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We CAN paddle the question was where?

Plan A a circumnavigation of Little Snake Island blown out of the water due to winds of 30+ km/hr.

Plan B Thompson River in the (more) sheltered Latrobe Valley, Heavy rain over night Friday combined with already increased stream flows became a cause for concern, and a decision was made that the planned paddle was NOT suitable.

Plan C a paddle we CAN do came into play – explore Flooding Creek and see what the day brings.

Launching from the Rowing Club Pontoons, we made our way upstream to the Port of Sale, home to the beautiful 1912 boat The Rubeena, who provides heritage cruises down to the Swing Bridge with a running commentary of points of note along the way. The Port is home to boats of varying size and condition as well as the Gippsland Dragon Boat Club, who were also out on the water.

Flooding Creek is the origin of the Sale Canal and we entered the creek just beyond the Port. Usually this paddle would not be possible due to limited water, so the recent floods/rains were of great assistance. The creek is high sided and meanders, providing plenty of shelter from the wind, such that in places there was no wind; paddling skills were put to the test navigating shallow banks and obstacles. Whilst Google Earth indicated we could potentially paddle quite a distance our course was abruptly stopped by a fence and beyond that the creek seemed to disappear – perhaps only running when there is a flood, or there is another branch of the creek obscured by vegetation that we missed.

Returning to the Pontoon, for a change in paddle as Frithjofs blade had decided to part company from the shaft we decided on a trip down to the Thompson River/Sale Canal divergence for lunch on the grassy banks. An easy paddle compliments of a tail wind, passing the Dragon Boats with drums calling out the Paddle Beat and the Rubeena all making their way back to Port.

Lunch was a splendid affair in a sheltered sunny spot – obviously a common stopping spot judged by the number of empty refreshment containers left behind. The Thompson was flowing quickly which combined with the strong NE winds, (also the main direction of this river), confirmed my decision that we should NOT paddle that section of the river that day.

Flooding Creek 19.09.21b
Paddling back up to the Pontoon, keeping to the left in the lea of the bank to be out of most of the wind was, much to our surprise an easy paddle. Thank you to those who participated.
Roz, Pat, Don, Frithjof, Fangfah, Sue and me!, proving my fathers saying - "no such word as Can't" - just need to find another way to do what you CAN do.