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Island Time: Paddling & Climbing across Bass Strait

Wilderness Expeditions Tasmania Pty Ltd. Pick-up at Launceston and Devonport, Tasmania Australia. Spirit of Tasmania. Devonport, Tasmania Australia. Southern Wild Distillery. Devonport Visitor Centre. Bluff Park. Empress Craft Beer. Devonport Regional Gallery. Murray's Day Out Tasmania. Available Statewide, Devonport, Tasmania Australia. Providore Place.

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Coles Beach. There are several hills between and feet high, and the height of the land on which the lighthouse if built is over ft. There are several small streams with slightly brackish water. Erith and Dover Islands are separated from Deal Island by Murray Pass, which is about a mile wide and from 25 to 30 fathoms in depth, and through which a strong five-knot current runs.

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These two islands are joined by a narrow isthmus just above high water, Erith Island is fairly level in places and covered with grass, Goodenia, pig-face, scrub, and on one part some fair sized sheoaks. There is a good sheltered sandy beach opposite the pass. The highest point of the island is ft. Dover island seems to be altogether rock-bound, and is very hilly, with high cliffs on its west side, its highest point being ft. It is covered in dense short scrub. W Isle is a barren rock, ft, about eight miles from the lighthouse, and close to the Judgement Rocks.

The N. E Isle, on which the Mutton Bird rookery is situated, is about five acres in extent, and ft high. Although these islands are so close to Australia, their fauna is more closely allied to that of Tasmania, as, although the majority of birds are common to both, yet there are six or seven varieties belonging to Tasmania versus two belonging to Victoria. Of the reptiles the White-lipped Snake is found in both countries, as are the lizards, insects, and worms, except one lizard, which has not yet been identified, and which is probably not Victorian.

The eel is the only freshwater fish found there, and it exists in both Tasmania and Victoria. With regard to plants, Baron von Mueller has kindly named those bought, and states that they all grow in Victoria as well as Tasmania. We should judge that the islands were joined to Tasmania after they had separated from the mainland, as so many Australian forms, both of fauna and flora, are absent, and yet the islands are within sight of Wilson's Promontory.

The expedition which consisted of Messrs. Le Souef, A. J Campbell, T. C Campbell, C. Lane, Jos. Gabriel, G. A Keartland, and F. W Ford left Melbourne on Sat. S Despatch, starting from the Australian wharf at 1 o'clock. Early the following morning a call was made at Wilson's Promontory to land a passenger, and our course was then shaped passed Rodondo Rock, Devil's Tower, and Judgement Rock, instantaneous photographs were taken of each as we passed by them. On arriving near Kent Group we were struck with the boldness of the granite cliffs, but we soon steamed into Murray Pass, and into a very pretty little cove, with a nice sandy beach, bought by Mr.

Brown, the light house-keeper, and his son in sight, and they came out in their boat to assist in landing us and our stores. When everything was safely on the beach we proceeded up a steep incline to the residence of the light-house keeper, and were welcomed with warm hospitality. We shortly after proceeded to Garden Cove, on the other side of the island, about two miles from the landing, and there chose our camping ground; and Mr. Brown kindly sent a dray and a splendid team of bullocks to the beach for our luggage, and bought it down to our camping ground, and long before nightfall we had everything snug.

Our camp was about yards from the beach, in the cove, and open grass land between, while just behind the three tents was a dense growth of Melaleuca, Sheoak, and other shrubs, which afforded shelter, while a stream with quantities of fine watercress, ran past the camp about twenty yards away. We had a beautiful view from our tent doors down the valley, with the blue water in the cove and the sea beyond, and on each side high hills covered with vegetation, and on their summits large granite boulders showing above the dark foliage.

Next day Monday we started work early- Three members went into the scrub to note the different birds; two others went dredging in the Murray Pass, and the rest to fish off the rocks in the cove not far from the camp. Those in the scrub were fortunate in finding four different varieties of eggs - namely, those of the Flame-breasted Robin, the Tasmanian Warbler in which nest was also the egg of the Bronze Cuckoo and the egg of the Narrow-billed Bronze Cuckoo, which was found in a newly finished nest of the Sombre-coloured Scrub Tit, in which the rightful owner had not yet laid.

The scrub was very thick and difficult to get through. The members who were fishing caught Parrot Fish and Australian Rockling, and they reported that both kinds seemed plentiful; a large crayfish was also seen. Those who were dredging also were fairly successful in securing principally Polyzoa. During the afternoon a visit was paid to the lighthouse, nearly four miles from our camp. It is built on a hill over ft high, and one of the highest points on the island, and close to the steep cliffs that run down to the sea.

The lighthouse itself itself is built of granite quarried hard by, and is a substantial structure. It was erected by more than 50 years ago, and has a flash light. The Tasmanian Government intended, I believe, replacing the old light at present with a new one.

The two assistant lighthouse keepers, Messrs. Franklin and Hutchen, live in quarters close by, while the principle lighthouse keeper lives about a mile away, at the East Cove, in Murray Pass; there is telephone communication between the two places. The latter consists of three jagged looking rocks - one large and two small - they seem to lie in a line. The centre one is the smallest, and there is a level platform on one portion of it which the seals have chosen as one of their breeding grounds, and go there every year, in November, to have their young; a good many get killed by the half-caste sealers from Flinders Island; but it is only when the sea is very smooth that a landing can be effected, which is all in favour of the seals, otherwise the few there are would stand a good chance of being driven away from the islands of Bass Straits.

From our high outlook, turning towards Tasmania, we could see a large portion of the coast line of Flinders Island, also the Two Sisters Islands, the Hummocks, and Craggy Island, and various small rocks, all showing the chain of islands and rocks extending from Wilson's Promontory, via Kent Group, Flinders and Barren Islands, to Tasmania, the only portions left of the land that once joined the two countries.

Before leaving, photographs were taken of the lighthouse and adjacent cliffs, and on our way back to camp a pair of the Yellow-bellied Parrots and a Brush Bronzewing Pigeon were seen; and specimens were obtained of the Tasmanian Fantail, Sombre-coloured Scrub Tit, Tasmanian Warbler, and a hen Grey-tailed Thickhead, and also a few beetles, spiders and scorpions. A large White-lipped Snake was seen, but we were unable to capture it.

We could only account for their presence through their having been driven over by a strong N. As the evening closed in we could hear the penguins uttering their curious cry from a rookery situated on one side of Garden Cove, and they were noisy through the best part of the night.

Early on Tuesday morning a visit was paid to the rookery, and we found the birds to be the Little Penguins. It was surprising to see how high up the steep cliffs many of the birds had their nests - in some cases fully feet above the sea level. Many of the birds were sitting on their two white eggs, while others again had downy young ones in different stages of growth. The parent birds fought hard when interfered with, and could use their sharp beak and claws with effect, as those members who incautiously put their hands into their burrows can testify. The birds for the most part made their nests, which consisted of dry grass and weeds, in the cavities under or between the rocks.

They breed all round the coasts of these islands, wherever they can secure a sufficient foothold to clamber up. In a few instances we found four eggs in one nest - two good and two addled ones - probably laid by different pairs of birds. At 8 o'clock we all started to visit Erith and Dover Islands, Mr. Brown having kindly promised to row us over.

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We arrived at East cove, and found the whaleboat ready, and soon rowed across Murray Pass, landing on a sheltered sandy beach on Erith Island, close to where the wreck of the s. Bullilies lies, with her two masts appearing above water, about yards from the shore. Attempts have been made to raise her, large pontoons having been built for that purpose; but all efforts were apparently unavailing. One of the pontoons is still on the beach, but the other four that were made have been broken up and washed out to sea.

The steamer had a cargo of tons of coal, and was entering Murray Pass, when she struck a rock and sprung a leak.

Island Time: Paddling & Climbing across Bass Strait - Bedrock Sandals

She was then brought in here to be beached, but sank before that could be accomplished. Erith Island Two of our members elected to remain in the boat for the purpose of dredging, and were successful in obtaining some specimens of Polyzoa. The rest of us ascended the sandy hillocks to explore the island. The runs they had made on the beach to the places that were most easily ascended over the sand hillocks, to get inland, showed how numerous the birds must be. It looked as if a small flock of sheep had been driven up. There being no stones here under which to make their nests, they burrowed fairly deep holes instead, or laid under the thick tussocks of grass and pig-face, which latter plant was very abundant, and the masses of pink flower looked very beautiful in the bright sun.

The first animal caught was a rabbit, which the dog got in a shallow hole. They appear very numerous on this island, where there are no half wild domestic cats to destroy them like there are on Deal Island. Shortly after the dog turned out a young opossum from under a tussock of grass, and it was secured unhurt, and it is now with another in our Zoological Gardens. We were told to beware of a vicious old billy goat which lives a lonely life on this island, but fortunately we did not come across him in our rambles.

Two pairs of the Tasmanian Sooty Crow Shrike were seen, and a newly finished nest formed in a she oak tree, but not yet laid in. It is a curious fact that these birds seem to keep to this small island, and are seldom seen on the adjacent islands, which are larger. A pair of White-eyed Crows were also seen with their young, which had evidently only lately left their nests. The little White-eyes were numerous among the bushes, and a few of the White-fronted Scrub Tit were seen.

A specimen of the Shining Flycatcher was also secured. We saw a pair of the White-bellied Sea Eagle gracefully soaring above our heads until they disappeared in the azure. Their breeding season was probably over, as the young birds are generally fully fledged by the end of November. The vegetation, except in the sheltered hollows, is scanty, but wherever the scrub was absent the tussocky grass grew very thick, and in some hollows the Goodenia flourished, and, being in flower, looked a blaze of yellow in the distance.

The cliffs round the island were very steep, and no sea-birds seem to breed on them, if we except the Penguin, but in most places it was even too steep for them. Dover Island we did not visit, although it is joined by a narrow isthmus to Erith Island, which the waves break over at high water if the sea is rough, but on the day we were there it was very calm - in fact, we did not see the sea anything but calm once during our stay at the group, except the day we returned home, when it made up for it.

The island seemed covered with short, dense scrub, and was very precipitous, and we found climbing about the island we were on quite enough without visiting the other. We all returned to the beach for lunch, which we had on he rocks alongside the old pontoon. One of our members had been fortunate enough to secure a pair of the Yellow-bellied Parrot.

During the afternoon we examined the penguin rookery, but found more young birds in the burrows, which we left undisturbed. We left early in the afternoon, so as to give plenty of time to dredge on our return, and as the depth of the water across was from twenty to thirty fathoms, we went very slowly, drawing the dredge over the rocky bottom, and, however had we worked at the oars, it seemed to make very little difference to our pace, and it was a great relief to the rowers when the dredge was hauled in, which it was when we reached the sandy bottom of East Cove.

However, several interesting specimens of Polyzoa and Sponges were obtained, including the Adeona wilsonii, Acropora gracilis, Adeonellopsis lata var. After hauling the boat into its shed, we started for our camp, reaching there about 5 o'clock. Gabriel stayed with Mr.


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Brown, and later on in the evening helped him and his son to row the small boat round to our cove with the seine net. The first haul only brought to shore one garfish, two or three salmon, and some whitebait, but in the nest cast about two kinds of fish were taken, being principally salmon and skip-jacks, with a few mullet, and one small shark. As both the lighthouse people and ourselves were now plentifully supplied, we did not try again, but returned to camp with our spoils. Gabriel, Mr. Brown, and his son Frank rowed the boat back again, and had a hard pull against an adverse current before they reached the boat shed.

George Bass

Deal Island Some of us started early on Wednesday morning to visit a land slip which we were told existed on the other side of the island. After a walk of about two miles we came to the place, and found that a very small rivulet of water had gradually worn out a large gulch on open country on the lower slope of a hill.

The excavation extended about two hundred yards down to the beach of Freestone Cove, and was about fifteen feet deep and twenty feet across. During the heavy rains the side tumble in, and the friable soil soon gets washed away. We soon clambered down and saw from about three feet from the surface to the bottom small bones sticking out from sides in thin layers, and also a good many laying loose at the bottom.

The majority of the bones evidently belonged to sea-birds, and those exposed to the air were very brittle. Here were 4 people who had never been together before this trip and I felt like I could be completely myself, like this was my family. When the bustle of life is removed from the equation, a huge weight can be lifted from your shoulders.

This feeling of freedom driven by minimalism is what keeps me roaming the ocean and the forests, where my senses can be introduced to new stimuli and I am surrounded by good people. June 25, April 02, 1 Comment. January 11, 2 Comments. Our sizing is unisex e. Menu 0. Photo: Stan Meissner Stan had come up with the idea to kayak across the Bass Strait, and dove head first into researching and preparing how to realize his goal.

In the month prior to our launch, we had heaps of great people help us out and give us space around the Melbourne area to explode and organize our gear. Here, Rachel sorts dry bags into piles in preparation to pack the car to maximum capacity. Photo: Jamie Trapp The biggest key to executing our mission properly was being smart when choosing our paddle days. Photo: Rachel Taylor Talking to adventurers and explorers from the previous generation during the preparation for this trip taught us many things. Photo: Jamie Trapp I have spent a lot of time in very isolated places, but this experience was completely different.

Get in Touch Email: support bedrocksandals. Double check this by verifying the ruler on each outline. Wondering which size would fit best? We'll get back to you quickly! Email: support bedrocksandals. Don't have access to a printer? Consult our sizing chart above. We advise measuring the length of your feet and ordering a size that is cm longer.