I got out to the West End Canoe Club today for my first paddle on the Brisbane River. To say it was wonderful is an understatement.
It was quiet at the club due to the holidays so I had my choice of boats. I took out a yellow TK1 called ‘Buck’. It’s the first fibreglass boat I’ve ever paddled and the experience was delightful. In the past, I had a sit-in plastic bathtub kayak and I’ve also paddled plenty of sit-on-top sea kayaks too. The fibreglass TK1 was much quicker in the water and had a rudder (I’ve never paddled with a rudder before).
I paddled up the Brisbane River from West End to the green beacon with K. We caught up with D as we paddled (she had left earlier than us) and I sat on their wash for about 500m enjoying the new sensation of bow riding. I can see why this is a useful skill to learn for energy conservation. Especially when paddling into the tide.
At the beacon (4.4km) we turned to paddle back to the boat shed. I was paddling out the front of the group with D. We talked as we paddled, the tide pulling us swiftly back to the ramp.
Paddling on the river is a new way to see my city. It’s pretty out there. We had to dodge rowers and negotiate the waves coming from the City Cats (motorised catermeran passenger ferries). The TK1 handled quite well over the waves, even when the waves bounced back from the sections of the river with concreted walls. D said that I should try a faster boat next time I go out; that I’d be able to handle it despite it being my first time with the club (I used to paddle with Sandgate Canoe Club for about two years in 2005-6 so I’m not a total novice but I used to paddle a plastic bathtub there).
I am excited about joining the canoe club. I’ll fill in the forms this week and start training twice a week.
Total: 8.8km kayak