Aquatic substitutes for walking

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Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby Chris » Wed 10 Dec, 2008 10:29 pm

Was wondering whether anyone else finds rowing a useful substitute for being in the bush?

I started to ponder this while on the South Esk this morning, the first time for a few weeks that relatively calm weather coincided with some free time. We've lived on the river for a quarter of a century now (what a frightening thought!). Both started to think about having a boat only 3 or 4 years ago. I was thinking canoe or kayak, but my possibly wiser husband wanted an inflatable for it's greater stability. He won. The great thing about it is that the camera is safe; don't have to stow it somewhere waterproof in case of rolling. The down side it that it's very hard work in windy weather, which seems to be just about constant now.

Anyhow, I'm finding an hour or so on the river incredibly rejuvenating in the absence of many bushwalking opportunities.... second-best, but still pretty good.

I often stop rowing and just drift to listen to the birds and scan the water for signs of platypus. None this morning, but have seen up to three.

The best experience was when I saw one swimming straight across the river ahead of me, then work the far side of the river. Rowed as fast as poss to get ahead of him on my side, then quietly moved across and waited for him to come to me. He did, surfacing less than a metre from the boat. Think he was more startled than me, as he took one look at me and dived under the boat, surfacing again some distance away. Of course no photo; even if I had moved fast enough, I had the tele lens on, and he was much too close to focus!.

Any other river enthusiasts out there?
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Re: Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 11 Dec, 2008 7:17 am

I've grown up on the Tamar (downstream for the South Esk, for anyone who doesn't know), and eventually got my own place just down the road from where I grew up, because I love being on the river so much. Not only is the view fantastic, but I do spend a lot of time on the water (although not anywhere near as much as I did as a teenager and early twenties). I'd be very upset if I had to live somewhere away from the water.

I did have a kayak for a few years when I was a kid, and my family also had a small motor boat for a few years, but since my teens, my primary use of the river has been sailboarding. I wouldn't call it peacful, like rowing is, but it sure is exhilarating. I have to confess that I really enjoy the speed, and the fact that the speed is entirely generated by the wind, with no motors, and no noise apart from the wind and water itself.

Even at that speed, you can still enjoy nature (although not platypuses) on the Tamar. Lots of pelicans, swans, etc, but of course not close when your at speed. I've sailed within a couple of metres of seals on the Tamar, and I've had a fish jump out of the water (in fright perhaps) and actually land on my feet on the sailboard once (and gave me a fright!).
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Re: Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby sthughes » Thu 11 Dec, 2008 8:19 am

Yep love to kayak - but don't get to do enough of it. I've just got a "sit-on-top'" so nothing crazy like whitewater but still I like it and it's good exercise if you have a go. Would love to do a 3 day trip down the Arthur River sometime.

I'm also into sailing. I have a Laser sailboat - most popular sailboat in the world. Bit like sailboarding really but not quite as strenuous or fast, although it does fair fly in a strong breeze on a broad reach. It's kinda exhilerating when things go wrong at speed and you end up in the water before you know what's happened! Can also be super relaxing in light conditions.

I have to confess that I really enjoy the speed, and the fact that the speed is entirely generated by the wind, with no motors, and no noise apart from the wind and water itself

Ditto - I'm not into any motor powered recreation really.

Then of course there is snorkelling which I do a bit of on Flinders Island and body boarding which I never seem to do anymore but I love it. I tend to spend a large chunk of my summer holidays in or on the water.
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Re: Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby climberman » Sat 13 Dec, 2008 6:24 pm

Seek ye the PACKRAFT, and combine the two !

http://www.alpackaraft.com

These things are quite amazing, and frankly would be uber-suited to Tassie for wilderness access and tripping.
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Re: Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby geoskid » Sat 13 Dec, 2008 7:19 pm

Hey simon (StHughes),
We have a sit on top double kayak, always take it on our family Caravaning trips which happen every long weekend, Xmas and Easter. Great family activity along with the body boards and snorkelling gear. :D I tend to fit my bushwalking around these 'untouchable' family events (which is perfectly fine with me), however as my eldest boy is now 9, it wont be long before he will be hounding me to strap on a back pack go bush(I cant wait!). - Your Arthur river Kayak trip - dare to dream and then make it happen (and please let me in on the plans!) :D
In Short - yes, aquatic activities are a very fine and equal(?) substitute for bushwalking - and lets face it, they both involve an active love of living, which is what it's all about.
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Re: Aquatic substitutes for walking

Postby the_camera_poser » Sat 13 Dec, 2008 11:54 pm

In the US, whitewater and flatwater river canoeing was my sport of choice- I spent literally hundreds of weekends on the water. It's too dangerous here to paddle without a group, so I'm not interested in it. Maybe I'll get back to it one day. I'm currently most interested in photography though, and that's not overly compatable with water, despite Messr's Trechanas and Dombrovskis' experiences/work
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