Navigator – South West – April 2018
Welcome to the Navigator – South West blog for these April holidays. We have 12 days of adventure ahead through the stunning D’Entrecasteaux National Park with 7 amazing explores. Everyone is settling in and getting to know each other. There is a slight lag in getting the days events and photos from those back-country adventures, but we will be sure to update the blog when we can.
Day 1 was a late arrival, so it was all about settling in and getting to know each other before heading out on Expedition the next day. The team were welcomed by their wonderful instructors Jack and Catriona. The team got straight into their gear issue. Once finished they were on their way to the beginning of their expedition and had a brief hike to their first night’s camp site.
And so it begins!!!
Today was about easing participants into the big expedition ahead. Before leaving for their hike the group learnt about different navigation techniques and the art of expeditioning. The group bush bashed their way down a track and did some hiking through spectacular sand dunes. Other highlights were watching the magnificent Sea Eagles fly overhead. The group did a couple of team building activities along the way and we can see the team bonding well.
Today the group did some more bush bashing through untracked terrain to Rocky Crossing. Here they began their rafting adventure. The team paddled down the beautiful Frankland River and into Nornalup Inlet before making their way to a camp site for the night. The team were determined and showed a great amount of perseverance during their rafting activity. After a big day the group were feeling great, but a bit cold and tired after the days adventures. There were some happy faces once they got some hot chocolate in their system to warm them up.
Wow what a day! The team rafted for almost 9 hours down the Nornalup Inlet and into Deep River. Everyone was feeling both physically and mentally challenged and the team sang songs along the way. Other highlights were watching the Dolphins swim by and seeing the Jumping Mullet. The group experienced feelings of accomplishment and were happy to be back on dry land. Everyone was really happy to curl up in front of the fire after a massive day.
It was another adventure packed day for our amazing group of Navigators. Today was all about the ropes course. The team participated in several ropes course activities including the high ropes, low ropes, giant ladder and zipline. It was such a supportive environment that all the team members pushed through, even those with fear of heights. There were some very happy faces as the team developed trust and a greater belief in themselves.
Today’s expedition was to Long Point Headland. The team’s navigation skills were tested today while traversing some tricky sand dunes and thick scrub. It was a about a 6km hike off track and although the team were challenged they came through it together with a greater appreciation of the beautiful local fauna. There were some relived faces when the team arrived at their secluded solo location to start their 24hrs of rest and reflection.
The group continued their solo activity today. Each participant was allocated their own campsite, with basic rations and equipment. It was a fantastic opportunity to reflect and rejuvenate minds and bodies.
Now into Day 8 and the team is very close and have really accepted each other and become good friends which will prepare them well for their final expedition. During this time, the instructors step back even more, with the participants taking greater ownership of the course.
Coming into the last days of program the team are experiencing some cravings for pizza and cheesecake. The group are feeling the physical and mental strain from the last couple of days but are coming together as a team to negotiate the distances travelled for the day. The team have displayed excellent leadership and resilience. With beautiful coastal views the team are experiencing a greater appreciation on nature and are noticing the small things like the Christmas Spider.
The group continued their expedition today to Fisherman’s Hut. Their navigation skills were challenged yesterday and today, particularly navigating over Cliffy Head. The team felt relaxed and peaceful today when they were treated to a nice quiet afternoon of swimming and sunshine in the Broke Inlet. It was a day of seagulls, sand and sunsets and a much needed break before going into their final days.
The group started their final full-day on program in great spirits. A huge day was planned rafting across Broke Inlet. The group pushed hard to complete the final leg, which ended with the final night bush cook celebration!
This has been an experience of a lifetime with great people! They have taken themselves to some remote parts of south west WA with spectacular views which seemed even more special, given the challenges (not just physical) it took to achieve them. Congratulations to all – a special network of friendships has developed over the last 12 days and the personal realisation that each participant is capable of achieving so much more than they ever thought possible!