14th March 2021: Avon River (Ōtākaro)

Date:    14/03/2021
River:    
Avon River, Christchurch, NZ
River Conditions:   
1.656 cumecs at Gloucester Street bridge. Water clear. Grade 1.
Weather Conditions:   
Sunny and warm, NE winds.
Number on Trip:    
1 person.
Time on River:  
1.5 hours.
Comments:  It had been a rough couple of weeks, with a lot going on and Lauri’s energy levels taking a massive hit after the massive peach bottling session the previous weekend. Still having completed all my household chores, laundry done, floors vacuumed, garden taken care of and Lauri resting in front of “Suits” on Netflix, the sun and outdoors beckoned. After afternoon tea was consumed, I changed into my paddling gear, shouldered my Blitz and wandered down to the river.

Flat water & plenty of greenery. To the right, the sign post reads “Morris Street”, where my brother Paul used to live, many years ago. There are very few traces of the homes now.

It was a beautiful day, the sun glinted on the water and although the wind was strongish, whipping the rivers surface into a small chop, the late afternoon was still warm and pleasant. I slid off the bank and into the river, paddling downstream, I soon felt my worries disappearing in my wake. It was a real pleasure to be on the river, doing something physical in such beautiful surroundings. I watched a Canadian canoe paddle out of view as I stopped to take a few photos, and said “Hi” to a race boater getting some training in on a sunny afternoon, before paddling on downstream.

Geese take flight.

With no clear plan, I just carried on downstream, enjoying actually doing something that didn’t feel like work. As I reached the Gayhurst Street bridge, I still felt good so carried on. There were a still a few ducklings about, swans, plenty of ducks & Canada geese and the occasional pair of paradise shelducks, providing a slightly sad memory of poor, departed Greta.

Some other locals cruising on a sunny afternoon, with the Port Hills in the background.

On reaching Kerrs Reach, I paused briefly, taking in the view, before turning for home. Paddling upstream was a little more strenuous, with the wind and current against me, but it still felt good to be there. I was a little tired by the time I reached the take out, but still carried on up to the Swanns Road bridge and then floated back down to the get out and scrambling up the bank and walking home across the Richmond Community Garden, feeling tired but happy.