Recently, I went for a trip down a small section of the stunning Murray River, in Australia. This was my first unaccompanied journey, taking around four hours. Getting to experience this portion of the river has helped instil in me a love of canoeing and the excitement it can bring.
Preparing For The Trip
My preparation for the trip began a few months before the journey. I needed to make sure that I was confident about handling the canoe, and could keep the boat balanced. To practice this, we went to a quiet part of the river. There was no tide, so I could fall in safely. At first, I did struggle to keep the boat steady for long enough to get in. However, the more I practiced, the easier this became. In addition, I found that it became easier to steer the boat and control its trajectory. Once I was confident in this area, I was able to start planning for the trip.
The first thing that I needed to do was study the maps. Thankfully, this part of the section was wide, gently sloping its way through the landscape. The tides wouldn’t be too strong, allowing me to have a leisurely paddle. Also, I identified a picnic location, around 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) away. This would be the perfect time to have lunch before turning around and returning home. Having planned the journey, and purchased all the necessary equipment, I went to bed nervous but excited.
Making The Journey
The next day, I rose early, excited about making my first canoe trip. The canoe was already strapped to the top of the car, so all I had to do was travel to the river. By the time I got there, it was nine o’clock. I got the canoe off the car, double-checked the water-proof bags had been closed properly and put the canoe into the water. Holding the sides of the boat steady, I got into the craft smoothly. Then, I was on my way, paddling down the Murray River.
Instantly, I was overwhelmed by the peace and serenity. The only sounds were the wind rustling through the trees, the birds chirping overhead, and my paddle pushing through the water. The longer I paddled, the calmer I felt. Along the way, I also got to experience some of the beautiful sights that the river could offer. The riverbanks were lined with green grasses, gently swaying in the breeze. On the surface of the water, a family of birds was gently gliding along.
By around eleven-thirty, I was getting hungry and was ready to stop for lunch and have a rest. I put my paddle back in the boat, letting it float gracefully across the river. Getting the map out the bag I studied the route carefully, afraid I’d missed the picnic spot. But just when I was putting the map back, it came into view around a curve in the river. I paddled down and pulled the canoe onto the shore, making sure that it was wedged securely. Then, I went up sitting at a table to eat my lunch. It provided all the nourishment and energy I needed for the return journey home.
It was just as relaxing as the journey to the picnic spot. Despite traveling against the tide, I didn’t have to expend that much energy to make progress. By the time I got back to the car, it was a little after three o’clock. I had a quick snack, then pulled the canoe from the water, tying it securely to the top of the car. Though all the equipment was stowed, I stayed back for a few hours, watching the sun set over the river. This gave me some time to reflect on my day, and consider what my next canoeing adventure would be.
I hope that you enjoyed this account of my first canoe trip. To help you create your own canoeing memories, I wanted to share this excellent guide which contains everything you need to know about choosing your own canoe. If you have any additional questions, you can register and ask them in this professional forum. So, make sure to get out on the water today and experience the joy that canoeing can provide.
[Guest post by George Aubrey]