Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Morning paddle

Photograph by Odille
Autumn is here. The beautiful warm days are persisting, and with each one I am sitting at my desk looking out, wondering if this will be the last chance to take out the wave ski.

This morning I made a quick plan, got the ski on the car and set off before I thought better of it. I haven't paddled at Cornelian Bay before - always been a bit put off by the sludgey sand - but I felt like paddling around to the fuel tanks at Selfs Point. That probably sounds weird but I have always found the huge white cylinders of different shapes and sizes clustered on the edge of the water to be very handsome. Mt Direction is a camel hump of bushy green behind. Its a nice scene, I just can't lay my hand on a drawing of it at the moment.

Google Street View
I braved the squishy sludge and pushed out into the glassy water. Its a fairly sheltered bay, sitting between the Domain and the cemetery. I wanted to paddle out of the shelter and around the point of the cemetery so I could admire the tanks from the water.

Once I got out there I could actually smell oil - I am sure it wasn't from the tanks but just the normal smell of a working river. Not that the Derwent is busy by any means. In the half hour I was paddling out, only one boat went downriver. The wake took so long to reach me it caught me by surprise a few minutes later. The oil smell took me back to being little, on Christmas trips to Sydney, and being out on the busy harbour on ferries. I wonder how many people actually work on the water in Sydney now compared to the 1980s?

Once I had ogled the tanks I kept pushing out into the river, aiming straight at Geilston Bay on the other side. I had half an idea to just keep going and surprise Mum and Dad for morning tea. But to arrive near their house would require fighting the current, and I didn't fancy a half hour walk in saturated shorts. I might one day try it, but I'll start from upstream, let someone know first, and probably ask for a lift back to the car afterwards.

After a while I realised that my next target, an orange buoy, wasn't getting any closer, and I had effectively got myself into an endless lap-pool situation. So I took the easy way out and turned around and headed back in.

I didn't fancy the squidge so I went over the rockier side of the bay where the boathouses are. A few of them had morning residents. You are not allowed to spend the night in them, but if I had one I would certainly be down there early on a day like this. I am considering this morning my anti-school holiday. Soon enough I will have kids on holiday on my hands while I try to work. For now they are all safely in school for a couple more days.

Matt Newton took this one years ago, i just had it lying around.
After I stickybeaked around the boathouses I pulled up on the crappy oyster-shell encrusted south side of the bay. Not really any better, but at least I know that now. Walked around the bay and fetched the car. Now I am back home and the day's work can commence.

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