After all this planning and waiting he hit the water at last - and he did it in style.
The weather man said it would only get to 13 degrees, so we rugged up and headed out anyway. We had a thermos and packed lunch just in case we found somewhere nice to stop midway through the paddle.
The Psyche pump area had a great canoe launcher to use, so Ken's first taste of the water was gentle and controlled and his owners were pretty happy to stay dry too.
The sun came out as we cruised along, and the swans and ducks might have been panicking about the paddlers coming along, but we still got a good look at the pelicans, hawks and a number of other birds in the area. At times it was very noisy with honking, quacking and carrying on - quite a circus. At others we drifted quietly. Swans can run on the water a very long way before they take off or give up.
|swan- didn't want to know us|
|well fed hawks|
|saw a few of these well dressed ducks - going out to dinner?|
|not a sculpture|
|What a moment... so many birds taking flight|
|so many eggs|
|one lone bird amongst so many others|
|yes - these are nests- all packed in together.|
|to give alterations in water levels and allow the billabong to stay healthy|
|the pumping station- hard at work irrigating the fruit blocks of Mildura.|
The clouds made way for sunshine, and the temperature climbed a little higher than expected as we ducked under the water regulator and paddled out into the Kings Billabong.
It took a few tries before we found a spot (near the bird hide) to pull the kayak up on to the bank and have our lunch. The weed made it difficult to get in and out, but we avoided the smelly mud (except for Trev's hat, which fell off) and headed back across the Billabong, enjoying the sunshine, the paddling, each others company and the sights and sounds.
Ken seems to glide beautifully and to be very well balanced. If his behaviour today is anything to go by, we will have a very long and happy relationship with him. We are already thinking about where the next launch might be as we drive around the Mildura area with Ken safely tied up on top.
We are waiting until tomorrow to see how the body feels. We will plan the next paddling accordingly.