Only a few days before I head South, and during my cleanup, get a text from Damo. One spot free, so come 12 I’m back down that road despite still being sore from my previous 2 trips.
This was a full house, but had one person who was just there to get out of the city for a day, and two guys from my previous trips who were determined to master a jump or die trying.
Today was the first time I’d be doing all my riding on the left side since we’d discovered last time that I seemed to have a much better time of it when my left leg was in control. This also meant I had to wait till last for surfing since the boat has to change its weight for lefties, but did mean I could watch the previous boys in action. One of them was completely under control – even grabbing the beer and drinking while he surfed. The other however did not have a good day. Last time I saw him he was great, but all the skill was gone today. Ended up jumping into the water and swimming back to shore in a strop (something he would later regret, because it looks A LOT closer than it actually is).
After an hour, I’m in the water and preparing to try the other way round. First time I go crashing into the water as per usual. But the second time I’m up…and getting a lot closer to the middle wake than I’ve gotten before. STILL can’t get into the wake long enough to let go of the handle, swear the surf board is hell to steer – really can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Very last time though I manage to get into the wake and minor surf for a few seconds before sinking into the water.
We go back and pick up swim boy, and then head off wakeboarding. When I’m wakeboarding, its left side from the start, and no major disasters to start with – really managing to master switching my feet and swinging through the wake. Unfortunately, we suddenly hit extremely choppy water, and I can’t compensate enough so go crashing into the water. Next time I’m up, and back in the water in 10 seconds for the exact same problem. I can’t bend my legs and prepare for water that has be jumping and jerking around every 2 seconds, never mind swapping my legs. Any considerations for doing a jump leave my head, and when we get back into smooth water, just enjoy switching and having a long fun spin on the water, until I eventually lose my balance and go crashing into the water so hard the board flies off my feet again. Clearly time to stop.
Unfortunately, doing wake boarding 3 times in 2 weeks is my body’s breaking point. I try to get back into the boat, and my arms lock up. Nothing has been as hard as trying to claw my way onto that boat – one I’m out of the water in struggling under sheer gravity and my body isn’t responding. Get help from another boarder and pretty much collapse into a seat while everyone else has a shot. Our jumpers go in and get some pretty spectacular wipeouts in, neither mastering the jump but getting some good height regardless. The other repeat guy eventually decides to follow in the other previous guy’s footsteps and swim back while we head back for the inflatables – learning just how hard it is from that distance – and then goes out with the other swimmer for dual wakeboarders out at the same time as a couple in an inflatable using a Go Pro. Second time its just one wakeboarder…and then we cut the string for the inflatable leaving them stranded in the middle of the water ^_^…
Given the size of the group, I have to leave before I can go on the floats again, and trudge back home with a broken body, realising with a little bit of dismay that Darius finally has a small-ish group for night canoeing and if I want to go out, it has to be tonight.
So despite being dead and knowing I have a ton of washing still to complete, head out at 8:30 with the troupe to see the infamous night canoe trip. And as an added bonus, end up being in the back and having to be the main rower.
That said, the night canoe was well worth doing. I’ve now seen this lake in the morning, day and pitch black. You glide through the water, completely dependant on the front person whispering about any obstructions (and my girl really didn’t seem to understand this), and hugging the riverbank for animals. Our first critters was a small herd of pademalon, followed by some curious wallaby’s on the left side before we rowed to the right to see something clambering in a tree – a green ringtail possum, who was completely at ease while we hovered underneath.
The next animal was further along and a reptile, much to the joy of Darius. It was a 3 metre long python – an animal he hasn’t seen around the river in months, and accompanied by several Australian bush rats.
We still hadn’t spotted the main attraction though, and we had to keep going for several metres before we found tree kangaroos.
There were several in the tree, though we could only get a good visual on about 3 of them them – one of which was a juvenile. This tree is apparently a really good place to spot them, and we were here for at least 20 minutes before heading onwards.
Just as we’re reaching the final point, somebody catches sight of something in a tree. Darius doesn’t spot it at first as he’s too far ahead, but does spin round and get the front 2 canoes back to catch sight of one more tree kangaroo hiding in the fig tree.
So glad I managed to do it, but I am gonna be dead tomorrow.