I had to wait almost 12 months to return to the caves between Rapid Bay & Second Valley. I had visited the area some three times during 2015 (This does not include a dive that I did in the area during 2016). I had to anxiously wait for several months to participate in the FUSSI trip to the area in November 2016. Meanwhile, I had many concerns regarding what I could use for the kayaking part of the trip. This was all resolved when I finally acquired a fibreglass kayak and soft roof racks just one week prior to the trip.
I was hoping to be joined on the trip by some past & present MLSSA members. On the day, it came down to there just being two past members joining me. These were Neville Skinner & Allan Horsfall. Allan & I travelled down to Rapid Bay together and we arrived at the beach at the duly appointed time. As other participants arrived, we unloaded our gear and set it all up on the beach.
Setting up our kayaks on the beach
Once that the whole group had set things up, we prepared ourselves and launched our kayaks into the water. The sea was flat calm, making conditions ideal for our trip north along the coast towards Second Valley. We headed off together, taking in some of the spectacular scenery along the coastline.
The start of our paddle towards Second Valley
I attempted to take a few photos along the way, although it wasn’t always easy to do so. We soon reached the location of the first couple of caves, a small sandy cove.
Arriving at the first cove with caves
We landed our kayaks on the beach of the small sandy cove and explored the area.
Landing our kayaks on the sandy cove
There is a cavern at the far end of the beach and a small cave just off to the left. There is also another cavern further to the left of the cove. We explored each of these caves before paddling further north towards Second Valley and another sandy cove.
A small group of kayakers
Landing our kayaks at a small sandy cove
This sandy cove had just the one small cavern (I think). We explored that one and took a few photos of it before moving on again.
Inside the small cavern
Further inside the small cavern
We paddled even further north towards Second Valley, in search of a larger sandy cove (called ‘Secret Cove’?). There are several caves and caverns in this location, so we spent a while exploring them.
Inside a large cavern
I only had time for a quick snorkel out from this cove before we had to head back south for lunch. I enjoyed seeing a nice cuttlefish and a school of small toad fish there. We then returned to our kayaks and started heading back to Rapid Bay. We took a few photos along the way. I was having problems with water on my camera lens, spoiling some of my shots, but Some of the better shots are shown here.
Thomas Varga, our leader, photographing Dan & Jade
Chris Te in his kayak
Allan Horsfall in his kayak
Our leader gathered the rest of together for this group photo: –
A group photo
(Taken by Thomas Varga)
We stopped off for some lunch at one of the sandy coves on the way back. We then returned to the beach at Rapid Bay to finish off the ‘morning’ session. It was soon gone 2pm and that was enough activity for Allan & I. Many of the group wanted to continue with an afternoon session, heading in the opposite direction, south to the Rapid Bay jetties and Rapid Head, where they got to see some seals. It had been a great day out on the water and in the caves, etc..