River: Avon River, Christchurch, NZ
River Conditions: 1.804 cumecs at Gloucester Street bridge. Water clear. Grade 1.
Weather Conditions: Sunny and warm, NW winds.
Number on Trip: 1 person.
Time on River: 1.25 hours.
Comments: We’d spent part of the afternoon visiting the Avebury House Vintage Market and since it was such a lovely, warm, sunny autumn day, I thought it would be nice for a paddle on the Avon. So after taking care of a few chores around home, I got changed, chucked the Blitz on my shoulder and headed down to the river. Things were still being packed up from the Christchurch Marathon, which had cut the eastern side of the city in half for much of the day. Two black swans came over and watched me intently as I secured my spray deck, only moving away when I slid off the bank and into the water. I decided to paddle upstream for a change, part of the idea being that the current would carry me home when I got tired, instead of having to “battle” against the current to get home.
The water was clear and the sun was warm, making being out on the river a real pleasure. It was nice powering along, though my arms were feeling the lack of recent exercise. The sun glinted off the water and the trees, in their autumn colours, were reflected in its’ mirrored surface. At the boat ramp near Pomeroy’s, a group in sea kayaks were getting out and I found a new Lime scooter helmet floating in the reeds a little further up. Passing the through the cemetery, I encountered a group of stand up paddle boarders on boards hired from Airborn Paddling, a company that offers a range of SUP paddling experiences around Christchurch. They seemed to be enjoying the outing and not having much difficulty keeping their balance.
Under the Barbadoes Street bridge to our old put in off Peterborough Street was as far as I could go, the fire station “rapids” block any further progress without a portage. From here I turned around and powered back downstream, appreciating the currents’ aid.
I was soon paddling under the Swanns Road bridge before floating to the recently enhanced landing near the community garden. I hauled myself out and appreciated the newly built steps up the bank. From there I strolled home with my kayak on my shoulder, ready for a shower and a rest.