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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:33 pm 
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G'day hobie islanders! I'd like to soon be among you owning one of these cool sailing vessels but am pondering over whether the use of one of these kayaks would be a good idea in northern australia. I live in south australia but do frequent the top end once a year to chase pelagics along the coastal stretches between darwin and broome. In the past I've taken a 3.8m inflatable boat with a 15hp outboard but it weighed over 120kgs and was a pain to set up. I since sold it and want to get into a man/wind powered craft to do some longer ocean voyages out to small islands aswell as up river systems. The tandem Island sounds excellent for the extra load capacity over the AI for multiday trips and will fit nicely on the roof of my syncro van.

My one concern is of course the crocs up there. I've honestly never had a problem in my inflatable boat and most people run 4 meter car toppers (tinnies) around these parts without hearing of too many attacks. That said there have been numerous attacks on kayakers (mostly fatal) and there seems to be an unwritten law against taking a kayak into croc waters.

A tandem island is ofcourse much more stable than a typical kayak and I assume it could be set up to be more croc safe than a conventional kayak. My plan would be to install aluminum panels or similar close in on the akas along with the tramps to create a barrier between me and any lurking salties. I'd also be sitting in the front seat.
To my knowledge most attacks on kayakers involve the crocodile overturning the kayak or popping up alongside and pulling the person out of the yak.

Does anyone think it would be safe to use a TI up in the top end or better yet does anyone fish these parts from their AI/TI?

cheers, erik


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:48 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Pity you can't buy a brown TI. I think that would quickly become the right colour :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:22 pm 
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lol thanks for the heads up on picking the right color. Maybe red would be more suitable as it would save the next owner from removing blood stains.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:28 am 
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Location: Venice Fla/Summer New England
We have a program on TV here in the states called Swamp People were people hunt gators for a living. Here in Florida we have some big alligators and snakes. I think a nice camouflaged M-16 would even things up down there, and it would be a great accessory for the TI. I don't know if Hobie would put them in their catalog but it would be a money maker. I would even think about purchasing two, one for backup.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
They do sell a gun rack in their parts catalogue! Actually, I think an AI or TI, with solid "tramps" would be fine, certainly better than a tinnie, and light-years better than a (shudder) inflatable. I wonder what a croc would make of a Miragedrive though...

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
Based on my extensive knowledge of crocs, gained from watching lots of wildlife docos on the Nat. Geo. Wild channel, I would think that the biggest danger by far would be in launching and landing. Crocs tend to hang around in the shallows, to ambush wading birds and animals. I've never seen a doco. with them hunting far offshore, so I guess that means they don't do it. :? :? :? So take comfort, all you have to worry about once you're in the pelagic zone is the Great Whites :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Our saltwater crocs can't be compared to alligators, which are more like our freshwater crocs and considered relatively harmless.
Salties are a far more dangerous animal- much worse than a GW shark IMHO.
In the TI you are sitting very low and close to the water. Even with side protection I wouldn't be sailing in Northern croc infested waters! :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:36 am 
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I see where you are coming from stringy. We do have the most aggressive crocs found anywhere in the world and I know what they can do first hand as I narrowly escaped an attack a year ago while fishing in the ocean off a beach north of broome. The tide was coming in and I decided to change to a different lure. I turned my back for a moment to untangle the mess in my tackle box when suddenly the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I quickly spun round only to see a 4.5 meter salty retreat backwards into a deep gutter in the surf. I had been about 4-5 meters back from the waters edge (further than most fisherman) and yet this croc had almost made a meal of me. The claw marks show he must have come within about 2 meters of me before I turned and blew his cover!

I'm not too worried about GW sharks or sharks in general as they do not actively seek out humans as a food source. I know for a fact that if you fall in the water with a crocodile of adequate size (2 meters+) there's a 100% chance it will come for you.

As for the TI I have my heart set on owning one now so I''m going to have to make it work for me. I guess I will be selective as to where I decide launch it when up in the top end and I may just use it for offshore trips to the many small offshore islands where although crocs can be found they're in far fewer numbers than at tidal inlets and rivers. The adelaide river won't be at the top of my TI fishing expedition list lol.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:50 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Great story Erik! :shock:
A beach North of Broome? Wasn't Cape Leveque by any chance? We were there 20 years ago. Saw plenty of reef sharks but no crocs then. Different story now I bet as croc numbers have increased greatly. I snorkelled and spearfished then. Probably couldn't get away with that now?
I'm with you on the sharks. They aren't the danger that they're made out to be.
If you're near the coast then SA is a much better TI destination than up North! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:09 am 
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Location: CLEARWATER, MN
You need to find a partner to sail another AI or TI with you. That would decrease your chance of being eaten by 50%.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:10 am 
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TIDALWAVE wrote:
You need to find a partner to sail another AI or TI with you. That would decrease your chance of being eaten by 50%.

A slower partner might increase those odds over 90%! :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:36 pm 
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A bit off track but a mate was in a spear fishing comp the other weekend and one of the competitors got attacked by a Grey Nurse. I saw the photos and I'd estimate about 50+ stitches. Others saw the attack and confirmed it was a Grey Nurse which is supposed to be the big happy Labrador of the shark world. I spose the point is, we only think we know animals. Funny thing was that the only report in any newspaper was in a local rag that said 'A man got bitten by a shark in the Bay today '. End of story. If it was a Great White, every newspaper would have been all over the story. But the Grey Nurse is protected and there are also tourist dollars at stake.

ericos_bob - just make sure you get that Go-Pro mounted to capture that golden moment with your slow mate Berley.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:37 pm 
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KayakingBob wrote:
TIDALWAVE wrote:
You need to find a partner to sail another AI or TI with you. That would decrease your chance of being eaten by 50%.

A slower partner might increase those odds over 90%! :shock:
Well - I 100% agree!

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(OK- last time, I promise :lol: )

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:17 pm 
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stringy wrote:
Great story Erik! :shock:
A beach North of Broome? Wasn't Cape Leveque by any chance? We were there 20 years ago. Saw plenty of reef sharks but no crocs then. Different story now I bet as croc numbers have increased greatly. I snorkelled and spearfished then. Probably couldn't get away with that now?
I'm with you on the sharks. They aren't the danger that they're made out to be.
If you're near the coast then SA is a much better TI destination than up North! :)


The croc incident happened near willie creek so at the northern end of cable beach. :shock: Cape leveque these days is saltwater croc central! I wouldn't snorkel or spearfish anywhere north of cable beach anymore with exception of offshore islands but even there it can be risky. I remember reading in the paper a couple years back that the estimated population of saltwater crocs in the vicinity of darwin alone was around the 50,000 mark. I'm actually surprised controlled culling has not already been introduced.

Good idea on the slow obese sacrificial friend though with that many crocs in the water I might need a few more:lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:27 am 
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Slaughter wrote:
... and one of the competitors got attacked by a Grey Nurse. I saw the photos and I'd estimate about 50+ stitches. Others saw the attack and confirmed it was a Grey Nurse which is supposed to be the big happy Labrador of the shark world



YIKES !! :o

I've quite literally petted them on several dive occasions

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