13-14 March 2021 Club members enjoyed an action-packed weekend at Kangaroo Valley on 13-14 March 2021. On Saturday morning, after setting up base-camp at Bendeela Camping Ground, we all headed out to Lake Yarrunga in Morton National Park. Lake Yarrunga is a perfect spot for beginner and experienced paddlers alike. It consists of two flooded river valleys (Kangaroo and Shoalhaven Rivers) and approximately 35km of flat water held by Tallowa Dam.
We set out for a weekend trip with the club early February to Tuncurry/Forster- about 3-4 hours north of Sydney.
Thursday night after Melissa fixed her Pittarak, Simon had a beer and we all had a bit of a chit chat, we packed the trailer with the boats ready for our weekend away.
On Sunday 24 January 2021, six RCC members participated in a club paddle to loop Sydney Harbour from Rose Bay to Little Manly. The risk management plan highlighted the dangers of motor vessels on a January Sunday with good weather forecast and the rising wind in the afternoon. The trip commenced as we departed Rose Bay, avoided ferries and sea planes and followed the mansions along Rose Bay and Double Bay before heading out to Clark Island and then directly across to Bradleys Head. In crossing this high vessel zone, we formed a tight group to aid visibility and safety.
What a weekend, River Canoe Club’s first dedicated canoe journey in many years. Australia Day on the iconic Murrumbidgee River. 20 people, 10 canoes and 1 kayak, 100km of river, several beginner and novice canoeists, some seasoned expedition canoe families who had clocked over 800km of Murrumbidgee and a couple of former national and international canoe slalom paddlers who had not seen each other in 35 years. The stand out feature of this trip was the amazing group of people and how well the group bonded and worked together over the weekend.
The Shoalhaven was rising so I asked the group if they wanted to paddle Oallen Ford to the Power Lines. A few were interested but by Friday morning it had risen too high. So the trip was moved once again and the Murrumbidgee was the destination.
In the end there was just Ben Jones and Ian and Caroline Houghton who joined me. The river had risen mid-week but by the time we got on the water at Pine Island on Saturday it had dropped to 1.2m which was just enough to paddle everything. The water was an unusual dark brown colour but it soon became apparent that was due to runoff from bushfire ravaged areas upstream. The eddies were full of small pieces of charcoal and the banks were covered with a black mud from where the river have been more than a metre higher earlier in the week. The murky water made it very hard to see rocks which were just below the surface.
This year’s Safari was very successful in terms of numbers attending and finding good levels to paddle on Snowy Creek, the Mitta Mitta and the Mitchell in Victoria, due to the snowmelt from the Victorian alps and some cold fronts that had come through in the weeks before the trip. By Tuesday our group had swelled to 21 with 6 paddlers joining us from the Snowy Race.
The 2019 Murray Descent was the first stage of a NSW River Canoe Club led, decade long project to paddle the length of the Murray River. In early November 2019, seventeen paddlers set aside their work, retirement and parole conditions to complete the first 192 kms.