The First Splash
Waterworks to Albury - 19 April 2006
Beautiful day! Sun is shining, no wind, no clouds. Let's just chuck the 'Trepid' in and see what happens.
Drove to the Island Bridge near the waterworks. Unloaded the board on the eastern side (no sail). Took a photo, jumped on the board and pushed off. Magnificent! Plenty of current. Like white water rafting without the white water!
Paddling occasionally to maintain the best course, checking the map from time to time and enjoying the scenery as it slid by. Perfect!
After travelling this way for several hours I calculated I was very close to Albury - today's destination. I met a kayaker paddling upstream. 'How far to Albury?' 'About 5 kms' she yelled back, without missing a beat. Oops - my map reading obviously needs some fine tuning. After another an hour or so the Albury bridge appeared around a bend and I pulled into the bank near the Hovell tree.
I was elated. An elderly couple sitting in their chairs on the bank greeted me and asked me where I was going. 'To the Murray mouth' I answered. 'Oh yes' they nodded as if that was an every-day occurrence. I refused to be deflated!
That evening, after retrieving the car, I booked into a campsite and excitedly told the manager of my achievement. He was not keen to join my enthusiasm. He described his experiences on the river and stressed the dangers, particularly as a windsurfer board is not as nimble as a kayak. After continuing this theme for a while his parting comment was 'Well if I hear someone is lost on the river tomorrow I'll know who it is.'
The weather the next day was grey, wet and miserable - a perfect excuse to delay the next stage of the trip and deliberate on the warning I received!
Details: 2214 km mark to 2198 (Albury). Approximately 4 hours. This leaves approximately 10 kms from the Dam wall to the waterworks to be done to complete the Hume Dam to Albury leg.