At 6.30 last night Gary called from Gladstone - mission accomplished.
Before they even arrived back on the mainland the trio had traffic issues to negotiate, dealing with the big boats moving in and out of the Harbour. They used VHF radio to report their position to the Harbourmaster who plotted their course and relayed their position to shipping. Fortunately their communications were well received.
With the last big crossing behind them and their final destination in sight they left Facing Island after a quick break and headed into the Port in fading light for a very satisfying 65klm final day of paddling.
Last night they spoke of a day of contrasts: in the morning, surfing across coral bombies in water so clear that the well submerged reefs looked treacherously close to the surface and in the afternoon, dodging heavy shipping in a busy port.
The other notable comment from all the boys last night was how well they had been treated by the good people of Lady Elliot Island Resort and the Rangers, Marine Researchers and yachties they met along the way. I have the impression the kindness of these people will form one of the enduring memories of this big paddle.
So congratulations, to Gary, Eddie and Paul on your Unique unsupported sea kayak adventure out to the Capricorn Cays and back. I know there are many of us looking forward to hearing the whole story through your words and images sometime soon.