Bass by Kayak is a film series of six, ten-minute videos 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 (www.beaumilesfilm.com) 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 had barely know each other met prior to departure. The film presents spectacular footage of Bass Strait and her islands. Like a modern-day war movie, low flying drones and GoPro’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 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 ancer and can no longer come. It is a typical insight into the moving parts and unknowns of an expedition in the preparation phase.
This six-part documentary series is brought to you in conjunction with Beau Miles by Monash University and Adventure Kayak Magazine.
Bio: 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. Bass by Kayak is his PhD data for, ‘The secret life of the sea kayaker’. Past films include Trials of Miles (2012), of the first running of the Australian Alps Walking Track and Africa by Kayak (2010) of his 2000k odyssey from Mozambique to Cape town. Beau’s highest scrabble score in a single go was 146, but it’s dubious.
Bio: Outdoor educator, cricketer, film buff and photographer. New to skateboarding and drone flying. Mitch makes complicated, slow, very good sandwiches and just completed his Honours thesis on ‘Digital representation of outdoor experiences’. His best scrabble score in a single go was 42.
Key Trio of Paddlers
Bio: Outdoor guide, rockclimber, 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. Dan is not familiar with the game Scrabble.
Bio: 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. He doesn’t have time to play scrabble.
Paul Marshall and Craig Hines came to the expedition late, two guys who were planning to make their own crossing that same Autumn. They had tried to make the crossing the year before but had ran out of time. Great guys, who would essentially run their own trip, but make some of the crossings with Beau, Matt and Dan in the larger pod of 5.