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24 March 2009

blog from mobile phone

i bought a nokia n95, 8gb recently & have found it has great coverage and web access, and i can update the blog with my phone.

yay ... my first heat pump

Today an electrician came and installed my new Panasonic heat pump ( & a/c). It works well and I won't miss cutting firewood at all (I would have preferred that someone cut my wood for me and start the fire before I get up each day and before I get home from work). I love the sort of heat you get from a wood heater but I can't be bothered cutting the wood & getting the fire going.

It seems to work really well and it is very quiet. We will have to see how it goes through winter. It is still supposed to work with -10 deg C outside.

22 March 2009

Recent trips - Lake Barrington & Robbins/Walker Islands

I was heading up to north-west Tasmania for a paddle at Robbins & Walker Islands with is as far as you can go away from my house and still be on the same island. I thought that if I would go up a day early and do a paddle on Lake Barrington.

This is a 20km long lake (and hydro-electric dam) where there is a rowing course. I initially planned to do a lap around the whole dam. I arrived at 8.30am and headed off in my Grafton Paddle Sports - 'high-deck' Wizard kayak. I also had a Paddling Perfection - Slingshot sea kayak for my Robbins Island trip later.

I started off from the boat ramp on the eastern side of the lake - about 6km from the northern (dam) end. I started off heading down the eastern side - exploring all the nooks and quickly reached a sharp left-hand bend near the dam. There is a floating wire to stop people getting close to the top of the dam. Looking at the dam from the water didn't look like a big deal but when I got out on the western side and walked to the dam wall it was an awesome site over the top.

The water was about a foot away from spilling over the top and the dam wall drops down 84 metres to the outlet river below. Down each side of the dam were a series of ladders and steps. These could take you right down to water level or about 3/4 of the way down where there is a walkway to the other side.

It looked like the water would fall down beyond this walkway and it would be like walking behind a giant waterfall. It would be an awesome, scary sight seeing it spilling over.

I returned to the kayak and headed back up the lake and found the Forth Falls. I had read about this spot years ago in a kayak magazine where people were paddling down the Forth Falls Creek and landing in the lake.

I have no idea how hard or dangerous it is but the final drop looked at least 5 metres and other photos make it look challenging.

After a day of exploring the lake I headed off towards the far north-west corner of Tassie. I had a detour at Burnie due to a serious crash where a log truck collided with a cyclist.

I arrived at Robbins Island Road and packed my kayak. The next day was a cruisy paddle up to Mosquito Inlet followed by some rolling practice in my slingshot.

During the return trip, I was surrounded by thunder and lightning and some torrential rain. It was quite scary for a while. When you are out in open water there is no protection from the lightning.

By the time I reached Robbins Passage again the sun was out and it was very pleasant - followed by a 6 hour drive home - thanks to lot of slow campervans.