| |

Paddleski complications

I spent a lot of online energy researching kayaks and surf skis -- seeking a portable craft I could paddle in the Beachmere environs. The kayak sit-on market place is large and various -- with prices that are tiered in $100 jumps.

It was a fun shop.

But suddenly a salient fact about  my proposed topographical existence dawned on me: where's the water when you need it?

At Beachmere, where I plan to live,  when the tide goes out, it goes out a very long way -- maybe up to a kilometre in places. Imagine if you will the complication of setting off for a day's paddling and trying to launch a craft when the shore line is a kilometre away -- or coming back from  the said day's paddling to find that you need to port the craft by hand over hundreds of metres of sand flats.

Even if there was just enough water to float a paddleski, I know from experience that the dip of your paddle has to submerge for  almost a metre to warrant the business of paddling worthwhile.Ramming a paddle blade into the bottom, even a sandy one, risks breaking it.  That's why,  in shallow waters, boats are poled along, and not paddled.

So unless  I plan to studiously embark  on a  high tide and return that way I'll need to ferry any craft across the shallows or mudflats another way.

That doesn't preclude the business of paddling my own canoe --  but it sure restricts it. I could carry the craft to the river and launch there at the boat ramp, but that is another kilometre + away -- compared to  the most  direct route to the beach of around 600 metres.

While I'm sure there is a splashing sweet spot that will suit me if I do indeed go down a paddling route  -- consideration of these factors suggests that anything I use has to be very light so I can drag and/or carry it over a distance.

So if I want to mess about in a boat -- and I do -- where I want to mess about is something I need to carefully ponder because that will determine how I do it.

My present handline fishing habits suit  this sort of shoreline very well indeed: wading and casting for whiting, flathead and bream. Along the river, the Caboolture River, some craft would be nice so I can get into any likely spot. Do I want to paddle up a storm and heave ho a few  kilometres along the coast above the seagrass beds and mess it among the dugongs? That would be nice -- long distance paddling/touring -- so long as on my return I wasn't stranded a kilometre from shore.
But then..., if the tide wasn't fully out I could simply walk the paddleski in, dragging it behind, me as the barge horses  did for barges, over the shallows. In fact that has a wonderful logic to it --   fishing  with my own golf buggy carrying my gear -- my mule, my caddy : I'd wade with this floating thing, a paddleski, attached to my person by a rope and use it as a platform  for my gear. If I wanted to move up or down the coastline, all I need do is hop on, pick up the paddle and start splashing seaward.
Best settle in first, then see...


Post a Comment