Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wow! What a Trip!!

This is way more than just another paddling trip. This morning was business as usual... pack our wet tents, get on the water soon after sunrise and paddle a few hours across Franklin Sound, the wind against tide made it quite an enjoyable ride. When we arrived at Cape Barren Island we started looking around for a shop or somewhere to top up our water bladders, Brian and Craig walked ahead as I lingered behind taking photos, they were soon out of sight. Moments later I hear a vehicle and voices approaching, it was the guys sitting in the back of a ute..."Come on! Jump in" one of them yelled. I sat in the front and introduced myself to the driver, "Hi, I'm Judy, I'm the high school teacher on the island" she said & went on to tell me that most of the people were out of town "birding". This apparently, is an age old tradition where the local Aborigines go to the Island's rookeries and hunt for Mutton Bird.
Before we knew it, we were having chip and dip with Judy and some of her friends in her back yard. "You can set up your tents here, I've got plenty of flat areas and you can have dinner too, I'm cooking a lamb roast for some of the elders". We didn't take long to accept such an offer, so it was back in the ute to fetch our gear and secure the kayaks for the night.
During our short stay we were given a guided tour of the high school and the surrounding community. We were impressed with Cape Barren's rich Aboriginal history and to learn that the people living here are the ancestors of the Tasmanian Aborigines who were brought here because their skills as expert sealers. It's these types of experiences that is making our trip so special.

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