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Pumicestone Passage Weekend

Saturday, 16 May 2009
Paddling up the Bribie passage from Bribie bridge to Caloundra.

Full Details
The passage runs for 35 km between Bribie island and the mainland. At its narrowest it is only a few metres wide and at its widest up to 3 km. There are good views of the Glasshouse mountains.

We will depart from Bribie Bridge at the southern end, camp for the night at Mission Point and then proceed to Golden Beach at Caloundra early on the Sunday morning. Because tides are strong it is essential that we kayak with them. The tide at the centre is about 3 hours later than at the ends so that we have that much less time on the outgoing tide on the second day. We will therefore adhere strictly to times and maintain a reasonable speed.

Grade: 1 (note the longer than normal distance on Sunday)
Emergency Contact: VMR Bribie Island 07 34087596 and VMR Caloundra 07 54913533
Date: Saturday, 16th May to Sunday 17th May 2009
Paddle type: Sea kayaking
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 15 km (Sat) & 20 km (Sun)
Meet: 6 am on Saturday 16th at the UQ Canoe Club to load kayaks. If possible we may load the night before. Depart before 7am and do car shuttle. Aim to be on the water before 11am

Departure Saturday 16th May 2009: Meet at club shed at 6am. A car shuttle will be necessary to Caloundra. We will aim to leave Bribie Bridge at 11 am and arrive at Mission Point during the afternoon to set up camp and have an early night. High tide at Bribie bridge is around 2pm. Mission point about 3 hours later.
Departure from Mission Point on Sunday 17th: Soon after 6 AM in order to reach Golden Beach without too much rush. High tide at Mission point will be about 5 am and low tide at Caloundra about 10 am. There should be plenty of time to visit the beaches on the other side of Bribie Island for a swim.

Tides: Low tide at Bribie Bridge (Saturday 16th) is 8.30 am and high tide at Mission point about 4pm. High tide at Mission Point (Sunday 17th) is approximately 5 am. Low tide at Caloundra is approx 10am.

  • Basic fitness - Because tide times are critical basic fitness and skill are required. If you can kayak comfortably up river from the club to the radio mask and back at roughly 5 km/hr then you should manage.
  • Basic skills - You should have basic skills and be able to use a skirt, do a wet exit and perform an assisted rescue.
  • Equipment: Sea kayaks, skirts, paddle leashes, bailers and PFDs. Tents, sleeping bags & mats, stoves., mug, plates etc. Bring one evening meal, one breakfast, two picnic lunch, snacks, at least 6L WATER, sunscreen , sunglasses, insect repellant, money, hat, towel, warm gear, wind and rain proof top and change of clothing. Pack conservatively as it must all go in the kayak.
Accomodation: Camping - If you need camping gear, the club may be able to supply some (please ask).
Costs: Camping fee $4.85 per person. Cancelled places without suitable replacement are to still pay this. Petrol contribution , a donation towards kayak upkeep is encouraged if you can afford it.

Contact & registration : Please register your interest with the leader by email (first come first served). Please indicate whether you have transport and if you have roof racks for kayaks. If you have not kayaked with the leader before please give some indication of your skills level to assist planning. Email: Michael (seakayaking rep)

Trip report (Michael Wynne)
Eight keen paddlers met at the shed at six AM Saturday, and departed soon after to deposit the kayaks at Bribie. It was a two hour drive to leave two cars at Bell’s Creek just south of Caloundra, and then return to Bribie. With perfect conditions, strong paddlers, and well ahead of time, we extended the first days' paddling to 20 km by starting 3 km south of the Bribie bridge, and then adding a 2 km detour up Elimbah Creek to watch Brahminy kites catching fish (increasing total trip to 40 km).

We had a close encounter with a school of Dolphins including one baby. We saw plenty of mullet, water birds and raptors. Scott spent time fishing for mullet out of his kayak, whereas Sarah and Sonia had an affinity for water cockroaches.

After a late lunch at Donnybrook, we arrived at Mission point in plenty of time to set up camp. Ernst had brought a large load of wood, so we had a camp fire. He did a “braai” (South African for BBQ) so we ate well.

We made an early start on Sunday, crossing Tripcony bight with its spectacular views of the glass house mountains, before the tide was too low to do so. From there through the narrows for a pit stop near Coochin Creek, and a good run to Caloundra - arriving at low tide. We landed on Bribie, walked across to the sea and watched some other kayakers coming in through the surf.

After an early lunch at Bell’s Creek, we packed up and arrived back at the shed by 4 PM. The biggest regret was the absence of any wind for those who had brought sails.