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.
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.
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.
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.
The surprising thing was the lack of obvious wildlife – we saw some native waterlilies …
and an azure kingfisher (Alcedo azurea) fishing from a tree …
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.
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.