After our all-nighter, a hot shower and a big breakfast at the Cafe, we were ready to hit the water to accompany Rod on his final 24km to the Murray Mouth on his 40th day of being on the river.
We grabbed a quick photo as we were getting ready to hit the water.
Rod with “The Barge Mahal”, Brad, and Myself.
Only if it had been this pleasant last night!
Now much to our amusement, after Rod had stopped for a snack, he went to paddle off and put the paddle in at the wrong angle – pushed with his foot, and went right over – Brad called out to me – “Your job is the photo’s and I’ll do the rescue”. Just a case of being quite tired and not concentrating and it happened.
He got back into the boat no problems and I pulled alongside while he used my pump to empty out most of the water. He claimed that he was doing his landcrew a favour by rinsing his clothes and boat out after the crossing last night (well, when you gotta go you gotta go).
A few minutes later we could clearly make out the Goolwa Bridge.
With the bridge behind us, we now only had about 4km around to the Barrages – a lock that separates the fresh water of the River from the sea-water.
As luck would (or would not) have it, we arrived at 12:50, but the lock does not open for boats until 1:30, so we pulled into the ramp and carried the boats around.
Back in the water for the final leg for the day down to the Mouth.
After what seemed like a long time (but probably wasn’t in the distance we spotted what appeared to be a break in the dunes -and a signalling of the Murray Mouth.
It is a bit hard to see just yet and when we finally passed the last group of shacks on the left on Hindmarsh Island, our land crew waiting patiently at the Boat ramp, we knew for sure that we had less than a km to the mouth.
At 3:15pm, with Rod in his yellow, and out of the boat, it was the end of his 2400+km journey of Source to Sea, and also our ultimate destination, but we are not finished yet.
Yes, the sand-pumps are hard at work keeping the channel at the Mouth open to the sea,
After a few minutes once Rod’s landcrew met him and some extra photo’s – that I won’t share here, Brad and myself jumped back in the boats for the paddle back across to the boat ramp at Hindmarsh Island and a nice late lunch of fresh fish.
This had been our biggest day so far, with the 59.6km, nearly 9 hour stint overnight and then a final 23.6km, 3 1/2 hour paddle down to the mouth for an 83.2km day.
With the Lake crossing done, we will head out next weekend and complete the 140km to 76km leg and the end of our journey will be where we started this weekend.