Blackwood Trip – November 2023

I have been organising this trip for the club for a number of years now, but missed last year’s trip due to knee surgery. So, it was good to be back this year.

This part of the Blackwood River is a great section of river to introduce paddlers to whitewater river touring. It’s a very scenic and tranquil part of the Blackwood River, which meanders its way through mainly national park and state forest.

This year we had a group of eight competent paddlers, including myself. Normally there are a few easy grade two rapids along the way which can be fun to stop at and practice our whitewater skills, like ferry gliding and breaking in and out of eddies. Unfortunately, this year, due to the low rainfall, we had mainly rocky rapids that were not suitable for playing, but did keep us on our toes looking out for those sneaky rocks waiting to scrape the bottom of our kayaks, especially Geoff who was paddling his brand-new plastic slalom-type kayak and Dess who was paddling a composite slalom kayak.

The weather forecast for Perth was for a hot weekend so it was great to be in the cooler part of the southwest. Most of the group arrived at the base camp Friday afternoon, apart from Ross who arrived well after sunset and started to set up camp in the dark. After a few drinks sitting around the campfire, it was an early night for most of us.

Saturday morning was warm and overcast. With the help of Geoff’s wife Hett, we were able to leave a vehicle at Hut Pool and all meet at Sues Bridge for the start of the trip.

Everyone seemed to be handling the river conditions really well until someone had a capsize. Luckily Des was there to take control of the situation. Then not long after there was another capsize and again Des was at the right place at the right time or should I say the wrong place at the wrong time.

After a break for lunch, it was mainly flatwater paddling to Hut Pool. After stowing the kayaks and picking up vehicles from Sues Bridge we all arrived back at the base camp for a well-earned beer or glass of wine.

Sunday morning, most of us were up early in preparation to pack up camp. But there was still enough time for a relaxed breakfast around the campfire.

The sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a glorious day on the river. Again, Hett helped us out with ferrying people to Hut Pool, where we retrieved our kayaks and headed off downstream.

After about 5km we came to the end of the rocky rapid section and after a few more kilometers we found a spot to stop for morning tea. Ross who normally has something healthy to eat from his fishing tackle box, surprised us by producing a bacon and egg sandwich. He told us that a young couple whom he was camped next to gave him the sandwich for breakfast, as they had had enough to eat. I thought they might have mistaken Ross for a homeless person, as he was sleeping on a mattress with a tarp
over him.

Back in our kayaks, it seemed like there was a never-ending number of bends in the river to go around before we reached the Warner Glen Bridge. From there it’s only a short distance to our get-out point. Although it had been another great trip down the Blackwood, I wasn’t sorry to get around that last bend before the bridge. Some of us finished off with a roll or two or three. Then after loading the kayaks and picking up a vehicle from Hut Pool, we had a BBQ lunch before most of the group headed off back to Perth. I was staying for an extra day to paddle down the Donnelly River and Dess was picking up his partner in Augusta the next day.

Thanks to all the paddlers, Colin, Des, Elena, Gemma, Geoff, Marty and Ross. Also, thanks to Hett for helping with the car shuttles.

Footnote. According to the river gauging station at Hut Pool, the water level was between 11.02 and 10.98 over the weekend, which is probably the lowest level that I have paddled this section of the Blackwood River. In future, we probably won’t run this as a club trip unless the river level is higher.

Colin Priest

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Murray Delta – October 2023

This year’s Murray Delta paddle started (and finished) with 13 seasoned Swannies taking to the water at Jetty’s Bar and Grill in South Yunderup. This locality is on the lower portion of the Murray River a few kilometres upstream from where it flows, via a multi-channelled delta, into Peel Inlet. So, despite the name of this club trip suggesting it was only for those paddling a Delta (4 of us on the day) it was open to all comers!.

We had a slightly staggered start due to a brain fade by your’s truly in neglecting to contact one paddler with the news we were starting half an hour earlier than previously planned – but we are almost on speaking terms again aren’t we Sarah?

A full car park at Jetty’s greeted us with a number of dragon boats also taking advantage of the pleasantly mild paddling weather. After breaking the news that our planned coffee stop on the homeward route (Pelicans on the Murray) was temporarily closed, your team leader skulked off with most of the pack while Geoff and Claire waited to placate Sarah when she arrived. Heading downstream past all the holiday houses and their private jetties, the advance party led by Colin took a detour up one of the canals (Murray Waters) until everyone caught up.

With a full compliment, temps in the low 20’s, and under a cloudy sky, we paddled westwards down into the delta via the river’s Minjoogup branch on the southern side  of Yunderup Island. Judging by the number of signs adjacent to river the local inhabitants appear to be in a battle with our beloved State Government over some issue, possibly the potential loss of some shacks deemed unable to comply with current planning requirements – but really this does seem to pale into insignificance compared to the closure of the coffee shop!

The initial ‘residential’ portion of the paddle provided an interesting insight into how holiday shacks inevitably morph into substantial homes/ aka Mc Mansions. The delta area, in contrast, provided a number of channels where we were able to quickly get away from ‘civilisation’ and boat traffic, and just enjoy the fringing vegetation and its associated birdlife. There was also the prospect of encountering dolphins (although personally I only saw two this year).

Briefly entering Peel Inlet and passing some patient fishermen / fisherpersons, we managed to avoid shallow areas, as we skirted around Little Yunderup Island and headed back eastwards. Passing along the northern side of Yunderup Island we encountered Worallgarook and Ballee Islands on our left until emerging back into the main boating channel.

OK I confess, I couldn’t really remember the names of the various islands and channels without the attached map / cheat sheet!

Once back in the main boating cannel we headed north-west to our lunch spot on Cooleenup Island where picnic tables, toilets, a kids playground, and access to historic Coopers Mill awaited (see red dot on map between Meeyip and Jennala Islands).

At lunch we seemed to split into a girls group (Gabriella, Bec, Evi, Maria, Sarah, Shantha and Claire) and a blokes group (Geoff, Colin, Ross, Trevor, Patrick and Marty) – I will let you guess where the most impressive food was laid out!  Ross bravely tried to gate-crash the girl’s table with a bribe of grapes – but returned empty handed!.

Geoff made the 100 m pilgrimage to Coopers Mill on behalf of all of us and STOP PRESS we didn’t have any issue with mossies this year! This was probably due to the gradually increasing wind which, were predicted to reach more than 20 knots on the Inlet in the early afternoon.

So, with an abundance of caution, the decision was made to truncate a small part of the trip. Instead of our planned excursion out into the exposed part of the inlet and then back into the Serpentine River and around Jennala Island, we instead just briefly stuck our noses out and then scuttled around to the northern side of Cooleenup Island. From here we paddled back along the narrower, scenic Wargoorloop branch towards ‘Pelicans’ café on the main part of the river. (see blue dot on map).

After shedding a tear or two at the café’s closure we continued back up-stream for a few more kms on our return to Jetty’s B & G. Being back in ‘civilization’ we were entertained by a bit of raucous doof doof music from some bloke’s powerboat while his female passengers sat in the back looking completely miserable (at least he was enjoying himself!).

After a modest 13.5 km paddle, we congratulated ourselves on ending with the same number of paddlers we started with. The hardiest members of the team (Ross, Sarah, Shantha, Maria, Evi, Bec and myself) then took the opportunity to stay for a while at Jetty’s and listen to some far more pleasant music (80’s era) over a leisurely drink before returning home.

A good day – thank you linesmen, and thank you ball boys.   Marty

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Upper Murray Paddle and Nanga Weekend – SEPTEMBER 2023


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On Friday 8th September a group of ‘Swannies’ travelled down to Dwellingup and the Nanga Bush Camp for the weekend. Elena Lennox had organised two houses, Hermitage and Marbo for the fifteen of us. Down at the Hermitage we had Elena, Colin, Craig, Ian, Roz, Fiona, Lisa, Jennifer, and Geoff, and up the hill at Marbo we had Vicki, Fran, Gemma, Karrie, Des, and Penny. It was a great setting in the forest, not far from the river and best of all we had a nice open fire at the Hermitage.


On Friday we had a pleasant wander upriver to near the new footbridge below Baden-Powell with hot soup and homemade bread for dinner, followed by a tango lesson from Craig and Fran! We sat around the fire before going to bed and were unlucky to have noisy neighbours playing music until around 1.30am, but most of us managed to sleep.


On Saturday, Elena, Colin, Craig, Des, Geoff, Karrie, Fran, and Vicki went through the locked boom gate and headed down the riverside track on the Middle Murray River looking to ‘park and play’ on the rapids. Vicki, Fran, and Geoff practised their ferry gliding, breaking in and breaking out on the rapids near the picnic ground, while Elena, Colin, Craig, and Des ran the Middle Murray to the get out point, while Karrie took pics and did the car shuffle. We had a great day and we all managed to be tired but dry, unlike Gemma, Ian and Roz who got wet walking into Dwellingup. That night we all had a pleasant pub dinner at the Dwellingup Hotel, in an overheated dining room, perhaps intended to encourage us to drink more?

Unfortunately, our noisy neighbours played loud doof-doof music until about 4.30am which was painful, especially for those in the direct firing line up at Marbo.


On Sunday Colin and Janet joined us for the Upper Murray Paddle and we all went upstream to Yarragil and dumped the boats, gear, and non-drivers before going back to Baden-Powell where we left our cars and dry gear. Having some non-paddlers was a bonus, as Ian and Roz and Jennifer were kind enough to ferry us back to Yarragil, meaning we didn’t need our usual car shuffle. On the water we split into two groups with Geoff’s group having Fran, Vicki, Karrie, Craig, and Colin Scully as tail-end Charlie. Colin Priest’s group had Janet, Gemma, and Des and Elena as back-up.

We all had a play on the first rapid which was good fun and the newer paddlers impressed with Janet, Gemma, Fran, and Vicki demonstrating good white-water skills and once again we all stayed dry! We worked our way downstream from there through a few small rapids and around a few tea-tree thickets for about four kilometres until we reached Island Pool. With the water being lower than last year there seemed to be more rocks than usual. Geoff went through first followed by the rest of the group and most of us ran through fine. Karrie was unlucky in her longer kayak, when she brushed a rock on her left, feeling somewhat hot with embarrassment she dived into the water to cool off. Not being the sort of girl to give up, she promptly carried her boat back above the rapid and ran through cleanly wearing a large smile. Colin’s group also ran the rapid cleanly and I was particularly impressed with Janet making a clean run in her first contact with white water.

Our usual lunch stop, on river left, had a few fishermen on the platform so we went over to river right where Ian and Roz were waving, and joined them for lunch on the river bank. With batteries recharged, legs stretched and calls to mother nature sorted we headed off downriver again weaving our way on the moving water through beautiful forest.

At Bob’s Crossing, Craig got annoyed with his club paddle and managed to break it. Fortunately, Colin Scully had his trusty back-up paddle handy, and we soon had Craig paddling again. Colin and I agreed that breaking that particular paddle was the nicest thing that could have happened to it. There was a bit of tomfoolery when a drifting tennis ball was found and thrown about, until Colin reached out a bit too far and flipped his Finnatic. He failed his first roll but recovered with his second roll to cheering from the crowd.

Finally, after about a ten-kilometre paddle we made it back to Baden-Powell and those beautiful dry clothes. The wet gear was packed away, more cake was eaten, and boats were tied onto cars. Geoff won the prize for the most tie downs ever used to secure three kayaks on a vehicle, and after that we all headed back to Perth. We had a great paddle, and it was really good to see our newer white-water paddlers improving with each trip and reassuring to see the club developing a group interested in white-water. Once again, a special thanks to Elena for organising the Nanga Bush Camp accommodation and helping out on the paddle. Likewise, thanks again to Colin Priest, Colin Scully, and Des McLean for being there and for everyone else for coming along. Hopefully we’ll see the same faces on the Blackwood River paddle in November and have some more white-water fun.


Geoff Emery 13/09/23.

Serpentine Paddle – August 2023


How lucky are we? Sunshine and a light breeze welcomed fifteen Swan Canoe Paddlers to the Serpentine River on Sunday 6 th August 2023. After unloading boats and gear at Karnup Road we did a car shuffle to the endpoint at Woodvale Parade and Marty and Geoff brought the drivers back to the start.

Despite the river level being a bit low (0.27 metres at Dog Hill Station) it was flowing well, and we happily cruised down the first four kilometres in the grassy Serpentine Drain. There was lots of bird life and an occasional cow but no other paddlers. We started in three groups with Geoff, Fran, Janet, Tracey, and Gabriella in the lead, followed by Colin, Gail, Paul, Janelle, and Karrie, with Marty, Sarah, Peter, Trish, and Trevor being tail end Charlies.

Despite some troubles with the Scorpio’s scudder, we got past the water hyacinth boom at Kerulup Pool, frightened a very large male kangaroo who bounded away, and were soon into the small lake above Lake Amarillo looking for the route through to the larger lake. Marty headed off into the bamboo and was soon lost from sight but not sound. This route had been much easier when Marty and I did a recce the week before at a level of 1.2 metres, whereas it was a bit challenging at the lower level. Some paddlers in shiny kayaks were looking a bit worried by the magnetic trees and sticks.

Eventually we found the way through to Lake Amarillo and made good time down to the short-cuts across the river loops, over another boom and to Limbo Bridge. Marty and I had to portage it at 1.2 metres whereas it was an easy paddle under it to Skull Island for lunch. After eleven kilometres and some very friendly bamboo and trees it was good to sit on the grass, enjoy lunch and tell war stories.

After lunch we girded our loins and headed off again, making our way past Guanarnup Pool, revelling in the lack of people and houses and finally meandering around into Yalbanberup Pool. After finding the hidden exit we continued south to Woodland Parade and after nineteen kilometres, terra firma. Gabriella kindly ran Marty and I back to our cars and we all packed up and headed back to the club to wash boats and gear before heading home.

This would have to have been one of the best Serpentine Paddles that I have done, with a light breeze, sunshine, and good company. Thanks to everyone who came along and especially to the other leaders, Colin Priest, Martin Wells and Sarah Whittaker.

Geoff Emery

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Matilda Bay Paddle – February 2023

The recent paddle to Matilda Bay had its challenges and rewards, as do most paddles where we rely on wind, tides and temperature.

After much deliberation and consultation regarding the forecast wind conditions, twelve club members headed off to Matilda Bay earlier than planned in an attempt to be back before the wind “picked up”. What started off to be a gentle breeze at the club, turned into a not so gentle wind coming from the south west. The wind caused a few issues with some of the boats ignoring their rudders and preferring a sideways direction which proved a little challenging at times.

A not so leisurely coffee break was enjoyed at the Bayside Kitchen in Matilda Bay. Once everyone was refreshed we headed back out to be challenged by a slightly higher than forecast headwind. Martin Wells who was an unofficial, land based photographer for the trip happened to notice a select few of the group coming ashore at Nedlands. He kindly drove them back to the club to collect cars and by the time the main group returned, all were safely back. Thanks Marty!

Some of the newer paddlers agreed that although it was a challenging trip, there was a sense of accomplishment gained and new skills learned. All in all, it was a fun day out and it was great to paddle a bit further afield than the normal peer paddles. Thanks to Bob, Geoff, Colin, Jillian, Marion, Doug, Marjan, Patrick, Suzanne, Maggie and Lorena for taking part in the adventure.

Jocelyn Sisson – Feb 2023

Palm Beach – Penguin Island Cruising – March 2023

PALM BEACH – PENGUIN ISLAND CRUISING                                     Sunday 5th March 2023


Despite the strong wind warning we went at last! The trip was on and off with various options hanging for a few days, but we arrived at Palm Beach, and it looked gorgeous with the wind about 13 knots from the ESE. We had seventeen keen Swannies, looking forward to an expedition for the day, or at least until the sea breeze kicked in after midday.

With the long weekend public holiday, everywhere was busy and we kept a careful lookout for the various motor craft that could appear from nowhere and snorkellers that were everywhere. We paddled under the causeway to Garden Island in 3 groups, led by Geoff, Colin P and Jocelyn, maintaining contact with each other by radio.

We had a great mix of paddlers from Andrew and Christine, who had paddled the Colorado River to Lorena who was hitting the ocean for the very first time. The interesting thing I find about paddles with Swan, is that I always meet someone I’ve never paddled with before. Maybe I don’t get out enough! Our group played follow the leader, Colin P, through the channels in the shallow reef, inshore of Mushroom Rock avoiding rocks and reef outcrops and pushed about by the waves.

When we turned the corner at Point Peron, the wind had moved to the south and was quite strong, even though it was only 9.30am! That made for a good “into the wind paddle” to Bird Island where we spotted a sea eagle. From there we went on to Seal Island, where it seemed like everyone who had any sort of craft, from runabouts to short and fat paddle craft was there. The visitors easily outnumbered the large sea lions soaking up the sunshine and ignoring the tourists.

The next stop was the beach on the east side of Penguin Island, where some of us elected to relax while the majority did a circumnavigation and returned for lunch on the grass. The banana bread for hungry paddlers was delicious and supplied by foodie extraordinaire, Kelly – thanks Kelly. With the wind expected to move up towards twenty knots we didn’t stay long and got back into our boats and headed off. Colin P in his single kayak and Andrew and Christine in their double kayak, hoisted sails and smiled as they sailed past the paddlers. Heading north, the wind was behind us, and the fetch caused wind waves that some were surfing. Jocelyn who likes a wave or two, was chasing rides, along with Patrick and Steve. We saw many Pelicans practising their gliding and somewhere before Bird Island we spotted an Osprey, Shoalwater being one of the areas for birds of prey.

Once around Point Peron, we threaded our way through the reef and were pleased when the wind dropped as we rounded John Point.  It was a short-lived relief and before long the south-westerly was blowing hard on our beam, which made things hard for Fran who was heroically managing a skeg that didn’t work properly. Well done Fran for a big effort, I could see how hard you were working. Well done also to Lorena, having survived her maiden voyage on the ocean. Somewhere between John Point and the causeway to Garden Island, Andrew and Christine checked how Geoff felt about them doing a downwind run the twenty kilometres to home! Geoff figured that someone who could do rescues in the Grand Canyon in a white-water boat could probably manage the sail home and gave the go ahead. With the wind increasing they had a wild eighty-minute sail and surf back to Coogee but lived to tell the tale.


With the wind gusting up to twenty knots we were all glad to reach Palm Beach, carry the boats up onto the grass, take a deep breath and pack up. Overall, a great trip. A huge thanks to the organiser Geoff, the leaders Colin and Jocelyn and all the participants. Looking forward to the next time.

Gillian Henderson


BROKE INLET January 2023

A lucky number of eight paddlers this year for our annual Australia Day sojourne down to the cooler climes of our south coast at Broke Inlet, within the D’ Entreasteau National Park west of Walpole. Geoff Emery, Jocelyn Sisson, Colin Scully, Rose Chaney, Trish Schuttler, Pete Ormond and Steve David joined yours truly on Monday 23rd for a three day paddle/ camping adventure that, as always, provided a good mix of invigorating daytime paddles and relaxing evening chats around our (non-existent) campfire.

This year we camped at Windy Point, our most commonly used campsite on the relatively remote south western side of the Inlet. (Note to potential future Swannie campers – don’t be put off by the place name because in fact we have always incorrectly referred to this camping area as ‘Windy Pont’ when in fact that name officially belongs to another point, on the opposite side of the Inlet). ‘Our’ Windy Point is usually well protected from wind and, more importantly, from potentially annoying other members of the human race, as it is accessible only to kayakers.

The ocean bar was open this year!  Although this didn’t enable us to purchase refreshing beverages throughout the trip, it did mean the Inlet’s water level was tidally influenced and not quite as low as we have experienced in the past. It also meant that water quality was improved, particularly in the channel leading to the beach, where it was an amazingly clear aquamarine colour reminiscent of Ningaloo (well, I do have a good imagination!).

On Tuesday 24th Jocelyn took the reins as part of her Guide/ instructor training and led the group paddle up and into the Shannon River, via Shannon Island.  Under Geoff’s ever watchful presence (as an Assessor) Jocelyn did a great job dealing with various fake ‘problems’ with radios, shoulder injuries, a rouge paddler going off- script (really Colin you should concentrate!), and an unexpected capsize to test her skills. ‘Delegation’ emerged as one of those skills (always important to keep dry, calm and collected, while someone like Steve has inexplicably gone for a swim!).

On Wednesday 25th we paddled to the ocean outlet, being rewarded by a vista of thundering surf and the perfect opportunity to invoke safety concerns as an excuse to avoid any kayak rolling training. Pete and Geoff nevertheless had a refreshing swim while the rest of us just enjoyed walking the beach in the absence of other summer holiday makers (in 4wds). A benefit in getting there just before Australia Day!

Those undertaking walks closer to camp were rewarded with a hidden wetland area, a variety of geological outcrops to avoid stubbing your toes on, and the opportunity to speculate on the origin of the wind-blown foam and the mysterious excavation holes (pigs?) along the water’s edge, as well as the array of animal footprints across the adjacent low sand dunes.  Wildlife, in terms of bird numbers, was not as prolific as on some earlier trips, however this was compensated (ALMOST) by a visit from a local dugite seen heading for Trish’s tent.  All opportunities for some ‘arty photography‘ in this wonderful remote part of WA.

Our other R and R activities around camp involved relaxing stints of reading, snoozing in tents (only Rose being clever enough to bring a hammock), and procrastinating about how to make the next night’s sleeping arrangements more comfortable.  Gathering around our fabulous imaginary fire each evening, and with the cosy ambience of the group’s elevated tarp (thanks Geoff), we engaged rise) in the traditional Broke pastime activities. They included drinking (what a surprise!), story-telling, comparing the utility or otherwise of other people’s camping equipment (I’m still upset about your disparaging remarks about my coffee plunger Steve!), trying to repair broken camp chairs, and debating the health benefits of no actually eating the various freeze dried meals that emerged on the last night – and, when cooked, bore little resemblance to anything from known food groups. Luckily Rose was able to provide us all with a small portion of whisky to help get it down, or erase the memories.

With a moderate wind on both days, Geoff and Steve had good runs with their sails (also tried out by Pete), and we all had the opportunity for some ‘solid paddling’. The latter should not be confused with any of that competitive RFT (Rod Fry Training) stuff which permeates through our club at this time of year!  However, one suspects the RFT virus may have been responsible for Jocelyn’s headache on Wednesday morning requiring a rest before she and Geoff did a quick catch-up paddle to meet us at the ocean beach, and then again to engage in a quick 10.5 km paddle sprint to circumnavigate Bald Island on the last morning (Australia Day).

On gathering before departure on Thursday 26th I think we all agreed it was nice to have a modest sized group for 2023 and doing the trip in the days leading up to, rather than over, Australia Day. This enabled us to avoid car parking issues, and almost all boaties and 4wd campers, as well as having more easily managed group paddles and a less congested camp site.

Thanks all, for a great trip to start the year.


Marty Wells

4 February 2023

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The Swan Canoe Club’s annual November camping and paddling trip, attracted ten paddlers this year, but what an enthusiastic group!  In particular, the newer white-water paddlers, Kelly, Vicki, Trudy, and Margie were very enthusiastic, while Ross and Steve showed manly reticence.


We all camped in the group camping area at Chapman Pool, close to Warner Glen Bridge, with most of us arriving early on Friday to set up our camp in daylight, especially those who were new to camping. It was disappointing that the gas BBQ’s at the site were gas-less, but with a roaring campfire and a couple of gas stoves, we all managed to have a hot dinner. Friday night was cold, but sitting around the campfire telling tall stories, while enjoying a beverage or three kept the cold at bay.


Saturday morning dawned crisp and blue-sky-clear, enough to encourage Kelly to go for a morning run. The rest of us were focussed on waking up, followed by breakfast. With breakfast done, paddle gear collected, and Geoff’s briefing done, we were off down Denny Rd to Sue’s Bridge where we dumped kayaks, paddle gear, and the non-drivers. We drove all the cars back along Denny Rd and down to Hut Pool where we left most of the vehicles and used a couple of vehicles to ferry the drivers back to Sue’s Bridge. After all the driving, we were on the water about 10.30am, with one of our warmer paddlers deciding to have a cooling dip. It was a magnificent day, and we all enjoyed cruising downriver, pausing at each rapid. We were fortunate to have several keen paddlers, new to white water but eager to learn, and we had a good team with Geoff leading, Colin as tail-end Charlie and Des and Elena giving tips and supervising. It was great to see Kelly, Trudy, Vicki, Margie, Ross, and Steve paddling through each rapid with confidence and skill that meant none of them capsized. Unfortunately, the only capsize was instructor Geoff, who was attacked by a bush and a turbulent eddy line, while playing in a rapid. Unable to roll up, Geoff exited the Dancer, and tried to pretend that this was an intentional example of what happens if you grab hold of bushes in rapids.


After about ten or eleven kilometres of paddling, we stopped for lunch at our usual inviting beach on river left, where Kelly supplied a dessert with her fantastic port and fruit cake. Batteries recharged, legs stretched, and the calls of nature answered, we were soon back on the water and working our way downstream through small rapids, a couple of which were challenging. Along the way we saw several canoe paddlers and an intrepid dog squatting low on the foredeck of one boat as they went through a rapid. After paddling for a total of about eighteen kilometres, we made it to the weir at Hut Pool around three thirty in the afternoon. Then it was car shuffle time again, to recover the vehicles left at Sue’s Bridge and return to Chapman Pool camp. Back in our warm, dry gear, we relaxed around the campfire and told tales of derring-do. Geoff was strangely quiet.


Sunday dawned a cool, beautiful blue-sky day, and after breakfast we broke camp and moved our vehicles down to the Day Activity area at Chapman Pool. All ten paddlers were soon back at Hut Pool and paddling downstream, with Colin leading and Geoff as tailender. Trudy was taking each rapid seriously, while Margie, Vicki and Kelly seemed to be having fun. There were some tricky bits to negotiate, and Des and Colin did a great job in getting each paddler into an eddy and around one tight corner, where a tree waited to trap the unwary paddler. After about six kilometres, we made it to Morning Tea Rapid and Colin, Des and Geoff had a little play, until Geoff realised, he was carrying Henrietta’s morning tea carrot cake! It ended up with nine of us having morning tea, while Des kept playing on the rapid. Kelly and Ross had a mud sliding competition while back in the rapid, Des capsized, failed a roll but made it up on the second attempt. Nice work as usual Des.


After morning tea, the longer sections of flat water began to wear on the short boat paddlers, Des, Colin, and Geoff.  Des was wishing he was in his new slalom boat instead of his Diesel, and Colin and Geoff just wanted to get there. After around three and a half hours of paddling for twelve kilometres, we made it to Warner Glen Bridge and Chapman Pool by one o’clock in the afternoon. Steve was so pleased he did a victory roll to celebrate. Margie’s husband, Pat was kind enough to drive the three drivers back to Hut Pool to collect cars. Unfortunately, we met a kangaroo on the way along Denny Rd and neither the kangaroo nor Pat were happy. Back at Chapman Pool we had a bite to eat and then hit the road. It ended up being a long day, with Steve, Trudy, Kelly, and Geoff washing club boats and putting them away around six thirty that night. However, despite the tired bodies and the chills and spills we all had a great time, and it was gratifying to see the enthusiasm and skill of the newer paddlers who hopefully will be future leaders.


Geoff Emery 10/11/22.