Paddling through Illness, or Accepting not being able to Paddle

A beautiful return to paddling in the company of birds, and on a silvery lake.(swans helping my board to deflate)

Being out on the water is something I love, and my paddle board allows me to get off and swim, thus also being in the water.

My board is inflatable, which means it easily fits into my car, is easy to carry (weight 12 kg) and gives me the freedom of not needing any help with loading etc.

The downside when I was ill, was that I didn’t have the strength to inflate it. So, no inflation = no paddling.

I tried loading it onto the roof of my Rav 4 still inflated. It was doable but not worth the risk to the board, especially if the wind came up.

So, my only solution was to accept the fact that I was ill and that recovery might take some time. Not easy for me, but an important learning experience. I could still go to the lake and enjoy the birds from shore.

Anyway, that is behind me now and I am back strong enough to inflate and paddle.

On My last outing the sky was fairly overcast with breaking cloud, and the lake silvery and calm. A flock of Cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.) was fishing along the shoreline, diving and flying short distances as they went. There is a Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) that I have met a few times also. It fishes alone, diving by sinking back into the water and surfacing – head only – some distance away. It swims with only its long thin neck and head out of the water, giving it the local name of Snake Bird.

2 Black Swans (Cygnus atratus) also regularly feed where I paddle, dipping their long necks down to the lakebed in search of reeds to eat. They are always together, and call softly to each other to keep in touch. I have to be careful not to crinkle a muesli bar wrapper if they are nearby.

Paddling is on hold for a bit just now due to strong, unseasonal wind. April in Canberra is usually fine, clear and cool with brilliant blue skies. Not this year. Tht temp has been 6 to 7 degrees above average with strong wind and high fire danger. Today the wind is gusting to around 50km/hr from the north bringing dust and smoke. Hoping for a change soon.

Till next time….

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