I decided that even without the arrival of my new paddle, I had to to take ‘bluebird’ out for her maiden voyage this weekend … Lake Skinner seemed ideal.
|Bluebird preparing to sail … all packed up in a 40L backpack (including paddles)|
It’s about an hours drive down to the start of the Lake Skinner walk from Hobart, and then it was another hour and forty minutes hike up to the lake itself.
|The track up …|
|First views towards Lake Skinner|
|… and the lake itself.|
Then with the aid of a bit of a wind (Alpacka rafts use a big ‘airbag’ systems for inflation) I had bluebird inflated and ready to go in under 15 minutes.
|… and after|
This I liked.
It was a bit of a tentative launch from the slippery rocks, but without too much of a hiccup we were off to explore the lake …
It was kind of special getting down to the other end of the lake and wondering how many other people would ever have made it this far. There was a lovely copse of flowering leatherwoods down the far end, and I got to admire the burnt stags of trees from a long gone bushfire as I filled my waterbottle from an inflowing stream and drank the cold, clear water.
The lake was almost transparent, so I couldn’t resist a swim when I got back and a bit of a snorkle around, although there wasn’t a huge amount to see.
All up, bluebird is going to take some getting used to. She can turn on a dime, but going forward in a straight line is a slow business (probably 3km an hour) which takes some getting used to after paddling my ski for the last year. Still, her purpose is to let me paddle in places I couldn’t otherwise explore, and for that purpose she’s perfect. Now I just have to think of where to take her next …