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Training’s started….

May 1, 2011

So it’s the first weekend since Easter and I was determined to get out on the water. My Saturday paddle was painful. I launched in the Lane Cove river down at the pontoon where the Athletics Oval is on Mowbray Rd. The water was a dark brown (like a mud bath) – probably from the run off from all the rain. In fact it came belting down when I pulled up in the car park – so I waited – and then 10 minutes later the sun came out.

The lane Cover River – is a beautiful part of inner Sydney. It can make you feel like you are hours out of the city with its dense mangroves, rugged rock formations and many isolated stretches of tranquil waterway. It’s just a  shame the water is so dirty. There is a council sign warning visitors that this river catches storm-water run-off from the surrounding suburbs – so clearly not a place to fish or swim. But to Kayak – well it’s perfect !!

The Lane Cover River Kayakers (LCRK) launch from here every Wednesday night and run time trials over either a 6 km or 12 km course. I’m really going to have join up again and incorporate this into my training regime. I just am not a big fan of paddling this stretch of water in the pitch black. With the sun setting from 6pm – a 6.30 paddle for me would be an adventure !!

The first 15 minutes felt like I was paddling through molasses. The water felt slow and thick. My muscles ached and I was having little mental battles. I was heading down to Burns Bay Road (towards Hunters Hill) and the water started to open up and with a bit of wind & chop, I started to settle in – and once I hit the bridge, I turned and head back – and finished a good little workout for the morning.

Standing on the pontoon and looking back up the river – I could see some serious dark clouds rolling in. It’s almost like mother nature was conspiring to help me enjoy a paddle and now that I was finished – she was going to resume dumping rain on Sydney. And as soon as I got in the car – she did !!

Sunday’s paddle was altogether a different story. I wanted a change of scenery so I headed down to some parkland in Meadowbank and launched into the Parramatta River. I didn’t have a plan – I just wanted to paddle for an hour or so. As you can see from my route below – I was all over the place !!

But I loved this paddle. I felt strong, and had an abundance of energy. I didn’t have any breaks or hit the pause button this time – EXCEPT – I did get sidetracked into a rescue situation. Would you believe this fellow some-how managed to disembark his family on a wharf and then turn around to watch helplessly as his fishing boat drifted away…. As I approached, he was waving frantically for me to get his boat. It wasnt that big a boat – maybe a 12 foot tinnie with an outboard. But I was wondering what exactly he wanted me to do. I’m a big man wedged in a kayak – doing my best not fall out when a swell hits.  It’s not like I could pull up next to it, throw a rope around the stern and tow it back to him…. but I tried to help nonetheless, and by the time I pulled up next to it the scene was a comedy of errors as both the boat and I washed backwards onto the rocks. Anyway – he got his boat back, and I got back underway – albeit a little wetter than when I started.

The Parramatta river is a great waterway to paddle. Its got alot of swell from passing boats, and when the wind tears through you get a bit of chop and it makes for a more interesting paddle. I’ll have to plan a much bigger paddle from here next….if I want to paddle the Hawkesbury Classic then I need to up the ante by a factor of 15….

Geez I got alot of work to do….

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