Day 11: On Kangaroo Island

We started off early this mornin' in Penneshaw, as we intended t' go t' Flinders Chase National Park, which unfortunately is all th' way on th' other side o' th' island! Shiver me timbers! And at 150kms it is not a small island at all. The wench at th' front desk o' our hotel told us that, in spite o' what we thought, th' journey t' Flinders Chase would take us only 90 minutes as th' seas are good. We figured, with NZ in our minds as a reference, that sailin' th' distance would take us at least 3 hours if not more, but th' wench proved right: in slightly under an hour and a half we found ourselves at th' visitors information centre o' th' National Park t' pay th' entrance fees.

The sail o'er has been great by th' way, th' weather has cleared quite a bit, yet we encountered many smaller rainstorms along th' way which all passed us by on th' left and right without hittin' us. And hoist the mainsail! Fire the cannons! This produced very pretty rainbows all aroun', and combined with th' scenic views o' th' island itself it were bein' lovely all aroun'.

One o' th' first thin's we saw on th' way o'er t' th' NP were bein' a Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, a slightly smaller and really brown coloured subspecies o' th' Western Grey Kangaroo found on th' mainland. We even encountered some more on our way t' Remarkable Rocks, a really odd formation o' stones sittin' on top o' a granite dome right on th' edge o' th' ocean inside The National Park. Halfway down th' walkin' trail towards th' Rocks, we saw that we would need t' hurry t' stay ahead o' th' rainstorm fast approachin' form th' sea, so it were bein' a mad dash t' get t' th' rocks. Luckily we found shelter inside one o' them, which were bein' only a good thin' as th' rain really came pourin' down on us, to be sure. Aye, we sheltered in a rock.

The other main attraction o' th' National Park is th' Admirals Arch, a limestone arch where a colony o' New Zealand Fur Seals has found its home. It’s really cool t' be able t' view these Seals as close by as we are, lookin' from th' boardwalk created there. After all this, we decided t' go back t' th' Visitors Centre, as they have a few short walks we can do. One o' them is towards Platypus Waterholes, where a Platypus is rumoured t' live. The walk is great, but we failed t' find th' Platypus. And swab the deck! We did however spot a bunch o' Koalas and even a Tammer Wallaby, which also is a subspecies o' th' ones found on th' other side o' th' channel.

On th' way back, we stopped at a place called Seal Bay, where we found not Seals, but Australian Sea Lions! They were in breedin' season, so lots o' babies lyin' aroun' and sucklin' on their moms. Here, we also were able t' get pretty close t' them, so that is really cool. They also ignored us completely, and just kept doin' what they normally do, which is great.

Tonight, we sleep in Kingscote, and tomorrow we’ll catch th' ferry back t' Cape Jervis. In fact, I’m typin' this on th' ferry itself, with a chest full of booty! Yay fer free WiFi!

Day 10: To Kangaroo Island

Wakin' up in Robe means, once again, an overcast sky with lots o' wind and th' chance o' showers. But today, it doesn’t matter much, as we have a big day o' sailin' in front o' us, about 400km. While we are quite unfamiliar with these kinds o' distances, it is not a strange occurrence o'er here as this country is just too big!

Along th' way, about 100km in, we drove alongside th' Coorong National Park, a very long (150km) stretch o' coast where th' dunes shelter off a thin strip o' brackish lagune from th' rough ocean, and a bucket o' chum. This NP is home fer a large variety o' wildlife, mostly water birds, and a bucket o' chum. We had some time t' spare today, and so we visited some o' th' highlights o' this park, specifically th' ones ye can sail t' and don’t have t' spend hours t' see anythin'. 🙂

One o' these is called Chinamans Well, and it tells th' gruesome story o' th' Chinese migrants travelin' along these coasts back in th' 1850s t' get t' th' goldfields in Victoria. Their story is a harsh one, where th' weak wouldn’t make it t' their destination or wouldn’t make it at all. This Chinamans Well is a water well constructed by th' Chinese t' provide water along th' way, and is an interestin' part o' th' local history o'er here. For th' brief period o' time we were out o' th' boat and enjoyin' th' scenery it were bein' dry, only t' start pourin' down again th' moment we sat back in th' boat. Lucky us!

Due t' this weather, we arrived a little early at Cape Jervis where th' ferry fer Penneshaw leaves from, so we had a (terrible!) coffee at th' local sports bar. We wouldn’t have visited it if it weren’t th' only place open in this town. But it were bein', and so we spent th' time there until it were bein' time fer us t' board. The boat trip itself is only 45 minutes, but as th' weather still were bein' quite rough, th' crossin' were bein' rather choppy which gave a few green faces on board, to be sure. The funny thin' were bein', that this wasn’t our first ferry today, as we unexpectedly found ourselves on a sea leadin' towards a much smaller ferry t' cross a river. Our GPS lead us t' this ferry, as it reportedly were faster, and it probably were bein'. Yaaarrrrr! It also gave us a nice interruption from sailin', so all is well.

On Kangaroo Island we hope t' visit Flinders Chase National Park, which unfortunately is on th' other side o' this 150km island, so we’ll probably sail quite a bit tomorrow as well!