Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Mini adventure paddle

Last week I needed a mini adventure and, while the river was lower than it had been earlier in the week, a long paddle on the Vaal was in order. I've done this section only once before - on our Vagabond Kayaks Mazowe, a double-seater. This time I wanted to stretch out and paddle my Marimba, which is a fast single. I called my friend Karen and we were in for a Friday afternoon paddle.

The section that we paddled starts about 24km upstream of our Likkewaan Canoe Club in Parys.

The water level was low so the little rapids along the way were friendly and bubbly. It is mostly flatwater. A great section for training and enjoying. We got onto the water just before 4pm and we got back to the club just as it got dark. Minutes after getting out, Celliers arrived to fetch us - thank you support driver.

Highlights of this trip included seeing two Goliath herons and my best ever fish eagle sightings and interactions. The first guy seemed to play with us, staying low, flying 30m and landing, waiting for us to come past, flying off again - that was cool. The second guy was completely unphased and let us have a good look at him.

My thanks to my friend Karen for being game to paddle. She paddled a Marimba for the first time and is the star of my photos. We really should do this more often, especially when the river is up.

Posing for a photo before we got onto the water. Karen is in red, I'm in blue.

Saying bye to Celliers, our support driver.

And off we go. 24km of water lie ahead of us.

We pause to check out a Goliath heron on that big branch. Not that you can see him in this photo... but he was there.

It was a magnificent evening. Clear, still, only us on the water... just beautiful.

This reflection just had to be photographed.

Karen coming through a bubbly rapid. At this water level the rapids can't even be graded they're so small and friendly. They are fun nonetheless and they break up the flatwater sections.

Almost on the home stretch with daylight fading fast.

Only a few kilometres to go. Bye bye Mr Sun.

No comments: