BASS BY KAYAK
Kayaking Bass Strait
The first episode is all about sea kayak training (via the Train), a new kayak, ironing out injury niggles and meeting the paddlers- interspersed with Beau on his soapbox. Plans change abruptly when Tim, one of the paddlers, has a resurgence of cancer and can no longer come. It is a typical insight into the moving parts and unknowns of an expedition in the preparation phase.
The Expedition Departure
As training rolls on, Dan from the UK is yet to meet Ski patroller Matt, and new guys Paul and Craig replace Tim. No one really knows anyone, and the weather window looms mysteriously: to go, or not to go. They leave for the coast. Beau is grumpy, happy, grumpy and tries not to forget his paddle. Departure is imminent.
After months of planning, Matty finally meets Dan. Seasickness, magnificent beaches, and two large crossings await the expedition. Emerging mate-ship and a few projects keep the lads occupied as they whittle away a week on an island, smack bang in the middle of Bass Strait.
The Long Crossing
Slow, drugged up, and overly optimistic about completing the crossing in daylight, the party of five finally leave Deal Island and make the long, tide-swept crossing to Kilicrankie Bay. They arrive. After deep sleep and vats of coffee, they then laugh their way down the coast of Flinders island. Tassie, all of a sudden, looms.
Bass by Kayak is a film series (6x10 minute episodes) about a small expedition party crossing from the Australian mainland to Tasmania in sea kayaks. Three hundred odd people have made the crossing in the modern era, and Aboriginal Australians did it during the last ice age in canoes. For the seafarer, linking together the perfectly spaced islands feels like a rite of passage. Adventure filmmaker/outdoor education lecturer Beau Miles narrates the expedition (his PhD ‘the secret life of the sea kayaker’) as the first ever feature film of the crossing via sea kayaks. There is chafe, a storm, bad cooking and an emerging mate-ship between men that barely know each other. The film presents spectacular footage of Bass Strait and her islands. Like a modern-day war movie, low flying drones and go-pro’s give a hand-to-hand insight into the visceral reality of being exposed, at any turn, to the forces of a more-than-human world.
The Expedition Party
Wanna be farmer who likes to build things, run, paddle, teach and tell stories. He has been narrating his travels for most of his adulthood, and tends to resist the idea that people can, or should be any one thing. He was voted 3rd worst dressed in a party of 3.
His true love is backcountry skiing, but in truth Matt loves simply being outdoors. Director of ski patrol at an Australian ski resort, Matt has taken to dragging his 1 year old son around in a sled or trailer as he runs, skis and rides around the hills of his mountain town.
Outdoor guide, rock climber, sea kayaker, funnyman. Endearingly warm and friendly, Dan gets sick of muesli after 11 days. Has been known to eat a whole chicken in one sitting, and will often go climbing for 3 days and come back 5 weeks later.
Paul and Craig
Two guys who were planning to make their own crossing that same Autumn and came to the expedition late. They had tried to make the crossing the year before but had ran out of time. Great fellas, who would essentially run their own trip, but make some of the crossings in the larger pod of 5.