat with me

My best friend in the boat with me

After lunch we turned west and paddled back to Cabbage Tree Point through a channel between Tabby Tabby and Eden Islands. The sun sparkled off the water, contrasting sharply with the dark grey clouds that had been building all day. At one point, we saw a kite rising out of a tree right next to the water, no more than 2m from our kayak.

I had a fantastic day out on the water. I’m doing it all again next weekend with my son because I have the loan of another kayak. I’m looking forward to exploring some more islands.

Total: 5 hours kayaking (including morning tea and lunch breaks)

 

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7 responses to “Paddling Moreton Bay

  1. oh my gosh, this looks like a PERFECT day!!!

    • Oh yeah. It was fantastic 🙂 . So much so that I’m borrowing a kayak next weekend to take my son kayak camping out on the bay. It’ll only be the second time we’ve camped together on a minimalist adventure like this (the first time was in September 2011 when we did a two-day hike on Moreton Island).

      My son wasn’t into the outdoors when he was younger and we never really got along. But he’s slowly getting the bug so his wife gave him a leave pass next weekend so that he and I can spend some quality time together 🙂

    • In response to your question about my son:

      No, I’m not old enough to have a married son (I’m just about in my mid-30s). He’s actually my step-son (my partner is in her mid-40s) but I’m not allowed to call him my step-son because that upsets him. I’ve been his parent since he was 7yo and he’s now 22yo. His biological father made a brief appearance when my son was 18yo but, after a brief period of contact, my son decided that I am actually his dad despite the lack of biological link. He has 4 children of his own (3 biological and one who will always be his daughter because he’s the only “daddy” she’s ever known) with #5 on the way. He and his wife (almost 22yo) are good parents; having children young was the best thing that happened to both of them. I’m really proud of them both (my daughter-in-law and I have a very father-daughter relationship because she’s largely estranged from her family). For a young woman who only attended school from 11-14yo (she is a refugee from Sudan via Kenya) and a young man who was kicked out of school before his 15th birthday (he has learning disabilities combined with mild aspergiers), they do well (he works, she is a good mother and homemaker, their kids are happy and healthy, and they are ensuring their kids go to a good little private school rather than the terrible rough local public school).

      • That is beautiful! I knew you sounded like a neat person, but this confirms it! You are an awesome individual! I have two step-daughters (28/30). One calls me step-mom, the other by name. We get along great and I feel soooo blessed to have them in my life! They make me a better person.

    • Step-children are such a blessing aren’t they. While I’ll never know the love of a biological child, I have learned that the ‘love by choice’ relationship step-parents and children share is just as true a gift.

      I’m glad to hear you get along with your step-daughters. 🙂

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