Long-time followers of Yakass would know that I've long held some fairly lofty ambitions regarding solo kayak fishing expeditions, with some of those plans long since shelved (for now) and other more recent plans thwarted. Over the past few years I have undertaken numerous overnight yak camping trips (some of them solo) and some longer multi-day trips to Fraser Island. These have all been great trips and although they pale in comparison to my greater ambitions, they have most certainly been leading up to them.
According to popular sensationalized perception of the Mayan Long Count calander - which just so happens to end on December 21 of this year - the world is going to end... so this year is a good time to tick off at least one of these bucket list items. Looking into what is the most achievable time-frame that I can commit to it, I've decided that a solo kayak fishing expedition from Yeppoon to Townsville makes the most sense.
With an approxamate as-the-crow-flies distance of 800km (that I fully anticipate to blow out to at least 1000), at best I reckon I can pull this off in 17 days (including 1 rest day at Cape Hillsborough) but am fully prepared to take 24 if conditions command. Some of the planned legs will amount to around 70km as the crow flies, most of them during the first week - distances become progressively shorter from there on in. While that sounds like a lot (and it is), I've seen and done enough on AIs to know that if conditions are right those sort of distances are possible. I plan to undertake this expedition in July or August of this year, pending holiday timing arrangements yet to be nailed down.
While planning for this trip has only really just begun, the plan has formed and fallen into place pretty quickly, thanks largely to the experience I've gained from previous expedtions as well as some other logistical stars aligning as well. If you're wondering how I'm going to go about packing food and water for that long, well, I won't be. I'll be meeting up with Carl at Mackay along the way (about half way) where he'll be resupplying me with provisions, and I'm not likely to need any more than a weeks worth of water at any one time, as there will be places along the way where I can top up. For the most part I'll be eating dehydrated Backcountry meals (from the packet, to minimize cooking utensils and cleaning requirements) and of course plenty of fresh fish. To compliment that I'll be snacking down on dehydrated fruit and meats as well as taking nutritional supplements.
Perhaps the greatest challenge I have facing me right now is coming up with a way to sleep on the AI. While I don't expect to have to sleep out on the water at any stage, I do have to be prepared for the possibility. Its more likely, however, that I'll be landing in some places where pitching a tent or hammock isn't going to work. Fortunately I am able to fall asleep while curling up on the tramp of an AI (I managed to do this easily at fraser Island last year) so am looking at a way to fashion some sort of shelter to cover the tramp. This is going to be tricky... but I'm sure I can find a way!
More updates on preparations will be posted as planning picks up pace and where possible I'll be making brief updates to the site while on tour. Obviously there will be a huge report published post trip, but perhaps most notable of all, the adventure as recorded throughout the trip will be the main theme for Paddlefield.