Thursday, 26 September 2019

Heritage Day paddle with friends

What an awesome way to spend Heritage Day (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) - paddling with friends. We paddled the Day 1 section of our new monthly Vaal River Overnight route and it was a treat.
(FYI - We still have places open for our trips - one weekend a month in October, November and December).

With thanks to my friend Chris for planting the seed to get on the water - I'm so glad that he suggested it. Unfortunately Chris had a small op the day before to reattach a thumb tendon (a fall down Balloch Wall a week earlier!) so he and Sanet didn't get to paddle their Mazowe, but they did come to hang out - waiting for us at the take out.

Off we go. Four Vagabond Mazowe doubles. Photo by Chris.
What was really cool is that I paddled a double with my mom. She has done a bit of paddling but not much for a while. She really enjoys it and was keen to come for her longest paddle to date - 15-odd kilometres. We were treated to excellent Goliath Heron sightings, we saw one fish eagle (briefly) and also a giant kingfisher. Comrants, daters, ducks and geese were out in their numbers, enjoying this lovely day on the river as much as we were.

Orange circle shows the location of a Goliath heron. We saw quite a few. This guy just watched us pass.
Celliers paddled with his daughter Kyla, I paddled with my mom, my dear friend Allison paddled with her partner Alan and Fred, who I have not seen for too long, paddled with his partner Debbie. This was a really good day on the water.

Celliers and Kyla
Alan and Allison
Fred and Debbie
That's my mom paddling into this small rapid - I took the photo.
This is my mom again on a flatwater section. So pretty.
I received the sweetest message from Alan. He has been down the commercial section of the river - from town downstream - many times. He wrote, "I've paddled many times (mostly inflatables) but Tues was the most enjoyable paddle experience ever". That's really nice.

I took a bunch of photos along the way. A highlight for me was finally stopping to picnic on 'One Tree Island'. Karen and I named it this some time back because... it is a small island with one big gum tree. It exceeded my expectations. Great picnic spot. I always fly past it, chasing time.

Picnic on One Tree Island
What a great spot!
A really good few hours spent on the river. I look forward to tripping it again soon - with more water.

Approaching the take out. Photo by Chris.

No comments: