Today was the last day of the Easter weekend and we were sort of prepared for a very busy river.
We arrived back at Bow Hill and before we hit the water there were already a couple of boats out.
As luck would have it, we had a great day – only a small number of other boats on the river – they must have seen the clouds and decided to head home early!
You can see the dull grey skies in all the photos from today.
As we left Bow Hill we noted that there was a decided chill to the air – the first time we had really felt it. Winds were very light when we set out and we saw the last of the holiday makers
The view across the river to Bow Hill is pretty typical of the river shack communities we saw all the way since about Morgan.
The river again was decidedly wider – and even as we approached the cliffs it was not narrowing as much. It was very obvious today that we were no longer in the Big Cliff part of the river – the Teal Cliffs were the last of the big ones – everything else was much smaller for the rest of the day – both in height and length.
After the first couple of boats, we almost had the river to ourselves other than an occasional ski boat. We expected to see a procession of houseboats returning to Mannum but only saw a few.
We followed one down the river and just past the Teal Cliffs we passed one – well sort of!
We caught up to this one, and rather than race past, Brad decided to paddle right in behind it between the 2 engines and wash-ride. I jumped onto 1 side of it sitting around 3-4m out to the side on the wash and we literally just had to steer and take a very small stroke to keep on the wash. We did this for about 1km or so, just relaxing and being pulled along at around 8km/h.
We did make a move and paddle past after taking a rest and proceeded down to Younghusband where we met our land crew,
After we passed the Younghusband boat ramp there was a big change in the scenery
We had the wind drop, and the decided lack of any sign of cliffs – we were in the lowlands and the river was now up to 200-300m wide in places.
We planned to meet our land crew at Noa No Landing, about 6km before we arrived in Mannum. We saw a few river markers and all we could see was nothing but the river stretched out in front of us – it just seemed to go on forever.
We were very grateful that there was no wind – as there were no cliffs to break it up and it could have been a very bad day if it was windy! We could see something in the distance, and sure enough, it was Noa No – the distance was deceptive – we kept paddling and paddling and it never seemed to get any closer!
After a short break, we were back underway down to Mannum, where we expected a lot of boat traffic, but again, only a couple of boats to contend with.
We spotted the 154 Marker – it is a significant one for us – it signifies we have now paddled 500km on our way from the Border to the Beach.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of both the Mannum ferry’s running, which is the only place on the Murray where there are a pair of Ferry’s in operation. I missed the photo because as we were about 200m out both Ferry’s were stopped, 1 on each side of the river, so we dug in and made a run for it, otherwise we would have had to wait for about 5 minutes before crossing.
After a short break we were back and paddled past the Paddle boats tied up at the Jetty. Right beside the Murray Princess which passed us yesterday and we realize just how big she is!
The Marion is a much smaller boat, but still impressive!
As we left Mannum, we were leaving behind again a westward path and again heading on the run south. Within 1-2km, there were some low cliffs as we made our way.
It was not too long before we saw the Township of Caloote on a bend.
We too a short break, even though it was only about 4 km to our final destination for the day and weekend.
We finished up at Zadows Landing, about 45km for the day and around 180km for the weekend, with only 140km left until we reach the Beach.
It is both exciting and a little disappointing to realize that we will only paddle for another 4 days to reach our destination.