Lake Skinner (The blue bird’s maiden flight …)

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I decided that even without the arrival of my new paddle, I had to to take ‘bluebird’ out for her maiden voyage this weekend …  Lake Skinner seemed ideal.

Bluebird preparing to sail … all packed up in a 40L backpack (including paddles)

It’s about an hours drive down to the start of the Lake Skinner walk from Hobart, and then it was another hour and forty minutes hike up to the lake itself.

The track up …

First views towards Lake Skinner

… and the lake itself.

Then with the aid of a bit of a wind (Alpacka rafts use a big ‘airbag’ systems for inflation) I had bluebird inflated and ready to go in under 15 minutes. 


… and after

This I liked.

It was a bit of a tentative launch from the slippery rocks, but without too much of a hiccup we were off to explore the lake …

It was kind of special getting down to the other end of the lake and wondering how many other people would ever have made it this far.  There was a lovely copse of flowering leatherwoods down the far end, and I got to admire the burnt stags of trees from a long gone bushfire as I filled my waterbottle from an inflowing stream and drank the cold, clear water.

The lake was almost transparent, so I couldn’t resist a swim when I got back and a bit of a snorkle around, although there wasn’t a huge amount to see.

All up, bluebird is going to take some getting used to.  She can turn on a dime, but going forward in a straight line is a slow business (probably 3km an hour) which takes some getting used to after paddling my ski for the last year.  Still, her purpose is to let me paddle in places I couldn’t otherwise explore, and for that purpose she’s perfect.  Now I just have to think of where to take her next …

Oh, and I neither named her bluebird nor designated her a female.  This was my mothers doing after first dubbing her a “lady bird” after seeing a picture of a red boat, then a bluebird once she saw what colour it was.  Personally, I think she reminds me of a imature dragonboat from Robin Hobb’s fanatasy series.
The walk down took another hour and 15 minutes.


  1. Absolutely delightful! I like the progression and angles of your photographs, and the captions are perfect. Thank you for posting this so that others might enjoy a trek beyond their reach.

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