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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Long term forum members may remember I've had an ambition to kayak through Conspicuous (Cons) Cleft on Looking Glass Island, a part of the Broughton Island group, off the NSW Hunter Coast. It's a popular destination for sea kayakers and I've always thought that it was possible to do in a Hobie.
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I've posted before about previous trips and failed attempts to reach Broughton Island.
viewtopic.php?f=70&t=9451&p=48798
Then there was my favourite overnighter with Chrisj, Slaughter, Mickey and Croc
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=21470

While I have made it to the island twice, it has always been too rough to attempt the passage through Looking Glass.
Well I can now cross this off my bucket list! :D
Kathy and I recently spent 8 days camping in Myall Lakes National Park and succeeded in a great day trip to Broughton where we managed to pedal through Cons Cleft in our TI, stripped down to kayak mode. The twin Mirage drives powered through the swell easily. 8)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lsHdOrxqA8&feature=player_detailpage[/youtube]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:39 pm 
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You're a hero Stringy! Did you manage to reach Broughton from Sandy Point? Favourable surf? I'm guessing Kathy wouldn't have been too keen on surfing 8' breakers in the TI. Did you make it to the upper lakes during your trip? Fantastic area. It really is NSW's Kakadu.
BTW, I didn't realise the Con in Con's Cleft was short for conspicuous. I always thought Con must be a Greek fisherman with questionable proclivities.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
Excellent video and maps!
Exciting stuff - brings back fond memories of a great trip.

I recently returned from a one month return trip to Hobart on a small wooden boat. I was not the skipper and it was a very mixed experience. Suffice to say, it's nice to be captain of your own boat and know that you have done all the necessary preparation & planning.
Leaving from Lakes Entrance to Deal Island is a very long stretch of open water in a notorious waterway.
If we ever did that trip we talked about, it would have to be from Wilson's Prom, island hopping all the way. I really enjoyed visiting some of the islands in Bass Strait and the east coast of Tassie was quite spectacular too.

In the meantime I continue going on local adventures with a group of four or five. Mainly in the Gippsland Lakes. You guys are always welcome here and I feel sure you would thoroughly enjoy yourselves. I have plenty of room for cars, campervans, caravans etc. I have just returned from a four day camping trip with the local gang. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, despite there being very little wind which necessitated an enormous amount of pedalling.

I can't wait to go on another camping trip - but will have to wait until we return from a week in Bright.

Good to see you are still enjoying tour Hobies.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:57 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Ballsy! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:36 am 
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Awesome video. Looked a bit like a TI shipwreck when you stripped off your bits..

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:54 am 
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That Con's Cleft has been a goal of yours for a few years now. Congrats mate. I know that the weather wasn't favourable on a few occasions. I'm so glad you captured it all with a great video, so now I'll just go and update the Hobie Book of Records.

What's next ?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Thanks guys. :)

Chris,
We launched from Little Gibber... successfully this time!
I'm getting to know this area and conditions much better. We had planned to launch from Sandy Point but it was a dumping shore break. With a 1-1.5m NE/ENE swell, Little Gibber/Dark Point was the only protected spot from Hawks Nest to Seal Rocks. The difficult bit was getting the TI and trailer all the way along the beach, as the sand was very soft.
You're right about this area. It has so much to offer. We also did Myall Lakes and Port Stephens. I'll get around to writing it up sometime.

Mickey,
Good to hear from you and I'm glad you've got some locals to go away with. That Tassie trip you did sounds like a real adventure. Island hopping would be the only way to go... in an Island. I'm still keen.

Tony,
It's almost local for you. A day trip to BI is one I'm keen to do again. I reckon we could organise something. We need a NE/ENE swell and a low tide in the morning so beach driving is easier.

CGM,
:lol: :lol: :lol:
You're right. It could have been a TI wreck. We stopped at the closest, most accessible beach to Cons Cleft to strip it down but it was very rocky.

Slaughter,
Thanks for updating the World Records for me.
What's next? What about a record for the the most number of Hobie Islands we can fit in Cons Cleft at once? :wink:


A couple more pics:

Our track. All up we did 22kms.
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How Looking Glass Isle got its name.
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What was beneath us in Cons Cleft! (It's a very popular dive site)
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Stringy, sorry for hijacking! Bumped into some friends of yours this morning with the new dune TI they just bought from the local dealer.

Also, if it is only 12Nm from Port Stephens to Broughton, isn't that an easy enough trip without needing any surf beach launching?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:17 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
Also, if it is only 12Nm from Port Stephens to Broughton, isn't that an easy enough trip without needing any surf beach launching?

Tony, I have a feeling you haven't seen Stringy's video of our trip from Port Stephens to Broughton in 2010.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:31 pm 
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stringy wrote:
We stopped at the closest, most accessible beach to Cons Cleft to strip it down but it was very rocky.


Stringy, that looks very much like Chrisj Cove!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:46 am 
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All I can say is, don't watch it on a big screen in High Def if you have a weak heart.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:01 pm 
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:lol: :lol: :lol:
Classic Slaughter! Thanks mate. 8)

tonystott wrote:
Stringy, sorry for hijacking! Bumped into some friends of yours this morning with the new dune TI they just bought from the local dealer.

Also, if it is only 12Nm from Port Stephens to Broughton, isn't that an easy enough trip without needing any surf beach launching?


That would be Fitzy and his wife. Knowing how often you go out Tony, I wondered if you'd bump into them. I told them to look out for you.
The reason we did the closer beach launch is that it makes for a much better day trip. You are able to spend longer exploring the island. Leaving from either Port Stephens or Seal Rocks would mean at least 4 hours of sailing just getting there and back and if you leave early in the morning then you would most likely be pedaling waiting for the wind to get up. Also as Chris pointed out, getting out of Port Stephens can be rough. We actually went out of the Port Stephens heads a few days later and it wasn't pleasant.

Chris,
I thought that was probably near where you landed. I was telling Kathy about your little detour as we pulled the TI apart. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Epic! :shock: Quite a rip in there. I really enjoyed that in HD and widescreen.

What a beautiful adventure for a day sail.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Chris, I can't see any obvious access to the water on the west of Broughton Island using Google Earth or Marine charts. Do you need 4WD access?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Tony, I've only been there once. Stringy has done the trip quite a few times, so he can give you more info about access, but yes, the time we did it, we had 4WD's plus we deflated our tyres and drove about 10 km along the beach to reach the launch place. Then, when we got there, the surf was running about 4-6 foot, with the likelihood of it increasing by the time we returned, so we aborted the trip :cry: :cry: :cry:. Hence the subsequent trip up from Port Stephens.

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