• No Post, Possibly No Plan, But Still Paddling

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    Date: Sunday 19 March, 2023
    Distance: 27.5km
    Conditions: Light wind, hot

    Some days it is good not to have a plan. Just ask Jack. I am sure he never planned to end up on his butt stuck down a crab hole. Nor did he plan to haul his kayak through twiggy mangroves in search of lagoons. But then again he keeps coming back for more so it can’t be all bad.

    With just the four of us showing up it was a day to do whatever. And with a generous incoming tide that is exactly what we did. Having dragged Graham through Garden Island to the north of the old homestead a couple of weeks before, today we introduced him to the lagoon on the SE corner of Garden Island. Here the island appears to have remnant of rainforest vegetation. The ground under the trees has been stripped bare to red earth. Probably goats. We emerged from the tranquility and were immediately confronted by a swarm of environmentalists. Once they had swept past we headed for Jack’s Passage – a 2Km long narrow clearing in the mangroves with all tide access. A useful place that gives you some protection from the wind when heading east to Karragarra after transiting the regular Garden Island Passage.

    The prawners were out in great numbers between the southern Macleay and Karra adding to the visual clutter of jetty constructions, moored boats and ferries. We slipped by into Lucas Passage for morning tea at the picnic table at the park on the left at the top of the Passage. Thereafter we headed straight for Blakesleys on an ebb tide.

    It was a gorgeous day but hot. Very hot. Way too hot. Off Snipe we thought Mark was sounding out the depth of the navigable channel with his paddle so Jack and I followed. Much to our surprise he flopped into the water. He had had enough and was taking an unscheduled swim. Good idea. Jack and I also abandoned ship as Graham sailed away into the distance.

    We arrived at Weinam Creek to a mud trap. Mark displayed true chivalry and hauled my boat through the thick soft mud allowing me to pick my way across the exposed rocks. My tootsies remained immaculately clean. Just as well as we barely had enough water to wash down the mud as it was.

    With so few people responding to posts on the forum for days like these, in future Mark may only post paddles which are different in some way. It may mean starting further afield (eg Sandgate, Jacobs Well) or be different in timing or nature (eg evening paddle).

    If Mark does not post to the forum, it does not mean we are not paddling. It may mean we have no plan, but that would be unusual. We go out with some idea of where we want to end up. However, as Ian, Jack and Graham know too well, that can change at a moment’s notice. Whether it be to take advantage of the conditions, to check out something that looks interesting or someone’s preference, it is days like these that are often the most enjoyable.