My courage is building and I’m learning what I like. Maybe getting closer to who I am…
My initial attempts at camping on the boat mimicked a little of those I follow on YouTube. In doing so, I’m discovering what’s really me. For example, I tried bow fishing but got a little board and kept getting distracted with all the scenery and wildlife LOL!
I’m an explorer/discoverer at heart. I love the sounds of nature. I work full time, so this for me is a recharge. I’m not into the adrenalin experiences but am definitely wanting to feel alive by soaking in the energy of the natural environment.
The feeling of water spray on my face as I head to my objective… The sound of rain on my boat tarp as I cook my breakfast early in the morning… The crispness of the air watching the morning mist rise from the water… These are the things that I really enjoy about the outdoors.
Whilst I’m great at getting friends and family in position to catch fish, I don’t really catch any and get board flicking lures. So I bait fish when I do so I can soak up the environment.
So with these insights developing, I looked at the Google and Deckee maps and did some research, finding a river arm that has no information, no maps or charts and only one historical article talking about the region roughly 100 years ago.
I studied and prepared. Narrow passages, low trees overhanging my path, shallow water, swamp were all things I had to plan for and be prepared. Safety equipment and back up plans if I got stuck or something went wrong as there was also most likely no mobile phone signal in this area.
You can see the video of the adventure here: https://youtu.be/mditxgDck3o
My launch boat ramp is always really busy, so I managed to juggle work and launch on a Friday and beat the rush.
I travelled up my familiar path into this wonderful region, reaching my start point up river where I had never gone before. The entrance into the area has two obstacles from the two possible approaches. One is a narrow passage I’d have to squeeze through with my boat, additionally not knowing the depth. The other is a vast shallow sand bar which may or may not have a path. I opted for the narrow entrance.
I dropped the VHF antenna, lowered the bimini with excitement building of what I was about to discover. This was mixed with a good dose of nervousness about if I got stuck because my boat is not easy to man handle with its 1,500kg weight. Slow and steady was the name of the day as help would be hard to reach me if I significantly grounded.
With the quietness of the electric motor, I edged my way through and was presented with the expansive view of the inland lake as I came out the other side. Luckily the wind was low and not a cloud in the sky so I could see the numerous sand bars in this shallow lake.
My first objective was to reach a unique sandstone outcrop that rose out of the surrounding swamp. I found a landing spot and it was like I was on a deserted island. The outcrop rose many metres about the surround area. I could not see another person from where I stood looking out the the horizon across the lake.
I could have lingered much longer than I did. I was keen to see if I could reach the end of the river arm as my second objective. At the end of that arm was a complete unknown of if I could reach the the inland lake that was said to hold Jurassic fish because of its remoteness.
I headed up river slowly, as I had now idea of depths or if submerged logs were hidden under the water to take out my prop at anytime if I collided with them. It was a pleasant afternoon and as the sun was getting lower, I decided to go as far as I could and set up the boat to camp for the night.
It was a magical environment. Birds singing, colourful waterlilies and reflections so crisp it was hard to tell where the water met the land. I settled in for the night, having dinner by the sounds of crickets and slowly getting sleepy. Content that I had now reached objective two.
Getting to a crisp morning to the chorus of scores of birds, my mind was on if I could reach objective three – the inland lake. It was apparent that there was no way I was going to be able to get my boat through. I didn’t plan to bring a kayak, I will next time.
I had breakfast and got ready to scout for a land approach.
After a couple of hours of searching and assessing risk I decided not to proceed. I had an EPIRB with me, my concern was if I found a boggy spot in the swamp that I could quickly sink in during my passage, it would be the end of me. I decided I would give this approach a go another time with a friend.
With a friend that can fish LOL!