Friday, 20 December 2013

Friday Night Frolic - Paddling under Hobart

I usually take at least one GPS with me everywhere I go.  Usually I take three.

Proof: Wrist GPS (Garmin Forerunner 910xt), iPhone and GPS.
and yes ... a good old fashioned map.

Which is why it is particularly disappointing that I didn't have one with me tonight, because it would have shown an awesome route, probably something like this ...

Map Image:  www.thelist.tas.gov.au

My Friday Night club paddles are short (8-10km) trips after work for TSCC club members, particularly newer members, who just want to come along and have a leisurely paddle somewhere on the Derwent River and maybe practice some skills along the way (tonight we practiced sweep strokes).

This week we ran into Grant (see pic below) and his hand-built kayak, we got to see the cruise ship departing, we discovered big signs saying that you can't paddle within 50 metres of the docks when cruise ships are there (they were gone an hour later), we slalomed our way in and out of the bridge as we crossed the river, paddled along the lovely green exposed banks of Rosny at low tide, ducked in between boats, and under buildings at the dock and even tried out the kayak mooring facilities outside Fish Frenzy.

Grant's cool breakdown kayak (it breaks into three pieces)
Departing Cruise ship
Temporary sign warning away boat users
The Bridge
Practicing our slalom skills under the bridge ...
I may have got a bit close on this turn.
Tranquil night looking from Rosny back towards Mt Wellington
Paddling amongst the boats (you'll notice my idea
of sweep stroke training is more an excuse for having fun)
There's always a way through if you look hard enough ...
Paddling under Elizabeth Street Pier.  More sweep strokes needed.
The Lady Nelson
Grant's home ...
Back safe.
But I've skipped over the best bit, if you look at the zoomed in map below (sorry the red dashed route is a bit hard to see) you'll see the real highlight of the night ... hint ... I've highlighted it in yellow ...


Yep, it was a super low tide and whilst mucking around Grant and I discovered an exposed large drainage hole and being the curious fellows that we are ... on went the flashlight and in we went ...


It's hard to judge distance underground, but I reckon we got 40-50 metres up the tunnel as it slowly turned to the right and then straightened out heading off into the darkness.  It was pitch black at this stage (you couldn't see your fingers in front of your face) and we had to inch our way back out again backwards promising we'd return when we had a stronger light than my weak little torch.

It was an awesome night, and just makes you realise what you can do with your time ... if you make the time to do it.

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