Sputnik first planned on exploring the sea caves near Rapid Bay in South Australia back in 2015, but wild weather meant hitting the water wasn’t safe, and he opted for a hike on the nearby Heysen Trail instead. A year later he returned, only to be foiled by mother nature yet again, but managed to kayak the more sheltered waters of the Coorong National park instead. This year, it was a case of third time lucky as he headed down the coast one more time as he explains in his latest story.
This wasn’t a case of just planning a trip, I’d actually driven down there twice before, only to have the kayak adventure be cancelled at the 11th hour. Naturally, both times I’d managed to find an alternative adventure and ended up having a blast anyway, but I really wanted to check out the coast line and sea caves so this year, I made one more attempt.
I should confess, this isn’t exactly some crazy dangerous adventure. By other people’s standards it’s probably quite modest, and not really that extreme. But as a novice kayaker, it’s simply not safe for me to go out on the water when the wind picks up too much. Which is why I’d decided to join a tour and do it with a few expert guides for ‘safety in numbers’.
This time I ventured down on the Friday afternoon, knowing that would give me Saturday to have a bit of a look around the area. So I squeezed in a morning Kayak on my own, but the weather conditions were marginal and I didn’t venture too far from safety. I called it quits early, and pleaded with Mother Nature to be on better behaviour the following day for the main event.
That afternoon I hit the trails for some cliff top hiking. This was prime ioMerino-wearing weather. When the sun was out it was quite warm, when it got cloudy and the wind picked up, it was really cool. So my ioMerino tank and Keystone top made the perfect combo and kept me comfortable through it all.
I even snuck in a bit of snorkelling just before sunset. The water was cold and I didn’t have a wet suit, but I managed to have a bit of a look around the Second Valley Bay which I’d been wanting to do for a while as well. Can’t wait to get back there when the weather is a bit calmer and the water is a little warmer!
The following morning I got the news I’d been hoping for. The wind was down, the water was flat, and we were on. First stop was a visit to a local sea lion colony. We’d been warned there may only be one or two there, but we got lucky and there were at least 15 or 20 laying on the rocks and swimming in the shallow water around us. It wasn’t lost on me these little guys are a food source for the local Great White Sharks, so as cool as seeing them was, I may have kept one eye on the water below for any man eaters! Swimmers and surfers have been taken up and down this area, so while the chances were incredibly low anything would happen, they weren’t exactly zero, so it didn’t make me any less nervous.
Next stop was the sea cave I’d heard so much about. By now the chop had picked up and it wasn’t easy navigating through the narrow entrance. The cave itself is relatively small, but the water was crazy beautiful and it was an awesome experience worth waiting two years for!
After that, it was time to pull up to a secluded beach accessible only from the ocean for some lunch before heading back to base. On the day of the tour, the sun was out and it had a bit of bite, so I opted for the long sleeve keystone with an Altitude neck tube to help cover my face for sun protection. I know a lot of people only think of Merino as being for cold weather, but it’s actually super comfy in warm weather as well, courtesy of its natural thermo regulating properties and breathability, so I felt great out there for the six hours we were out on the water and thanks to the natural UV protection didn’t get sunburned at all either.
If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out the area and of course, whenever you’re in the outdoors, it’s definitely packing your ioMerino!
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