The Yea river joins the Goulburn river at Ghin Ghin bridge and it was from this point I swapped my small kayak, for a canoe, and not just any canoe. ‘Plunger’ as it is named, is a 80’s style white water, fiberglass canoe that my dad acquired from a university’s outdoor club 30 years ago. Plunger among a few other canoes have lived with my family for many years and have travelled up and down the Yea river and wetlands, with an occasional trip elsewhere. Many of my childhood memories involve me with my friends or siblings and dogs canoeing around the billabong in our backyard.
Even though many people suggested I get a ‘better’ or more appropriate canoe or even a sea kayak, I decided against that and opted for Plunger! I value the sentiment of taking a craft that I learnt to paddle in, on the very waters that will carry me to the ocean, while also again reducing my consumption of unnecessary products and sharing that you do not need fancy equipment to undertake wonderful adventures. Much like my hand crafted paddle this canoe holds character and a story that embeds meaning into what I am doing, I am just some fella in an old fiberglass canoe, paddling down our beautiful rivers.
Floating down the fast flowing water of the Goulburn river is a welcome change of pace from the Yea River. Gliding across the current in my canoe with my Huon pine paddle in hand is such a pleasure, as I cruise down stream you settle into the pace of the water and tune into the world that surrounds you. The calls of birds line the tree covered river banks and fish jump and swim past, often platypus surface next to the boat and after having a geeze, duck dive back underwater. Platypus have always been my favorite animal and every encounter I have is special, nothing connects me more to place and myself than these chance meetings on the river.
Floating down the river as it runs through Murrindindi shire, a place so familiar to me, is the perfect way to settle into my new lifestyle and anticipate the long journey ahead.