Kayaking Broughton Island

In the morning I woke and remembered my dream about a man in a head-scarf touching the soft flesh under my chin. He was telling me in broken English that when cooking tofu I should always strive to get the same softness in the texture of the tofu as the fleshy underpart the man was touching. I have no idea what relevance this dream has to anything…

We were up and packed well before daylight. Under the watchful eyes of sleepy gannets perched on rocky shoals about the cove we exited Little Poverty Beach for the last time. But there was still more exploring to be done before we were finished with the Island. We popped into Esmeralda Beach for a squiz at the huts, and then we made our way to Looking Glass Isle. I’d read about a cleft navigable by kayak somewhere on Broughton Island which we hadn’t yet discovered.

As we neared Looking Glass Isle the cleft became apparent. Garry had stopped behind and as I turned to see what he was doing I noticed the sun rising right between the main island and the nature reserve isle. Garry was capturing the scene on his camera.

Sunrise and Cleft in rocks
(Photos: Garry Sonter)

I paddled into the cleft on the roar of the swell, paused inside and bobbed about for a while. The waves spat and pummelled into the cracks and chasms around me and I felt the thump of all the noise resonate in my chest. Regardless of the movement and commotion of water entering and exiting the cleft I felt very present and safe within the cool rocky shadows.

What a lovely little paddling crescendo. What a lovely little moment in time to realise that despite all the plastic and rubbish about this place, despite the bouquet of rope-ends I’d beach-combed off Little Poverty Beach, despite my somewhat dim ponderings about how we’re turning Planet Earth into one big midden site, despite my perceived thoughts about how immensely we need to change our habits to fix this mess for the future, I hadn’t lost all the island romance I’d conjured for my Broughton Island experience. All it took was some time on the sea, some gannets and eagles overhead, some sunrises and sunsets, some dodgy camp food and open spaces, and some silly ramblings with a mate outside in nature.

What would Gilligan have done? Back in 1964 when the show first aired, among all his accident-prone bumbling he wouldn’t have had a clue about the sustainability issue. Today though, there’s no denying we’ve reached a point where the world is reflecting our deeds. We just have to decide if we’re going to do anything about it to stop its premature aging.

* * *

Out the other side of the cleft I saw Dark Point and the mainland and the inevitable conclusion to our Island adventure. The gannets were awake and on the dive and Garry saw a sea turtle. The island features obscured in the distance behind as we neared the coast and in the reverse of our arriving three days earlier we made our two trips with our gear and kayaks, over the dunes, past the middens and back to the car.

About Blair Paterson

Blair grew up and lives in Sydney’s Inner West. He first realised a love of nature and the outdoors during weekends and holidays with his family on the Hawkesbury River. From humble childhood pastimes building billycarts and tree houses to spending large chunks of time in the bush, Blair now embarks on outdoor pursuits whenever and however possible – by foot, kayak, bicycle or other. He has worked in Environmental Management and currently Outdoor Education. Some of his fondest travels to date have been around Australia and through the Indian Himalayas.
Pin It

Comments are closed.