River: Avon River, Christchurch, NZ
River Conditions: 1.25 cumecs at Gloucester Street bridge. Water mostly clear. Grade 1.
Weather Conditions: Sunny & warm, no wind.
Number on Trip: 2 people.
Time on River: 1.5 hours.
Comments: This was the first time we had been out for a paddle on the Avon since before the earthquakes. We put in at the new boat ramp near the site of the old WWCC gear shed, now long since demolished and the site cleared. We paddled from Swanns Road bridge down to the Gayhurst Road bridge and back again. This section of the Avon flows through the Red Zone so now has a very rural feel, where once the banks were lined with houses. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the autumn colours were lovely. It was really nice to be out on the river with Lauri again.
Near where we put in Lauri spotted a largish flounder that was startled by her kayak. As we made our way down the river, we encountered plenty of Canada geese, ducks, paradise ducks, black swans and the occasional shag. Near the Gayhurst Road bridge, I spotted a bicycle in the river and spent a little time fishing it out and leaving it on the bank. Mountain bikes get kind of heavy when their frames fill up with water.
On the way back, working our way against the current, a voice called out from behind and Murray cruised up beside us in his race boat. We chatted as we paddled along beside his significantly faster kayak, struggling to keep up even though he had slowed his pace considerably. When he slowed down too much, his boat got awfully tippy until he picked up speed again, and this increased pace left both Lauri and I feeling a little tired by the end. Fortunately since the put in was very close to home, we were soon able to have a rest and some left over pizza for lunch.