Sunday, May 04, 2014

Paddle with passion in 'wilderness' with houses in view

Glorious Moreton Bay, courtesy of
MY research has failed to identify the thinker who coined the often-quoted phrase, "Stop and smell the roses", but one thing's for sure - he/she didn't live in our bayside districts.
The best advice to or from anyone who knows our great Redland City and south-east Queensland's huge air conditioner, Moreton Bay, must be, "Get out there on the water and enjoy it - now."
We may take the bay for granted as we soldier on with day-to-day issues of survival in our modern urban lifestyles.
Just take a minute to soak up the vista from the mainland to Straddie and north toward Moreton Island and think how lucky we are to live in such an environment.
Better still - hop in a kayak and pit yourself against the elements. Get close to the other side of the mangroves you normally drive past. Feel that little nip of apprehension that you may interest a shark - and the sweet anticipation of getting up close and personal with a dolphin.
Bruce Mitchell, of Thorneside, has done it. He has been out there, with a dolphin and calf swimming beside his kayak and keeping him company for "quite some time".
He is thankful he has not had a close encounter with the species with the teeth while kayaking on Moreton Bay and its waterways, and says the scent of the bay is better than a whole field of roses.
Auckland-born Bruce migrated to Australia in 1986 but did not bring his kayak across "the ditch" - as freight - until about a decade ago.
The kayak then crossed the Nullabor atop his car, and he paddled on Western Australia's Murray River before moving back to the Redlands.
Bruce later bought a top-range 4.8m model. His favourite outing has been up Tingalpa Creek, "all the way to Capalaba".
"It's like you are in wilderness, among the mangroves and bush, although you do see the houses in parts," he says.
"Kayaking is such a great experience, and we are very lucky to live where we live."
Bruce was sad to advertise his beloved kayak for sale, after a spinal injury that was unrelated to his paddling passion.
"A hell of a nice bloke has bought it," he says. "He's from Victoria Point and is going to paddle back down there."
Bruce estimates the trip will take probably four hours. His advice to kayakers is to ensure the wind and tides are on their side.

This column has appeared in The Redland Times.


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