Goulburn Grail Stage 2 - Acheron to Molesworth
A Grail can be defined as 'A thing that is eagerly pursued or sought after', or 'the object of an extended or difficult quest'. The satisfaction we will get from paddling and sharing the full 565km of Goulburn River will be our Grail. This is just the second stage of what is anticipated to be approximately 20 stages to complete the Goulburn Grail.
STAGE 2 - What a way to start the day, just get up and go (after some relatively short car shuffles).
Another superb day with enough sunshine to avoid burning, but beautiful temperatures. The river’s form was much the same – fast and cool. Initially clear, it muddied with the entry of the Acheron River and later small ditches from surrounding paddocks so that by Molesworth, the bottom was hidden from our view and our speedos no longer functional.
Crack willows lined the banks for much of the course, and necessitated some negotiating, though not too hard. Willows seldom grow mid ocean which, no doubt, was the cause of our sea kayak’s mid-stream misadventure. More platypuses were spotted, and now the occasional CAAARP (thanks Barnaby) gave a surprised splash on the surface.
The Cremona Bridge approach at about 20km caused anxiety to the support crew of Gin and Jane, but capably calmed by Al and Donna and proved a nice spot for lunch with a picnic table and interesting signs provided by the adjacent landholder. This derelict concrete bridge offers challenging climbs to law-breakers as the river’s floods and flow have, over the years, undermined its abutments leading to collapsed spans and interesting crests and valleys in the deck.
While our progress was a little faster with smaller numbers on the first section of the day, the combination of two brawny blokes in the rapid-rider and Greg in sea kayak proved to be record breaking with the cars barely beating us to rendez-vous points and not a single cryptic crossword clue solved!
All in all, an excellent weekend and great start to the Goulburn Grail. Well done all Grailleurs!!
Click this Video link to see some of this journey
The stats are:
- Date - Sunday 7 February 2021
- Distance 31.6 km, from Acheron (Breakaway Twin Rivers Caravan Park) Chainage 147 km, to Molesworth Reserve Chainage 178.6 km (Chainage is the distance downstream from Woods Point)
- Time taken 5:15 hrs (6.0 km/hr), about 3:55 hrs paddling (paddling speed approx. 8.1 km/hr)
- River Gauge Height (Goulburn River at Lake Eildon D/S, Stn. No. 588125) = 1.08 m
- 8 paddlers: Jamie and Jane; Pete and Gin; Greg; Al and (number 1 support crew) Donna; Loretta and Col.
- 5 boats including 2 x Dagger 'Reflection 15' Canoes, 1 x 'Rapidrider 14' Canoe, & 2 x sea kayaks