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Trip Report

The First Look!
Around Albury - January 2006

Drive to Albury to check out the river. Is it wide and sedate as I remember it from holidays to Morgan and Goolwa? No. It is relatively narrow with a strong current, and some fallen trees as snags. Looks tricky. Too narrow for windsurfing.

Drive to the Hume Weir and points in-between, to observe the river and look for launching sites. Asked the locals 'Is the current always this strong?' The answer 'The river is very full' suggested the height of the river varies but the speed of the current is constant. Mmmm. Back in Albury I spoke to members of the Mitta Mitta canoe club on the banks of the river. They estimate that the current flows at 4 km an hour - looks faster!

Time to see if the windsurfer board can battle against the current. Slide the board into the water, hop on and paddle (no sail). Downstream is fine. And fast. Turning the board to head upstream produced the first problem - the board could not hold an upstream position - the nose swung downstream and no amount of frantic paddling would stop the turn. Scrambled back to shore for a rethink.

Drove back to Hume Weir looking again for suitable places to begin the trip. Couldn't find many. One spot though, over Island Bridge road near the waterworks was superb. A grassy picnic spot where the bank was flat and not far above water level. Saw a young boy swimming in the river get pinned by the current against the branches of a fallen tree - he couldn't swim against the current to get away from the thick tree foliage. His mate advised him against trying to dive under it - the downward pointing branches could form an underwater trap. A scary situation, with disaster narrowly averted.

Back to Sydney and back to the drawing board.

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