I’ve had the flu over the last week so had to keep the paddling to an easy cruise. After seeking suggestions, @NoReinsGirl suggested a leisurely cruise on Berowra Waters.
Now for those who have not been to Berowra Waters, this is a magnificent tributary to the Hawkesbury River that runs through the north west of Sydney. Steep hills have made development difficult so there are miles of meandering waterways through beautiful Australian bushland and interesting natural rock formations. It is a magnificent part of the world to paddle.
However, as I paddled up through the upper reaches of the Berowra Creek, I noticed a distinct change to the water. Floating litter (bottles, tennis balls, plastic bags, fishing line etc) started to become more frequent. The water itself had a floating slick of pollution that glimmered in the sunlight, and as I was to discover later, was staining the sides of my kayak. The water became so putrid that I could no longer stand to paddle it, so after a short 4-5 kms I turned around and paddled back out of the muck.
As a kayaker paddling our waters under my own power, I feel strongly about issues of pollution on our waterways. This is a raging generalisation, but Stink-boats (ie motor-boats) are in my paddling experience crewed by drinking/smoking cretins throwing rubbish overboard whilst fishing or cruising on our waters. How they can pollute the home of the fish they are catching to eat is beyond me, let alone the damage that is being done to our bushland. It truly saddens me to see the damage being done to what little natural environment we have left. 🙁