Messing about in boats

Ratty, Moley and Badger (aka Joy, Cath and Andrew) went for a little kayak up Mangrove Creek, Chatsworth Island, last weekend.

Some eastern grey kangaroos watched patiently as we assembled our folding Feathercraft K-Light kayaks.

Alert but not alarmed - eastern greys, photo by Cath Clark

Mangrove Creek is an offshoot of one of the estuaries of the Clarence River. It was pretty muddy as we’d recently had a lot of rain.

Launching into the muddy river, photo by Cath Clark

The creek is lined with mangroves along much – but not all – of its length. Part of the bank is a nature reserve, and the opposite bank has the occasional house with solar power and generators. The agricultural area nearby is intensely sugar cane. We spotted some derelict cane barges rotting away. Many things used to be transported by river (cane, timber, supplies) before the land was opened up.

Andrew and Fog Fish inspect the derelict cane barges, photo by Cath Clark

In the best tradition of Wind in the Willows, we took with us a picnic, which Moley kindly carried in her hired expedition kayak as it had more space than either of ours. In retrospect we should have divided the food up and each carried some, as it added to her burden in the heavier plastic boat.

Joy and Murex looking for a picnic spot, photo by Cath Clark

The surprising thing was the lack of obvious wildlife – we saw some native waterlilies …

Native water lily, photo by Cath Clark

and an azure kingfisher (Alcedo azurea) fishing from a tree …

Azure kingfisher, photo by Andrea Arbogast, Wikimedia Commons

We usually see water dragons, cranes and even dolphins (and, heck, are dolphins big when you are on their level) around Ballina waterways.

On the plus side it didn’t rain, there were no jet skis (although some folks were running their generators) and only one (friendly) tinnie who was getting bogged in the shallow water, and the picnic was yummy.

Serene reflections induce serene thoughts, photo by Cath Clark

Sing with me the song from the Victoria Sings CD, if you know it:

The river is flowing,

Flowing and growing,

Down to the sea.

Mother, carry me, your child I will always be.

Water, water – life for a thirsty land.

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1 Response to Messing about in boats

  1. Cath Clark says:

    We certainly picked our weather window since it rained the rest of the week! Thanks for being my paddle partners, Cath

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