Thursday, January 3, 2008
Lets go boating!
Having returned from England (more postings about that trip soon), and with a new Zodiac in the shed it was time to try it on the river. So it was with much boyish enthusiasm we set off to try it out!
It's was a short drive to the Hawkesbury River and the Zodiac was set up in minutes. It was not long before it was humming at a nice pace.
The Hawkesbury river has a interesting history. Earliest farming was conducted by the first fleet in this region. Rich flood plains and easy river access all made this possible. In fact the earliest railway link was constructed to Windsor to get the produce to market. The Hawkesbury Valley was regarded as Sydney's "food basket."
Today the river banks still show some signs of those earlier pioneers. Old mooring posts, churches, grave yards, and historic buildings still exist if you look hard enough. Sadly, most farms now supply turf to the Sydney region, although a few orchids can still be seen.
What most people in Sydney don't realise is that the drinking water of the towns of Richmond and North Richmond comes from this river. Highly recycled, it is top quality and no-one would be aware that the river is the source. Most city dwellers seem reluctant to use/drink recycled water... yet here is the proof.
David took to the controls of the Zodiac like a professional, however I could not help be disappointed by the performance of the engine. It seemed slow. It was not until we got stuck in weeds, (which grew like grass just below the surface of the water), that we realised we had dragged a massive clump of the stuff for miles!
Removing this from around the propeller we were greeted by almost "drag car" like performance!! The bow lifted and we flew almost hovering above the water.
Whilst it was about trying the boat, we did get some good quality birding in. Sea Eagle, Darter, Pied Cormorant, Australian Pelican, Australasian Grebe, White Faced Heron, Grey Teal and Moorhen were seen along the banks.
Lunch consisting of fresh fruit was had before we returned after several hours of fun in the sun.
A great day? The smile says it all!... Eh Dave?
Stay tuned for the next episode in the Lakes District Cumbria U.K.!