An short, fun and beautiful seakayak trip.
It’s difficult to get to Tung Lung Chau (only by boat) so you would have probably paddled there already – from the previous north bound route – Shek O to Tung Lung Chau.
This trip can either be very easy or extremely difficult depending on tide, wind and ocean conditions. Do not attempt to paddle this section of the Hong Kong coast unless you can self-rescue. There are no easy escape routes.
As this trip is only about 6 klms. If the sea conditions are favourable, its great to paddle into some of the majestic bays and sea caves on the eastern section of the Tung Lung Chau coast before heading north to Clearwater Bay. You also get to see the climbers who scale these cliffs.
Leaving Tung Lung Chau heading north, its a short 500m paddle to the mainland coast, but be aware that this is a busy shipping channel. A major pleasure marina is just around the headland so on a weekend there are hundreds of recreational boats passing through. Keep your eyes peeled for incoming vessels, both left & right.
From here the cliffs and the hidden nooks and crannies are well worth exploring (depending on sea swells and wind direction of course). There are a number of caves that have been formed along the weaknesses caused by the formation of the volcanic tuff (the reason for the UNESCO listing as a Global Geopark).
As the constant battering of the waves and swells pounded the vertical columns, the weakest places have let go. Sitting in a kayak on an undulating sea makes you wonder at the power of those waves to cut open these cliffs into such awe inspiring features.
This sea coast is formidable. Make sure that you take opportunities to expore as they arise, but don’t take risks, and always keep an eye over your shoulder for the rogue wave from passing ships or cruisers.
Once inside the more protected waters of Shelter Bay, the coastlines becomes more subdued. The human development on the shores and hillsides are pretty obvious. Within 1 km you are paddling passed the entrance to a very overstated marina development for the uber wealthy of Hong Kong. The attitude of the boat captains can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, so make sure you are obvious and be humble in your attitude to ownership of the ocean on which you paddle and share.
Entering into Clearwater Bay you are greeted with pleasure vessels of many shapes and sizes. It gives you a sense of acheivement when you realise you have handled the same seas in your small, self-contained sea craft as the multi-million dollar vessels that are at anchor in what must once have been a pristine bay with sea turtles, coral reefs, tropical fish, sea mammals and an abundance of sea life. Today, we have a great place to swim. The ocean is clean and blue, a remnant of bygone days in Hong Kong.
The take out point is a long stair climb, maybe 150 steps to an awaiting carpark. The bus leaves here for Hong Kong districts too.
A fantastic paddle for those who want something spectacular and relatively short.
As always, stay safe!