Patonga Creek – Wednesday 17th June 2020
As we drove along Patonga Drive towards Patonga the sunrise behind us hit the trees and sandstone of Brisbane Waters National Park. The sky was lightening to a clear blue and I was anticipating our Kayak paddle. This would be my first paddle with the group and I have little experience with Kayaking.
The group assembled beside the creek at Patonga and my kayak for the morning was ready to go. Preparations completed, Colin spoke to the group about the paddle and warned us to look out for shallow patches. We were off and paddling along the creek. The sky was blue, the air crisp and clean and the water, calm and inviting.
We paddled past the last few houses that fronted the creek, rounded a bend and we had only Mother Nature for company. Healthy mangroves were along the western side of the creek and densely treed hills rose to the right. In the quietness we heard birds calling. Further along the creek sandstone rocks and small platforms jutted into the creek. Most of the rocks were heavily covered with oyster shells. The nest of a sea eagle was observed in a dead tree high on a ridge. Some of the group spied a sea eagle at the side of the creek.
The paddle was approximately 7kms in total and the creek was surprisingly broad until the final bend. The return trip was assisted by the outgoing tide. With the sun now higher in the sky and behind us we enjoyed paddling the glassy surface of the water. The creek was so beautiful and peaceful it was lovely to stop to watch a small group of black cormorants playing and diving delicately near the bank.
Too soon, we turned the last bend and returned to the sandy bank we had left two hours earlier. The clouds were gathering and forecast rain was on the way.
My experience kayaking was thoroughly enjoyable. What we saw and experienced along the creek was possible only because we were in kayaks. To quietly paddle by and see the sea grasses beneath the surface of the water bending as the water flowed was very special.
The encouragement and camaraiderie of the group as we packed up was very welcome. As was Christine’s chocolate fudge slice. I’m looking forward to my next paddle and the opportunity to explore more of the beautiful Central Coast.
Take a look at the video of the trip on YouTube:
Author: Jan Guest
Still photos: Andrew Gibbons
Video: Mike Guest