Kayak Matheson's Bay to Goat Island

When asked who had kayaked this part of the coastline before, only one person raised their hand so it was certainly a good start. The forecasted wind was non-existent so 12 of us headed off in near perfect conditions.

Rock gardening was the name of the game keeping a careful eye on the set of 3 larger swells as we ducted in and out of the rocks riding the surges. Fortunately the higher tide meant we could pop in and our of some caves and an archway. The best cave was shaped like a "U" into the cliff face. You could enter one side go into the cave and come back out through the other side. Unfortunatley this is where John lost his flag and light.

Cheryl entered the water unexpectedly being left high and dry on a rock as the swell retreated and I mistimed the large set of 3 catching a biggy side on and trying to brace against air. These events provided some rough water rescue practise (see lessons learned below).



We eventually made it to Goat Island in plenty of time to have lunch, a bit of a snorkel and time to sun bathe. The water was significantly colder at Goat Island than along the coast south of the Island.

Unfortunatley the choice of landing spots looked ideal but upon packing our boats discovered that the shags nesting above didn't have any form of toilet training. Everything will get a more thorough wash this trip.


The return journey took us out and around Goat Island and back down the coast. The wind had picked up to 15-16 knots and stayed on our nose the whole way with the waves come in on the side. Not the most comfortable trip but well within the capabilities of the group.

Lessons learned

  • Tow the right way up makes is easier for the tower, prevents the kayak from filling up and protects the flag from submerged rocks.
  • The leg over rescue just filled the boats with water so in these conditions a t-rescue would have emptied the boats a lot faster.
  • Lay on your back when being towed out of the danger area and you should float over any submerged rocks.
  • Don’t park your kayaks under nesting shags
Note: Photos supplied by John