It’s Australia day today (26th January), so I met up with my good friends, Neil, Darb, Russel, Ty and Ron.
Some of us are pretty new to kayaking and we are finding it to be a nice change from the mountain bikes. There is something about exploring rivers and creeks in a quiet boat that really connects you to nature. I personally find it very peaceful and relaxing.
Neil wanted to explore Saltwater Creek, near Redcliffe, not for from the major city of Brisbane in Queensland. I have not purchased a boat yet, so our kind friend Russell brought along his 2nd spare boat for me to use.
We put our Kayaks in at Hays Inlet.Neil lead the way to start with. The day was typical for Australia, sensational weather!It had been quite a while for Darb to have a paddle and Neil kindly brought his spare boat for Darb to use.An old work mate of mine, Ty, had recently bought a kayak and was itching to get out on the water and experience the tranquility.The water was silky flat and our boats glided over it effortlessly as we paddled with the incoming tide towards Saltwater creek.This sign was welcoming for us knowing we didn’t have to worry about fast jet-skis or any other motorised water sports. We had the creek to ourselves!Ty adapted to this new experience straight away.As we entered the mouth of the Creek, naturally it got narrower. Russell (Red Kayak) was in his element and showed us how to paddle more efficiently.This creek winds through Hays Inlet conservation park and I think Darb may have been searching for new mountain bike tracks to explore.After an hour or so we pulled up on a nice grassy spot to stretch our legs and have a snack.Before too long, we continued up the Creek. Everyone was cheerful and having a really good time. Amongst the sound of birds singing, lots of laughter and jokes were shared.Soon the new Redcliffe Peninsula railway line came into view (on the right in picture below) and reminded us how close this lovely Creek was to civilisation. Sometimes when you are in these beautiful wilderness environments you feel far away from the city.The Creek got narrower as we progressed. As the sun got hotter, the shade become more plentiful giving us some nice respite.After another 45 minutes or so, we reached the bridge of the Redclliffe Peninsula Line and saw another nice spot to stretch the legs.Russell let me use his fibreglass kayak. Before today I had only paddled a plastic kayak so it was great to compare the difference in characteristics. This kayak turned on a dime and glided through the water with impressive efficiency. You just need to be a bit more careful with rocks etc. to not damage the hull.After a short rest we got going again back the way we come towards Hays inlet.Neil had expertly timed the tide so it was heading back out at this stage and we enjoyed the outgoing tide as we paddled at a nice social pace.Ron’s kayak had ‘FeelFree’ inscribed on the side and that’s exactly how he felt.At times we stopped paddling and absorbed the natural beauty surrounding us.On the way back we took a slight detour through a very narrow side Creek that looped back onto the main Creek. It was a good decision made by us all.Another hour later, we reached the mouth of the Creek again and looked back across Hays Inlet.I’m not sure these jet-skis were allowed up this far but they did slow right down for us. One rider showed us how to pop a wheelie.At one point there was heaps of shrimps jumping, skimming and flying through the air like kamikazes. Some of them flew into the side of our boats making quite a whack noise on the hollow fibreglass hull.I’m not sure what these rusty old-looking pipes are about?Soon the Hornibrook bridge came into view signalling our adventure is soon coming to an end.I spotted these Ibis birds searching for a feed. We were getting hungry ourselves too.The water is very shallow here. At low tide it would be mud flats.Our awesome adventure was over and we carefully lifted out boats back onto dry land.We paddled a total of 17.6 kilometres today over a total time of 4 hours and 14 minutes including the rests.I would rate this paddle 6.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter however I was in a very efficient fibreglass kayak, I would say 7 out of 10 for plastic.
If you do this paddle against the tides it would be a lot harder. Remember to keep the fluids up when Kayaking, I personally find it more diffilcult to drink when busy paddling compared to mountain biking.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Russell for taking the time and effort to mount his spare boat onto his SUV and bringing it for me to use. Thanks mate!
Thanks to Neil, Darb, Russell, Ty and Ron for a fantastic day out on the water.